[handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 04 November 2009

  • From: "Patrick Tice" <wa0tda@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 4 Nov 2009 15:19:52 -0600

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 

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Welcome to Handiham World!

Handiham Office Move - New HQ Entrance

Handiham Office Move - New HQ Entrance

Image: A view of the entrance to the new Handiham headquarters. The large
double doors are right at ground level for easy wheelchair access. The
windows let in plenty of natural light, and the woodland setting is not only
sylvan and restful, but it's also RF-quiet!

The round building is quite a surprising change from our old office space in
a traditional building at Courage Center. The Camp Courage Reception Center
is a two-level round structure, with the main camp offices and a great room
on the top floor. That level also has a computer lab and a staff lounge. The
lower level, where our new Handiham Headquarters office and station are
located, is accessible from ground level without any stairs or ramps because
the building is what is commonly called a "walk-out" design, built on a
hill, so that both the levels have access directly from ground. You go in
the main door and you end up in the camp office level. You go around the
building to the side, and you enter the Handiham office, which is down on
the lower level.

As I write this, we have a functioning HF station in place, a Kenwood
TS-570SAT with a matching Kenwood supply. The antenna is a GAP vertical,
which is mounted within 20 feet of the rig, just outside the building, and
visible in the photo if you look just to the left of the building. Although
we do have a code key and microphone, the station is pretty bare-bones right
now. There is additional equipment in a cabinet that is identical to the one
at Courage North.

Although I have installed a Kenwood TM-V71 dual band VHF/UHF rig next to the
TS-570, there is no antenna system for 2 meters and 70 cm. This deficiency
must be remedied before Radio Camp next May, but I am confident that we can
get a new antenna up, probably mounted on the old TV antenna mast on the
roof, which is also visible in the photo. I have been able to hear the N0BVE
repeater system while in my car driving within a mile of Camp Courage, so I
am confident that we will be able to access not only that repeater but
several others, especially if we can get up a beam antenna, at least for the
two meter band. Nearby St. Cloud has an excellent repeater, the W0SV system.

We do have work to do on the headquarters antenna system, that's for sure.
Although we do have a very nice triband HF beam in place on a 50 foot tower,
the coax does not terminate where we need it in the new location. I plan to
ask our volunteers to help me look the situation over and figure out how to
complete that installation. Because of the distance to the tower, I would
expect that we need to consider buried hard line to keep losses to a

Another consideration is how we will get on the 160, 75, and 40 meter bands.
Although the GAP vertical does tune 75 through 10, it is not adequate for
regional net operation, where higher angle radiation is required. To remedy
that problem, I would like to look at a wire antenna, something like a
center-fed Zepp, around 250 feet long, to really grab those 160 meter
signals! Ideally, we will be able to install a second remote base station
for our members at this location, and it will add the "top band" of 160
meters to the frequencies our members can operate.

The move to Camp Courage is going to be far better for our station
operations; there's just no doubt about it. Several years ago, when the HVAC
system was updated at Courage Center, banks of SCR fan motor controllers
were installed to make the heating and air conditioning systems more
energy-efficient. If the load was light, the AC frequency was varied
downward by these controllers. If the load increased, the AC frequency
increased. There is an energy savings, but the RFI generated by the system
produced noise at S9+10 dB levels on the HF bands. It was intolerable, and
we had to resort to porting the receiver signal in from remote receivers at
Courage North or the K0LR station, both of which are located hundreds of
miles north of the Twin Cities in quiet RF areas. Although this worked for
some types of operation, it is hardly desirable or practical for working DX
or quickly grabbing a CQ that you would hear, simply because it was a lot of
fiddling around to tune both the remote receiver and the transmitter that
was sitting in front of us at Courage Center. The new location is very
quiet, with no significant RFI. It will be a huge relief to operate without
having to deal with overbearing interference.

But the move has not been without some glitches. My phone still isn't
working, so calls to my office number go straight to voice mail. The good
news is that I have the system set up to immediately email me whenever a
voice mail is left at my number, so I can immediately call the person back.

