[handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 27 May 2009

  • From: "Patrick Tice" <wa0tda@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 27 May 2009 15:05:18 -0500

Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 27 May 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 

You can also listen to the content online:

Listen to an MP3 audio stream:
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Welcome to Handiham World!

cartoon guy which steam coming out of ears, grouchyLast week's article about
bad operators and their terrible habits that disrupt nets brought some
comments. This commentary from John, N1UMJ, pretty much tells the story:

I find lately that my biggest problem is the one who breaks in without
listening.  I run many nets: a monthly RACES net, a weekly ARES net, and
several NTS nets throughout the week. I'm hearing more and more of this on 2
meters. After the net, someone tells me, "Oh yeah, I know him - he's on
EchoLink all the time." 

That puts my problems in high gear. I even had one who, when advised there
was a net going on, said, "I know", and kept talking to his party. I was at
a state RACES office that day, so I had to be professional and polite. The
repeater trustee helped with that one because politeness wasn't working.

Usually though, if they want to talk to someone during a net, as the
clueless op might want to do, I very nicely and tactfully explain that it
would be appreciated if they'd stick around and ask questions after the net
and the person they want will surely stick around if they ask in the closing
comments. That almost always works.

The Mr. Know-it-all type is not so common.  I haven't had many of them, but
the couple we've had, I just let him be his own worst enemy to be honest,
unless he's really annoying, in which case I secure him or as NCS just don't
give him a chance when I can see it coming. Luckily, the Know-it-alls are
not the nightly check-ins.

I don't have the low life or politics person on any nets on which I am the
net control station, but I think I'd probably again, go with telling them to
keep that for another time.

I don't have the nontechnical guy as you mention it, because I refuse to run
a net on any repeater with EchoLink. Echolink does seem to cause a lot of
problems, but on HF or 2 meters with more and more radios having complicated
adjustments, I advise them of the problem and explain some people checked in
to the net want to get out, but if they'll stick around for after the net
I'll help them straighten the technical problem out.

I haven't really experienced the late person or the one who talks too much.
If you're going to be late for a net though, I often find that if you listen
for a few minutes before checking in, a little patience goes a long way and
you can catch up without being a problem. 

As I said, I run a lot of nets, and I've probably run in to just about every
situation at one time or another.

My favorite was the time we had a dam almost let go in my city.

Picture this: The Emergency Operations Center (EOC)  is active because the
shelter is open. Someone comes on the repeater calling the EOC to ask how he
can drive through the city without having traffic trouble, and no one's
answering. We had the repeater on to talk from the EOC to the shelter, but
we had other duties as well, especially if the shelter had us on the phone
with private info or something. 

Well, this guy starts yelling and screaming about what kind of EOC was it
that wouldn't answer his questions and he was going to report them and
stuff. The EOC wasn't using the repeater full time and thus didn't take over
it to keep people off, but he was asked to refrain from use of the repeater
in a phone call from the trustee for the rest of that event and he stayed

It's a shame there are people like that. It was just another time that it
was very hard to be polite about it, but you really have to be. I was
getting my two hours of sleep when that was going on, in my off shift and
did get on and explain that a phone call was the best way to get his info
and the repeater was not being used for requests like his because everyone
was doing a million things and busy, but he's also the one that comes in to
nets and tries to change topics and almost no one talks to him anymore
because he hasn't changed in 18 years.

So, there are a few stories. It does happen, I see it more and more in
recent years, but luckily it's not real bad yet and 9 times out of 10, there
is a tactful way to handle it without causing any issues. When there isn't,
I quit.

Thanks, John! And thanks to all of you long-suffering net controls out there
who somehow manage to keep your cool.  We really appreciate what you do.

Patrick Tice
Handiham Manager

Reference: The 10 worst ops:  <http://www.handiham.org/node/472> 


Avery's QTH - Remembering the J-38

(K6IX.net photo) 

Avery's QTH - Remembering the J-38 (K6IX.net photo)

Image: J-38 key, courtesy K6IX.net.

Welcome once again to my humble QTH:

It seems since the FCC did away with the International Morse Code
requirement more and more people are deciding to learn it now.


