Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 5 August 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: <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! As I mentioned in a previous newsletter, change is coming to the Handiham System. Let's go directly to Avery's QTH to find out more. Patrick Tice, WA0TDA wa0tda@xxxxxxxx Handiham Manager _____ Avery's QTH: My volunteer roots Avery in the ham shack Welcome once again to my humble QTH: This is going to be somewhat difficult for me, and I am not quite sure where to start, so I guess I will just start at the beginning. As a very famous baseball player, Yogi Berra, once said when asked how he comes up with all those one liners, "I just say what comes out of my mouth", and so this will be just what I type. Many years ago when Bruce, K0HR, was Handiham Manager, he set up a Field Day on the back lawn of Courage Center. It was just outside what was then the Handiham radio room. Well, I arrived right after my work day was over and was talking to Bruce. Then he mentioned that the kid in the wheelchair operating the Novice station rig was having trouble making contacts and could I help him. (Remember that in those days a Novice could only work CW on HF bands) OK! So he had permission from his parents to stay a couple hours and take part in the Field Day at Handihams. I went over and sat down in a chair next to him and listened a while as he attempted to make some contacts. I noticed right away several stations responding to his CQ but he was not able to notice his own call being sent. I told him stations were answering his CQ and I would copy for him and he would send. As they sent, I would write down the letter and say it and then I would tell him to listen 3 down for this pitch or whatever the case was. After a few contacts he seemed to catch on, so I told him to try it himself. Well, that did it and a few more contacts and he was glued to the rig logging one contact after another. The only break he took was to go in and call his folks to get permission to stay all night and continue operating the Novice Station. As I remember, it was a little cool that night and Courage Center located a couple blankets in which he wrapped himself and covered all but his keying and writing hands. I was hooked and I became a Handiham volunteer right after that. I was net control for two of the larger repeater organizations in the Twin City area, and when it was my turn to do the net I would hop into my car and drive over to the radio room at Handihams and do the net from there. Of course that was great PR for Handihams. I was one of very few volunteer people to have permission to use the radio room 24/7. Sometime, years later I did a CW up-grade net from that same radio room every Thursday evening for two hours. I started at zero for people who needed to learn the code and going up to 5, 13, and 20 words per minute so each license class was covered. Don't tell anyone, but I was cheating. The 5 word practice was really 7 and the 13 word was really 15 and the 20 was really 24. I planned for when they went to take the code test that someone might drop a pencil on the floor, sneeze, rustle some paper, or cause some other distraction, and the little extra speed would give them a buffer so they would still get through the code test with a passing score. Also, one evening, long before all this digital stuff, we decided to do a marathon net and went quite late into the evening with an amazing number of 303 stations checking in. We had 3 operators taking turns, one logging for the other two. The information was sent in to the Guinness Book of Records and we received a very nice letter with their letterhead saying that although it was a record, they did not have a category for it so it would not be included. As some of you are aware Jerry, N0VOE, left the staff of Handihams to retire but is still a Handiham volunteer, and my hours were changed to just Monday & Wednesday, the reason being the economy and some of the programs being affected by it. Well, now it is my turn to retire from Handihams, due to this same economic problem. Our budget is shrinking. Like Jerry, I will be around as a volunteer like I was for so many years before I became a staff member. This will also affect some of the programs. I was taking care of the equipment loan program. I won't be there to do that anymore so there goes that program. Hopefully the remote base will help make up for it though. Some other things I did will not get done either, since it will just be Pat and Nancy on the staff and they will have to devote their time to other matters. I plan to be with the Handiham staff until late September, and after that I will return to volunteer status. So, it is with mixed emotions that I say, 73 es DX de K0HLA Avery You can reach Avery Mondays and Wednesdays, preferably in the morning hours, at 763-520-0515 or by email at avery.finn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Thank you, Avery. We will keep our readers and listeners posted on all headquarters news. _____ Letters - Accessible tools All, How about putting together a list of basic and recommended accessible tools for the ham shack and posting it in the E-letter? 