[handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 24 December 2008

  • From: "Patrick Tice" <wa0tda@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2008 14:04:42 -0600

Courage Center's Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 24 December
2008


This is a free weekly news & information update from Courage Center's
<http://handiham.org>  Handiham System. Please do not reply to this message.
Use the contact information at the end, or simply email
handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxx 

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!


 


Holiday office hours


 <http://www.handiham.org/node/262> Holiday office hours - snowman with HT

The Handiham offices will be closed on Wednesday, December 24 and through
the Christmas holiday weekend, reopening Monday morning, December 29.

The Handiham Remote Base station will remain active for beta testers
throughout the entire holiday season, day and night. It has survived a
recent 30 degree below zero morning at Courage North! Be sure to connect to
W0EQO-L via your computer EchoLink application to listen to the remote base
receiver.

Our full-service website at handiham.org will remain in operation and will
be updated as necessary throughout the entire weekend. However, technical
support for lost passwords and login problems will probably not be available
until next week.

Online education lectures will be available, but will not be updated this
week, as I will be busy playing with all the new toys Santa hopefully will
bring me for being such a good boy all year long. On the other hand, if
Santa brings me a lump of coal for being bad, at least I can burn it to keep
warm!

Before we get started with the e-letter, I want to wish all of our readers
and podcast listeners the best for a wonderful holiday season from all of us
at Courage Center and the Handiham System. 

Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Courage Center Handiham Manager
patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 

*       Login
<http://www.handiham.org/user/login?destination=comment/reply/280%2523commen
t-form>  at handiham.org to post comments.

  _____  


Avery's QTH - Thinking about the end of the year


Avery with magnifying glass

Welcome once again to my humble QTH: 

If my calendar is anywhere close to being correct it looks as if another
year is about gone and a new year about to start. I am not sure if I can
remember all the ham radio related things that happened in 2008. Can you? 

One of the things that took place at 2008 Minnesota radio camp will come
into play early in 2009 though. That will sort of tie the two years
together. Of course, that is the remote TS-480 Kenwood HF Base. Early in
2009, that station should be all set to go "live" for our members to use. It
will be especially nice for people in apartments or condos that are not able
to put up larger outside antennas. Keep checking the e-letter for the latest
information. 

Hopefully Santa will have brought you that new rig you asked about in 2008
and now you will be able to get on the air in 2009 with it. 

Since the technology has been changing a lot over the last few years, how
about making a New Year resolution to learn more about some of the newer ham
radio technology out there? That is going to be one of my resolutions. I
must confess that I seem to have let some of that newer stuff kind of slip
by me.

At the same time now would be a good time to set a goal to go after that
next license. Set up an hour each day to spend studying for that upgrade.
Everyone studies differently, so do what works for you. Me, I like to study
at 2 o'clock in the morning when it is very quiet. Other people like to
study at 2 o'clock in the afternoon with radio, TV, and a stereo blasting
away.

Put in a few minutes reviewing what you did the day before and then go on to
the newer information. When you have covered the whole manual, take a
practice exam or two and use it like a tool to find out what you know and
what you still need to work on. Our online classes make it easy to study
anytime you have time and feel like diving into some lessons. 

So, you all ready have your Extra Class well, how about taking one of the
ARRL's online emergency communications courses? It is always a good idea to
have that knowledge. ARRL has some other great courses, too, and they are
not all licensing courses. 

That project that has been sitting on the bench forever wouldn't 2009 be a
great time to get it completed and clean off that workbench?

CW! Oh, yes now that it is not a requirement maybe it would be fun to learn
International Morse Code now. It may be fun to do some CW operating. There
are still stations in some countries on CW that are never found on phone, so
for those of you who are going after DXCC or some other award, that may be
the only way to make contact with those stations. 

2009 would be a good time to become more active in the local radio club. In
many of the clubs (amateur radio or otherwise) 10% of the people do 90% of
the work, so there is always someone that can use some help. Whether it is
someone to help write the newsletter or be the club's webmaster or someone
to stuff the envelopes of the mailings someone has to be there to do it. 

