[handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 4 February 2009

  • From: "Patrick Tice" <wa0tda@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 4 Feb 2009 12:44:20 -0600

Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 4 February

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

You can also listen to the content online:

Listen to an MP3 audio stream:
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Get this issue as an audio podcast:


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:


By the way, did you know that a blind lifetime membership in ARRL is only

For Handiham World, I'm...

Patrick Tice


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:


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: 


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:


Interesting guy?  You bet! Joybubbles even had his own Wikipedia page:


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.




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 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

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


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> 


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:


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!


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:


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:

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

*       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:


*       Handiham Members wanting Remote Base access please email
wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx I am starting to compile a user list.

*       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
*       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 02/04/2009 - 18:31 

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.         <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.


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