[handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 15 May 2013

  • From: Patrick Tice <wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 15 May 2013 13:08:04 -0500

*Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday,
15 May 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:
http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham.m3u

Download the 40 kbs MP3 audio to your portable player:
http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham.mp3

Get this podcast in iTunes:
<http://www.itunes.com/podcast?id=372422406>
http://www.itunes.com/podcast?id=372422406

RSS feed for the audio podcast if you use other podcasting software:
http://feeds.feedBurner.com/handiham <http://feeds.feedburner.com/handiham>
------------------------------
*Welcome to Handiham World.*See you at Hamvention® this week!

*
Image: A view of the crowd at Hara Arena.*

We will be at Dayton Hamvention® again this year, and we would like you to
stop by and visit us at booth 330 in the Silver Arena. The dates are May
17-19, 2013. The theme at Dayton this year is "DX Hamvention®".  We always
have a couple of extra chairs at the Handiham booth, so you can sit down
while you visit.  We may put you to work telling others about Handihams!
If you use a wheelchair or a scooter, there will be room for you to pull
into the booth area out of traffic in the aisle.  We always place our table
back to allow for a nice, open area that can accommodate our members and
their service dogs. See you there!  Learn more about the show:
http://www.hamvention.org/

*If you stop by to see us, we would appreciate your help at the booth.
Help us tell the Handiham story!*

Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Handiham Manager
------------------------------
What can you expect at Dayton?

[image: 7-element 2 meter Yagi antenna mounted on the back of a Ford van]
*Image:  Here's a rotatable 7-element  2 meter Yagi antenna mounted on the
back of a Ford van. I found this in the parking lot of the hotel.*

[image: A rotor mounted on a receiver hitch]*
Image: Here's what turns that beam:  A rotor mounted on a receiver hitch.*

[image: A forest of antennas rises in the HARA Arena parking lot, which is
taken over by the outdoor flea market.]
*Image: A forest of antennas rises in the HARA Arena parking lot, which is
taken over by the outdoor flea market. *

[image: A cutaway view on the Kenwood TS-590S transceiver.]
*Image: A cutaway view on the Kenwood TS-590S transceiver.  A clear plastic
top cover exposes the inner workings of this popular radio at the Kenwood
booth.*

[image: John, N0BFJ, and Hap, KC9RP, in a recording session for The RAIN
Report.]
*Image: John, N0BFJ, and Hap, KC9RP, in a recording session for The RAIN
Report. *

You never know what you are going to run into at Dayton, and I don't just
mean at HARA Arena, the official Hamvention® site. Before the show, traffic
on the Interstate highway system starts to include more vehicles with call
letter license plates and multiple antennas. The closer you get to Hara
Arena, the greater the odds of being near one or more fellow hams on the
freeway. Radio traffic picks up on designated simplex frequencies and local
repeaters in states like Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio.  Traffic picks up on
HF nets like MIDCARS.  At the hotels around Dayton, you will certainly run
into many of your fellow hams.  The hotel parking lots are full of callsign
license plates. People have to eat, so restaurant parking lots are another
good place to spot callsign license plates from all over the country.
Traffic converges on HARA and setup commences.  Then the show is underway
and the roads are full of vehicles sporting antennas, most packed with
several eager attendees economizing on transportation. Some drive motor
homes and make a camping tip out of it!

Checking in requires the purchase of a 2013 identification badge.  The
Dayton Amateur Radio Association has been doing this for so long that the
system is pretty efficient.  Soon you are in one of the many exhibit spaces
or heading for the conference rooms for a scheduled talk on a topic of
interest.  The sheer size of the convention property with its many
different buildings and rooms requires a guidebook, and you are given one
along with the identification badge, so you can find everything you want to
see instantly!

Ha, ha, No - I am joking about that.  Even with the guide there is no way
to figure out where everything is without first getting your bearings and
then looking up the vendors you want to visit first.  This is not a point A
to point B type of journey.  HARA Arena is a sprawling complex - and I must
say that "complex" is the perfect word here.  This means that you are not
likely to spot the place you want to be and then make a beeline for it.  It
is more like planning a route through a neighborhood full of ice cream
shops when you really like ice cream, if you get my drift.  No matter how
singular your determination to get across one huge room to get to the next
one and your ultimate goal, you are going to pass by many, many, *many *booths
full of really interesting stuff. Some of it is stuff you didn't even know
you needed until you came across it while trying to find something else.

