[handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 03 April 2013

  • From: Patrick Tice <wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 3 Apr 2013 15:25:17 -0500

*Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday,
03 April 2013*

This is a free weekly news & information update from Courage Center
Handiham System <http://handiham.org/>. Our contact information is at the
end, or simply email handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx for changes in
subscriptions or to comment. You can listen to this news online.

MP3 audio stream:

Download the 40 kbs MP3 audio to your portable player:

Get this podcast in iTunes:

RSS feed for the audio podcast if you use other podcasting software:
*Welcome to Handiham World.*Pop quiz!

[image: Vertical antenna at SARA ARRL Field Day. (Photo courtesy SARA.)] *
Photo:  Field Day beckons!*

Yes, this is a photo of a Field Day vertical antenna, but that's not one of
the questions in this quiz.  Instead, we are going to give you 10
statements about emergency preparedness.  Answer each of them TRUE or FALSE
and then we will find out how you measure up!


   I own several battery-operated radios and keep them charged.  TRUE

   My main ham shack can run on emergency power. TRUE     FALSE

   I have completed an EMCOMM training class. TRUE     FALSE

   I have participated in ARRL Field Day at least once in the past five
   years. TRUE     FALSE

   I can be ready to participate in an emergency, providing communications
   support, in less than 30 minutes. TRUE     FALSE

   I have taken a CPR and/or first aid course. TRUE     FALSE

   My emergency communications kit includes extra batteries. TRUE     FALSE

   I have a Go-Kit ready to grab in a communications emergency. TRUE

   I have participated in an actual communications emergency one or more
   times. TRUE     FALSE

   I use my radio equipment four or more times during a typical week for
   routine communications, DX, and just talking with friends. TRUE     FALSE

Now, this is not intended to certify you as a communications expert, but it
is a way to remind us that severe weather season is approaching and that
the likelihood of weather-related communications emergencies will
increase.  Still, emergencies can happen anytime and anywhere, regardless
of weather.  Train derailments can spill hazardous materials, as can
industrial accidents. Fire can be widespread and destructive. Civil unrest
can happen suddenly.  You never know when you might need to use your
equipment to communicate, so it is unlikely that you will be ready if you
have not done some basic preparation before the emergency happens!

Let's check your score, and I'm sure you have figured out by now that the
more statements that were TRUE for you, the better.


   7 to 10 TRUE:  You are good to go, but keep your skills current and your
   batteries charged!

   4 to 6 TRUE:    You are pretty average - willing to help, but not quite
   prepared enough to respond as quickly or effectively as you could be.

   2 to 3 TRUE:    You aren't really ready to be an emergency communicator,
   but you have to start somewhere. Build on the plusses that you have, and
   find out more about what an emergency communicator needs to be effective.

   0 to 1 TRUE:     Well, you need to start somewhere and there is no time
   like the present!  Visit ARRL.org for more information about ARES® and ARRL
   Field Day.

Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Handiham Manager

[image: cartoon robot with pencil]
Tom, WA6IVG, suggests an April Fool joke:

   - *During the remainder of 2013, all ham operators must obtain and
   exclusively use equipment from the 1950s on CW. Only straight keys allowed!
   I used to love to "Tune Up".

   73, Tom,  WA6IVG*

Dr. Dave, KN0S, and Don, N0BVE, like an April Fool link:

   - http://www.amateurradio.com/fcc-relinquishes-amateur-radio-licensing/

Dick Garey, WA0CAF, likes Top Tech Tidbits:

   - www.flying-blind.com/tidbits2013/03282013/index.html

Editor's note:  I also want to thank the kind lady (you know who you are)
who sent me the 1973-1974 list of Handiham members.  The three double-sided
pages on typing paper, which we received last week, are yellowed and
dog-eared but complete.  The list is going to be kicking around in my head
for awhile, then I think it will result in some comments that you will see
or hear in your weekly eletter and podcast. Who knows where we will go with
this?  Down memory lane for sure, but that is a path with many forks,
twists, and turns.  After all, the Handiham System has been around since
1967!  Stay tuned for this one, folks.
AES sent an email to remind us about Superfest:

[image: 19th annual AES Superfest, April 5th & 6th 2013]

The Handihams will be there! Look for John, N0BFJ, and his supervisor
Deanna, WD0HBQ, representing us.

5710 W Good Hope Rd
Milwaukee, WI 53223

We have limited parking at the store. Overflow parking at the Elk's lodge
across the street.

Show Hours:

2:00 P.M. - 6:00 P.M.

