[handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 26 November 2008

  • From: "Patrick Tice" <wa0tda@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2008 14:36:25 -0600

Courage Center's Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 26 November

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

Listen to an MP3 audio stream:
Download the MP3 audio to your portable player:
Get this issue as an audio podcast:


Welcome to Handiham World!


WA0TDA: Why nets are important

WA0TDA: Why nets are important - Pat with coffee mug

Although I grew up in a medium-sized city, at one point in my working life I
moved to a small town of under 1500 people. I've lived in the Twin Cities
metropolitan area now for over 20 years. In my travels and in my various
jobs I have worked and lived or visited cities of all different sizes. One
thing that seems to be common no matter where one lives is the need to
become part of a community. Sometimes a community can include nearly
everyone in town, as it does when you live in a small village. For most of
us, however, we self-select our own specific communities built upon some
common interest or experience. Thus, you may live in a huge city but be part
of a small, dedicated community of people who are devoted to rock
collecting. "Rock hounds" have regular meetings that include programs and
socializing. And lots of rocks.

This, of course, is how amateur radio works as well, except without the
rocks. All of us who are amateur radio operators share a common experience
of having passed a licensing examination. Our activity is unique because it
is all about communication. Those rock collectors have to go someplace to
meet -- a physical address in a real room. Ham radio operators don't have to
do that. We can be part of a community by having regular meetings at a
school, church, or restaurant, but we have the unique ability to meet
together on the air using amateur radio. When we formalize this process, we
call the result a net!

"Net" is short for network, and in ham radio it means a collection of
stations gathered together on the same frequency in order to exchange
information. Within the larger community of amateur radio operators there
are many smaller interest groups that coalesce into their own smaller
communities. Activities like amateur radio in space attract a cadre of
technically minded operators who make friends and exchange information
through AMSAT, including AMSAT nets. Nets can be very local in nature as
part of a club activity on a 2 m repeater, or they can be global on the HF
bands or EchoLink. One advantage of meeting other members of your community
on the air in a net is that you don't have to travel or worry about
hazardous weather. Heck, you don't even have to make yourself presentable
unless your net happens to meet on amateur television! Your radio club, like
mine, probably has several different interest groups among the membership.
These special interest groups support net activities on specific frequency
bands, such as 1.9 MHz or about specific activities like ARES.

Yes, amateur radio nets are important to keeping our various communities
strong. That is why I am so concerned about keeping the Handiham HF nets on
the air. Even though there may be times when there are fewer net
participants because of poor band conditions, the fact that people are
making the effort to stay in touch is important in and of itself. Nets
depend on people taking the time to check in, even if it is only to get on
the roster. The entertainer Woody Allen once said, "80% of success is just
showing up". I think there is a lot of truth to that. Just show up to check
into the Handiham nets, and we will keep working on that other 20%! 

For your Handiham World, I'm...

Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Courage Center Handiham Manager

t-form>  to the Handiham website to post comments.


Avery's QTH

Avery's QTH - Avery with hands in front of his face

Welcome once again to my humble QTH.

We are looking for net controls for the Handiham 20 meter net and wondering
if you would like to take over the net sometime. You will need at least a
General Class license.

The net meets Mondays on 14.265 MHz SSB, 09:30 - 10:00 United States Central
We stand down for the Salvation Army Emergency Net (SATERN) during their
emergency operations on this same frequency. They are on the air just before
our net, so it is easy to find the frequency and enjoy listening to the
SATERN net for awhile, too.

Speaking of nets, let's talk a little bit about them.

Even though our Handiham nets are somewhat informal social and training
nets, it is still important that the net control station set a good example
by not tying up the net talking about things not related to the net in
between people checking in.

Instead, the net control should take people checking in at a reasonable

Some people, if they have only a short period of time, may not want or be
able to wait a long time for their turn to come around.

Some examples:

. Someone may be on their lunch break. If net control takes up too much time
talking about something unrelated to the net operation, the person's lunch
break may be over and so they missed checking into the net.
. Even though it may not be an emergency, someone may have something of
importance to pass on to net members and if the net runs too long on other
subjects and that person has some other pressing things to take care of,
that information may never get passed on to net members.
. A mobile station may want to check in, but by the time the net control
gets to them, they may be out of range.
. Band conditions may be changing, especially on the HF bands, and when net
control doesn't move the check in process efficiently, some stations will
not be able to check in at all.

