Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 8 July 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! wooden sign that says Courage North It is decision time if you are still interested in Handiham Radio Camp 2009. The registration deadline is this coming Monday, August 3. After that, you will have to take your chances on whether or not you would be accepted for the session. Here we are at the end of July already, with radio camp coming up on August 16. There is a lot going on at handiham headquarters as we prepare for the Minnesota radio camp session. This upcoming camp will be a most unusual one in that most of our campers are planning to study operating skills rather than participate in the licensing classes. While there is nothing wrong with this, it does worry me a little bit that we have only one camper signed up to take the Technician course. The Technician represents the entry point into amateur radio, and it is the way we get "new blood". Without bringing in new people, amateur radio will eventually fade away. I'm not sure exactly what the reason for this phenomenon is, because in past years we have had a relatively healthy interest in Technician. We are still committed to providing radios to our campers who pass Technician at Camp, a program started by Gary Gordon, K6KV. Of course there are other things going on this year. The most obvious is that we are in the throes of a deep economic recession, and financial concerns can cause people to decide not to come to radio camp. Once our handiham members attend a radio camp, they usually want to come back again. It is the new campers, the ones who would be in Technician, who are the hardest to recruit. After all, they don't know what they are getting into. They have no idea how modern and comfortable the camp experience is at Courage North. Perhaps they have not traveled far from home before and are uncomfortable taking that first step toward greater independence. Whatever the reason, we need to do something to get these numbers up next year. I would really like to see at least a half dozen new campers going for their Technician licenses. What can we do to make this happen? I would like to hear from you. Patrick Tice, WA0TDA wa0tda@xxxxxxxx Handiham Manager _____ Avery's QTH - Take the HT for a boat ride? Sure! Will, KC0LJL, on the sialboat Image: KC0LJL gets ready for a sailboat ride. HT optional but recommended. This photo is several years old, and Will has a beard now and is a junior at University. How time flies! Welcome once again to my Humble QTH Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, or so they say. Really there are several hundred more lakes than that, but they round it down to 10,000 because of the nice round number I think. In the summer many people take to boating. In fact, one (NON-ham) club I know had a meeting on an island that can only be reached by boat, so people either needed their own boat or had to hitch a ride with someone who did. And so this makes a nice entry to the newer HT's that meet mil specs and can be used after being dunked in up to three feet of water. This means that the spray from the boat will not make any difference in the operation of the HT, and taking it along while boating is a very good idea. Who knows? You just might run out of gas and be stranded out in the middle of a lake too large to swim back to shore. I will not mention any names, but I know some people this happened to and the HT they had was used to call to shore and get someone to come out with extra gas and fill them up. If you are in a sailboat, the wind might stop and that means you don't move. Again an HT could be used to get someone to come with a tow back to shore. The same is true if you are using one of those electric motors used for fishing and the battery goes out on you. Here again the trusty old HT will get you help. Cell phones? Sure, everyone has them, but if they get wet do they meet mil specs and still work? I am not sure, but I don't think so. That could be a very iffy situation. Most HT's have a wrist strap and if you are in a boat, you should use that wrist strap. Most HT's use the metal frame as a heat sink, which would also be a very heavy wet sink and cause the HT to hurry to the bottom a lake should it fall overboard somehow. It may not be a bad idea to attach a longer strap to the wrist strap and connect it to your life jacket, so in case you get dumped overboard and it flies out of your hand, you will have prevented the HT from going to the bottom of the lake? which could be quite deep! Be sure your batteries are fully charged and have a spare along just in case if you are using rechargeables. If you are using non-rechargeables you should have another set of very fresh batteries just in case. Also, you will have a very difficult time trying to set up the HT while speeding along into the waves on a lake while the boat is bumping up and down going over the water so have your HT preprogrammed. Put in the repeater (tones) and simplex frequencies well before you head out for your day of fishing, water skiing, just getting some sun, or what have you on the lake. Like buying insurance, you hope you don't need it but if you do, that HT could be very helpful out on the lake. So until next time 73 es DX de K0HLA Avery You can reach me Monday and Wednesday at: 763-520-0515 or Avery.finn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx · Login <http://www.handiham.org/user/login?destination=comment/reply/521%2523commen t-form> to post comments · Printer-friendly <http://www.handiham.org/print/521> version · Send <http://www.handiham.org/printmail/521> to friend _____ Letters UHF Contest - Your Help Needed!! cartoon runner, running a race Hi All - We need your help for a special contesting effort. Next weekend (Aug 1-2) is the ARRL UHF Contest. It runs from 1 pm Saturday until 1 pm Sunday and you can operate on any of the bands from 222 MHz and up. We will be operating from Buck Hill Ski Area in Burnsville, MN with all bands from 222 MHz through 24 GHz. Our call will be W0AUS. We have been planning this multi-op for almost a year now. Most bands will have good power to very short feedlines with the antennas up on top of the ski hill. Do you ever look in QST and see the same stations winning the same contests over and over? This is the case with most VHF contests. There is a super-station multi-op in WMA with the call W2SZ. They have great operators, great equipment and seem to win almost all the time. We want to change that. Not only do we want to win the category but we want to break the all-time score in the process. We've been working to get every available operator on the air for the UHF Contest and we have several rovers that will be out portable. We need your help to be active in the contest and work our multi-op (and everyone else you can hear). Our multi-op will be calling on 222.115 MHz and 432.115 MHz on SSB and CW. We will also be calling throughout the contest on 223.5 MHz and 446.0 MHz FM. Every QSO will help us get closer to our goal. Thanks in advance for your help! We're praying for good weather and some good propagation! 