[handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 06 October 2010

  • From: "Patrick Tice" <wa0tda@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 6 Oct 2010 15:18:55 -0500

This is a free weekly news & information update from Courage Center Handiham
System. Our contact information is at the end, or simply email
handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx for changes in subscriptions or to comment. 

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Welcome to Handiham World!  

John, N0BFJ, has handled the VE paperwork at many radio camps.
Photo: John Hoenshell, N0BFJ, enjoys being a VE and handles the paperwork at
radio camp sessions and also volunteers during VE sessions at Dayton
HAMVENTION.  He believes that team members with disabilities can participate
in a successful session. 

Can a VE session be more than just a process of overseeing test takers in a
room and handling their FCC paperwork?

This morning I had a different, but VE-related, question from one of our
blind members.  She was asking how she might participate in a VE session if
she became a volunteer examiner. She mused that being a VE sounded
interesting and that she would like to participate, but she wondered if it
would be practical since she couldn't see a room full of test takers. Since
this topic comes up from time to time, I thought I'd take another look at
what a VE session is about.  While I am by no means an "expert" VE by
experience, I can relate to testing in general - I was trained as a teacher,
after all - and I have observed people with disabilities for decades. I have
been present at many VE sessions over the years, especially at Handiham
radio camps, but have only relatively recently become a VE myself. 

I got to thinking about the very best VE sessions I had observed.  What made
them stand out from the others? It was more than the success of the
candidates, though that always helps. It was more than the team arriving
prepared and being able to process the paperwork efficiently, too. It was
more than promoting the session and arranging a good location, though those
things were important. 

But what was it?

Well, let's discuss the typical VE session a bit. 

Our blind Handiham member is right in assuming that a blind VE cannot
observe a room full of test takers as a sighted person might do during a VE
session. That does not mean that a blind VE cannot participate. At our radio
camp VE sessions, I suggest that blind VE team members sit at the tables
where the exam is being read by volunteer readers to blind test takers. This
assures that the exam is being proctored so that all rules are followed. A
sighted VE simply looking at a room of test takers cannot know what is being
said at each table in this kind of an adapted test session. Blind VE team
members understand how tests are given to blind candidates and are
potentially better at this kind of observation than anyone else. 

The paperwork table is probably one place a blind VE would not be as useful.
In every VE session, the team leader should try to match skills &
capabilities with the tasks at hand. If there are no blind test takers to
proctor, a blind VE might instead be part of the meet & greet team, setting
candidates at their ease and answering the usual questions about what to
expect during the testing, any rules of conduct (no smoking, quiet please,
bring test to table at the side of the room when finished, etc.) As testing
progresses and candidates start to turn their exams in for grading, a blind
VE can then be stationed outside the testing room to answer questions that
candidates might have. Typical information requested ranges from when they
can use their new privileges if they pass an element upgrade to the location
of the rest rooms.   

Another job that every VE team has is communicating test results to the
waiting candidates. There is no reason a blind VE cannot help with this job
- and a savvy VE team leader will know who is best-suited for the hardest
job - the delivery of the bad news. If a blind VE can handle telling a
candidate that they didn't pass but can do so in such a way as to help that
person accept the news in a positive way, the entire VE team will be
grateful! You don't have to see to help candidates, successful or not, learn
more about your ham radio club. Post-testing is a great time to talk with
candidates and invite them to club and ARRL membership, and yes, even
Handiham membership if they have a disability.

For the excited new Technicians and Generals, you might start a conversation
about which radios are best, pointing out the availability of the club's
repeater system or the best ways to check out the HF bands during the
improving sunspot cycle.   

In the end, a successful VE session is one that provides an opportunity for
the candidates not only to pass their exams, but to leave the test site with
the information and enthusiasm that will carry over to participation in the
club and regional activities as well as getting on the air!  When you look
at a VE session as more than just three team members overseeing a room of
test takers, you can easily find places for blind VE team members to be a
part of this most rewarding of volunteer activities.

I hope to hear you on the air soon.


Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Handiham Manager  <mailto:wa0tda@xxxxxxxx> 


cartoon hippo in a pool of water

A dip in the pool

No one told you there was going to be a quiz, right? I thought it would be
fun to pick a question out of the question pool and see how many of us can
remember the right answer. Ready? Here we go:


What type of semiconductor material contains more free electrons than pure
germanium or silicon crystals?

A. N-type

B. P-type

C. Bipolar

D. Insulated gate

Did you pick answer A, N-Type? That's the right choice, and easy to remember
if you think of "N" standing for "negative" and an excess of electrons in a
material would give it an overall negative charge.