But of course that's not all.  You are also going to meet other hams you
know or whose callsigns ring a bell.  Soon you are having an eyeball QSO
and have forgotten what you were looking for in the first place. I have
often run into people who live nearby me in Minnesota, but it takes
Hamvention to get us both into the same place on the planet at the same
time!

You might want to check out the outdoor flea market before the heat of the
day.  The HARA Arena parking lot is enormous and a large part of it is
given over to temporary avenues of tents, vehicles, tables, and tarps -
anything you can sell something from is there.  Some vendors just back up
the van or SUV to the "street" in the lot and sell right from there, with
maybe a folding table or two.  Others are big businesses with huge tents
full of parts and tools. Some guys are selling their old gear, hoping to
turn a few bucks that can add to the new rig fund. Others have specialty
items or services of interest to amateur radio operators.

All that walking and shopping can tire you out, so it's best to pace
yourself and take in some of the excellent presentations on topics ranging
from operating to the highly technical and innovative. Lunch at one of the
food vendors scattered around the property is always an option. If you
happen to be out in the flea market, you'll find grilled food available.
Mmmmm.

People watching is fun anytime, but it's especially fun at a hamfest as big
as this one. Some attendees go all out, walking around with portable HF
stations and tall antennas, special hats spiked with antennas, and regalia
reminiscent of a tailgate party at a sports event. A perennial attendee is
the now world-famous "helmet cam" operated by Tom, W5KUB.

[image: helmetcam operated by Tom, W5KUB]
*Image: An early picture of the helmet cam.  The new URL is
http://w5kub.com. <http://w5kub.com/>*

*You can tune into a live video feed from Hamvention.  In fact, here's your
invitation from Tom himself:*

*It's time again for the W5KUB.com <http://w5kub.com/> world-wide broadcast
of Hamvention. This is our 11th year to broadcast. After 34 years outside
in the flea market, W5KUB.com had moved inside the building for Hamvention,
Space SA302. Our live broadcast begins on Wednesday May 15th at 8:00 AM
Central time as we broadcast the 550 mile drive from Memphis to Dayton
live. The broadcast will be up Thursday as we show various vendors setting
up. Then comes the show Friday through Sunday. As in the past, we will be
giving out thousands of dollars of ham prizes to our viewers. Join in on
the fun at W5KUB.com chat room and talk directly to us or other hams around
the world. Last year we had 47,300 viewers follow us during this trip. See
you soon when the fun starts. Tom, W5KUB*

Finally, when it's time to pack your bags and head home, you had better
have room for the goodies you added to your collection.  I have heard tales
of hams who thought they could fit all of the stuff they bought into the
trunk of a small sedan.  This is not usually a problem, but when you are
riding with a couple other hams and everyone has bought something... Well,
suffice it to say that the major dealers at the show will ship that new
radio directly to your home so it doesn't have to be shoehorned into the
back of the Corolla.

I hope to see you at Hamvention 2013!
------------------------------
Bulletin Board

[image: cartoon robot with pencil]
WA0CAF likes several articles this week:

   - Window-Eyes Webinar
Training<http://www.gwmicro.com/Training/Webinar_Training/>
   - DAISY news right from the DAISY Consortium<http://www.daisy.org/daisy-news>
   - NVDA new 
release<http://community.nvda-project.org/blog/NVDA2013.1rc2Released>

Congrats to EMA SM Phil Temples, K9HI, for top billing in this week's ARRL
ARES E-Letter:

   - The May 2013 Eastern Massachusetts Section
News<http://ema.arrl.org/node/1994>featured Phil's story on the tragic
events at the Boston Marathon on
   Patriot's Day. Today's ARRL ARES E-Letter, edited by Rick Palm, K1CE,
   featured Phil's story to lead off the issue. You can subscribe to the
   ARES E-Letter at ARRL.org if you are an ARRL
member.<http://www.arrl.org/ares-e-letter>

Computer happiness!

[image: The WA0TDA ham shack computer, opened up on the table after just
getting a new hard drive.]
*Image: The homebrew ham shack computer at WA0TDA croaked but was brought
back to life with a brand-new 2 terabyte Seagate hard drive this past
weekend.  Here you see it on the test bench (our laundry room table)
booting up to the start screen, a welcome sight for sure!  The cover is off
the computer's case for this stage of testing.  It turned out to be
necessary to disconnect a second DVD burner to get the boot sequence
correct after all of the data got transferred to the new drive.  Why?  Who
knows?  But it is one of those things that always seems to crop up in any
hardware project.  In fact, you would have to be a rank newbie at this
stuff to actually put the cover back on before you made sure everything was
actually working.  Nothing brings Murphy out faster than tightening every
last screw on the cover and hooking everything back up before running that
final test!  By the way, the path to computer happiness is paved with
regular backups of your data and a strategy to replace it if something goes
wrong. *

   - Should we discuss backup strategies and computer repairs in future
   editions of your weekly e-letter?  Everyone has computers these days and
   heaven knows they are a must-have in the ham shack, so maybe it's time to
   spill a little digital ink on the subject.

