Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 21 January 2009 This is a free weekly news & information update from Courage Center Handiham System <http://handiham.org> . Please do not reply to this message. Use the contact information at the end, or simply email handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx This issue is being delivered in plain text, but is available in HTML with graphics and photos. You can get the HTML version online at the following link: You can also listen to the content online: Listen to an MP3 audio stream: <http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham.m3u> http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham.m3u Download the MP3 audio to your portable player: http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham.mp3 Get this issue as an audio podcast: http://feeds.feedburner.com/handiham _____ Welcome to Handiham World! WorldRadio Online first issue is ready to read! WorldRadio Online first issue is ready to read! Front cover screenshot. It is a banner day in ham radio publishing. A long-time print journal has made the transition to that great printing press in the clouds, the Internet. The February 2009 issue of WorldRadio Online was uploaded late on Tuesday, and is available for downloading and viewing. Currently it is available only at the main CQ Amateur Radio website, but will also be available at the entire CQ family of websites soon. We are pleased to note that the "With the Handihams" column appears on page 26 in this maiden issue. With this publication, CQ Communications, Inc. joins the other major amateur radio publisher, ARRL, in offering significant online content. Although Bob Zeida, N1BLF, will continue to read selected portions of WorldRadio for our monthly magazine digest that serves our Handiham members who cannot read regular print, we are pleased to note that the online version has a number of very useful accessibility features for people with disabilities. The format is Adobe PDF with embedded, searchable text. This is the industry standard, and beside providing the useful search feature that allows users to easily locate key words anywhere in the entire publication, it also allows blind users with screenreaders to access the embedded text and read the articles. Since some of the advertisements also carry embedded text, blind users will have access to them for the first time. In reviewing the ads, we noticed that they are hyperlinked to the advertisers' websites. For those of us in the bifocal stage of life, you can enlarge the print on your computer screen. This can definitely make life easier when you are enjoying the columnists you know and love, like Krusty Ol' Kurt and his Aerials column and you don't have to strain to see the fine print. Then there is the color. Long ago in the late 1970's, when Don, W0DN, and I began advertising our funky new Butternut antenna in the ham magazines, there was no color to be found on the pages of the ham radio publications. Yes, QST and CQ readers enjoy a splash of color these days, but WorldRadio never changed its newsprint textured paper and black and white format. That has changed, and the new look adds pizzazz! Want to take a look for yourself? It's all free and supported by advertisers. Please go to: http://www.cq-amateur-radio.com You will need to click on the WorldRadio Online box in the upper left corner of the home page to download the magazine. A direct link to the download is here, in case you find the navigation a bit confusing: http://www.cq-amateur-radio.com/images/0209_WorldRadio_Online.pdf I would appreciate it if you would send me comments on accessibility if you are using screenreaders like Window-Eyes, JAWS, Orca, or a web-based screenreader. Please let me know which screenreader you are using and list your comments on how readable the text was for you. For Handiham World, I'm... Patrick Tice wa0tda@xxxxxxxx _____ Avery's QTH - I'm a new ham. What rig should I buy? Avery's QTH - I'm a new ham. What rig should I buy? TM-V71A shown here. Welcome once again to my humble QTH: The question that just keeps on popping up is, "I am new to amateur radio and what rig should I get?" Well, that depends. What do you wish to do with your license? Do you want to do public service work? Do you want to do contesting? Do you just want to get on the air once in awhile and chat with people? What class of license do you have? What bands can you use and which ones can you not use? If you are going to be a contester you may want a rig with more features than if you are just going to be on the air once in awhile chatting with people. What rig works for one may or may not work for someone else. Some people like Fords and some people like Chevys but both will get a person between points "A" and "B". One of the big issues with any of today's rigs is the huge learning curve. People have a hard time learning the rig's operation and many times have to carry the instruction manual with them to figure out how to work all the functions. My own VX-7R Yaesu HT and FT-100 mobile rigs, for example, each have lots of menu items and to just find the