An easy callsign lookup website

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock Amateur Radio Club runs a
no-nonsense, easy to use, no graphics website for amateur radio callsign
lookups. I found out about it by following the Blind-Hams mailing list,
where it was recommended. One unusual feature is that there are three search
field choices.  The first is a simple search field for an exact callsign. If
you know the call you want to look up, that's the one to use.  The next is a
"broad search" field in which a partial call is allowed. This can return
hundreds of partial matches. The third search field - more of a form field,
really - is one that allows partial entry of names and addresses. I tried it
with my own zip code, 55125.  The results were interesting and really quite
useful, since it returned 134 records, 103 of which were active and 31
listed as inactive. Every callsign was hyperlinked to a detailed record,
even the ones listed as inactive, so you could check recently expired
licenses. The University of Arkansas at Little Rock Amateur Radio Club will
definitely be on my short list of callsign resources!  Find it at:


Hit & Miss

The Audio Dart Master Talking Dart Board, found by Handiham Radio Club
President Ken Silberman, KB3LLA, in his never-ending quest for cool
technology.  It seems pretty customizable, with options for having it tell
you a location by "clock position", by which I assume it means that it will
tell you that a dart that has landed on the right side of the dart board is
at the 3 o'clock position, for example. Pricing is around $500, so crack
open the big piggy bank. It's at:


Remote base progress report: 06 October 2010 

Kenwood TS-570

There is no news this week, but everything is reported working. An antenna
inspection will be carried out at W0ZSW on Thursday, 7 October. 

Would you like to try the station right now? 

If you would like to connect to the station via EchoLink to listen to the
radio, you can search for W0ZSW-L, node 524906, and connect. Entering a
frequency and pressing the enter key will allow you to change the radio's
receive frequency from the EchoLink text box. Enter U, L, or A for Upper
sideband, Lower sideband, or AM, respectively. One thing to remember is that
EchoLink control only works on receive, not transmit, and it is only
available if there is no control operator logged in to the W4MQ remote base

Don't forget about our station at Courage North, in far northern Minnesota's
lake country. If you would like to connect to the station via EchoLink to
listen to the radio, you can search for W0EQO-L, node 261171, and connect.
Just as with the other station, entering a frequency and pressing the enter
key will allow you to change the radio's receive frequency from the EchoLink
text box. Enter U, L, or A for Upper sideband, Lower sideband, or AM,
respectively. One thing to remember is that EchoLink control only works on
receive, not transmit, and it is only available if there is no control
operator logged in to the W4MQ remote base software. 


CQ CQ CQ de W0JH, Boutwell's Landing

Remote base W0EQO at Courage North, near the headwaters of the Mississippi.

At Handiham-affiliated club SARA, the Stillwater (MN) Amateur Radio
Association, the Handiham Remote Base stations will be showcased during the
regular meeting's program segment.

If you live in the eastern Twin Cities Metro area, join us on Saturday, Oct.
9 at Boutwell's Landing; Gables Wing, Auditorium A - Lower Level.
(Boutwell's is behind the Wal-Mart just off State Highway 36 in Oak Park
Heights, MN.)

*       You'll learn all about the setup and operation of remote HF stations
operated by the Courage Center Handiham program. You'll learn how easy it is
to set-up and operate a remote station at YOUR QTH!!
*       Participate by operating remote HF stations from the meeting room!
We'll have two operating stations ready for YOU to make actual HF contacts!
Bring along your friends who are interested - all are welcome to attend.
*       If you can't attend Saturday, Oct. 9 but want to contact us via HF -
look for us per the following:

W0JH/Boutwell's Landing 10:15 - 11:15 AM CDST (0315 - 0415 UTC) :: 3.855 MHz
LSB (+/- QRM) :: 14.312 MHz USB (+/- QRM)

Please give us "one for the count"!

Thanks & 73,

Dave (W0OXB)


This week @ HQ

*       Nancy is still on vacation today but returns Thursday, 7 October. 
*       I will be at the headquarters station location at Camp Courage on
*       Audio production: George, N0SBU,  reports that he has finished the
tape digest for our members without computers.
*       This week's Friday Technician audio lecture will be on the subject
of the basic operations of amateur radio equipment and will include some of
the terminology you will run into as a new ham: VFO, function key, PEP,
overmodulation (not good!), extended receive, and much more. Newbies, don't
miss this one or you won't know how to set the AGC!
*       A big thank you to our net control stations  for "saying yes" and
volunteering for this leadership role. We really appreciate your help and
everyone has noticed that the nets are running more smoothly than ever. 

Tonight is net night.  The Wednesday evening EchoLink net is at 19:30 United
States Central Daylight time, which translates to +5 hours, or 00:30 GMT
Thursday morning during North American Daylight Time. In the winter, the GMT
schedule is +6 hours. Connect from any Internet-enabled computer in the
world, and come out on Twin Cities repeater N0BVE on 145.450.  If there is
no designated Net Control, there will be a simple roundtable net. 

EchoLink nodes:

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

Other ways to connect:

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

*       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


Supporting Handihams - Year-end is a critical time. 

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 2010.


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 $10 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 $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 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: 


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.



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  • » [handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 06 October 2010 - Patrick Tice