OH! It will be fun to see what new technology will bring us in 2009 and how
that technology will influence amateur radio. Will they are able to
incorporate the whole radio inside a badge that pins on your shirt like the
ones used in the Star Trek series. 

Instead of "Beam me up Scotty", it might be, "Hey! I am lost; where am I?" 

Or, "We have an emergency here; the ice on the roof is too heavy and the
roof fell in". 

Or "Cars are slipping and sliding around. Can we get some salt on the
roads?" 

All our communications might someday come from a multiband transceiver no
bigger than a silver dollar.

Speaking of outer space, perhaps toward the end of 2009 we'll have people
traveling to some other outer space locations and amateur radio
communications will have improved enough that those out space locations can
be used as repeaters and make Earth to satellite communications more often
and from more remote locations. 

What do you think the New Year will bring in the way of new technology? 

So, until next time... 

Welcome once again to my humble QTH: 

If my calendar is anywhere close to being correct it looks as if another
year is about gone and a new year about to start. I am not sure if I can
remember all the ham radio related things that happened in 2008. Can you? 

One of the things that took place at 2008 Minnesota radio camp will come
into play early in 2009 though. That will sort of tie the two years
together. Of course, that is the remote TS-480 Kenwood HF Base. Early in
2009, that station should be all set to go "live" for our members to use. It
will be especially nice for people in apartments or condos that are not able
to put up larger outside antennas. Keep checking the e-letter for the latest
information. 

Hopefully Santa will have brought you that new rig you asked about in 2008
and now you will be able to get on the air in 2009 with it. 

Since the technology has been changing a lot over the last few years, how
about making a New Year resolution to learn more about some of the newer ham
radio technology out there? That is going to be one of my resolutions. I
must confess that I seem to have let some of that newer stuff kind of slip
by me.

At the same time now would be a good time to set a goal to go after that
next license. Set up an hour each day to spend studying for that upgrade.
Everyone studies differently, so do what works for you. Me, I like to study
at 2 o'clock in the morning when it is very quiet. Other people like to
study at 2 o'clock in the afternoon with radio, TV, and a stereo blasting
away.

Put in a few minutes reviewing what you did the day before and then go on to
the newer information. When you have covered the whole manual, take a
practice exam or two and use it like a tool to find out what you know and
what you still need to work on. Our online classes make it easy to study
anytime you have time and feel like diving into some lessons. 

So, you all ready have your Extra Class well, how about taking one of the
ARRL's online emergency communications courses? It is always a good idea to
have that knowledge. ARRL has some other great courses, too, and they are
not all licensing courses. 

That project that has been sitting on the bench forever wouldn't 2009 be a
great time to get it completed and clean off that workbench?

CW! Oh, yes now that it is not a requirement maybe it would be fun to learn
International Morse Code now. It may be fun to do some CW operating. There
are still stations in some countries on CW that are never found on phone, so
for those of you who are going after DXCC or some other award, that may be
the only way to make contact with those stations. 

2009 would be a good time to become more active in the local radio club. In
many of the clubs (amateur radio or otherwise) 10% of the people do 90% of
the work, so there is always someone that can use some help. Whether it is
someone to help write the newsletter or be the club's webmaster or someone
to stuff the envelopes of the mailings someone has to be there to do it. 

OH! It will be fun to see what new technology will bring us in 2009 and how
that technology will influence amateur radio. Will they are able to
incorporate the whole radio inside a badge that pins on your shirt like the
ones used in the Star Trek series. 

Instead of "Beam me up Scotty", it might be, "Hey! I am lost; where am I?" 

Or, "We have an emergency here; the ice on the roof is too heavy and the
roof fell in". 

Or "Cars are slipping and sliding around. Can we get some salt on the
roads?" 

All our communications might someday come from a multiband transceiver no
bigger than a silver dollar.