Because now it is fun. Because there is no pressure to have to learn it.
People at Dayton were even checking out all the various manufacturers of
telegraph keys. Many people have quite a collection of them and are always
looking for that rare one that is still missing from their collection. Some
people have some belonging to some famous operators while others have some
home built out of things like hack saw blades, printed circuit board
material, and other things that have been modified to work as either a
straight key or a mechanical "BUG" or even an electronic keyer. Some rather
rare keys have been home made by people with quite elaborate machine shops
and are machined on a lathe out of very sharp looking brass or other
material. Many have some very nice metal or wooden bases as well. One trick
that was used was to hollow out a wooden base and fill it with some very
heavy material. The idea was to help prevent the key from moving around the
table top while sending. In some cases if the desk was older, the key was
screwed down right to the desk top.

One of the more popular straight keys right after WW2 was the surplus
J-38. Back in the early days just after the war they could be purchased for
a couple of dollars. Right now if you were to find one in good shape, it
would run about $40.00 or so. The J-38 was used in many different forms. It
was used in aircraft, in jeeps, communications trucks, communications
shacks, aboard ships and in some cases the key was modified to be strapped
onto someone's knee so it could be used while traveling. Some were used in
muddy dirty wet "FOX HOLES" right in the middle of combat conditions.

People in the military were tested, and if they showed ability toward the
International Morse Code, they were sent to a special school where they did
nothing but learn code and become very proficient at using it 8 hours a day.
After awhile many military operators could copy code, read a book, and carry
on a voice conversation all at the same time. I personally know two such
former military code operators. Both are now retired from the service and
the jobs they had after they left the military. One became an amateur radio
operator while the other one did not. The one that became an amateur
operator taught English at one of the local high schools in the Minneapolis
St. Paul area. When I would go over to his place for a ham project, he would
be correcting English papers/tests or what-have-you while listening to 20
meter CW. We would be in the middle of something and all of a sudden he
would say excuse me, run over to the rig, send his reply, and then come back
and we would continue on with what we were doing without missing a beat. I
often wondered how many J-38 key contacts were literally worn out by the
military operators as they did their jobs pounding that brass.

It would be interesting to know where some of those keys had been and what
some of them had sent.

So, until next time,

73 es DX de K0HLA, Avery

You can reach me Monday & Wednesday until 1:30 PM at:


Or email me at:


See many more excellent examples of J-38 keys at the K6IX website:

.        By wa0tda at 05/27/2009 - 15:33

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Dear Handihams,

If you don't already receive this weekly email, you might want to sign up
for it, as there are often interesting items which you might find useful for
the e-letter:

It's "Top Tech Tidbits" and you can get it here:



John, NU6P

Thanks also to WA0CAF, who recommends the Top Tech Tidbits news.


Dear Handihams,

I suggest you post this link about the Radio JOVE Project! It's cool!

Radio JOVE: students and amateur scientists observe and analyze natural
radio emissions of Jupiter, the Sun, and our galaxy:





Dear Handihams,

When a friend posted this on a list I frequent, it made me think of and
fondly remember you. Thanks for all you both have been, and are, and for
both all you have done, and do! 

Danny, WB4IDU

Subject: Ham Radio Spirit

By way of background, a post came to the Kenwood TS-2000 list asking how to
increase power on the 2000 because he couldn't afford to get a separate
amplifier. People told him, of course, that even if he got thirty watts more
out of the 100 watts it gets normally, you could damage the finals or get a
lot of intermod.

This Dean wrote back and said he just picked up a small amp from an estate
sale and he would give it to this guy for the cost of shipping.

Many of us wrote back on the list about how nice it was that'd he do that,
and how we all thought ham radio spirit was dead. Here below is Dean's

Joe; Some 50 years ago, there was a young kid not even a teenager yet, that
each Saturday evening had an invitation from a licensed ham operator who was
in his 70's to come over to his home. That young kid would always make sure
he got all his chores done that his parents had given him that day, so that
he could be at his friend's promptly at 7 pm. He would stare at all the big
knobs, meters, controls, microphones, and large metal boxes just wondering
if it was possible to talk to the astronauts that were launching on rockets
to fly out in space. After all, a man called President Kennedy said that
they were going to walk on the moon before 1970.

Then, the time came that he had been waiting for each week, he got to hold
the microphone and talk to people on the other side of the world that were
already in tomorrow. After each contact, he would go outside and look at the
pieces of wire and the big antenna that could spin around thinking to
himself, he had just used that and his voice somehow was coming off that
thing. Then he would run back inside because he did not want to miss another
chance to talk as he had only 1 hour in which to have his dreams come true.

