[handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 17 March 2010

  • From: "Patrick Tice" <wa0tda@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2010 15:18:07 -0500

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
the end, or simply email handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

You can also listen to the content online:

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Welcome to Handiham World!

Pat, WA0TDA, in green for St. Patrick's Day
Photo: Pat, WA0TDA, with microphone, sports a green T-shirt, green beads,
and a green screen background for St. Patrick's Day.  Hey, if Chicago can
dye a river green, we can do this!

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone. This is the first time in my memory that
the Irish holiday has fallen on the same day as our weekly  newsletter and
podcast, so why not just use it as an excuse for a fun way to start our
weekly column?

I'm not sure if there are any special ham radio events associated with St.
Patrick's Day, but I do know that there are plenty of parades and other
civic events. St. Patrick's Day is always a big deal in cities like Boston,
Massachusetts and St. Paul, Minnesota where there are historical Irish
roots. Any time you have a parade or civic event there is an opportunity for
amateur radio support in the form of communications. While I know of no
amateur radio support for parade activities during today's activities here
in the Twin Cities, amateur radio volunteers do support plenty of other
worthwhile civic events. Marathons, bicycle races, walkathons, and other
types of parades or large events that cover considerable territory are all
candidates for amateur radio communications support.

These types of activities are similar in many ways to the volunteer work
that amateur radio operators do in emergencies. However, there is a
difference in that many of the communications in an event are much more
routine and may be structured in a more informal way than communications in
an emergency where a command structure is set up under very specific
guidelines. In a public service event, which is what these non-emergency
activities are called, your radio club may decide to participate as a group
and call for volunteers. It always helps when public service communicators
have some training and experience, but public service communication may be a
less demanding place to get started than in emergency communications. It all
depends on the event and the person in charge of communications. Some events
are so large and complicated or cover so much territory or have potential
for generating emergency response-style  situations that they may be looking
for volunteers who are more familiar with a structured incident command
system. On the other hand, some events are more easily managed with
semi-formal organization and communication. While good operating practice is
essential for either, you may want to get your feet wet by helping with
communications at one of these smaller events in the realm of public

Good communications basics will include knowing how to identify your
station, including identification by location if that is the most efficient
way to identify and it  is what your group has agreed to do. This is called
a tactical identification. Of course you do still have to use your
FCC-issued callsign periodically as specified by Part 97 rules. A tactical
identification might be something like "rest stop five". At the end of a
series of transmissions and every 10 minutes you do have to use your regular
callsign. There are many other things to learn about public service
communications that will help you learn "on the job" as you gain experience
and work toward being a capable volunteer in ARES, able to handle more
demanding formal communications within an incident command structure.

In many ways, amateur radio is like other learning activities. If you were
to have to learn calculus or how to speak Chinese, you would not begin with
differential equations or interpretation of ancient Chinese texts. You would
instead choose to begin at, well, the beginning! You would start with simple
concepts and easy tasks, practicing and learning incrementally, gaining
knowledge every time you study or practice. Amateur radio is a huge and
complicated activity when you consider all of the different licensing
classes, the many different types of technology, multiple modes of
operation, and extraordinary array of on the air activities. No one expects
you to get your first license and be able to do everything -- and that goes
for being a public service communicator. You need to start at the beginning,
perhaps volunteering at an event like a St. Patrick's Day parade. Don't
forget to wear green, and a reflective vest if you are on the parade route.

For Handiham World, I'm...

Patrick Tice, wa0tda@xxxxxxxx



Handiham Net Update

Handiham Net Update

Photo: Tom, KB0FWQ, talks on an HT to access an Echolink node.

The Handiham Net returns to United States Central Daylight Time. The local
net (Minneapolis time) is at 11:00 am daily except Sunday. The Wednesday
evening net is at 7:30 pm. If you go by GMT, the daily net now meets at
11:00 +5 hours, or 16:00 Z. The Minneapolis evening session is at 00:30 Z
Thursday mornings London time. Look for the HANDIHAM conference on Echolink
worldwide, or 145.450 MHz in the Minneapolis area.