Speaking of outer space, perhaps toward the end of 2009 we'll have people
traveling to some other outer space locations and amateur radio
communications will have improved enough that those out space locations can
be used as repeaters and make Earth to satellite communications more often
and from more remote locations. 

What do you think the New Year will bring in the way of new technology? 

So, until next time... 

73 & DX from K0HLA Avery 

You can contact me at: 763-520-0515 or email me at:
<mailto:avery.finn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> 
avery.finn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 

  _____  


No EchoLink on BrailleNote


We were asked by a member to research the possibility of running EchoLink on
a BrailleNote device. The BrailleNote is essentially a Windows CE computer
that affords the user portability and Braille access. We received the
following from the manufacturer:

Hello Patrick: 

You cannot install any 3rd party applications on the Braillenote that are
not specifically designed to run on this product.

HumanWare Technical Support

So there you go. In fact, I'm not at all sure EchoLink would run on any kind
of Windows CE device. An alternative would be a so-called "netbook" notebook
computer such as the Dell Inspiron Mini, which runs Windows XP and has been
tested with EchoLink. I have one of these tiny computers, which has a 9 inch
screen and only weighs about two and a half pounds. Although I don't run a
screenreader, I've used Narrator with it on occasion, and with its built-in
microphone, speakers, and video camera it's pretty easy to manage
communications with applications like SKYPE. I've had great audio reports
running both EchoLink and the Handiham remote base with this little beauty.
You don't have to go with Dell, as other manufacturers make them as well. I
guess the bottom line is that you have to start thinking outside the usual
expensive assistive technology box to get what you want - at a good price!
The back shelves of closets everywhere are stacked with high-tech
specialized devices that the user eventually discovered wouldn't do what
they needed. Do your research and don't buy software or devices that won't
do what you want. While the BrailleNote is great for running its native
applications, it is not very user-configurable, and you will need another
way to run ham radio applications. 

  _____  


On the air: TIPSnet to host special holiday net


 <http://www.handiham.org/node/266> Icom radio

On December 24th, TIPSnet will have a Christmas Eve net starting at 8pm EST
(0100z). Our host connection on RF will be the SPARC system in Connecticut
at 147.505 (-1Mhz offset) PL 77.1 VoIP server will be the New England
Gateway NEW-ENG on EchoLink (Node 9123) and the New England Reflector 912
Channel 3 on IRLP.

The net will be hosted by the TIPSnet crew and all of the weekly connections
will be handled like any other TIPSnet. Anne, K1STM will be Net Control.

All RF and VoIP outlets are welcome to join in for some Holiday cheer. In
past years hundreds of check-ins are logged during the approximate 1 hour
period from all over the world.

The format is simple - check in with a greeting, let us know if someone
wants to talk to the Jolly Old Guy in a red suit, then sit back and enjoy
the evening. All of the children of the world are welcome.

An electronic sleigh is scheduled to arrive soon after the beginning of the
net so the kids can get to bed early so the younger ones can be on with us.

Remember we will also be streaming the audio during the net courtesy of the
SPARC system at http://new-eng.com.

Happy Holidays from TIPSnet!!!!!

73,

Anne West K1STM TIPSnet Net Manager
John West N1IWT TIPSnet Program & Publicity Manager
www.tipsnet.org
Email: tipsnet@xxxxxxxxxxx

Fostering International Friendship Through Amateur Radio C

TIPSnet meets every Tuesday from 7pm - 8pm local time (EST) / 0000z on
several repeaters throughout New England, including the SPARC Repeater
System and N1NW system in Norwich in Connecticut. National and
International connections are welcome via the New England Gateway -
EchoLink Conference *NEW-ENG* (node # 9123) and IRLP Reflector 912,
Channel 3 (node # 9123). Live streaming audio is available on the web
during the net at http://new-eng.com

  _____  


Speaking of nets...