Another issue is how we will handle equipment donations. While we still have
a small amount of equipment storage space at Courage Center, it is looking
like this space will be needed by another program that rehabilitates
wheelchairs for distribution to people with disabilities who cannot afford
new chairs.

Thus, I am considering a change for the equipment program to Camp Courage,
and that will mean that gifts of equipment will be accepted at the Camp
Courage address instead of the Courage Center address. The equipment loan
program has already moved to Camp Courage. As you know, Avery Finn, K0HLA,
has retired. Since he ran the equipment program, we are trying to figure out
how to operate it in the upcoming year. Our current plan is to distribute
equipment to our members at the next Radio Camp session in May.

Speaking of Radio Camp, I'll give you an update on our new location for that
event in a later edition of your weekly e-letter. For now, I'll just say
that we will be on the "Woodland" side of Camp Courage, where we will enjoy
brand-new cabin facilities that have some wonderful meeting spaces and
living areas, including spacious screened porches for each cabin, as well as
gas log fireplaces in the large common areas.

For Handiham World, I'm...

Patrick Tice, wa0tda@xxxxxxxx 
Handiham Manager


AA2EJ Wins Nobel Prize (ARRL story)

The ARRL website is reporting on an amateur radio operator with a real
feather in his cap: a brand-new Nobel prize:

"Around 5:30 on the morning of October 6, George E. Smith, AA2EJ, of
Barnegat, New Jersey, got a phone call that changed his life: He had just
found out he had won the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2009 "for the invention
of an imaging semiconductor circuit -- the CCD sensor." Smith will share the
prize money with two other recipients: Charles K. Kao, of Standard
Telecommunication Laboratories in the United Kingdom and Chinese University
of Hong Kong in Hong Kong, China, and Willard S. Boyle, of Bell

Read more about this story on ARRLweb:



 <http://www.handiham.org/node/135> FCC

Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Federal
Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski announced Wednesday
that they are launching a joint effort to evaluate technologies that may
help curb the dangerous epidemic of distracted driving.

The DOT-FCC partnership will also include outreach efforts to educate the
public about the dangers of texting while driving, talking on cell phones
while driving, and other distracting behavior that can lead to deadly

"We must put an end to distracted driving, which is costing lives and
inflicting injuries across the nation's roads and railways," Secretary
LaHood told the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade
and Consumer Protection. "I look forward to working with Chairman
Genachowski and ensuring that FCC's and DOT's technology experts can join
forces on this critical issue."

Chairman Genachowski said, “I welcome this collaborative effort to eliminate
the increasingly deadly practice of distracted driving. Changing this
ingrained behavior will require us to develop creative solutions using both
technology and education. By combining the resources and expertise of the
DOT and the FCC, I am confident that we can have a major impact on this

Officials from the DOT and FCC will establish a working group to evaluate
technology-based solutions to the problem of distracted driving and will
coordinate consumer outreach and education.



Computerworld: "Try ham radio."

 <http://www.handiham.org/node/550> ic706.jpg

Abundant spectrum resources and an engaged research community are drawing
wireless experimenters back into a hobby that many had forgotten.

Read more at the Computerworld website in this "media hit":


November Events by N1YXU

November Events by N1YXU

I hope each of you is doing well and that you have enjoyed the changing of
the seasons as we get closer to the end of autumn. The colors here in North
Carolina have truly been spectacular this year. I have found myself, on
several occasions, simply staring at the patchwork of color in the trees in
our yard. Take a look through the events that are listed for November. I am
confident, regardless of your preferences (contesting, special events, local
repeaters…), you will find a few things that will grab your interest.

Until next month…. 

Regards,- Laurie Meier, N1YXU

Read Laurie's Events Column:  <http://www.handiham.org/node/600> 


This week at Headquarters:

 <http://www.handiham.org/node/476> We are on Twitter!

 <http://www.handiham.org/sites/default/files/images/ham_mobile.jpg> We are
on Twitter!

Look for us on Twitter by searching for "handiham". We invite you to follow
us. Handiham web page posts are now "tweeted" automatically!

cartoon happy clock

You didn't forget about returning to standard time, did you?  

