[handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 01 June 2011

  • From: "Patrick Tice" <wa0tda@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 31 May 2011 18:41:11 -0500

This is a free weekly news & information update from Courage Center Handiham
System. Our contact information is at the end
<unsaved://Untitled_1.htm#Contact> , or simply email
handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx for changes in subscriptions or to comment. 

You can listen to this news online:

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Welcome to Handiham World!  

Description: Cartoon guy shaking fist at dead computer.

Last week's e-letter delivery was a mess, for which we apologize.  For
reasons still unknown, the Internet hiccupped last Wednesday and the
Freelists.org website was unreachable.  I am not sure what caused the
outage, but I did notice that some other websites were unreachable as well,
and that seems to point to some problem with a domain name server, which
could be anywhere.  Although I had opened the Freelists admin page,
everything had quit functioning and the situation did not change for the
rest of the day.  We decided to extract the email addresses from the web
page HTML, which was by then the only option. My son Will, KC0LJL, wrote a
small program to do the extraction from a command line, and we set up a new
Handiham World mailing list on our own Handiham server.  I did run into a
glitch, though - it did not seem to be delivering to all of the addresses on
the list. Since that problem has not been resolved to date, we are returning
this week to the now-functioning Freelists mail server. 

Of course when the e-letter does not go out, I start to hear from
subscribers.  One thing to remember is that announcements about service will
be posted on Handiham.org as soon as it is possible to do so.  Reading the
updates there will be faster than trying to get through to me since the
weekly e-letter is always published on the website prior to its release via
email. The audio podcast was available on time as usual and was not

Anyway, we hope the Freelists site stays up and running - it has been really
reliable, so this past week's outage was quite unusual - and we will be able
to publish according to our usual schedule.  Remember, if something does not
seem to be working, check the website for possible news.  If you do have to
report a problem, please email me instead of using the phone.  That will
help me organize my messages and make sure I get back to you effectively,
since I can mark the messages as "tasks" to be completed in Outlook. 

And a special note to Avery, K0HLA:  Maybe if we offered the e-letter via
Morse code, it would get through these adverse Internet conditions!

Patrick Tice
Handiham Manager


Help us win the Dr. Dave Challenge!

Description: Dr. Dave, KN0S, climbs the antenna tower at Radio Camp.

Money is tight these days and we desperately need your support.  Now, thanks
to a generous challenge grant by Dr. Dave Justis, KN0S, we have a chance to
help fill the budget gap.  Dr. Dave will donate $5,000 to the Handiham
System if we can raise a matching amount.  That means we need to really put
the fund-raising into high gear!  If you can help, designate a donation to
Handihams, stating that it is for the "Dr. Dave Challenge".  We will keep
you posted in our weekly e-letter as to the progress of the fund. 

Nancy can take credit card donations via the toll-free number,
1-866-426-3442, or accept checks sent to our Courage Center Handiham

Courage Handiham System
3915 Golden Valley Road
Golden Valley, MN  55422

Be sure to put a note saying "Dr. Dave Challenge" somewhere in the envelope
or on the note line of the check.

Thank you so much for your support!


Strap on your tool belt! It's time for... 

Troubleshooting 101: Station list but no connect in Echolink.

Description: Small tools and wire

It's happened to virtually all Echolink users when trying to set up the
application on a computer for the first time. You get the Echolink
application downloaded and installed, you have your log in credentials all
squared away with the Echolink administrators, and you are excited to get
Echolink logged on for the first time.  Up comes the station list, and you
are all set to go!

Or are you?

Well, maybe not. Let's take a look at a typical screenshot.  Here we see
that Echolink has opened the station list in index view, which is a typical
first screen.  At this point, we have a station list, and we want to try
connecting to one of them to check to see if everything is working.  

Description: Echolink screenshot showing station list in index view.

Now it is time to open the "Find" dialog and search for ECHOTEST.  There
will be several stations in conference with the test server, so keep
repeating your search until you find ECHOTEST on its own line, where it is
not shown to be in conference.  The keyboard command to open the find dialog
is CTRL-F.  A complete list of Echolink keyboard commands is listed on the
Handiham website:  <http://www.handiham.org/node/286> 

Description: Echolink screenshot showing Find dialog box with ECHOTEST

Highlight the ECHOTEST line and press the ENTER key.  Echolink will connect
to the test server and you will hear a voice welcome and you will be invited
to record an audio test.  That way you can check your levels and make sure
your audio is good before making an actual contact.  We won't go into all of
that, because what we want to do is follow through on what happens when
ECHOTEST does not connect and instead times out.