The Handiham daily EchoLink net on N0BVE, node 89680, continues even through
the holidays, including Christmas Day and New Year's Day, at 11:00 AM United
States Central Time, 17:00 GMT. No net controls have been established for
those days, and we will leave it to you, our readers and listeners, to jump
in there and get on the air. No net control?  So what?  Wing it! Let's have
some fun on the air while the kiddos are outdoors pummeling each other with
snowballs. Even if the net doesn't exactly materialize, get on frequency and
just have a QSO. Unlike the Daisy air rifle Ralphie wanted in the movie "The
Christmas Story", ham radio will not shoot your eye out. Besides, the entire
world wants to hear about that new piece of ham radio gear you got!

  _____  


Letters


Dear Handihams,

Remember the WOODPECKER Over-The-Horizon Radar of our earlier ham years? It
made a noise on the HF bands that sounded exactly like a woodpecker knocking
away on a dead tree. Here's a website that shows a great photo of the now
abandoned antenna structure, located near Chernobyl in Eastern Europe:

 
<http://www.artificialowl.net/2008/12/abandoned-giant-duga-3-system-antenna.
html>
http://www.artificialowl.net/2008/12/abandoned-giant-duga-3-system-antenna.h
tml

Lyle, WB9OKQ

Editor's note: Thank you, Lyle. Now, there's a bit of nostalgia that we
certainly do NOT miss on the HF bands! As satellites and modern radar
technologies have developed (some with their own unique interference
potential), we have enjoyed a bit more clear space on the traditional HF
bands. In 2009, as the world moves to clear shortwave broadcasters out of
the 40 meter band, we should enjoy some prime real estate on one of the best
bands ever, which is open even during sunspot minima.

  _____  


Holiday office hours - snowman with HTThis week at Headquarters:


Office hours


In December, the Handiham offices are closed Wednesday, Thursday, and
Friday, December 24, 25, and 26. On New Year's Eve, which is December 31, we
will be open in the morning, closing at noon. This week Pat is out of the
office Thursday afternoon and all day Friday.

We wish all of our members, visitors, podcast listeners, and e-letter
subscribers a wonderful holiday season!


In other news...


*       The Monday nets, both HF and the EchoLink evening net, are on the
ropes. I didn't hear any activity at all this week, so I'm thinking, "It's
crunch time." Of course people are busy during the holiday season, but there
is no point in publishing a net schedule if there is no actual net. Since
the holidays are not a fair test of activity, let's say we make January our
test month.  If these Monday nets show no activity, I'm all for dropping
them and moving on. Let Howard, KE7KNM, know you support the nets by
checking in.  We also welcome suggestions for other days, times,
frequencies, and modes that might be more popular. 
*       And speaking of Howard, we have a new net manager!  Howard, KE7KNM,
has kindly stepped up to the plate and agreed to help us get a little more
structure into our net control situation. Howard is often heard on our most
popular net, the daily EchoLink net.
*       Jerry, N0VOE, is volunteering in the office on Tuesdays. Look for
him on the Handiham EchoLink net from callsign W0ZSW on those days in 2009.
He volunteers other days from his home QTH and can be heard on PICONET on
3.925 MHz and on the 145.450 repeater system, node 89680. 
*       Pat, WA0TDA, is taking vacation days through the end of the year,
but will update the website. Phone messages are definitely not the way to
contact me during vacation, but I do check email. 
*       QST, CQ, QCWA Journal, & 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 January
QST and Worldradio digests have been read by Bob, N1BLF. Remember that
January is the last print edition of Worldradio, so you'll want to catch
that audio.
*       The Winter QCWA Journal is out in print. We are STILL waiting for
our reading list from QCWA.
*       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.

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@xxxxxxxxxxx or call her
toll-free at 1-866-426-3442. Mornings are the best time to contact us.  

  _____  


FCC Outreach Toolkit - Article: DTV and People with Disabilities


FCC Outreach Toolkit - Article: DTV and People with Disabilities

Heads up, Handiham members!