8:30 A.M. - 3:00 P.M.

Special Activities for Saturday:

8:30 A.M. - 11:15 A.M. --
VE Testing

8:30 A.M. - Noon --
QSL Card Checking

9:00 A.M. 10:00 A.M. --
Fox Hunt Workshop

Handiham Nets are on on the air.

[image: TMV71A transceiver]

*We are on the air daily at 11:00 USA Central Time, plus Wednesday &
Thursday evenings at 19:00 USA Central Time.  This Thursday's Tech Net will
feature a new Net Control Station and as usual, tonight's net (Wednesday)
features a trivia question.  N6NFF has been promising to make the question
more challenging one of these days, so I'm curious to see what he comes up
with!  A big THANK YOU to all of our net control stations!*

*We maintain our nets at 11:00 hours daily relative to Minnesota time.
Daylight Time began on 10 March. Since the nets remain true to Minnesota
time, the difference between Minnesota time and GMT is -5 hours.  The net
is on the air at 16:00 hours GMT.  This is one hour earlier than usual if
you are on GMT, as compared with USA standard time. *

*The official and most current net news may be found at:
http://www.handiham.org/nets *
FCC releases new Element 9 commercial exam question pool

No. 13-597). (Dkt No 12-372 ).

Note that this does NOT affect any question pools in the Amateur Service,
but it does affect the Commercial Pool questions. Details at:

You can find the FCC Commercial Licenses at:
*A dip in the pool*

[image: Pat shows off his new Plantronics USB headset!]

It's time to test our knowledge by taking a dip in the pool - the AMATEUR
RADIO question pool, that is!

*Let's go to the Extra Class pool and examine a question about matching

E9E02 asks, "What is the name of an antenna matching system that matches an
unbalanced feed line to an antenna by feeding the driven element both at
the center of the element and at a fraction of a wavelength to one side of

Possible answers are:

A. The gamma match

B. The delta match

C. The epsilon match

D. The stub match

It is my experience in years of teaching ham radio classes and in working
with radio club projects that antenna matching is an area of profound
mystery to many operators!  One reason is that many of us just buy antennas
and put them up rather than building them from scratch.  There's nothing
wrong with that, but there is nothing quite like puzzling through a
do-it-yourself project to really learn about antennas!  The venerable gamma
match, which is the correct answer here (B), is one that is easy to make.
It is used for rigid antennas like multielement beam antennas and is not
practical for most wire antenna designs.  The gamma match permits you to
make your beam antenna without insulating the driven element from the
antenna boom.  That makes construction easier because you can just bolt
everything together.  The gamma feed is a metal rod that is mounted
parallel to and a few inches away from one side of the driven element. It
is held in place by a metal shorting strap connecting the driven element to
the gamma rod.  The coaxial cable feedline comes up the tower from the ham
shack and the center conductor is attached to a capacitor in series with
the end of the gamma rod nearest the boom. The grounded side of the coax is
connected right to the point on the boom where the driven element is bolted
to it. A match is achieved by adjusting the relative position of the
shorting strap outward toward the tip of the driven element or back toward
the center of the antenna, and by adjusting the capacitance of the series
variable capacitor.  I once made a nice little 2 meter beam this way, using
hollow aluminum tubing for the gamma rod and stripping the outer cover and
shield from the coax, then feeding the center conductor with its dielectric
insulator still in place down the close end of the gamma tube.  This formed
the two plates of a capacitor that I could adjust by pulling the cable out
or pushing it in a bit.  I made a metal strap for the far end with some old
sheet metal that was in the junk box.  There are plenty of antenna designs
out there - don't be afraid to try making your own antennas!

Please e-mail handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx to comment.
This week @ HQ[image: W0ZSW remote base station with TS-480HX, LDG
AT200PRO, host computer, RIGblaster interface, SEC switching supplies.]
Remote Base Station Configuration Progress*

Posted on April 3, 2013

Hello to all Handiham Members and Volunteers!

We wanted to remind handiham members who use the remote base client that we
are working on a brand new interface for Station Configuration. We also
want to remind you to keep your system up to date, including .Net component
updates as the new and improved Remote Base client will require .Net in
order to function properly. We are working with our beta team to get this
release out the door. We are looking forward to providing a much more user
friendly and functional station configuration interface soon!