One option is to run a test using the Tools menu in Echolink.  Open Tools,
then go to "Firewall/Router Tester".  Select and run the test, which will
probably show something like this "fail" message.  It will almost always
indicate a UDP test failure.  The problem is generally traceable to the
firewall in your home network's router.  It will be necessary to go into the
administration pages of the router and forward the ports, the instructions
for which may be found on the Echolink.org website. The menus and procedures
vary from model to model and brand to brand, so the Echolink site will point
you to Portforward.com, which has an extensive list of configuration
instructions by brand and model. 

Description: Firewall/Router Tester dialog screenshot showing test results
fail on UDP.

But, as the Echolink site points out, it may not be possible to access the
router.  Either you do not have administrator credentials or you do not have
the computer skills to make these configuration changes. This is a common
problem when using a public WI-FI network. In that case, you should know how
to use a public proxy. 

Our first step is to open the setup menu with ALT-E or by clicking the
little crossed tools icon with the mouse. Here you see my System setup

Description: System Setup screenshot showing single-user radio button

Use the mouse or your screenreader skills to choose the "Proxy" tab. Here
you see that I am connected via "Direct Connect" to the Echolink system and
not through a proxy:

Description: System Setup dialog showing Direct Connect radio button checked
by default.

I want to try a public proxy, so I will click the "Choose Public Proxy"
radio button:

Description: System Setup dialog showing Choose Public Proxy radio butten

Next, find and press the "Refresh List" button.  Once that is done, the pull
down menu is used to reveal a list of available public proxies.  Choose one
by highlighting it and find and press the "Ok" button. 

Description: System Setup dialog showing Refresh List button, a station
selected from the pull down list, and the ok button. 

The application will then reload the station list. 

Description: Echolink screenshot showing the station list successfully
loaded, indicating that the proxy is working. 

Next, find and try connecting to ECHOTEST as before:

Description: Echolink screenshot showing find dialog and ECHOTEST found and

If you have connected to a public proxy correctly, the connection to
ECHOTEST will now succeed and you can test your audio: 

Description: Echolink screenshot showng successful connection to ECHOTEST
test server. 

Once you have completed any audio adjustments, you may disconnect from
ECHOTEST and begin making real contacts:

Description: Echolink screenshot showing connection to HANDIHAM conference

Of course we would like to hear you on the Handiham daily Echolink net.  Our
preferred conference server is HANDIHAM, which you can find with the search
function the same way you found ECHOTEST. 

Here are some things to know about using public proxies:

*       Just because you connected successfully to a public proxy one day
does not mean that it will be available the next day.  Another station may
have grabbed it before you, or the proxy operator may have taken the proxy
down for some reason.  That means that you may need to go through the proxy
setup each time you get on, but it will be pretty obvious when the Echolink
application fails to load the station list.  If the proxy you used yesterday
is available today, Echolink will connect and load the station list.  If it
is not available, you will get an error message and you can try a different
proxy. I have had times when the same proxy worked several days in a row,
and other times when I had to try two or three different ones just to get
one that worked. 
*       Some proxy owners time-limit connections.  After all, this is a
public service and it would not be good for one user to hog the proxy all
day long. Good operating practice is to use the public proxy only as long as
you need it so that another station can have a chance. 
*       A public proxy is like a seat on a city bus.  You might have a
favorite seat if you ride the bus to work every day, but it should not be
too surprising if sometimes when you get on the bus "your" seat is already
*       Like the seat on the bus, only one station can use a public proxy at
a time. When the station using the proxy disconnects, the proxy is then
available for another user. 
*       A public proxy bypasses firewalls and is easy to use once you figure
out the simple procedure for finding and selecting a new proxy. 

I hope to hear you on the Handiham net soon!

Send your ideas about troubleshooting to wa0tda@xxxxxxxx for possible
inclusion in next week's edition of your weekly e-letter.


Free iBlink Radio application for Android puts radio stations and audio at
your fingertips - and it is super-easy!

Description: Pat, WA0TDA, holds up Android phone showing free iBlink Radio
application in the Android Market. 