73, Ken, KB3LLA Pat says: That's a great idea! In fact, we will make it an operating skills discussion topic at Radio Camp and we will come up with a list, which we will post here. _____ Handiham History: KZ0T gets some good press in the Bemidji Pioneer Handiham History: KZ0T gets some good press in the Bemidji Pioneer We are always on the lookout for good publicity for amateur radio, and for the Handiham System. It was Sunday, August 22, 1982. The Pioneer newspaper in Bemidji, Minnesota published a feature article entitled "Courage North -- Handiham Radio Week". This particular newspaper clipping, shown as an image, features Dr. Tom Linde, KZ0T, operating a Morse code keyboard with his nose! The text reads: "I use my professional interest to help people like me get involved in my vocational interest (ham radio)," said Dr. Tom Linde, a clinical psychologist from Knoxville, Iowa. Linde has been involved with ham radio activities for 16 years and holds an Extra license. Because of his physical disabilities he can't use his hands, but with the help of a Morse generating keyboard he can transmit by tapping out code with his nose. Next to the picture of Dr. Tom we see a photo of a shiny, chrome-plated J-38 Morse code key, taken from a side angle. The caption reads: There are four levels of licensing for ham radio operators. To qualify as a Novice, the operator must pass a test in theory and regulations and transmit five words per minute. The next three levels of license are General, Advanced, and Extra. To qualify as an Extra operator required the ability to transmit 20 words per minute and familiarity with all ham radio regulations and theory. Pictured is an old "straight key" used to transmit signals. Thanks to George, N0SBU, for this clipping and for his continuing work on the Handiham History Project. _____ Perseid meteor shower could be bigger & better According to a story on www.Spaceweather.com, This year's Perseid meteor shower could be even better than usual: "A filament of comet dust has drifted across Earth's path and when Earth passes through it, sometime between 0800 and 0900 UT (1 - 2 am PDT) on August 12th, the Perseid meteor rate could surge to twice its normal value," said Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. The Perseids might then provide an exceptional opportunity during this brief night time window for meteor spotting and operating meteor scatter radio. Although August 12 will be the peak of meteor burns, the shower continues into the early part of the week when the Handiham program runs Radio Camp at Courage North, deep in the pines of Minnesota's lake country. "The evening sky will be dark at camp, since we are far from urban areas and their light pollution", said Patrick Tice, WA0TDA, Handiham Manager. "It could be quite a show to see meteors streaking across the dark Minnesota sky." For more information about the Perseid meteor shower, which is an annual occurrence, visit http://www.spaceweather.com. _____ Radio Shack turning into "The Shack"? It just might be! Radio Shack may be set to drop the "Radio" from its name and become "The Shack". This is according to a story on the www.engadget.com website. Take a look at this Radio Shack site: http://www.radioshack.com/theshack/, which seems to confirm the story. Read more on the Engadget website: http://tinyurl.com/m8fy9m Ham radio operators have used the terms "ham shack" and "radio shack" to refer to the room or area where their station equipment is located, or more specifically, the point of operation. Here is an interesting Wikipedia article with a bit of history behind the terminology: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_shack PC World indicates that the rebranding will take place August 6: http://tinyurl.com/lslmkt _____ Handiham CW Net Note from W8IRT Handiham CW Net Note from W8IRT To all handiham members: I'll be running the Friday morning (13:00 - 16:00 UTC) HH net from Cape Cod, W8IRT/1 on August 7 & 14 . A good deal farther East than this QTH. There are several Friday HH regulars in W1 land. As usual there, the gear will be the trusty old Omni-D & battery power. Hoping things are well with y'all @ courage Paul. W8IRT Friday CW Net: 7.112 MHz CW, 09:00 - 12:00 ET, plus whatever time is needed to wrap up the last contact: This is the Handiham Informal slow speed CW Net. Look for Paul, W8IRT. You may e-mail Paul at w8irt@xxxxxxx with your ideas and signal reports, or to find out about schedule changes for the CW net. Paul advises us that the net remains true to local time, which means a one hour shift when changing to or from Daylight time in the Spring and Autumn. _____ Wednesday Evening EchoLink Net Wednesday Evening EchoLink Net happy guy with headset George, N0SBU, is planning to run tonight's net. How to check into a net will be the topic. Please join us and check in or simply listen in, as you see fit: When: Wednesday evenings at 19:30 hours Minnesota time (7:30 PM) GMT: Thursday morning at 00:30 Z Where: 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. _____ Events by N1YXU <http://www.handiham.org/node/214> Events by N1YXU August Events For those of you who will be attending Radio Camp, I hope you have a great time, make a lot of wonderful friends, and take time for amateur radio! There are many events that should hold our attention and time - especially during the hot summer days of August. Enjoy! Until next month.. Regards, - Laurie Meier, N1YXU n1yxu@xxxxxxxx Read Laurie's events column here: <http://www.handiham.org/node/527> http://www.handiham.org/node/527 _____ This week at Headquarters: . The Friday audio lectures return again this week. Audio will be posted on Friday. . W0ZSW, our headquarters station, will be moving to a new location at Camp Courage after Minnesota Radio