[handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 17 April 2013

  • From: Patrick Tice <wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2013 13:33:06 -0500

*Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday,
17 April 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:

Download the 40 kbs MP3 audio to your portable player:

Get this podcast in iTunes:

RSS feed for the audio podcast if you use other podcasting software:
*Welcome to Handiham World.*When accurate information is hard to come by

Image: File photo of man operating an HF station*

When last week's tragic events unfolded at the Boston Marathon, video of
the explosions near the finish line appeared within minutes. After that, we
all knew that something bad had happened, but that we would have to be
patient and wait for more information.

*Or did we?*

In the minutes and hours following the explosions, theories and outright
nonsensical speculation began flying around everywhere. The likely suspect
was injured in the blast and was being detained at the hospital. Cellular
phones had been shut off at the request of authorities in order to prevent
them from being used to explode more devices. Several unexploded devices
were found and could be used as forensic evidence. The problem with all of
these "facts" was that they were all untrue. However, that did not stop
people from using them to speculate even further and even draw erroneous

One thing people don't appreciate about the science of criminal
investigation is the absolute necessity of keeping an open mind.
Preconceived notions and hastily drawn conclusions usually lead down a
wrong and time-wasting path. Careful criminal investigations begin with
known facts – provable through evidence. It is certainly understandable
that after an event like an explosion, everyone wants information about the
cause, any possible casualties, and the status of the investigation. By
their nature events like this are unexpected and therefore organizing a
response takes time. An experienced investigator will focus on what is
actually known, not what television reporters might be speculating on as
they do voiceovers while showing video of the scene.

I urge you to take a few minutes to read an excellent story about the
Amateur Radio response as volunteer operators participated in
communications for the Boston Marathon this past Monday. You will find it
on the ARRL website, entitled "Radio Amateurs Provide Communications
Support in Boston Marathon Bombings". The story points out that over 200
operators were volunteering to provide communications support as is
normally expected in a large public service event like a marathon.

Amateur Radio communications at the event stand in contrast to some of the
wild speculation going on elsewhere. I can't emphasize enough how important
it is to communicate clearly and accurately – skills that are learned
through formal training in public service communication and through
practice and participation in actual events. Rumors and speculation must
not originate within our public service communications system, so we stick
to communicating exactly what is necessary, not embellishing transmissions
with personal opinions.

So, what about that report that the authorities had asked cellular phone
companies to shut down cell phone communications to prevent the use of cell
phones being used to trigger detonations? As I said, it never happened. The
real story, found in the second paragraph of the ARRL piece, explains that
the cell phone systems became overloaded within minutes. Somehow, the word
must have gotten out that cellular service had been "shut down", an
obviously erroneous conclusion to the simple phenomenon of network
overload. As amateur radio operators, we understand that network systems
like cellular have finite traffic capabilities, but the general public –
and that includes people in the media with little technical knowledge – may
very well jump to the wrong conclusion. Even though the cellular service
had not been shut down, the overload did cause disruptions in
communications. This is one of the things we have talked about in amateur
radio emergency preparedness for years. Although cellular service is better
than it has ever been, there are still dead spots in coverage and networks
can become overloaded in an emergency, as they did here in Minnesota years
ago when the Interstate 35 bridge collapsed into the Mississippi River. As
trained communicators providing public service communications support to
served agencies, we cannot afford to fall victim to speculation and
half-truths passed on by the popular media. Stick to the facts, communicate
clearly and repeat what you said when asked to do so, use standard
phonetics when spelling is important, and follow the protocols appropriate
to the event, as you were trained to do.

Read the ARRL story here:

Thanks to ARRL EMA Section Manager Phil Temples, K9HI, for alerting me to
this ARRL story.

Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Handiham Manager
Silent Key: First Handiham Member and A-1 Operator N0YL

We are saddened to hear that Edna Thorson, N0YL, passed away this past
week. "Eddy", as her ham radio friends called her, was the trustee of
Handiham club station W0ZSW for many years. She has quite a history with
Handihams, because she has the distinction of being the very first licensed
Handiham member!  Over the years she handled traffic, achieved Extra Class,
earned awards, and stepped up to the plate as a leader in Amateur Radio and
Handihams. We will miss her inspiring determination and enduring

A story about Eddy is posted along with a photo in her obituary on the
Austin, Minnesota Daily Herald:

[image: cartoon robot with pencil]
Maurice, KD0IKO, sent us an audio article, which is his review of the Super
Antenna MP-1 <http://newsuperantenna.com/>.

[image: MP-1 antenna] [image: KD0IKO and the antenna measuring tool] [image:
The TS-480 on the patio table]
Images courtesy KD0IKO:  The MP-1 set up in the yard, Maurice and the
measuring tool used to adjust the MP-1, and a close-up of the operating
position showing the TS-480 transceiver.


   This antenna sells for around $150 and is designed to be extremely easy
   to carry and deploy.  Maurice set up the antenna along with an HF radio at
   a temporary location on the lawn while visiting a relative. He gives us an
   audio report of the results.

Dick Garey, WA0CAF, reports a new beta release of the free, open-source
screenreader NVDA:

   - http://community.nvda-project.org/blog/NVDA2013.1beta2Released

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 it be the real stumper that will have us scratching
our heads?  Or will he go easy on us and ask a question about impedances
and Smith charts?  I guess we'll just have to tune in and listen!*

*We maintain our nets at 11:00 hours daily relative to Minnesota time.
Daylight Time began on 10 March. 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.  This is one hour earlier than usual if
you are on GMT, as compared with USA standard time. *

*The official and most current net news may be found at:
http://www.handiham.org/nets *
Handiham Booth at Dayton Hamvention®

[image: Hamvention arena showing forest of antennas aand crowd of people.]

It's not too early to remind our readers and listeners that 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:
*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 station

*E1C01 asks, "What is a remotely controlled station?"*

Possible answers are:

A. A station operated away from its regular home location

B. A station controlled by someone other than the licensee

C. A station operating under automatic control

D. A station controlled indirectly through a control link

The correct answer is D: A station controlled indirectly through a control

*Now let's take a look at a related question:*

*E1C06 asks, "Which of the following statements concerning remotely
controlled amateur stations is true?" *

A. Only Extra Class operators may be the control operator of a remote

B. A control operator need not be present at the control point

C. A control operator must be present at the control point

D. Repeater and auxiliary stations may not be remotely controlled

The correct answer is C: A control operator must be present at the control

In discussions about remote control, such as in the operation of the
Handiham remote base stations, the question of whether such operation is
legal sometimes comes up. The FCC does deem remote control to be legal, but
that a licensed control operator must be present at the control point. The
control point does not have to be at the same location as the actual
transmitter.  The transmitter and the control point can be connected by a
wire, such as a phone line, or by an internet connection.  That means that
you could be thousands of miles from the transmitter that you are
controlling. The rules really make no distinction - the control operator
must be present at the control point, whether that point is at the
transmitter site or a great distance away, the key concept being the act of
controlling the radio.  In case you were wondering, it is also legal to
control the Handiham stations from a control point outside the United
States as long as you have the proper license credentials. This means
having a USA license of the proper license class for the bands on which you
wish to operate the station, or that you are licensed in a country with the
necessary operating agreements.

Please e-mail handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx to comment.
This week @ HQThe May
for our blind members is ready for use. More May audio is added as
it becomes available from our volunteer readers. *

   - Our thanks to Bob, N1BLF, Jim, KJ3P, and Ken, W9MJY, for reading this
   month.  Look for these DAISY materials in the members section.
   - Members on the Friday Notify mailing list will receive the link.

*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:

*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 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. 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, KD0LPX, at
763-520-0532 or email him at walt.seibert@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

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
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Email us to subscribe:

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:

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, 17 April 2013 - Patrick Tice