Sunday, 1 November 2009, we returned to standard time in the USA. The
Handiham daily EchoLink net remains true to local time, so if you use local
time to check in you will not notice any difference. However, if you use
GMT, the net time appears to shift by 1 hour. Instead of beginning at 16:00
GMT, the net begins at 17:00 GMT.  

·         In Operating Skills:  


o    Pat, WA0TDA, reads the November 2009 QST audio digest. 

o    Volunteer reader Ken Padgitt, W9MJY, reads the November "Doctor is in"
column from QST for our blind members.  

o    Volunteer reader Bob Zeida, N1BLF, has completed the November
Worldradio & CQ digests. 

o     <http://handiham.org/user> Login to the member section of the Handiham
website and find the magazine digests in the Library.  

o    Volunteer George, N0SBU, has completed and mailed the 4-track cassette
audio digest to our blind members this week. 

·         Our Contact information is the same, but keep watching this space
for changes:  Email addresses will not change.

Courage Center Handiham System
3915 Golden Valley Road 
Golden Valley, MN  55422
763-520-0512 (Nancy)
763-520-0511 (Pat)

·         Pat's phone number goes directly to voice mail, due to a problem
with our forwarding system. Leave a message with the best time to return
your call. 

·         Our email address (for Nancy's office) is
<mailto:hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 

·         Pat can be reached by email any time at  <mailto:wa0tda@xxxxxxxx>
wa0tda@xxxxxxxx or  <mailto:patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 

·         The equipment loan program is on hold right now due to limited
staff hours. 

o    The Handiham equipment program still welcomes donations of good ham
radio equipment. 

o    We plan to distribute donated equipment to our radio campers at the
next Radio Camp session.

o    Handiham members who already have equipment out on loan may continue to
borrow that equipment. 


·         Minnesota Radio Camp dates for 2010, Camp Courage: 

Arrive Friday, May 21

Class days: Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

VE Exam Day: Thursday  (VE team still needed.)

Depart Friday, May 28

·         Camp Courage is west of Minneapolis.  The address is 8046 83rd St
NW, Maple Lake, MN‎.

o    The phone number of the Camp Courage office is (320) 963-3121‎.

o    If you want to receive a Camp Courage summer camp schedule, you may
call for one.  The camp schedule includes information about Handiham Radio
Camp.  If you need specific information about the radio camp or want to be
on the radio camp mailing list, you may call Nancy in the Handiham office at

o    Here is an interactive Google map showing Camp Courage:

&z=12> View Larger Map 


·         VOLLI is now in service.  It stands for VOLunteer Log In, and is a
way for our Handiham volunteers to register and then enter their volunteer
hours without having to fool around with paper records.  We encourage
volunteers to create a username and password, then submit their hours spent
recording audio, doing club presentations for us, and so on. Volunteer hours
are important, because United Way funding depends in part on volunteer
hours. If you are a volunteer and need a link to VOLLI, please email me at
wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx Our special thanks to my son Will, KC0LJL, who wrote the
Java code for VOLLI. He is studying in Tokyo this semester and sends a big
"hello" to our readers and listeners.

·         Volunteers, get your October hours in through VOLLI - I'll be
checking them soon!  You may also submit volunteer hours to Nancy at
<mailto:hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 

·         The Friday audio lectures return  this week.  There will be new
lectures posted by early afternoon on Friday, and a notification will be
sent by email. 

·         The Remote Base at Courage North is in service. Please feel free
to use this wonderful member resource.  

·         Remote Base users who try the built-in IRB sound feature instead
of SKYPE are encouraged to send us reports on how the audio worked.

·         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. 


Courage Center Handiham System nominated for 2009 Arc of MN Bogg's Mitchell
- Inclusive Recreation Program Award

Courage Center Handiham System nominated for 2009 Arc of MN Bogg's Mitchell
- Inclusive Recreation Program Award

We were thrilled and very pleasantly surprised to learn that Courage
Center's Handiham System was nominated for the 2009 The Arc of Minnesota
Bogg's Mitchell - Inclusive Recreation Program Award.

