[handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 12 June 2013

  • From: Patrick Tice <wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2013 14:56:40 -0500

*Courage Kenny Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 12
June 2013*

This is a free weekly news & information update from Courage Kenny 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.

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*Welcome to Handiham World.*

[image: Allina Health Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute logo]

The pages are flying by on the calendar!  ARRL Field Day is coming up the
weekend after next.

Of course Field Day preparations should be underway by now, but there is a
lot of competition for time. Father's Day is next Sunday, June 16th. School
is out for the summer in most places.  Everyone in anxious to get outdoors
and have fun.

I'm just grateful for the members of my local ham radio club, the Stillwater
Amateur Radio Association <http://www.radioham.org/>, for planning the club
Field Day in an accessible location where our members with disabilities can
participate if they wish. One of our projects is to consolidate equipment
in such a way as to be easily stored and transported, then deployed in the
field. We hope to test this at Field Day and use the same idea for this
summer's Handiham Radio Camp.

Thinking of how setup went in years past at various Field Days, I have to
admit that keeping things organized was not always easy.  Several people
will usually bring their own equipment.  Sometimes pieces of gear and
accessories get moved from one operating position to the next.  When the
dust settles and the event is over, it can be hard to sort out which gear
goes where as packing begins for the trip home.  Another problem is
storage.  When the equipment is brought out of storage and readied for
deployment, what if a vital power cable, microphone, or instruction manual
isn't packed with the radio?  What if rodents or moisture have damaged it?
Is there a container to hold the entire station and if so is it easily
transported?  It doesn't do much good if it takes four people to lift it!

We think that the solution is to have self-contained separate stations
packed in single-station containers.  Each container would hold at least
the following basic items and would have its own inventory check list:

HF Station Container:


   HF Radio

   Power cables


   Instruction manual

   Switching power supply

VHF/UHF Station Container:


   VHF/UHF radio

   Power cables


   Instruction manual

   Switching power supply

HF Antenna Container:


   One or more coiled HF wire antennas

   Antenna tuner(s)

   Coax jumpers and cables

   Spare insulators

   Nonconductive rope or support cable

   Spare connectors (including barrel connectors for coax)

Accessory Container:



   Antenna analyzer

   Extra small batteries

   Hookup wire and electrical tape

   Spare or replacement microphones

   Morse code equipment

   Small Field Tool Kit

   ...And things we haven't thought of yet!

As you might expect, there are different theories as to how this can best
be put together.  One idea that shows promise is to use rolling food
coolers as station containers.  Since the typical modern station is pretty
compact, most everything necessary can fit in one of these handy coolers
that rolls on its own built-in wheels.  Just pull up the telescoping handle
and roll your gear where it needs to be like a piece of luggage at the
airport.  In fact, for larger stations a piece of actual rolling luggage
might be just the ticket!

Another approach is to build a custom wood box.  This would provide a more
rugged long-term storage solution and still keep everything together. On
the other hand, wood is heavier to transport. A two-wheeled moving cart
would be necessary.

Tried and found wanting are those thin, brittle plastic storage bins that
you see at big box retailers.  Sure, we have used them at radio camp for
years, but they have some serious disadvantages. They break easily and they
are big enough to be unwieldy to carry.  They don't have wheels and it is
easy (because of their shape) to strain one's back while trying to lift
them.  They are good for storing and even transporting small lightweight
items, but they are not up to the rigorous demands of holding an HF station.

One thing for sure is that Field Day is nearly upon us and we will be
testing the rolling cooler design for sure, since that is ready right now.
We hope that what we learn from Field Day can be used at Camp Courage at
the end of July when Radio Camp setup calls for organization and

Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Courage Kenny Handiham Coordinator
VE Manual Gets the DAISY Treatment

Recently a Handiham member upgraded to Extra and told me he was interested
in volunteering in the VE program.  He wondered if the ARRL VE Manual was
available in audio format.  We used to have a VE Manual in audio.  It was
recorded by Bob Zeida, N1BLF, but that was the 2002 edition and it was no
longer acceptable as a tool to prepare new volunteers.  A text version of a
2009 manual is available on our website, but even the 2009 edition has been
freshened up this year.  I decided that I'd take a closer look at the new
2013 version by Rick Palm, K1CE and
Maria Somma, AB1FM.  The latest version is called "VE Manual Web FINAL
2013.pdf", and I want to point this out because there are other links on
ARRL.org that point to the older 2008 version.