73 Rich N0HJZ *** Pat, Just ran across the handiham history at http://www.handiham.org/node/491 which jogged some good memories of the early days of PICO and W0ZSW. We did have some good times at the PICO picnics in the mid 60s. I did, however, discover an error in names. WA0EPX was Don Johnson from Fremont, MN, and I believe he is now an SK. 73 Ron K0FTB Thanks for that correction, Ron! _____ Radio Camp Registration Closing Date Radio Camp Registration Closing Date You had better hurry if you want to be part of Minnesota Radio Camp! The deadline is Monday, August 3. After that, you have to take your chances on a waiting list. Be part of this exciting and fun week of amateur radio, learning, and friendship. Call today: 1-866-426-3442. Leave a message with your call back number and we will contact you. You may also email us anytime at <mailto:hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 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! 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 sure? <http://www.handiham.org/node/358> Take a photo tour! Having trouble downloading or have questions about Radio Camp or Handihams? Just email Pat, wa0tda@xxxxxxxx, anytime. _____ Handiham history: Technology changes Handiham history: Technology changes History reminds us that technology changes! The Summer, 1991 edition of Handiham World announced some brand-new equipment at Headquarters: "New equipment at headquarters: The gift of Tone Indexing equipment and a Braille Embosser with accompanying software were acquired through a grant from the Jane McCarthy Gladys Smith Fund. These items will make it possible for Handihams to produce some Braille material. The Tone Indexer allows the cassette reader to locate a specific page or chapter by fast forwarding and listening to the beep tone. These will be welcome items to better serve the needs of members." Of course today tone indexing equipment is passé, because cassette tape technology is fading quickly. The computer brailler is still around, but we no longer use it because if we need something Brailled it is cheaper to use an outside source like Maureen Pranghofer, KF0I, who runs her own business. You can visit her website at: http://www.brailleit.com You may very well ask why Maureen does a better job at Brailling than we could using our own equipment. Well, for one thing, she reads Braille and we don't. That makes it pretty difficult for us to find a mistake in a Braille document. Also, she has the latest equipment and can Braille on two-sided paper. It is amazing how far this technology has come since 1991! · Printer-friendly <http://www.handiham.org/print/522> version · Send <http://www.handiham.org/printmail/522> to friend _____ Twitter 101 As we plan for the largest Operating Skills class we have ever had at radio camp, we are collecting topics - suggestions for things we can learn about during the week. One of the more unusual was that more handiham members would like to learn what Twitter is all about. So, one of the things we will be talking about in operating skills at Minnesota Radio Camp will be how to use the twitter website and what the Twitter service is all about. Believe it or not, many, many amateur radio operators have Twitter accounts and use the service for a variety of amateur radio related communications, including DX spots. Another possible topic is the social networking website Facebook. Many of us have Facebook accounts and have "friended" other amateur radio operators using this popular site. Friended? Yes, that is what you call connecting with someone on Facebook and sharing contact details of your Facebook website with them. It's more new terminology for a new age, which is just another reason why covering topics like this at radio camp will be a lot of fun, and possibly even useful! _____ 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: 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. _____ You can be a Volunteer Examiner ARRL logoYou know what a Volunteer Examiner, sometimes called a "VE", does, right? Yes, Volunteer Examiners administer amateur radio exams under the auspices of a guiding organization called a VEC, or Volunteer Examiner Coordinator. Recently I had a question about the ARRL VE Manual, which prompted me to check out the text version that we had on our website in the manuals section. I discovered that the manual we had was out of date, so this past week I have been working on extracting the text from the current version, The ARRL VE manual Ninth Edition. The text needs to be extracted because the manual is in PDF, and navigating the text as a blind user is not all that easy. There is plenty of formatting to be removed to make the flow of the text smooth and logical. Although I don't claim to have done a perfect job, it does read pretty well right now. You can login to the members section for links to this current VE manual in two formats, plain text and Daisy. For the Daisy version, you download a DNA file and use the free IRTI software called eClipseWater to reconstruct a complete daisy book on your computer. Once constructed, the book can be transferred to other devices, such as a Victor Reader Stream, or it can be read on your computer using a free daisy reading program like AMIS. One question we sometimes get from handiham members is, "I am blind, so can I still become a VE?" The answer is yes! This question is one of many that will be answered for you when you read the ARRL VE Manual Ninth Edition. Please let me know if you read this new book on our website and give me feedback on improvements that need to be made. _____ 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. We will have more news about this move next week. W0EQO, which resides at Courage North, will not be affected. W0JH, at Courage St. Croix, is also unaffected. · Plans for a second Handiham Remote Base station are in the discussion stage. More news as it happens! · The Handiham audio tape offerings are being trimmed significantly. Many titles that have not been popular are being dropped this week. 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 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. * 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: 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 07/29/2009 - 19:55 · Login <http://www.handiham.org/user/login?destination=comment/reply/523%2523commen t-form> to post comments · Printer-friendly <http://www.handiham.org/print/523> version · Send <http://www.handiham.org/printmail/523> 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.