[handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 10 February 2010

  • From: "Patrick Tice" <wa0tda@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 10 Feb 2010 15:47:50 -0600

This is a free weekly news & information update from Courage Center Handiham
System. Please do not reply to this message. Use the contact information at
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Welcome to Handiham World!

Pat, WA0TDA, talking on EchoLink with boom mic headset

An EchoLink contact inspires some thoughts about radio clubs and your own

I had an interesting conversation last night on Echolink. While chatting
with one of my friends, we got onto the topic of radio club projects. I'm
going to paraphrase this, but I think we concluded that both of us had been
in a number of different radio clubs and that whenever a club took on a
project, the results were often less than satisfactory and the process of
getting the project underway and completed was complicated by difficult to
reconcile opinions on how things should be done and what the club goals
should be.

Of course this is a common problem in any organization, but perhaps more so
in a radio club where members have joined voluntarily and are not
compensated or even required to stay focused on any particular aspect of
club business. We all know that radio clubs have different purposes. Most of
the clubs I have belonged to have been "social clubs" that have been formed
simply to bring together amateur radio operators who share a broad common
interest in ham radio. In that kind of club, you can expect several members
to be interested in technology and building equipment, a few to be dedicated
to particular modes of operation like Morse code or PSK-31, and a more or
less general commitment to being helpful to one's community as volunteer or
emergency communicators.

In the social club, projects still need to be completed. The problem is that
the club members have different ideas about what club goals should be, and
this may make it difficult to get enough people on board as project
volunteers. If, for example, the club has several members who are interested
in Echolink communication, these club members may suggest that it would be a
good idea to have a club program explaining Echolink, and perhaps even
Echolink-enabling the club's repeater system.

Details, details.

Like all good ideas, the devil is in the details. Who will put on the club
program, and will there be Internet access available for the presentation?
Even if there is Internet access at the club's meeting location, will
Echolink work through the firewall? Then there is the audience. Some of the
members of the social club will not be computer users. It is simply a fact
of demographics that many amateur radio operators are older and did not use
personal computers in their work lives before retiring. Some will have
learned computing and gotten online, while others have not. Almost anyone in
the club who is in their "working years" will be familiar with personal
computers in the workplace and generally have one or more of them at home,
including in the ham shack. Teens and college kids will have grown up with
personal computers and portable communications devices and will use them

All of this means that your audience at the club meeting will be pretty
diverse, computing-wise. When you think about it, the Echolink presenter has
the challenge of talking with at least three audiences: non-computer users,
computer users at some intermediate level of understanding, and expert
computer users. You can see that right off the bat starting a club project
that will ultimately get the club repeater Echolink-enabled is going to be
quite a challenge even at the first step of explaining what Echolink is all
about. And this, mind you, is just the beginning. No one has even talked
about building the Echolink infrastructure to make this happen on the club's
repeater! You can see that there will be quite a challenge for the few
Echolink aficionados in the club to bring the entire club "on board" with
their project.

It's like herding cats!

No matter what the project, a small group of organizers within the club will
face similar problems. Organizing a ham fest, planning a field day event,
preparing for and publicizing Technician classes, you name it -- the list is
endless. In a given club, there may be a core of a half dozen really
dedicated participants who are willing to put in extra time and effort --
and sometimes even their own money -- into getting projects like these off
the ground. I guess where I am going with this is that we really have to
have reasonable expectations of amateur radio clubs that exist primarily for
social purposes rather than a single dedicated goal. If a club is dedicated
to DX, that club is going to attract like-minded members who will be focused
on that particular goal of keeping up with DX news, working DX and verifying
contacts through Logbook of the World and QSL cards, organizing and
promoting DX-related on the air activities, and so on. All of the club
members are interested in the same thing.

Since this is not the case in the social club, our expectations should not
be that the club can necessarily do justice to every single interest group's
project goals. Now, I am not saying that simply because you might be in a
minority interest group within your social amateur radio club that you
should not pursue your agenda and attempt to bring the rest of the club
along with you on a club project. What I am saying is that you should expect
that you will meet some resistance along the way and should not be
disappointed or discouraged when a project seems to run into roadblocks,
delays, and misunderstandings. Remember, the various interests within a
broad-based social club will sometimes be quite different, and some members
may see your project as not really good or bad, but not really benefiting
them personally and therefore not worth supporting. Others may become
interested in your project through your efforts at educating them through a
club program or programs. Some may not be interested even after you have
given your program presentation your best shot, but they may still see some
benefit in not standing in the way of your project, simply because they know
that there are benefits to a club that supports a variety of different

Moving on without feeling guilty.