Stay tuned and visit the Remote Base client software web site at:

…and also subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates:

73: KK4JZX
*The DAISY <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DAISY_Digital_Talking_Book> digest
for our blind members is in production. April QCWA Journal will be
available to blind members by late this afternoon. QCWA members can also
get this via the QCWA website.  *

   - Our thanks to Bob, N1BLF, Jim, KJ3P, and Ken, W9MJY, for reading this
   month.  Look for these DAISY materials in the members section.
   - NEW audio is expected for May by late in the month of April.  Members
   on the Friday Notify mailing list will receive the link.

Accurate email addresses are important:

   - Recently we have received a number of application forms with bad email
   addresses.  This creates a real problem for us, because we take
   considerable time entering the WRONG information into the mailing lists,
   the website login, and our main database.  When the inevitable
   "undeliverable" comes back, we have to delete all of the previous work and
   start over again.  Please be sure that your information is correct the
   first time so that we can avoid delays in processing any forms and can
   offer you services more quickly.

*Radio Camp application packets have been mailed.  *

*Some of you have asked if we changed locations for the radio camp this
year.  The answer is no, we are still at Camp Courage on Cedar Lake.  The
confusion came about because the camp's physical address is "Maple Lake,
MN", but the camp is not on Maple Lake.  It is on nearby Cedar Lake. There
are so many lakes in Minnesota that it is easy to get confused, but it is
also easy to find a nearby lake for water recreation!  *

2013 camp dates call for arrival on July 28 and departure on August 2.  We
have confirmed that we will offer our campers who pass Technician at camp
brand-new handheld radios. Radio camp will emphasize ham radio fun and
getting on the air.

We will feature:

   - Technician beginner small group class - Get your first license and get
   on the air!
   - General Class study group for those who need a quick review before
   taking the General exam.
   - Extra Class study group for those who need a quick review before
   taking the Extra exam.
   - VE session conducted by SARA, the Stillwater (MN) Amateur Radio
   Association, on Thursday, August 1, at 1:30 PM.
   - Operating Skills small group get on the air sessions and discussions
   - ARRL update - What's new at ARRL.
   - Extra Class seminar for those with Extra Class licenses who want to
   participate in more advanced technical projects and discussions
   - Several stations to operate, including maritime mobile on the camp
   pontoon boat with Cap'n Bill, N0CIC
   - Sailing with Skipper Bill, K9BV
   - Handiham Radio Club meeting and elections
   - Dining in the nearby newly-remodeled Woodland dining hall.
   - Fun in the sun during Minnesota's excellent summer season - at Camp
   Courage on beautiful Cedar Lake!

For a Radio Camp application, email Nancy at hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx or
call her at 763-520-0512.

*Handiham net information and news: *The official and most current net news
may be found at:

*Digital mailers are important: *If you do mail a digital cartridge to us,
please be sure that it is an approved free matter mailer. Otherwise it will
quickly cost us several dollars to package and mail out, which is more than
the cost of the mailer in the first place. We don't have a stock of
cartridges or mailers and not including a mailer will result in a long
delay getting your request back out to you.

*DAISY audio digests are available for our blind members who do not have
computers*, playable in your Library of Congress digital player.  Handiham
members who use these players and who would prefer to receive a copy of the
monthly audio digests on the special Library of Congress digital cartridge
should send a blank cartridge to us in a cartridge mailer (no envelopes,
please), so that we can place the files on it and return it to you via free
matter postal mail.  Your callsign should be on both the cartridge and the
mailer so that we can make sure we know who it's from. Blank cartridges and
mailers are available from APH, the American Printing House for the Blind,
Inc. <http://www.aph.org/>

Digital Talking Book Cartridge Catalog Number: 1-02610-00, Price: $12.00

Digital Talking Book Cartridge Mailer Catalog Number: 1-02611-00, Price:

Order Toll-Free: (800) 223-1839.

The Library of Congress NLS has a list of vendors for the digital

Get it all on line as an alternative:  Visit the DAISY section on the
Handiham website after logging in.
Stay in touch

[image: Cartoon robot with cordless phone]

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 at
763-520-0512.  If you need to use the toll-free number, call

Handiham Manager Patrick Tice, WA0TDA, may be reached at
handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx or by phone at 763-520-0511.

Mornings Monday through Thursday are the best time to contact us.

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, KD0LPX, at
763-520-0532 or email him at walt.seibert@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

Call 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 Handiham Weekly E-Letter in MP3
format <http://handiham.org/audio/handiham.mp3>
Email us to subscribe:

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:

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
handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx  for changes of address, unsubscribes, etc.
Include your old email address and your new address.
Return to Handiham.org <http://handiham.org/>

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  • » [handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 03 April 2013 - Patrick Tice