There is nothing more frustrating than a hard to use mobile application.
Some of the "do-everything" audio players have pretty steep learning curves
precisely because they try to do everything.  Since those applications are
designed for the general public, they have to have attractive interfaces -
and that can further confuse the user. Wouldn't it be nice if someone would
release an easy to navigate audio application designed for blind and low
vision users, or for anyone who might have problems navigating the small
touch screen on a mobile device? 

Well, they have!  It's from the most excellent folks at Serotek, who make
the free SA Mobile application called "iBlink Radio" available on the
Android Market. Downloading and installation is a breeze, and the screens
come up in easy to read and intuitively navigable plain text links.  The
default is bold white text on a black background, which is good for reading
and saves battery power.

"But", you say sadly, "I have an iPhoneR and not an Android phone, so I must
be out of luck!"

No, you are not out of luck!  In fact, you can just go to the iTunes App
Store and search for iBlink Radio, which is also available for your iPod
TouchR, iPhoneR, and iPadR!  It is also a free app, and please do not
confuse it with the "iBlink" app, which is NOT the same as the iBlink Radio

Description: Screenshot of Apple App Store showing iBlink Radio. 

The content is designed to be of interest to blind and low vision users, so
you will find easy links to ACB Radio and blindness related podcasts, but
there is still some time for fun with old time radio. Give it a try, and let
our friends at Serotek know how much you like it. 



Description: Dog barking at mailman. Jasper loves our mail carrier - she
gives him a treat when she stops by!

From E73KG:

Hi to all,

I am E73KG, my name is Gradimir. QTH: Banja Vrucica, location: JN84WN. I am
a blind amateur radio operator. Last year I sent information about the 1st
Amateur radio direction finding for blind World Championship, city Opatija,
Croatian (9A). Now I have information about the film about it. Look on
YouTube. Link is:  <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyLuCwS_GCo> 

The film lasts 22 minutes. They consist of two parts. I was a participant in
this competition in September, 2010.

Best to all, 73 de E73KG, Gradimir. I like to contact by EchoLink or Skype
id: e73kg-gradimir


Hi Pat,

I just finished listening to the April issue of the newsletter, and really
appreciate you making it available. CW has always been one of my favorite
modes, and it is fun to read articles from like-minded people.

I hope you will continue to record these newsletters when you receive them.

Thanks again, 



A dip in the pool

Description: circuit board

G8B08 from the new General question pool asks us: "Why is it important to
know the duty cycle of the data mode you are using when transmitting?" 

A. To aid in tuning your transmitter. 

B. Some modes have high duty cycles which could exceed the transmitter's
average power rating. 

C. To allow time for the other station to break in during a transmission. 

D. All of these choices are correct.

The correct answer is B, Some modes have high duty cycles which could exceed
the transmitter's average power rating.  The reason this is so important is
that everything from your choice of power supply to cooling systems is
determined by the time the transmitter is sending out large amounts of
power.  Key down for an FM transmitter is full power, even with no
modulation. Key down for SSB is no power at all if there is no modulation.
That's quite a difference that must be taken into account!


Remote Base Report for 01 June 2011

The W0EQO & W0ZSW Handiham Remote Base HF stations are on line.  EchoLink is
disabled on W0ZSW. We still have W0EQO-L available for people who just want
to listen. This is due to a driver problem on the W0ZSW host computer. 

Please report any problems to:  <mailto:wa0tda@xxxxxxxx> 


This week @ HQ

*       I am at Camp Courage today, 1 June 2011 and will be away from the
phone as I do maintenance on our computer and station equipment.  
*       Reminder: New General Pool: Bob Zeida, N1BLF, has completed his
recording of the new General Class Question Pool with only the correct
answers. It is available in the members only section and is divided into
subelements, with each subelement in MP3 format. The link page describes
what is covered in each subelement so that you can easily go to the sections
you want to hear by topic. 
*       The audio magazine digest has been updated. Worldradio, QST, and
AMSAT Journal audio has been added for our blind members.  
*       Handiham membership has gone up slightly from $10 to $12.  We have
not increased dues in many years. 
*       Radio Camp will be from Monday 8 August to Saturday 13 August, 2011.

*       Handiham Radio Camp to feature Wouxun radios for our new
Description: Wouxun HT
Come to Radio Camp, get your first license, and go home with a new radio. If
you are a Handiham member and are studying for your Technician level amateur
radio license, you should consider attending Handiham Radio Camp, which will
be a wonderful opportunity for you to review what you have studied and take
the exam in a completely accessible environment. Our campers who earn their
Technician Class Amateur Radio licenses at camp will be presented with
brand-new dual-band handheld radios, thanks to the support of a generous
donor. The radios are by Wouxun, and operate on the 2 m and 70 cm bands,
which are the most popular repeater bands. Since these radios also include
voice prompts in plain English, they are especially preferred by blind

Wouldn't it be wonderful to attend Radio Camp and then go home with a
brand-new radio? 

