Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 4 February 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! Oh, darn - state legislators across the country are at it again, going after distracted drivers and catching up ham radio operators in the bargain. This was the point when, on January 30, at the instruction of the Board of Directors at its January 2009 meeting, the ARRL Executive Committee adopted a policy statement on mobile Amateur Radio operations. The statement addresses the growing number of proposed state and local laws and ordinances regulating the use of cellular telephone and text messaging, inadvertently affecting Amateur Radio mobile communications. In its statement, the Executive Committee urges state and municipal legislators to limit the scope of their proposals, limiting them to devices such as full duplex wireless telephones and related hand-held or portable equipment. Alternately, it suggests that licensed Amateur Radio operation be listed specifically as an exclusion to the proposed regulations. I can tell you for sure that any law that doesn't exempt ham radio will certainly be a problem for many operators like me, who safely enjoy mobile amateur radio operating nearly every day. Most of us have fun staying in touch with friends during an otherwise boring commute, generally on a VHF or UHF repeater system. There is a huge difference between trying to carry on a duplex telephone conversation and carrying on a QSO via two meters. Believe, me... I know. I've done both, and find the cell phone to be much more demanding than the radio. In a typical radio contact, everyone understands that the conversation may go silent when the driving conditions change or momentarily get difficult. There is never a problem tending to driving first. This is not the case with a cell phone conversation, which is often difficult to interrupt. And people who text message while driving, well, they're just plain negligent. Texting requires more "processor cycles" from the brain, and will certainly result in the driver failing to notice what is going on around their vehicle. Amateur radio remains a valuable way to stay in touch while driving, and is solidly established as a proven way to report in during emergencies and SKYWARN nets. It should not be caught up in these "distracted driver" bills. You can read more about the initiative on the ARRL website, as once again the League goes to bat for amateur radio: <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/02/03/10609/?nc=1> http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/02/03/10609/?nc=1 By the way, did you know that a blind lifetime membership in ARRL is only $200? For Handiham World, I'm... Patrick Tice wa0tda@xxxxxxxx _____ Avery's QTH - In which Avery tells his balloon story <http://www.handiham.org/node/338> Driving to camp Welcome once again to my humble QTH: Way back about 100 years ago, or so it seems anyway, when I was in the high school science club, a bunch of the students decided to put up a balloon and measure the radiation at 1000 foot levels. I was not totally involved in the whole project but had a small part in it. The transmitter was homebuilt and transmitted in the 10-meter ham band. It was crystal controlled to keep it on frequency and make it easier to track as the balloon traveled. To trigger the Geiger tube three 300-volt batteries were wired in series to give us 900 volts. It seemed several people were afraid to work with that much voltage but the current was not all that much, so yours truly ended up connecting up the batteries for the B plus side of that circuit. In those days the smallest vacuum tube we had access to was a very small radio tube called an "acorn" tube and it required both a plate and filament voltage. The antenna was a quarter wave hunk of wire hanging off the side of the basket containing everything. Well, Like I said I was not in on the whole planning process but somewhere they had obtained a very large balloon and a couple of very large helium tanks to fill it. We had all driven out to a farm located just outside the city of Dassel, MN. You might guess the farm owner was also a ham radio operator and had given the club permission to use his field to launch the balloon project. I forgot to mention that this was in the middle of a Minnesota winter and it was very cold and some snow was on the field. Ok! So they had the balloon unpackaged and laid out on the ground. The electronics were mounted in the balloon's basket and everything was all set to go. They started to fill the balloon with helium and at first it was slow going. Then it filled very fast and started to head skyward. One of the people was running along side of it and switched on the power but also managed to trip on the antenna wire that was still dragging on the ground pulling it out and off the balloon. The balloon was soon out of reach and it was too late to reattach the antenna. It did work for a while and we did manage to track it for a while counting the bleeps from the transmitter every 1000 feet until it was out of range. As it turned out, the balloon ended up in Nebraska someplace. Someone had found it, located the information inside and called us. I'll bet you think this is the end of the story. Not quite. I was driving a 1947 Chevy convertible. It had both a hand choke and hand throttle. Turn signals were not on cars back then and you used arm signals