How should this kind of informal net be handled? Listen and learn!

Listen when Jerry, N0VOE, does a net on the 145.450 repeater during our
EchoLink net and when Hugh, VE6CFD, does the HF net on 14.265 MHz, or when
Lyle, K0LR, does the 80 meter PICONET on 3.925 MHz.

If you are into Morse code nets and are checking into our 7.112 MHz slow
speed CW Friday morning net, listen to a few check-ins and once you get the
idea of how that works you may want to be a net control once in a while. If
so, let Paul, W8IRT, know.

In most nets you will find the most experienced people are net controls. In
the Handiham nets that is not always true, as many of our members are in the
process of learning how to become good net controls. The best way for this
to happen is for people who want to do nets is to take a listen around the
bands, listening very carefully to the net controls to see how they handle
things. Pick out the best. Why are they the best? What do they do that
others don't? How do they handle problems that may pop up while doing the
net? How do you compare with them? What can you do to improve the way you
handle the net control job? No matter how well a net control does, there is
always room for improvement. What can you do to become a better net control

Now enough of that net control business. Let's look at the other side of the
net -- the people checking into a net.

Again, it is a good idea to listen to a net to find out how it operates
before checking in. If it is like one of Handiham training nets, it will not
be very strict and will be freer as to what and how you can do things. If it
is an emergency net, handling traffic from a tornado or hurricane, then it
is a much tighter net and more rules will apply.

For example, in most cases unless you have some very important information
for the net it is better to just stand by and listen in case they have to
send some traffic to your location. Do not tie up their important time
checking in with nothing to say. If you want to check in and let them know
you will be willing to handle any traffic for your area, that is usually
fine. Get in the net, get your business handled, and get out. Do not check
back in again unless the net control asks for you. Keep the net free and

SKYWARN nets are a special case, where traffic is driven by an ever-changing
weather condition and where tight, efficient net control is vital to safety
of the general public. Most require special weather training before they
will even let you check into a net. I remember checking into a SKYWARN net
here in the Twin City area and someone checked in to tell the net control
that the sky was clear. That was not what the net control wanted and he was
just tying up the net. Another time everyone had a good laugh when some
checked in to say they didn't see any bugle clouds. Of course he was talking
about a tornado but had not taken any of the required training and did not
know the correct terminology.

Even though you may not have any thought of joining a MARS group, if you
have some extra free time tune your general coverage receiver in your HF rig
to some of the MARS nets. Most are just a little outside the ham bands.
Those will be some of the best examples of how you should act as either a
net control or as just someone checking into the net. They are very tightly
run by the book and there are no excuses for mistakes.

Have a GREAT Thanksgiving Holiday!

73 & DX from K0HLA, Avery
You can reach me at:
Or by email at:

.        Login
t-form>  to handiham.org to post comments about Avery's QTH. 


New! 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

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

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


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>  this
link to the secure Courage Center donation web page.

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


Thank you for your support!


Patrick Tice, WA0TDA, Handiham Manager

And the Members, Staff and Volunteers of Courage Center's Handiham System


New Basic Antenna Book Available from ARRL

New Basic Antenna Book Available from ARRL

ARRL has seen a need and filled it! For something that is often so simple to
make, an antenna is remarkably difficult for many people to understand. The
antenna is one of your shack's most important elements and can make your
radio system a success. Now available from ARRL, Basic Antennas:
Understanding Practical Antennas and Design is a comprehensive introduction
to antennas that includes basic concepts, practical designs and details of
easy-to-build antennas.

You'll learn how to make antennas that really work. This book will provide a
foundation in antenna theory and design necessary for anyone undertaking
more advanced topics and projects such as those presented in The ARRL
Antenna Book.

It was written by ARRL Technical Editor Joel Hallas, W1ZR.

This story was compiled from http://www.arrl.org. The book is available at
the ARRL website and is item #9994. The price is $29.95 and the format is


WORLDRADIO to go online as a free e-zine with February 2009 issue

As we announced earlier, CQ Communications, Inc, the publisher of CQ Amateur
Radio, CQ VHF, and Popular Communications magazines, has acquired WorldRadio
magazine from Armond and Helen Noble, and their publishing company
WorldRadio, Inc.