------------------------------
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.  A big THANK YOU to all of our
net control stations!  What will Doug, N6NFF, come up with for his trivia
question tonight? Will  I guess we'll just have to tune in and listen!*

*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 *
------------------------------
What is your plan for ham radio in the summer?

Yesterday it was 98 degrees F here in the Twin Cities, an astonishing
turnaround from May 2nd, when we had almost 4 inches of snow.

   - We have a definite "antenna season" here in Minnesota, and I think it
   may have finally arrived.  This is the time to plan those antenna repairs
   and projects, early in the good weather months when the snow has finally
   melted and the ground is soft enough to bury feedlines and radial wires,
   plant ground rods, or dig holes for antenna supports. I have several
   antenna projects planned every spring but I don't always get around to
   finishing them.
   - The 4th full weekend in June is ARRL Field Day.  That means in 2013 we
   are looking at the weekend of June 22-23. If you can participate in a Field
   Day event near you, I know you will enjoy it and learn something at the the
   same time. The Handiham affiliated Stillwater Amateur Radio
Association<http://www.radioham.org/>will hold its Field Day in the
convenient and wheelchair accessible Autumn
   Hills Park, Oak Park Heights, MN. Visitors and guest ops are welcome!
   - Many of us travel for some kind of summer vacation.  Do you?  If so,
   what are your plans for ham radio while on the road or at the campground,
   hotel, resort, or wherever you happen to be?  Some of us have never
   completely embraced mobile HF operation but have tried portable-mobile
   operation, a variation where you bring along your mobile HF station but do
   not actually deploy an antenna and get on their air until you stop for a
   break or get to that day's destination. This allows for a longer wire
   antenna to be set up, and that usually works better than a vehicle-mounted
   HF vertical.
   - On the other hand, VHF/UHF mobile operation is much more manageable
   antenna-wise.  Most of us have at least some kind of VHF FM transceiver
   along for the ride, and we also pack an HT.  Don't forget the ARRL Repeater
   Directory.
   - A smartphone can be used to check into the Handiham net as long as you
   have the Echolink app installed.  Be sure to get everything configured
   before your travels, and that includes adding *HANDIHAM* to your favorites.
   The default connection to the Echolink servers is "Relay", and we recommend
   that as the best choice while you are on the road.  You can also choose a
   "Public Proxy" if Relay does not work.
   - Are you an early riser?  Check out the Handiham remote base stations
   on 75 meters before sunrise in Minnesota, which right now is at 5:41 AM
   here in the Twin Cities at W0ZSW.  You will hear stations across the
   continent until the rising sun increases absorption and stirs up
   thunderstorms with their static crashes. (Sunrise is at 5:42 AM in Lake
   George in Northern MN, where W0EQO is located.)
   - Are you ready for a summertime communications emergency? Just sayin' -
   it can happen anytime.  Summer storms can be sudden and destructive,
   industrial accidents can happen anytime, and being ready is something we
   should just plan for!
   - Your radio club may take a summer break, as mine does. I don't have to
   get a newsletter out for the club during the summer, but I'll still keep
   collecting stories and photos over the summer for publication in September,
   when the newsletter resumes.
   - Are you out and about more in the summer?  I don't mean for vacation;
   you know - just spending more time outdoors, away from the ham shack.  I
   like to grab an HT when I walk my dog Jasper.  I can listen to Minnesota
   Public Radio while also monitoring a local repeater frequency.  If there is
   activity on the repeater, the radio preempts the FM broadcast station to
   let me hear what's going on. It's an easy way to stay connected to your ham
   radio friends on the local repeater while keeping a relatively low
   profile.  The new handheld radios are so small and convenient that they are
   very easy to take along while you are out and about.
   - The Handiham remote HF stations are also waiting in the wings while
   you travel, even if you only travel out to the patio with a class of
   lemonade and a laptop computer.  Check into a net or tune around and listen
   to the bands while enjoying the outdoors. The basement ham shack will still
   be there in the winter when you need it!
   - Speaking of which, you can put your own HF station on your local
   wireless network and remote control it from anywhere in the house or out on
   the deck or patio.  How about that for a summer project?  Ham Radio
   Deluxe <http://www.hrdsoftwarellc.com/> or the W4MQ
software<http://handiham.org/remotebase/>,
   or another rig control program... it's your choice!