just like the ones the people riding bikes used. In the winter it was plenty cold to roll down the window and signal your turn then roll the window back up again. Of course this was manual shift too, so just something else to consider while making a turn signal. Did I mention it was a cold ride on the way out to the farm even with the heat full on? As it turned out, there was a very small tear in the canvas top just where it was locked down to the frame of the car. On the way home a gust of wind hit us just right (or just wrong), ripping the top all the way off. When we finally arrived home we were frozen and the heat from the building and the hot cocoa was really a joy. So until next time 73 & DX from K0HLA, Avery Remember my new hours are: Monday until 2:00 PM and Wednesday until 2:00 PM Minneapolis time. You can reach me at: 763-520-0515 Or avery.finn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx _____ Bad boy! A story about a blind kid who took phone phreaking way too far captured the interest of a number of our readers, who sent in this story: "A legally blind Massachusetts phone hacker admitted this week to federal computer intrusion and witness intimidation charges that could put him away for as long as 13 years. Matthew Weigman, 18, pleaded guilty to two felonies before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul D. Stickney in Dallas on Tuesday. Known in the telephone party-line scene as "Li'l Hacker," Weigman is widely considered one of the best phone hackers alive." You can read the "Li'l Hacker" story here: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/02/phone_phreaker_plea/ However, what you may not know is that another blind kid, decades earlier, became the original phone phreak! He was Josef Carl Engressia, Jr., who eventually changed his name to "Joybubbles", and his ability to reproduce perfect pitch at the time that telephone companies were just starting to use tones for control purposes got him into trouble. He was a ham radio operator, and is now a silent key, having died in 2007 at 58. There is a good story on the Southgate Amateur Radio Club website: http://www.southgatearc.org/news/september2007/joybubbles.htm Interesting guy? You bet! Joybubbles even had his own Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joybubbles The difference between these two blind lawbreakers is profound. One can only hope that young Matthew eventually redeems himself and uses his talents for something worthwhile. Joybubbles was well known here in the Twin Cities, and regularly wrote for the St. Paul Pioneer Press newspaper in the Bulletin Board section. You may be interested in viewing this ancient video, now on YouTube, of Joe Engressia, before he changed his name to Joybubbles, demonstrating his talents. I'm guessing it's at least 30 years old. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVZm7I1CTBs _____ Training net starts today Training net starts today Photo: Jerry, N0VOE, and Guide Dog Trawler As many of you know, we will be having a special net on the regular handiham EchoLink frequency once a month, and it will be devoted to teaching net participants how to be good net control stations and for those who do not want to be net control stations, how to be good net participants. Jerry, N0VOE, is planning to take the very first session. We will see if perhaps Wednesday evenings prove to be more popular than Mondays, in which case we could move the weekly EchoLink evening net to Wednesday. The very first session of this net will be on the first Wednesday evening of the month at 7 PM Minnesota time. So you will need to look for us on the 145.450 MHz N0BVE repeater system, node 89680. You can connect the very same way that you always do for the daily EchoLink net. The first session will occur on Wednesday, February 4. _____ On the air: The Minnesota QSO Party <http://www.handiham.org/node/266> On the air What else is there to do when winter just won't let up? If you still have electricity and your HF antenna is still in the air, why not work the Minnesota QSO Party? Stations everywhere are welcome, in or out of Minnesota. Minnesota QSO Party Rules 11th Annual Minnesota QSO Party Saturday, February 07, 2009 1400-2400 UTC (8AM-6PM CST) Contest Rules: Time: Contest runs from 1400 until 2400 UTC (8 AM to 6 PM CST) 07 February 2009. QSO Rules: MN stations work everyone; all other W/VE & DX work MN stations. Work stations once per band & mode. MN mobiles may be worked once per band & mode from each county, & MN mobiles may work stations once per band & mode from each county. Read more on the MN QSO Party website and get on the air this coming Saturday: http://www.w0aa.org/mnqp_rules.htm _____ Boston ARC Ham Radio Demo At Zola Center Submitted by k9hi Boston ARC logoBob Salow, WA1IDA writes: On Saturday, 7 February, the Zola Center <http://www.zolacenter.org> for Persons with Disabilities will hold an open house now that their facility has completed a major renovation. Since the Boston Amateur Radio Club <http://www.barc.org> has supported the Center with a Technician course and will assist in setting up a permanent ham station, several of us have agreed to provide a demonstration station for the Open House. The Open House is scheduled for 1200 to 1500; we will set up starting about 1100. Planned is an HF station (wire antenna out the window) for listening only and full 2M/70cm station. If you can spend an