The transition from analog to digital television broadcasting will be
historic. After February 17, 2009, the country's full power broadcast
television stations will stop broadcasting in analog and broadcast
exclusively in digital, as mandated by Congress in the Digital Television
and Public Safety Act of 2005.

Read more on the FCC DTV website:
http://www.dtv.gov/outreach_article_disabilities.html

  _____  

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@xxxxxxxxxxx> 
hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxx

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@xxxxxxxxxxx> 
hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxx 

Handiham members with disabilities can take an online audio course at
www.handiham.org <http://www.handiham.org/> :

. Beginner 
. General 
. Extra 
. Operating Skills

  _____  


Donate online to support the Handiham System


New! Donate online to support the Handiham System

Now you can give to Handihams online!

This year it is possible to support Courage Center's Handiham System with an
online donation. We exist only because of the support of people like you -
people who care about other amateur radio operators. Of course our special
mission is to help people with disabilities to earn their licenses and get
on the air. Often times we hear from people whose circumstances are truly
difficult. They have little money, and they are stuck in their house or care
facility, but have always wanted to get on the air. They may have retired
from a long-time job because of an injury or after losing their eyesight and
now are looking for a way to get back on the air, or to get on the air for
the first time. We are experts at breaking down barriers and helping people
to achieve their ham radio goals - and by extension, other life goals as
well! 

Now, don't get me wrong. We also have plenty of highly self-sufficient
members with disabilities who simply enjoy using our audio resources and
want to share their contributions with others who share similar interests.
The point is that we are all about hams helping other hams.

I hope you will consider a gift to support this work. Gifts to Courage
Center and its programs are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by
law, and you will be helping our staff and volunteers to share the
excitement of ham radio with people who will be really grateful! In a
moment, I will give you a link to the secure Courage Center donation
website, but I did want to give you a few brief tips about how to use it.

Once you get to the secure page, you will find "Please make a donation to
Courage Center!", followed by a form page. The first section of the form,
called "Donation Information", is the part I need you to be very careful
about because if you want to support our program, you have to say so in this
section. You are asked to either choose an amount to give, or fill in an
amount. Now comes the "Designation" pull-down. You must use the pull-down
and select "Handi-Hams" if you intend the gift to support the Handiham
program.

screenshot of donation pull-down with Handi-Hams selected
Screenshot of the donation page pull-down menu showing "Handi-Hams"
selected.

 

In the "Additional Information" section, you use a pull-down to choose the
frequency of the gift - a one-time gift, for example. This section also
allows you to check a box if you are giving on behalf of a company or if you
prefer to donate anonymously. There is a comment section as well. Then you
will find the "Billing Information", which is your name and address,
followed by "Payment Information", which is your credit card information.
Finally, there is "Tribute Information", in case you wish to give on behalf
of someone special by honoring them with a tribute. When you complete the
form, click the "Donate Now" button.

Oh, and please do us a favor and let us know if you find any part of the
form to be inaccessible via screenreader.

 <https://couragecenter.us/NETCOMMUNITY/SSLPage.aspx?pid=294&srcid=344>
Follow this link to the secure Courage Center donation web page.

In you are reading this in plain text, the link is:

 <https://couragecenter.us/NETCOMMUNITY/SSLPage.aspx?pid=294&srcid=344>
https://couragecenter.us/NETCOMMUNITY/SSLPage.aspx?pid=294&srcid=344

Thank you for your support!

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@xxxxxxxxxxx> 
patt@xxxxxxxxxxx

*       Nancy, Handiham Secretary: hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxx 
*       Jerry, N0VOE, Student Coordinator: jerry.kloss@xxxxxxxxxxx 
*       Avery, K0HLA, Educational Coordinator: avery.finn@xxxxxxxxxxx  
*       Pat, WA0TDA, Manager, patt@xxxxxxxxxxx 
*       Radio Camp email: radiocamp@xxxxxxxxxxx

 

ARRL 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.

 

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  • » [handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 24 December 2008 - Patrick Tice