We sure think so! If you are not a Handiham member and are interested in
joining us, here is a link to request a membership application:

If you are already a Handiham member and would like a radio camp
application, call toll-free 1-866-426-3442 and request a camper application.
You may also download the application package or contact us by email to ask
a question or request a camper application:

*        <http://handiham.org/files/camp/mn_camp_2011_cover.pdf> Download
the camp cover letter in PDF 
*       Download a self-extracting zip file with the complete radio camp
application package <http://handiham.org/files/camp/mncamp2011.exe> , or 
*       Download a zip file with the complete radio camp application package
<http://handiham.org/files/camp/mncamp2011.zip> . 

*       If your email program does not display links, go to our website:
Although you may not live nearby Camp Courage, we do pick up campers at the
Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport. Campers come from anywhere and
everywhere, so even if you live far from camp you will have the opportunity
to join us for this fun and unique session. All campus buildings are modern
- although we are a camp, no one sleeps in a tent or has to eat beans out of
a tin can! Our facilities are modern and include wireless Internet access
and modern construction. All facilities are wheelchair-accessible.

Handiham Radio Camp 2011 is at Camp Courage - Woodland Campus - August 8-13,
2011 and serves Handiham members ages 16 and older. 

Enjoy an experience of Ham radio fun and learning. Make new friends while
building an on-air community that continues after you leave Radio Camp. Get
a first Ham radio license or upgrade a current one, or learn new operating
skills. Keep abreast of the latest technology, including assistive
technology. Wireless internet access is available. Instructors are
experienced amateur radio operators from throughout the nation. Trained
staff members provide personal care assistance. And, we leave plenty of time
to take a break from studying and enjoy traditional camp activities.

.         Tonight is EchoLink net night.  The Wednesday evening EchoLink net
is at 19:30 United States Central time, which translates to +5 hours, or
00:30 GMT Thursday morning. 

o    EchoLink nodes:

*       KA0PQW-R, node 267582
*       N0BVE-R, node 89680
*       HANDIHAM conference server Node 494492 (Our preferred high-capacity

o    Other ways to connect:

*       IRLP node 9008 (Vancouver BC reflector)
WIRES system number 1427

*       Stay in touch! Be sure to send Nancy your changes 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


Supporting Handihams - 2011. 

Description: graphic showing figure using wheelchair holding hand of
standing figure

Now you can support the Handiham program by donating on line using Courage
Center's secure website.

It is easy, but one thing to remember is that you need to use the pull-down
menu to designate your gift to the Handiham program.

.         Step one: Follow this link to the secure Courage Center Website:
<https://couragecenter.us/SSLPage.aspx?pid=294&srcid=344> &srcid=344

.         Step two: Fill out the form, being careful to use the pull-down
Designation menu to select "Handi-Hams".

.         Step three: Submit the form to complete your donation. If the gift
is a tribute to someone, don't forget to fill out the tribute information.
This would be a gift in memory of a silent key, for example.

We really appreciate your help. As you know, we have cut expenses this year
due to the difficult economic conditions. We are working hard to make sure
that we are delivering the most services to our members for the money - and
we plan to continue doing just that in 2011.


Thank you from the Members, Volunteers, and Staff of the Handiham System

Patrick Tice, WA0TDA, Handiham Manager

Handiham Membership Dues

Reminder: Handiham renewals are 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 $12 annual dues level for one year. Your renewal
date is the anniversary of your last renewal, so your membership extends for
one year.

.         Join for three years at $36.

.         Lifetime membership is $120.

.         If you can't afford the dues, request a 90 day non-renewable
sponsored membership.

.         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 Walt Seibert at 763-520-0532 or
email him at walt.seibert@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 

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.1-866-426-3442 toll-free -- Help us get new
hams on the air.

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:

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 Handiham System

Reach me by email at:

Nancy, Handiham Secretary:

Radio Camp email:


Description: ARRL 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.

Courage Center Handiham System
3915 Golden Valley Road
Golden Valley, MN  55422




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  • » [handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 01 June 2011 - Patrick Tice