Okay, you have been a member of your radio club for a year or more, and you
still feel that the club isn't really going anywhere, at least as far as
your interests are concerned. You have tried volunteering and putting on
presentations, but there simply isn't a lot of interest in your project
area. Furthermore, there seems to be little interest from the other members
in forwarding other projects. Perhaps the time has come for you to say
goodbye to a club that has simply not met your needs. There is no shame --
and should be none -- in leaving a club that doesn't provide a satisfying
experience for you. On the other hand, before you make a decision to leave,
you really have to ask yourself whether you have been open-minded toward
other club members' ideas and whether you have made a genuine effort to
educate other club members about your area of interest and your project. No
one should have the expectation that club projects, especially ones
requiring investment of club funds, will gain quick acceptance and universal

Yes, it is all about finding the right club for you and having reasonable
expectations. Doing some research on the ARRL Big Club List can be a good
place to start if you are looking for an amateur radio club, whether it be a
general interest social organization or one that has a specific interest
area. Since the ARRL list can be sorted geographically, you can find a club
close to you. If a local radio club sponsors a repeater system, listening on
the club repeater can give you some insight into that club's interests and
sense of purpose.

Club websites are a good place to research more in-depth about each club's
specific mission. I don't know about you, but I am always wary of club
websites that have not been updated and whose recent newsletter information
is several years old. Websites with mission statements and up-to-date
resources about club nets and meetings are an indication that you are
looking at a club that "gets things done", so you might want to put that
club down on your list for a visit during a regular membership meeting.

Should you belong to more than one radio club? 

Well, perhaps. You may decide to belong to a special-purpose club that
shares your amateur radio interests. You may also enjoy belonging to a
social club where expectations are entirely different. Matching your
interests and goals to the radio club as you do your research can make your
experience in the club a pleasant one. After all, amateur radio is a hobby
activity as well as a communications service. You are not in it for
frustration and aggravation -- you are in it for fun, and finding the right
club and having reasonable expectations will go a long way to making sure
that you and everyone else in the club will have a great ham radio

For Handiham World, I'm...

Patrick Tice, wa0tda@xxxxxxxx



Back by popular demand: ham radios and the Courage Center Handiham System

 <http://www.handiham.org/node/700> Screenshot of Jerry Kloss, N0VOE, on 12
TV News

See and hear a story about the Courage Center Handiham System on 12 TV news,
a local system in the Twin Cities. Jerry Kloss, N0VOE, and Pat Tice, WA0TDA,
appear in this news feature.

Story: <http://www.twelve.tv/news/newsitem.aspx?newsid=318&newsitemid=11658>


Video link:

Our thanks to the kind folks at 12 TV for helping us to share the fun of
amateur radio. If you know about a "media hit" or have been involved in a
local news story about ham radio yourself, please share it with us.



SOHO image of sun shows huge sunspot group

SOHO image of sun shows huge sunspot group

Image credit: SOHO

Space Weather News for Feb. 8, 2010 is reporting:

BIG SUNSPOT: The sudden emergence of big sunspot 1045 over the weekend has
caused a sharp uptick in solar activity. The active region has produced
three M-class and almost a dozen C-class solar flares since it appeared on
Saturday. The strongest blast, an M6-class eruption on Feb. 7th, may have
hurled a coronal mass ejection toward Earth. High-latitude sky watchers
should be alert for auroras in the nights ahead as a result of this
activity. Also, ham radio operators are picking up strong solar radio bursts
using shortwave receivers. Sample sounds and images may be found at:

 <http://spaceweather.com> http://spaceweather.com

In the "for-what-it's-worth" department, this sunspot group was so large
that I could easily pick it out on the Windows 7 desktop solar gadget, even
though the solar disk displayed in the sidebar is tiny. Now we're getting
somewhere with Cycle 24! I'll be listening for more HF radio openings,
especially on 10 meters here at the WA0TDA ham shack!

Do you hear the bands opening above 14 MHz? Send me an email and I'll get
your comments in the weekly e-letter.

Patrick Tice
Handiham Manager

Other resources:

Get the latest high-definition SOHO image directly from NASA's SOHO site:

Story credit: www.spaceweather.com


Audio Described Tour of the Space Shuttle Mid-deck

Astronaut in EVA orbit

From Handiham Radio Club President Ken Silberman, KB3LLA:

Troy Cline of the Goddard Space Flight Center Sun-Earth Day team takes us on
an audio-described tour of the space shuttle mid-deck at:


Our thanks to Ken, KB3LLA, for this interesting link. It reminds me of one
of our California radio camp sessions many years ago, when the Space Shuttle
program was much younger. During radio camp sessions, we would sometimes
plan field trips to interesting attractions nearby. Van, KO6I, knew the
right people to arrange a tour of a full-sized Space Shuttle mockup in a
huge hangar. On the tour, we were able to do a "walk-through" of a full-size
mockup of the shuttle, and our blind Handiham members were able to explore
the equipment "hands-on" to get a better idea of the scope of the exhibit.
There was even a mockup of a proposed International Space Station design.
Remember, this was early on in the shuttle program. It was one of the most
unique and interesting field trips we have ever taken during a radio camp
session. Now, with the Space Shuttle program winding down and the remaining
shuttles being retired to different places for exhibition and to take their
place in history, it is a perfect time to listen to the audio described