To make sure you go to the right version, please follow this link:

Once I determined that this PDF was the correct one, I downloaded it and
quickly confirmed that it contains the embedded text that will make it
screenreader accessible for blind users. I decided that the VE Manual would
be a good candidate for conversion to DAISY format, which would make it
playable as a navigable book on National Library Service players and other
DAISY-capable devices used by our blind members.

My DAISY conversion tool of choice for text to DAISY is Microsoft Word
2010.  In this screenshot, you can see the structure of the DAISY book in
the left pane, while the current page of text is on the right.

[image: Screenshot of ARRL VE Manual in Microsoft Word.]

The next step after opening the PDF is to save the file in text.  Once that
is done, you are free to open the text file using Microsoft Word.

Now the fun begins!  A plain text document has almost no formatting.  You
might think that is good if you want to use a screenreader to read a book,
but it is not so good for what is going to become a DAISY book. There is
virtually no navigation structure in a single big text file, so the main
work to be done is to go through the entire document and decide how to
build the navigational structure of the book.  This will allow a user to
scroll through sections of the book to select exactly what they want to
review.  Without a navigation structure the book is just a big chapter of
text with everything lumped together.  No one wants to listen to the entire
book just to find one small part about a topic like "Maintaining Your
Accreditation". It is much better if the book contains a heading that takes
you right to that part of the text. Adding these headings is essential but
time-consuming.  It took me several tries, and it still isn't perfect - but
it's not bad, either!  This part of the DAISY production process is the
most difficult and time-consuming.  Fortunately Word 2010 includes easy to
use hierarchical headings.

[image: Screenshot of Word 2010 heading formats]

The next step is to save the document that you have carefully edited and
begin looking for tables.  Tables do not translate well from PDF to text,
and what comes out after the conversion usually makes no sense at all.

Here is an example:

Anyone who holds the appropriate operator class license is eligible to
submit questions to the NCVEC QPC. The requirements [97.507(a)] are:
To Submit For:
Must Hold:
Element 2 (Technician)
General or higher
Element 3 (General)
Advanced or higher
Element 4 (Extra)

And here is the modified version after I have rearranged it:

Anyone who holds the appropriate operator class license is eligible to
submit questions to the NCVEC QPC. The requirements [97.507(a)] are:

To Submit For: Element 2 Must Hold: (Technician) General or higher
To Submit For: Element 3 Must Hold: (General) Advanced or higher
To Submit For: Element 4 Must Hold: (Extra) Extra

Better, isn't it?

This is most efficiently completed as one goes through the text building
the navigation headings, but it is also time-consuming.  A person reading a
PDF with a screenreader is all too familiar with the challenges of figuring
out tables!  I decided that only select tables with be interpreted this way
and that I would not take the (considerable) time necessary to convert the
various forms that are included as part of the book. Because of the design,
you are better off simply referring to the originals.  However, the text is
included - just be aware of the formatting issues.

Once you are satisfied with the book as it appears in Word, you are ready
to export it to DAISY.  You will need a DAISY add-in for Word 2010:


This feature is also discussed on the Microsoft Office

My choice is to save the book in full DAISY format.  This is going to
produce a navigable book that plays on NLS players and contains all
associated audio and text. There is a Save as DAISY tutorial on the

Saving the book requires a significant amount of computer time and
processing power.  I don't recommend even trying this on an older,
under-resourced machine. My computer is a home-built quad-core and I still
have to set the process in motion and go do something else (like have
dinner) while it works.  I've been experimenting with the Save to DAISY
feature for years with older versions of Word.  The process has a steep
learning curve, and there are pitfalls, such as failed validations that can
dump the whole translation process. You have to be patient and expect to
make mistakes. You have to be willing to comb through internet resources to
help you learn.  The output quality of the newest process in Word 2010 is
worth it, though.  Please take some time to download and try this new beta
DAISY book.  You will find the 74 MB zip file here:

*ARRL VE Manual 2013 Handiham
Bulletin Board

[image: cartoon robot with pencil]
Active-Elements to the rescue with accessible TMV-71 manual:

*Recently a member asked me where a copy of the manual for the Kenwood
TMV-71A might be found.  Here is my response:*

Why not take a look at the excellent manual for the TMV-71E (European
version) that is available on the active-elements website? It is very
similar to the American one, but of course you have to pay attention to the
frequency band differences. I think they also cover the "A" (American)
version.  Here is the link to the zip file that you can download:


In that folder you will find 42 mp3 audio files.