Well, that little boy came home from school one day to find out that his
friend has passed on. He was crushed as he had developed a friendship with
that man that he said to himself, he would never forget him and that he
would never let the gift he had been given, go unnoticed. That same day that
he found out he his friend had passed away, he was given a note that also
came from his friend. He opened the note and when he read it he began to cry
because his friend had given him a gift; one that would never be as big as
his friendship but nevertheless it was a good gift, he had been given a
microphone that had no connector on it, some wire with instructions on how
to build an antenna, and of course a radio just like the one he had talked
on with his friend. He had also been given a book to study from and the name
of someone to call when he was ready to get a license to use the radio, the
antenna, and of course the microphone. He closed the note with a goodbye and
postscript, it said "have fun talking to the space men".

That little kid was me and by 12, I had my first amateur radio license, not
in this country but in another. Amateur radio has made a big impact on my
life, I only hope it has done the same to someone else. 

Dean, KG6ZCD


Wednesday Evening EchoLink Net

Wednesday Evening EchoLink Net happy guy with headset

Please join us and check in or simply listen in, as you see fit:


Wednesday evenings at 19:30 hours Minnesota time (7:30 PM)
GMT: Thursday morning at 00:30 Z


145.450 MHz N0BVE repeater (Minneapolis-St. Paul) 
Node 89680 (EchoLink worldwide) 
IRLP node 9008 (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. 

By the way, our Net Manager Howard, KE7KNN, reminds us that we need net
control stations for the Wednesday evening net and for the Monday through
Saturday morning net. If you are in the Twin Cities, all you need is a radio
that can get on the 145.45 N0BVE repeater, and if you live outside the RF
area, you can still be net control via EchoLink, IRLP, or WIRES. 


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This week at Headquarters:

.        The Friday audio lectures return this week. The Extra Class topic
will be amplifiers. Audio will be posted on Friday.

.        I have joined AMSAT and now I get the AMSAT Journal, from which I
will produce some audio, assuming I have time to do the reading. Stay tuned!
When audio is available, it will appear on the "audio this week" page in the
members section.

.        Minnesota Radio Camp application forms are online! The sooner we
hear from you, the better -- if you are planning to join us at this summer's
session. One of the summer camps that had been held at Courage North in
previous years has been canceled, which means that people who could not get
into that session may want to apply for the Radio Camp. Incidentally, you
can e-mail us with your ideas for projects and topics at the upcoming
Minnesota Radio Camp session. Thanks for all your ideas so far!

The waterfront at Lake George

Join us this August at Minnesota Radio Camp.

Download the camp application package, which contains information pages and
the forms you need to apply for camp. Camp starts on Sunday, August 16, and
finishes on Sunday, August 23. It's a week of extraordinary fun, during
which you can earn your ham radio license or just get on the air. And it can
cost as little as $240 for the week. There are two choices for formats,
either Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF. 

*       Download Word Forms <http://handiham.org/manuals/forms/mncamp/word/>

*       Download PDF Forms <http://handiham.org/manuals/forms/mncamp/pdf/> 
*       Not <http://www.handiham.org/node/358>  sure?  Take a photo tour!

Having trouble downloading or have questions about Radio Camp or Handihams?
Just email Pat, wa0tda@xxxxxxxx, anytime.


.        The Handiham website will be updated daily, usually multiple times
a day as news breaks.

*       In Operating Skills: 

*       The June issue of Worldradio digest audio has been completed for our
blind members by Bob, N1BLF, and is posted today. 
*       Volunteer reader Ken Padgitt, W9MJY, reads the June "Doctor is in"
column from QST for our blind members.  
*       The May, 2009 issues of QST & CQ magazines are in audio digest for
our blind members.  
*       Login to the <http://handiham.org/user>  member section of the
Handiham website and find the magazine digests in the Library. The QST, CQ,
and Worldradio digests have been read by Bob Zeida, N1BLF. 

*       Tape deliveries are complete for May. Thanks to George, N0SBU, and
Avery, K0HLA, and to our readers, Ken Padgitt, W9MJY, and Bob Zeida, N1BLF.
Don't forget to return those mailers so we can send June out as soon as it's
*       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

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@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


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> 

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@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 05/27/2009 - 19:56

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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.


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