Continuous Chest Compression CPR

Ham radio operators are often active in emergency services. In fact,
everyone should know some safety basics, especially those of us who are even
more likely to have a connection with emergency services or be active in
remote locations like Field Day sites. A cardiac arrest means certain death
without the application of CPR. Take a look at this Mayo Clinic video
showing continuous compression CPR, which does not require clearing the
victim's airway and doing rescue breathing. Instead, chest compressions are
used. For our blind members who listen to the audio track of this video, the
description is pretty good. We urge everyone to take a CPR class to get some
professional training and some hands on practice using a mannequin designed
for CPR training. Here is the link to the Mayo Continuous Chest Compression
CPR video with audio (YouTube):



Software hunter

looking through giant magnifying glass, maybe for the perfect software

Your Handiham World software hunter is on the lookout for interesting
amateur radio-related software or any software that is potentially useful in
the ham shack. You can help us hunt down applications that you have located,
tried, or haven't tried but you wish someone would. Send suggestions to Pat,
wa0tda@xxxxxxxx along with your comments and reviews.

Today we will point you to XMLog™, a freeware ham radio logging program from
W1ECT. I have used XMLog before, and have found it easy to install and
learn. The XMLog website is kept up to date, and the software gets the
Software Hunter's recommendation for both blind and sighted users.  Among
its features are:

*       Logbook of the World support 
*       Free, but donations accepted 
*       Easy to install and use 
*       Small file size  
*       Not a resource hog 
*       XMLog news group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/xmlog available to
give users a forum for questions and discussion. 
*       Available at http://www.xmlog.com/  


This week @ HQ

ARRL Diamond logo

We have finished reading the March, 2010 QST audio digest for our blind

Handiham members who use adapted audio can log in to members only for the
digest. If you qualify for National Library Service audio books, you can get
the entire issue of QST, once the issue is read and cataloged. I appreciate
the ARRL and all of its services, but one thing I look for with special
interest is the Annual Antenna Issue of QST.  The March issue is that very
one, devoted to antennas and antenna topics. Those of you who are ARRL
members and who get QST will find an article that I recommend on page 30:
"An Experimental Look at Ground Systems for HF Verticals" by Rudy Severns,
N6LF. Among the most comment questions we get at Handihams are ones related
to vertical antennas and ground radial systems.  Rudy's excellent article
will answer those questions for you. 


·         Radio Camp applications are out in the mail.  It will be much
easier and cheaper to travel to camp, since our new location at Camp Courage
will allow you to travel by air, Greyhound or Jefferson Lines bus, or
AMTRAK, and there will not be an expensive final leg of the journey to
Bemidji as in past years. 

·         14.305 MHz will be our proposed 20 m net frequency. All stations
are asked to monitor this frequency throughout the day preferably afternoon
and evening, and suggest a time to run the net. Email me at wa0tda@xxxxxxxx
and put "20 meter net" in the subject line.

·         Shipping address for Handihams: Our shipping address is different
than our mailing address, though we can still get packages and mail at
either address. The thing is, it is much, much easier if packages, such as
equipment donations, are send directly to our headquarters office. This is
the same address where Radio Camp will be held. 


Camp Courage
Handiham System
8046 83rd Street Northwest
Maple Lake, MN 55358-2454 

The phone at the main Camp Courage office for all departments is (320)
963-3121. However, we do not always get phone messages left at that number
in a timely manner, so if you wish to leave a phone message, be sure to

Pat: 763-520-0511

Nancy: 763-520-0512 

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"

Minnesota Radio Camp dates for 2010, Camp Courage:

Arrive Friday, May 21. 
Class days: Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.
VE Exam Day: Thursday. Volunteer Examiners arrive in the morning to visit
with campers and eat breakfast together with campers, volunteers, and staff.
Depart Friday, May 28.

Cost of Radio Camp: The cost of Radio Camp depends on your ability to pay,
so anyone can afford to attend. Ask for an application.

·         Camp Courage is west of Minneapolis. The address is 8046 83rd St
NW, Maple Lake, MN‎ 55358.

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

·         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 1-866-426-3442.


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 user name 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.

Volunteers, get your hours in through VOLLI. You may also submit volunteer
hours to Nancy at
 <mailto:hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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. 

Echolink net news

Wednesday evenings the Handiham Echolink net is on the air. Please join us
and check in or simply listen in, as you see fit. We are on the air
Wednesday evenings at 19:30 hours Minnesota time (7:30 PM) or GMT: Thursday
morning at 01:30 Z.

Daily except Sunday at 11:00 hours Minnesota time (17:00 GMT)


·         145.450 MHz N0BVE repeater (Minneapolis-St. Paul)

·         *HANDIHAM* Node 494492 (Our preferred high-capacity node.)

·         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.

Supporting Handihams

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 Nancy at: 1-866-426-3442 or
email: 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.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
<http://www.handiham.org/> 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.


·         By wa0tda at 02/10/2010 - 21:42 

·         Login
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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, 10 February 2010 - Patrick Tice