right one to do what you want is quite a challenge for anyone. Once people get by that learning curve, they usually will like whatever rig they have. It is a matter of gaining the familiarity that builds confidence in your gear. As it turns out, the blind-friendliest rigs just happen to be the these four Kenwoods: TH-F6A multiband vhf/uhf handheld radio with wideband receiver: No voice chip, but has a menu system with tone prompts that are distinctive enough to allow pretty thorough navigation through the menu system by ear alone. There is extensive training in audio on the Handiham website for this handheld radio. This rig has been around quite a few years and has a large blind user base. TM-V71A 2m/70cm base/mobile: This multiband mobile rig can serve as an excellent base station, and with the optional VGS1 voice module, blind users have spoken word access to frequency readout and menus. There is some helpful support in audio and text on the Handiham website. TS-2000 Base station transceiver: This larger-sized 100-Watt rig covers 160-2m bands, & the 70cm band. It also has a 2m sub-receiver, and is an all mode rig that works well for things like satellite work. It has a built-in antenna tuner and switch selected antenna inputs. The optional VS-3 voice module allows blind ops to drill through the menu system. However, it can be a daunting task to learn all the rig's features. There is extensive audio help on the Handiham website. TS-480SAT base/mobile transceiver: This small 100-Watt rig has a separate control head and covers 160-6m. It has a built in antenna tuner and uses the optional VGS1 voice module for blind access to frequency readout and the menu system. It is the rig of choice for the Handiham remote base station, and there is extensive audio training available on the Handiham website. But again each has its own learning curve. The Handiham site's audio is available to members who login and navigate to the manuals link. Other manufacturers make rigs with speech output, too. Their speech systems don't navigate the menus like the Kenwood systems, though. Still, there may be other manufacturers that you will prefer if you are not blind, and there are some excellent choices. The best thing a person can do is take a trip down to their local ham radio store and try out different radios! Just like "KICKING TIRES" on a car, a person is thinking about buying and taking it for a test drive. The second best thing if there is no ham radio store nearby would be to ask around in your local club and have people show you their ham radio gear. See if one of those rigs is something you might like to purchase. One thing is if a couple people have the same rig as the one you purchase, there is always someone to ask if you have a question about the unit's operation. Be sure and check out our Handiham e-letter because we will keep you up to date on what is new in the way of accessible ham gear. The older ham rigs were pretty institutive and easy to figure out even without a manual. Not so with these new ones. Take, for example, the old Icom 02AT HT with all switch operation. Even setting the frequency was all thumb switches so everything could be done pretty easily just by counting the switch clicks. I hope this will help answer the question of what rig should I start with! So, until next time, 73 & DX from K0HLA, Avery You can reach me at: 763-520-0515 Or Email me at: avery.finn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx . Login <http://www.handiham.org/user/login?destination=comment/reply/317%2523commen t-form> to post comments _____ FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin resigns effective January 20 <http://www.handiham.org/node/135> FCC FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin announced his resignation from the Federal Communications Commission, effective January 20, 2009. The Chairman said he leaves the office with great pride in the FCC's accomplishments and with deep gratitude for having had an opportunity to serve the American public. Chairman Martin stated that his philosophy during his tenure at the FCC "has been to pursue deregulation while paying close attention to its impact on consumers and the particulars of a given market, to balance deregulation with consumer protection." He stated that he "approached his decisions with a fundamental belief that a robust, competitive marketplace, not regulation, is ultimately the best protector of the public interest and the best method of delivering the benefits of choice, innovation, and affordability to American consumers." ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, said that Martin's resignation is part of the "usual stuff we see when a new administration comes to office. We look forward to a positive relationship with the new Chairman and his administration." Parts of this story were excerpted from the FCC and ARRL websites. _____ Free YouTube video downloader Free YouTube video downloader There are lots of ham radio videos on YouTube. Some of these might even make for good club program material, but what if your radio club meets someplace without Internet access? Wouldn't it be nice if you could save these videos on your own hard drive? Free stuff is good and save2pc, formerly called "YouTube Downloader", is a free tool that downloads videos from YouTube or Google Video and saves it as AVI or Mpeg or FLV file to your local computer. The user interface of save2pc is very simple, so you don't need any technical knowledge to use it. There is no need to use scripts for web browsers. Just run save2pc and start downloading. Simply paste the URL of a video into the program, press Start , and the AVI, MPEG or FLV file will be downloaded into the selected folder. You don't need any players to play flash video just play it on the default Media Player Classic. Get it at Majorgeeks: http://majorgeeks.com/save2pc_d5580.html _____ New EchoLink simplex node joins the Handiham network New EchoLink simplex node joins the Handiham network Don Rice, N0BVE, has installed a new EchoLink simplex node in Faribault, MN. The node is open and ready for use by all amateurs. It's one more way for you to join our daily Handiham EchoLink net worldwide! Our thanks to Don for providing this service. The node's callsign is N0VZC-L, and it is found on 147.450 MHz simplex with a tone of 114.8 Hz in the Faribault area. I am sure Don would like to get some signal reports. The node number, if you are not coming in via RF, is 45096. Our daily Handiham net will be on the air Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 11:00 United States Central time (17:00 GMT): 145.450 MHz (Minneapolis-St. Paul) N0BVE Node 89680 (EchoLink worldwide) N0VZC-L Node 45096 IRLP node 908 (Vancouver BC reflector) WIRES system number 1427 Everyone is welcome. You do not need to be a member, and the net is relaxed, friendly, and informal. Please direct questions to: Patrick Tice, Handiham Manager wa0tda@xxxxxxxx _____ Northstar to manufacture digital cartridges for NLS players NLS: The Library of Congress awarded Northstar Systems Inc. of Cucamonga, California, a contract to manufacture USB flash-memory cartridges for the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), Washington, D.C. The cartridges will be used to record audio books that will be distributed to NLS patrons across the country and overseas. The initial contract funding of more than $6.2 million will enable Northstar to manufacture audio flash cartridges on which NLS will record both new and existing titles over the next year. The base contract covers three years with a unilateral government option for four additional years. The books recorded on these cartridges will be distributed to the network of 128 libraries that serve approximately one-half million blind and physically handicapped individuals throughout the United States and its territories. The cartridges purchased under this contract will permit all NLS recorded books to be issued on either 512 MB or 1 GB cartridges. This will enable each recorded book to be contained on a single cartridge, greatly improving the current patron's experience of receiving multiple four-track cassettes. In addition, Northstar is obligated to furnish participating libraries and interested patrons with blank cartridges at prices fixed in the contract. Specific procedures for purchase by these parties are being determined. Read more of this story on the NLS website: http://www.loc.gov/nls/newsletters/flash/index.html _____ Hudson River plane crash archived scanner audio Scanamerica.us is a website that streams scanner audio. It has archived audio of the recent crash landing of an AirBus 320 in New York's Hudson River: http://newyork.ny.scanamerica.us/LibraryArticle136.html _____ Take a free emergency management course You can take a free course at the EMI Independent Study Distance Learning Site. FEMA Independent Study (IS) courses are the Emergency Management Institute (EMI) distance learning courses. Courses at the site are intended for emergency management personnel, fire service personnel, first responders, Department of Homeland Security personnel, and the general public. http://emilms.fema.gov _____ This week at Headquarters: * Nancy has informed me that some Handiham membership renewals are being processed as donations instead of renewals. This happens when members use the wrong envelopes, such as the donation envelope in the Handiham World, instead of the envelope we send out with the membership renewal notice. This happens because the envelopes have a code on them that is read by a machine. Renewal envelopes go for renewals and donation envelopes go for donations. Nancy asks that you please use the membership renewal envelope to renew your dues each year. If you intended to renew your dues but instead received a thank you for your donation letter, please let Nancy know at hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx * New training net meets on N0BVE 145.450 repeater, node 89680: There is a new Handiham training net meeting the first Wednesday of each month at 19:00 hours Central Time. This works out to 01:00 hours GMT Thursday. The purpose of the net is to train new net control stations in the basics of running a net. If you have had cold feet about being a