hour or more to promote ham radio and answer questions it will be very helpful to all visitors. The Zola Center is located at 20 Hartford St in Newton Highlands - within two blocks of the Green Line T station. Lunch will be provided. So as to not overwhelm the staff and visitors, please contact Eric, K1NUN if you can attend. Email: <mailto:k1nun@xxxxxxxxxxxx> k1nun@xxxxxxxxxxxxx _____ FEMA Distance Learning Courses For anyone who is interested in getting involved with the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES), I recommend the following Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) distance learning courses from the Emergency Management Institute's (EMI) online, independent study (IS), program: IS-100.a, "Introduction to Incident Command System (ICS"; IS-200.a, "ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents"; IS-700.a, "National Incident Management System (NIMS), An Introduction"; and IS-800.b, "National Response Plan (NRP), An Introduction." These are the courses that my local ARES/RACES team requires because they teach the accepted national standard policies, procedures, and practices for emergency management personnel. I know because I am joining up! I also recommend that folks take IS-802, Emergency Support Functions (ESF) #2 - Communications." These courses are free, accessible, and on line at: http://emilms.fema.gov You are notified as to whether you passed right away and get an E-mail with a link to your certificate within a day. Have fun! 73, Ken, KB3LLA Handiham Radio Club President _____ Courage Center Camps Now Hiring for Summer 2009 Courage Center Camps Now Hiring for Summer 2009 We are looking for individuals interested in joining our dynamic camp staff to provide mentoring and role modeling, while making sure campers with disabilities have a fun, safe experience. Candidates for summer staff should have a genuine desire to work in an outdoor setting with children and adults with disabilities. Positions available include: counselors, program staff, lifeguards, support staff and health care staff. More information and an application are available at: http://www.couragecenter.org/ContentPages/camp_positions.aspx _____ This week at Headquarters:Rustic sign says Courage North * Radio Camp dates for 2009 are set: Arrive on Sunday, August 16 and depart on Sunday, August 23, 2009. Minnesota Radio Camp will be at Courage North, deep in the pines of northern Minnesota's beautiful lake country. Those of you who have enjoyed a Handiham Radio Camp at Courage North before know what a beautiful place it is, located on a pristine lake with plenty of lakeside activities, woodland trails, comfortable housing, great food and fellowship, and of course plenty of ham radio fun. This year we will have our Kenwood TS-480 remote base station operational at the camp, as well as an EchoLink node so that you can stay in touch with your ham radio friends with a handheld radio. We will have several other stations available, including the popular Kenwood TS-2000 transceiver and the new Kenwood TM-V71A blind-accessible dual band radio. Courage North has high-speed Internet access. You can come to camp to take one of the licensing classes for Technician, General, or Extra, or you can take a class in operating skills or an Extra Class seminar, which covers some of the more advanced news and technology in amateur radio today. There is always time for fun at camp, and we always take some side trips to places like Lake Itasca, the headwaters of the mighty Mississippi River. If you would like us to send you an application packet, please e-mail Nancy at: <mailto:hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx As soon as the application forms are printed, we will send you one. We hope you can join us for Minnesota Radio Camp 2009. The Handiham Radio Club will also meet at Courage North during Radio Camp week. This year there will be bus transportation as well as airline transportation to Bemidji. We also have plenty of free parking and pick up for free at the bus station and airport. * Minnesota Radio Camp VE Session <http://www.handiham.org/node/335> time & date set: <http://www.handiham.org/node/335> Minnesota Radio Camp VE Session Set An open VE (Volunteer Examination) session for ham radio licensing has been scheduled for the last full day of Handiham Radio Camp on Saturday August 22, 2009. The session is sponsored by the Paul Bunyan Amateur Radio Club & Courage Center's Handiham System. Walk-in's are welcome. If you have been studying for your amateur radio license, you are welcome to join us at Camp Courage North, Lake George, MN to take your exam. Place - Courage North Dining Hall Time of session - 9:00 AM Walk-ins accepted - Advance notice is helpful, but not required. o Read more on the <http://www.handiham.org/node/335> Handiham website: <http://www.handiham.org/node/335> http://www.handiham.org/node/335 <http://www.piconet3925.com> * Handiham Members wanting Remote Base access please email wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx I am starting to compile a user list. <http://www.piconet3925.com> * 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 02/04/2009 - 18:31 . Login <http://www.handiham.org/user/login?destination=comment/reply/345%2523commen t-form> to post comments . <http://www.handiham.org/node/345?size=thumbnail> Thumbnail _____ 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.