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.

Please send corrections & comments to: wa0tda@xxxxxxxx


Website request form added in recent updates

We have updated the Handiham.org website over the past week.  One important
new feature is the addition of a web form page that allows users to request
things like a Handiham membership or radio camp application packet by mail.
This page is found at:  <http://www.handiham.org/node/729> 

Our thanks to Phil, K9HI, for helping me locate the Drupal webform module
that makes this new page possible.

Other changes are more subtle.  For example, in the members-only section,
users will notice that the link to the Handiham Remote Base station has been
taken out of the main menu and moved into its own position on the page.
This change was made to facilitate remote base access.

Other changes are huge ones, but have hopefully been invisible to our users.
The Drupal core that powers the website has been updated to the most current
non-beta release for better security and functionality. Modules that give
the website its look and feel as well as its special features have also been
updated to the current release versions.

If you encounter a problem with the website, please email me at
wa0tda@xxxxxxxx and explain the problem.  If possible, also include a link
to the page with the problem.  No issue is too big or small, anything from a
spelling mistake to a feature that refuses to work - we want to know about
all of them!


FCC sends national broadband plan to Congress

FCC sends national broadband plan to Congress

Plan Details Actions for Connecting Consumers, Economy with 21st Century

Washington, D.C. -- The Federal Communications Commission has delivered to
Congress a National Broadband Plan setting an ambitious agenda for
connecting all corners of the nation while transforming the economy and
society with the communications network of the future -- robust, affordable

The Plan’s call for action over the next decade includes the following goals
and recommendations:

• Connect 100 million households to affordable 100-megabits-per-second
service, building the world's largest market of high-speed broadband users
and ensuring that new jobs and businesses are created in America.
• Affordable access in every American community to ultra-high-speed
broadband of at least 1 gigabit per second at anchor institutions such as
schools, hospitals, and military installations so that America is hosting
the experiments that produce tomorrow's ideas and industries.
• Ensure that the United States is leading the world in mobile innovation by
making 500 megahertz of spectrum newly available for licensed and unlicensed
• Move our adoption rates from roughly 65 percent to more than 90 percent
and make sure that every child in America is digitally literate by the time
he or she leaves high school.
• Bring affordable broadband to rural communities, schools, libraries, and
vulnerable populations by transitioning existing Universal Service Fund
support from yesterday’s analog technologies to tomorrow’s digital
• Promote competition across the broadband ecosystem by ensuring greater
transparency, removing barriers to entry, and conducting market-based
analysis with quality data on price, speed, and availability.
• Enhance the safety of the American people by providing every first
responder with access to a nationwide, wireless, interoperable public safety

Read more at: 


FCC proposes change in Spread Spectrum automatic power control requirement

FCC proposes change in Spread Spectrum automatic power control requirement

The FCC believes that the public interest will be served by revising the
amateur service rules to eliminate the APC requirement now applicable to
stations transmitting SS emission types. Several other minor changes in the
rules will also be made.

"We also believe that this proposed rule change will allow amateur service
licensees to better fulfill the purpose of the amateur service and will
enhance the usefulness of the amateur service as an experimental service,
while still protecting other users from interference. We therefore seek
comment on the proposed rule change."

Specifically, the NPRM (FCC No. 10-38) states:

"In this item, we propose to amend the Amateur Service rules to facilitate
the use of spread spectrum communications technologies. In this Notice of
Proposed Rule Making and Order (NPRM and Order, respectively), in response
to a petition for rulemaking filed by the American Radio Relay League, Inc.
(ARRL), we propose to eliminate the requirement that amateur stations use
automatic power control (APC) to reduce transmitter power when the station
transmits a spread spectrum (SS) emission, and we propose to reduce the
maximum transmitter power output when transmitting a SS emission. We also
make certain non-substantive revisions to the amateur service rules."