net control station yourself, why not check in on the first Wednesday of each month and get some pointers? Howard, KE7KNN, is the net manager and you can contact him with questions by sending an email to wa0tda@xxxxxxxx, who will pass it on. * February audio is starting to be posted. QST, CQ, & WORLDRADIO audio digests are available for our members. Login to the member section of the <http://handiham.org/user> Handiham website and find the magazine digests in the Library. The February 2009 QST, and the January CQ, and Worldradio digests have been read by Bob Zeida, N1BLF. Remember that January is the last print edition of Worldradio, so you'll want to catch that audio. * We have added an "audio this week" link at the top of the member page once you log in. This is a good place to find out what audio is new on our website each week, including magazine digests and audio lectures. This page is updated on Fridays. * The Friday Handiham-Notify mailing list has been moved to Freelists.org for better reliability. I was just not satisfied with the performance of our Mailman lists on Handiham.org, because they didn't handle large numbers of subscribers consistently, and some of you missed your Friday mailings. The Handiham-Notify list contains our audio lecture links each week, along with links to magazine digest audio, both of which are Handiham member services. Stay in touch! Be sure to send Nancy your change of address, phone number changes, or email address changes so that we can continue to stay in touch with you. You may either email Nancy at hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx or call her toll-free at 1-866-426-3442. Mornings are the best time to contact us. _____ Reminder: Handiham renewals are now on a monthly schedule - Please renew or join, as we need you to keep our program strong! You will have several choices when you renew: * Join at the usual $10 annual dues level for one year. * Join for three years at $30. * Lifetime membership is $100. * If you can't afford the dues, request a sponsored membership for the year. * Donate an extra amount of your choice to help support our activities. * Discontinue your membership. Please return your renewal form as soon as possible. Your support is critical! Please help. The Courage Handiham System depends on the support of people like you, who want to share the fun and friendship of ham radio with others. Please help us provide services to people with disabilities. We would really appreciate it if you would remember us in your estate plans. If you need a planning kit, please call. If you are wondering whether a gift of stock can be given to Handihams, the answer is yes! Please call Nancy at: 1-866-426-3442 or email: <mailto:hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Ask for a free DVD about the Handiham System. It's perfect for your club program, too! The video tells your club about how we got started, the Radio Camps, and working with hams who have disabilities. Call 1-866-426-3442 toll-free. DONATE USED HAM GEAR 1-866-426-3442 toll-free Help us get new hams on the air. FREE! Get the Handiham E-Letter by email every Wednesday, and stay up-to-date with ham radio news. * You may listen in audio to the E-Letter at www.handiham.org <http://www.handiham.org/> . Email us to subscribe: <mailto:hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Handiham members with disabilities can take an online audio course at www.handiham.org <http://www.handiham.org/> : . Beginner . General . Extra . Operating Skills _____ That's it for this week. 73 from all of us at the Courage Handiham System! Pat, WA0TDA Manager, Courage Handi-ham System Reach me by email at: <mailto:patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx * Nancy, Handiham Secretary: hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx * Jerry, N0VOE, Student Coordinator: jerry.kloss@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx * Avery, K0HLA, Educational Coordinator: avery.finn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx * Pat, WA0TDA, Manager, patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx * Radio Camp email: radiocamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx ARRL </p /> <p>diamond logo ARRL is the premier organization supporting amateur radio worldwide. Please contact Handihams for help joining the ARRL. We will be happy to help you fill out the paperwork! The weekly e-letter is a compilation of software tips, operating information, and Handiham news. It is published on Wednesdays, and is available to everyone free of charge. Please email wa0tda@xxxxxxxx for changes of address, unsubscribes, etc. Include your old email address and your new address. . By wa0tda at 01/21/2009 - 19:49 . Login <http://www.handiham.org/user/login?destination=comment/reply/324%2523commen t-form> to post comments _____ Courage Center Handiham System 3915 Golden Valley Road Golden Valley, MN 55422 E-Mail: hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Toll-Free telephone: 1-866-HANDIHAM (1-866-426-3442) FAX:(763) 520-0577 Be sure to put "Handihams" in the FAX address! We look forward to hearing from you soon.