The Arc of Minnesota advocates for and supports people with intellectual and
other developmental disabilities and their families as they choose how they
live, learn, and play.

Originally organized to serve children with intellectual disabilities, The
Arc now serves people of all ages with many kinds of developmental
disabilities including, but not limited to, intellectual disabilities, Down
Syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Arc
is different from other organizations in that it is concerned with the total
life of an individual, from birth to death, and with all services or needs
an individual and his or her family may have.

You can find out more about The Arc of Minnesota at:


Letter from the Handiham Radio Club President

Well, I passed my "Boating Skills & Seamanship" course from the Coast Guard
Auxiliary last night. So, I'm ready to be Captain Bligh next May at camp.
Perhaps, we'll have a mutiny on the EchoLink net. 

If you are interested in radio control models, Edmund Scientific has an R/C
sailboat, modeled after a racing yacht. This is, of course, in addition to
the now-famous R/C party blimp. Edmund also has a slew of R/C helicopters
and an A-7 Tornado with an electric ducted fan engine.'

Finally, I just saw that 1 GB NLS DAISY cartridges are available from
Independent Living Aids for $14.95 and $17.95 with a USB cable. Of course, I
don't know anyone who has a player yet. However, it does give us an idea of
what they cost.


Ken Silberman, KB3LLA
Handiham Radio Club President 


Special Event: “Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald”

Special Event: “Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald” The 2008 SARA event crew
members pose in front of Split Rock Lighthouse on the Minnesota North shore
of Lake Superior.

Image: The 2008 SARA event crew members pose in front of Split Rock
Lighthouse on the Minnesota North shore of Lake Superior.

SARA, The Stillwater, Minnesota Amateur Radio Association, an affiliate of
the Handiham System, sponsors the “Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald” Split
Rock Lighthouse Special Event November 6-8, 2009.

November 10, 2009 marks the 34th anniversary of the sinking of the iron ore
carrier and loss of her 29-man crew. The Stillwater Amateur Radio
Association (SARA) is planning to operate at Split Rock Lighthouse, Split
Rock State Park (Minnesota) to commemorate and honor the crew of the Edmund

HF Operating Schedule 

Friday, 11/6: ~4:00 – 6:00 PM 2200 – 2400 UTC
Saturday, 11/7: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM 1600 – 0200 UTC
Sunday, 11/8: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM 1600 – 0200 UTC

HF Operating Frequencies & Modes
Primary: 3.860, 7.260, 14.260, 21.360 MHz
Secondary: 1.900, 18.160, 28.360 MHz
Tune +/– 10 KHz if QRM
SSB is the standard mode, some PSK & CW possible

VHF / EchoLink Operating Schedule
Saturday, 11/7: 12:00 – 4:00 PM 1800 – 2200 UTC
Sunday, 11/8: 12:00 – 4:00 PM 1800 – 2200 UTC

The special event will monitor the LSAC Bayfield repeater, 146.700, tone
103.5 from noon to 4:00 PM, Saturday and Sunday. The Bayfield repeater will
be connected via EchoLink to the SARA repeater, 147.060, tone 114.8. Any
station wishing to contact the special event via 2M will contact either
through the Bayfield or SARA repeaters.

The 2M station will be on throughout the remainder of the event but may not
be monitored.

There will be no capability to connect directly via computer to either
EchoLink node.

The SARA website is:

Other related events:

“Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald”
N8F & K8F (Stu Rockafellow Amateur Radio Society): Operating from Whitefish
Point Lighthouse and Paradise, MI

W8F (Livonia Amateur Radio Club): Operating from the Dossin Great Lakes
Museum on Belle Isle in Detroit, MI


Wednesday Evening EchoLink Net

Wednesday Evening EchoLink Net happy guy with headset

Wednesday evenings the Handiham EchoLink net will be on the air. Please join
us and check in or simply listen in, as you see fit:


Wednesday evenings at 19:30 hours Minnesota time (7:30 PM)
GMT: Thursday morning at 01:30 Z.


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. 


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

·         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

·         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 11/04/2009 - 21:06

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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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  • » [handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 04 November 2009 - Patrick Tice