------------------------------
*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 ground wave
propagation:*

E3C13 asks: What type of polarization is best for ground-wave propagation?

Possible answers are:

A. Vertical

B. Horizontal

C. Circular

D. Elliptical

If you chose A: Vertical, you are right.  A vertical antenna does
noticeably better on ground wave propagation than a horizontal wire
antenna.  In fact, my 26 foot tall Butternut vertical that is not even
tuned to operate on the 160 meter band sometimes has a clearer received
signal on that band than a much longer horizontal wire!  This happens when
the station I am receiving is close enough to me for the signal to be
arriving directly from the transmitting antenna to my vertical without sky
wave propagation. Instead, the signal travels close to the ground and does
not bounce off a layer of the ionosphere.  Choosing the right antenna for
the contact can make a big difference.  In fact, it can be such a profound
difference that one antenna will produce an excellent signal while another
will barely eke out a signal above the noise.  I have tested this on
numerous occasions.  A vertical antenna that is ground-mounted and has a
good radial field will have a low angle of radiation, and that puts more
signal low to the ground, which is perfect for ground wave propagation.
This also works for receiving! Could the superior ground wave
characteristics of vertical antennas be the reason they are universally
chosen for AM broadcast band antenna farms?  Think about it:  A commercial
AM broadcast station wants to put a solid signal into its ground-wave
footprint, which is where its listening audience will patronize local
advertisers.  There is not much traction in trying to get a signal out
beyond that local area via sky wave. In fact, when sky wave conditions are
best (at night), AM stations sometimes change their transmit pattern or
power level to avoid interference to other stations outside their service
area.  This is a case where ground wave is definitely preferred!

Please e-mail handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx to comment.
*
------------------------------
This week @ HQThe Handiham office is closed for Dayton Hamvention from
Wednesday afternoon through Sunday, May 19.

   - I will be unavailable for contact by phone or email during that time,
   except for emergencies. The schedule at Hamvention is a jam-packed one, and
   I know from experience that there will not be time to do much of my regular
   work. There will be some prep and travel time both before and after the
   show, so that will limit my time as well.
   - I sure hope you will continue to check into the daily Handiham nets
   and use the Handiham website to study for your license or upgrade.
   - The Handiham Remote Base stations will remain available to you as
   usual.
   - If I am able to get out into the flea market at net time, I will check
   in and say hello.

Countdown to the Allina-Courage Center merger:*

   - Did you know that our parent organization, Courage Center, is merging
   with Allina Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute this Spring?  Of course
   you did, you read it here:

   
http://www.couragecenter.org/ContentPages/partnershipagreementannouncement.aspx
   - The formal merger will take place in June, so we have been busy
   preparing.  This has included planning meetings, special training in new
   systems, and working together with our colleagues to make sure that
   everything proceeds as smoothly as possible. I will update you on some of
   the changes in upcoming newsletters. There will be differences in how you
   pay your Handiham membership dues, for example. We are excited about the
   new partnership between these two respected non-profits that will help us
   serve our communities and Handiham members better.

*The May DAISY <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DAISY_Digital_Talking_Book>digest
for our blind members is ready for use.
*

   - Our thanks to Bob, N1BLF, Jim, KJ3P, and Ken, W9MJY, for reading this
   month.  Look for these DAISY materials in the members section.
<http://handiham.org/drupal2/user>
   - There is no Friday Notify mailing this week.

*New! The Icom IC-706M2G manual read by volunteer Lyle Koehler, K0LR, is in
the manuals section in DAISY format. As with our other DAISY offerings, the
book is in a single zip file that may be downloaded and unzipped to your
computer for transfer to an NLS player or other compatible DAISY reading
device.  I have a report from a DAISY device user that the manual is very
good and easy to navigate.Radio Camp application packets are still
available.  *

*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:
http://www.handiham.org/nets

*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:
$2.50

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

The Library of Congress NLS has a list of vendors for the digital
cartridges:
http://www.loc.gov/nls/cartridges/index.html

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
1-866-426-3442.

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.

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:
hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

That's it for this week. 73 from all of us at the Courage Handiham System!
Pat, WA0TDA
Manager, Courage Handiham System
Reach me by email at:
handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Nancy, Handiham Secretary:
hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


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, 15 May 2013 - Patrick Tice