N3AIN likes having his computer backed up:

A few weeks ago, your article on backing up really hit home. A while ago I
tried a demo of a screen reader called Supernova. It's manufactured by a
company from England called Dolphin. The computer I tried this on already
had Jaws installed on it. After installing Supernova, Jaws no longer came
up speaking on boot-up even though I told it to in settings. I still didn't
think this was a problem since all I would have to do to fix that would be
to un-install Supernova.

Boy, was I wrong!

Nothing I did from that point on including completely removing both Jaws,
Supernova and all registry keys and re-installing Jaws would fix the
problem. As a last resort, I decided to run my full external backup. Upon
trying this, I discovered it didn't show up even though I knew it was on
the external drive. At that point I felt the only thing I could do to fix
things would be to re-install Windows from scratch, something I surely
didn't want to do. In disgust I left things go for a few days. It was then
that I looked at my boot disk and found it to be defective. This is why my
backup wouldn't show up in restore. I created another boot disk, ran the
backup and things returned to normal.

Backing up is so important. I'm glad I had one.

73 - N3AIN, Joe

Handiham Nets are on on the air.

[image: TMV71A transceiver]

*We are scheduled to be on the air daily at 11:00 USA Central Time, plus
Wednesday & Thursday evenings at 19:00 USA Central Time.  A big THANK YOU
to all of our net control stations!  What will Doug, N6NFF, come up with
for his trivia question tonight?  I guess we'll just have to tune in and
listen!  Tune in and see how you do with the question this week, or just
check in to say hello. *

*We maintain our nets at 11:00 hours daily relative to Minnesota time.
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.  *

*The official and most current net news may be found at:
http://www.handiham.org/nets *
*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 a VE session:

E1E10 asks, "What must the administering VEs do after the administration of
a successful examination for an amateur operator license?"

Possible answers are:

A. They must collect and send the documents to the NCVEC for grading

B. They must collect and submit the documents to the coordinating VEC for

C. They must submit the application document to the coordinating VEC
according to the coordinating VEC instructions

D. They must collect and send the documents to the FCC according to

Most of us have been to VE sessions before.  What do you think is the
correct answer?  If you chose C - They must submit the application document
to the coordinating VEC according to the coordinating VEC instructions, you
are correct. Remember that the exam is graded by the VE team on the spot,
so all candidates will know whether they have passed or failed.  I think
the last thing the FCC would ever want to see again is a bunch of exams to

Please e-mail handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx to comment.
This week @ HQW0EQO back on line*

The remote base HF station at Courage North, W0EQO, had been off the air
nearly a week following some networking projects up there.  W0EQO has
returned to service after the problem was traced to a bad LAN cable. Our
thanks to troubleshooter extraordinaire Bill Jones, N0CIC. The station will
be ready for Field Day!!!  W0ZSW has been on line aside from minor
maintenance outages for updates.
Merger news

*As we mentioned, Courage Center has merged with Allina Sister Kenny
Rehabilitation Institute.  The new organization is Courage Kenny
Rehabilitation Institute, which combines these two respected nonprofits. *

   - The formal merger took place on Saturday on June 1, 2013. Maybe in
   another year I will answer the phone correctly with the new name!

*The June 2013 
for our blind members is ready for use, and...

   - CQ for June is now available for our blind members in the DAISY
   - QCWA Journal for JUNE 2013 has been added today in MP3. QCWA members
   may also access this audio from the QCWA website <http://www.qcwa.org/>.
   Just follow the link in the page header.
   - Our thanks to Bob, N1BLF, Jim, KJ3P, and Ken, W9MJY, for reading this
   month.  Look for these DAISY materials in the members section.

*Almost last call!  Radio Camp application packets are still available.  *

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.

*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 Program Coordinator 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 Kenny Handiham Program 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.

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 Kenny Handihams!
Coordinator, Courage Kenny Handiham Program
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, 12 June 2013 - Patrick Tice