Camp. Old-timers will probably say, "New? That isn't new. The Handiham System was out there at Camp Courage years ago." Well, that is true. Early Handiham "May Convocations" were the predecessor of the Radio Camps that we have today, and they were first held at Camp Courage, which is about 40 miles west of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Although Camp Courage has a Maple Lake, MN address, it is rural, situated in the gently rolling Minnesota countryside, forested primarily with deciduous trees (the kind that lose their leaves in the winter), next to a lake. The camp features a tower and triband beam, as well as a GAP vertical antenna. We will probably be installing a wire antenna suitable for the lower frequencies and replacing the radio equipment with more modern, blind-accessible gear. As many of you already know, our current location at the Golden Valley address has been unsatisfactory for ham radio operation for a number of years now. The problem began with the installation of new energy-saving high volume ventilation controllers for the entire building at Courage Center. These controllers save energy by sensing the air flow needs in the building and adjusting the phase of the AC delivered to the giant fan motors in the equipment room immediately above the ham shack. This is all well and good, except that the controllers spew out horrendous levels of broad-spectrum radio frequency interference. It is impossible to operate any HF at all from the Golden Valley location, and although we are doing the best we can with 2 meter operation and HF operation by porting audio from the remote base at Courage North or from the K0LR remote, these solutions are no substitute for having a clear, RFI-free HF spectrum. As part of the moving process, some equipment has already been removed from the W0ZSW shack. The main HF rig, our TS-570SAT, has been packed and will spend a week at Radio Camp, Courage North, before making the trip back to southern Minnesota and the Camp Courage location. Campers will enjoy the blind-accessible rig in operating skills. The station's TM-V7A will also be packed for camp. For a period of time following radio camp, W0ZSW will thus be off the air as we get things reorganized. We expect to be back on the air in October. . Plans for a second Handiham Remote Base station are in the discussion stage. More news as it happens, but I can say right now that the proposed location is Camp Courage, at the new W0ZSW shack. . The Remote Base at Courage North was offline for several hours, but has returned to service. It was determined that someone at camp shut down our remote base server application. We are implementing new security restrictions to prevent this from happening in the future. . The Handiham audio tape offerings are being trimmed significantly. Many titles that have not been popular are being dropped. This does not affect the monthly 4-track digest. As a result, the book & tape catalog is not quite accurate, and some titles will not be available, although they are listed. . Help wanted: Net control station needed to take over the 14.265 MHz Monday net! Email us at wa0tda@xxxxxxxx if you can help. You will need at least a General class license or the equivalent HF license if you live outside the USA. . Bob Zeida, N1BLF, has recorded audio of the August CQ, QST, and Worldradio digests, so check out the audio page. The Friday notification email will have a link. If you are a member and are not getting the Friday audio lectures notification, let us know and we will get you on the list. * In Operating Skills: * Volunteer reader Ken Padgitt, W9MJY, reads the August "Doctor is in" column from QST 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. * New Today: Bob has completed the August, 2009 CQ, which was posted today, also in the member library. * 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. _____ National Wildlife Refuge Week ham radio operations National Wildlife Refuge Week ham radio operations The TCDXA has been asked to participate in the National Wildlife Refuge Week, October 12 through October 18, 2009 by operating from wildlife refuges throughout Minnesota. In October, the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) is observing National Wildlife Refuge Week, which is Sunday, October 12 - Saturday, October 18. Amateur Radio can help spread the word about this event, and further enhance their positive image with the USFWS. The TCDXA can do its part by operating from as many refuges as possible. Minnesota locations are listed at: http://www.fws.gov/refuges/profiles/ByState.cfm?state=MN Information on the event and detailed instructions for participating can be found at the NWR Week website: http://www.nwrweek-radio.info/index.htm Note: Several TCDXA members have already registered and will be operating from Rydell, Rice Lake, and Mille Lacs NWR. http://www.nwrweek-radio.info/activesites.htm Please consider signing up for a refuge and supporting this worthwhile project. 73, Mike, N0ODK President, Twin City DX Association http://www.tcdxa.org _____ 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: hamradio@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 08/05/2009 - 18:53 . Login <http://www.handiham.org/user/login?destination=comment/reply/533%2523commen t-form> to post comments . Printer-friendly <http://www.handiham.org/print/533> version . Send <http://www.handiham.org/printmail/533> to friend _____ 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.