CQ Communications, Inc. will convert WorldRadio to an online, and
free-access, magazine effective with the February 2009 issue. The final
print edition of WorldRadio, published by Armond and Helen, will be the
upcoming January 2009 issue. Although WorldRadio will become a totally
free-access "e-magazine," it will continue to include display advertising -
not banner advertising, but display advertising intermixed within the
editorial pages of the magazine - in the same fashion as the printed version
of WorldRadio.

The overall distribution and circulation will increase substantially, due to
the new free-access distribution model for WorldRadio. Access to the
magazine will initially be reached by clicking on links on the CQ and
WorldRadio home pages, but will quickly evolve to e-mail announcements of
each issue's roll out to online subscribers. This will be analogous to
subscribing to lists or reflectors on the Internet.

The WorldRadio website is:

Our plans include making audio available to our blind Handiham members as we
have in the past.

(Information from CQ was used in compiling this article.)


On the air

On the air

The TIPSnet, a friend of Handihams, meets each Tuesday evening, United
States Eastern Time. The net is available worldwide on EchoLink.

TIPS has a great start to December coming up.

On December 2nd, we will have as a guest Rich Moseson, W2VU, Editor of CQ
Magazine. Rich and I will discuss something that is becoming a 'hot' topic
in Amateur Radio, What will happen now that Riley isn't watching??

Originally alerted to this in the Handiham E-Letter of 11/19, we were
referenced to the December 2008 CQ Magazine Zero Bias editorial Rich wrote.
Many probably don't know that once Riley Hollingsworth retired from the FCC,
much of his department has been dismantled.

In the December issue of CQ, Rich discusses this problem and its dire
consequences, what will happen if we police ourselves but there is no backup
when needed from the Feds? We'll discuss this and more on TIPSnet.

Also, we'll find more about the CQ acquisition of Worldradio magazine.

Bring your questions and comments this could go way beyond our 1 hour time

Join us!!!


John West N1IWT TIPSnet Program & Publicity Manager
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


Long-time CQ author is a silent key

From the CQ Newsroom.

"Hashafisti Scratchi" a Silent Key

The man who wrote "Scratchi" for CQ magazine is a Silent Key. George H.
Floyd, Jr., WA4DGA (ex-W2RYT), of Lynchburg, Virginia, entertained thousands
of his fellow hams for more than two decades -- between 1947 and 1971 --
writing as a politically-incorrect (by today's standards) Japanese-American
ham with fractured English and contorted spelling. He wrote from "Feenix,
Ariz.," began each column with "Deer Hon. Ed.," and regularly skewered the
pomposity and poor operating practices he encountered on the air. He passed
away November 22 at the age of 91.

In real life, George Floyd was an engineer and executive with General
Electric, working in Schenectady and Syracuse, New York, before moving to
Lynchburg, Virginia in the late 1950s. GE alumni will also remember George
-- pseudonymously as well -- as "Lighthouse Larry" in GE employee

Scratchi first appeared in CQ in June, 1947. The column became a regular
feature between 1948 and 1960, then returned from 1966 to 1971. For many CQ
readers in that time period, Scratchi was the first item they read when the
magazine arrived each month. CQ Publisher Dick Ross, K2MGA, writing in the
magazine's 50th anniversary issue in January, 1995, said: "For many years
the name Hashafisti Scratchi has been almost synonymous with confusion and
consternation in amateur radio. It seems, too, that whenever the unusual or
impossible is happening, Scratchi is there helping it happen."

Upon receiving news of George's passing, Ross noted, "As saddened as I am to
learn of George's death, the mere mention of his name brings a smile to my
face, knowing how his good humor and wonderfully creative imagination
entertained so many of us for so many years."

CQ readers are invited to submit reminiscences of Scratchi for a tribute in
an upcoming issue of the magazine. A special e-mail address has been set up
at scratchi@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


Former ARRL President George Wilson, W4OYI is a Silent Key

Former ARRL President George Wilson, W4OYI is a Silent Key 

George S. Wilson III, W4OYI, of Owensboro, Kentucky, passed away at his home
on November 25. He was 76. Wilson served as the ARRL's 11th President from
January 1992-July 1995. He resigned from the position after a stroke in
1995. Wilson's tenure in ARRL leadership included positions as Kentucky
Section Emergency Coordinator, Kentucky Section Communications Manager, Vice
Director and Director of the Great Lakes Division, as well as Vice President
and First Vice President, eventually culminating in the position of ARRL

Upon retirement from the League's top position, Wilson was named President
Emeritus based on his lifelong commitment to Amateur Radio and the League --
one of only four people granted this honor. He also served as an Assistant
Director in the Great Lakes Division. (ARRL)

For more information, check the ARRL website:


This week at Headquarters: Holiday office hours

Holiday office hours - snowman with HT

It's hard to believe, but it's already almost year-end, and that means that
we will have some holidays at Courage Center's Handiham office. While
Courage Center itself is open almost every day except Thursday, November 27
and Thursday, December 25, our Handiham office is closed for several more
days to give staff members a much-needed break to be with their families.

In November, we are closed Thursday and Friday, November 27 and 28 for the
United States Thanksgiving holiday. ARRL is also closed those days. There
will be no Friday audio lecture from Handihams this week, and ARRL will not
have the usual audio news, though both Handihams and ARRL will publish their
newsletters this Wednesday.

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.

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

The Handiham Team
Toll-Free: 1-866-426-3442


Handiham Year-End Appeal & Newsletter

Begging dog cartoon - that's us all right! 

Here we are, begging again.


Our annual print edition of the Handiham World is now in the hands of most
of our members.

We want you to look for this issue, because it contains our annual giving
envelope. That giving envelope is important, because we survive as a program
through the generosity of our donors. Please look for your annual giving
envelope and consider helping us with a tax-deductible gift.
<http://www.handiham.org/node/270> Remember that you can also donate online
at Handiham.org. 

*       You can download your very own PDF copy of the news letter here:
*       You can listen as Bob Zeida, N1BLF, reads the year-end edition here:


In other news...

*       You have heard that Worldradio will be an online e-zine. "What about
the "With the Handihams" column?", you are thinking. Well, rest assured we
will still be in Worldradio. You can still enjoy our column and the rest of
the Worldradio content that you know and love! We do plan to keep recording
the articles into audio format for our blind members. Now, aren't you glad
you asked? 

*       One of our members <ftp://ftp.arnewsline.org/quincy/News/news.mp3>
requested a link to Amateur Radio NEWSLINE audio. This is a link to FTP the
file to your computer:  <ftp://ftp.arnewsline.org/quincy/News/news.mp3>

Be sure to let me know if you cannot get the audio by following the link.
Generally speaking, if you browse the web with Firefox, you will simply be
prompted to download the MP3 file. If you use some other browser, you may
have to use a right-click and "Save target as". I know this is a source of
confusion for some users, especially those who have installed third-party
audio players, as these may try to open the file instead of allowing you to
save it. The NEWSLINE editions are typically pretty large files, in excess
of 4MB, so be patient! If you cannot get the NEWSLINE audio this way, let me
know and we will try to figure something else out.
*       We have started work on a DAISY book version of the new General
Class question pool. It's slow going, as there is considerable editing to
prepare the pool for conversion. We have already finished the Extra pool.
*       We would like to hear from you about the Handiham HF nets. Do you
want to keep a 20 meter net, a 15 meter net, and a 10 meter net? How about
the 40 meter CW net? Do you remember the old 17 meter non-net informal
get-together started by K2WS on 18.165 MHz? Please write to
<mailto:wa0tda@xxxxxxxx> wa0tda@xxxxxxxx with your ideas and suggestions.
Now is the time to decide, as the solar cycle begins to favor better HF
*       Jerry, N0VOE, is volunteering in the office on Tuesdays. Look for
him on the Handiham EchoLink net from callsign W0ZSW on those days. He
volunteers other days from his home QTH.
*       Pat, WA0TDA, is taking vacation days on Fridays through the end of
the year, but will still send out a weekly education letter, so look for
*       QST, CQ, QCWA Journal, & WORLDRADIO audio digests are available for
our members. Login <http://handiham.org/user>  to the member section of the
Handiham website and find the magazine digests in the Library. The December
QST and Worldradio and the November CQ magazine digests have been read by
Bob, N1BLF. 
*       George, N0SBU, the "Second Base Umpire of Hugo", has finished the
December tape digest. We expect to mail the cassette issue on Thursday,
November 20. This member service is available in 4-track audio cassette to
our blind members who do not have computers.
*       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. 


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
*       Donate an extra amount of your choice to help support our
*       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> 

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


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> 

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!

Manager, Courage Handi-ham System
Reach me by email at:  <mailto: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 </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 11/26/2008 - 20:09 

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  • » [handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 26 November 2008 - Patrick Tice