Other changes relate to clarification of Novice & Technician power
limitations, frequency sharing requirements, and simplification of the rules
& regs.

Read the entire Notice of Proposed Rulemaking here:

Word Document:
PDF: http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-10-38A1.pdf
Plain Text:


ARRL: Baby Blindness Pioneer Dr Arnall Patz, ex-W3ECV (SK)

Dr Arnall Patz, ex-W3ECV -- an ophthalmologist who discovered and eliminated
a major cause of blindness in premature infants -- passed away from heart
disease on March 11. He was 89. In 1954, Patz proved that treating premature
babies with pure oxygen could destroy their eyesight. At the time, this was
the most common cause of blindness in premature infants.

Read the rest of this story on the ARRL website:


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.

Last week we told you about  the W4MQ rig control software that is used in
the Handiham Remote Base. This week we learn about a new way to take
Echolink along wherever you go - it's Echolink for the iPhone.

Screenshot of Echolink on Apple App Store
Image: A screenshot of the Echolink "App" at the Apple iTunes App Store.

 Actually, you don't need to be an iPhone user to use the new Echolink
iPhone application. It will also work on an iPod Touch, which uses the same
operating system software. Voiceover, the Apple screen reader system, is
built into the operating system for the iPhone and the iPod Touch. If you
are blind, you can access the Echolink application or other applications by
using this built-in screen reader. The Echolink application itself must be
"purchased" from the Apple App Store. Since the application is free, the
purchase price is zero dollars. IPod and iPhone users will be familiar with
the software called iTunes, which you must install in order to access the
store and synchronize media on your device, whether it is an iPhone or an
iPod touch. Since I am not an iPhone user, I am not familiar with the
accessibility of applications downloadable directly through the iPhone's
built in cellular capability. However, iPhone users will find that it is
possible to use Echolink anywhere that they have cellular phone coverage. If
you have an iPod Touch instead of an iPhone, you can use the Echolink
application wherever there is wireless Internet available. One user told me
that he didn't seem to have to worry about any kind of complicated setup
with port forwarding. Those of us who have installed Echolink on home
computers have all run into the problem of firewalls and port forwarding.
From a distance -- and even up close -- it is hard to tell an iPod Touch
from an iPhone. They are physically the same size and look the same. Since
they are small portable devices, users can now take Echolink portable in a
way that they have never been able to before, except, of course, in the case
of a user with a handheld radio accessing a nearby Echolink repeater system
on the amateur radio frequencies.

If you are interested in finding out more about iTunes, the iPhone, the iPod
Touch, or other Apple products, please visit the Apple website:

If you already have iTunes installed on your computer and own an iPod Touch,
simply connect the iPod to your computer and iTunes will open. You may use
the search function in iTunes to locate the Echolink application.


Solar Update - Sunspot 1054

Solar Update - Sunspot 1054

Giant sunspot group 1054 is slowly rotating away from the earth and at the
same time is decaying and is thus no longer a threat to Earth for any major
solar outbursts. At this time several sunspots are visible on the solar
disk, which is good news for amateur radio operators. We are looking for
better HF propagation conditions as solar cycle 24 develops.


Remote Base returns to service

Remote Base returns to service

Update on Saturday, 13 March 2010: The Handiham Remote Base station W0EQO
has returned to service. The wire antenna had fallen down.

Bill, N0CIC, and Tom, KB0FWQ, got the W0EQO antenna back in the air, and as
of noon today everything seems to be working fine again. It was kind of
strange -- the antenna is supported by black Dacron antenna rope, which is
almost indestructible. But Bill says that it broke just a few feet from the
end of the antenna, where there was no chafing or anything else to interfere
with it. I guess stuff happens!

Lyle, K0LR, Project Engineer

Bill, N0CIC, writes:

I was up to Courage North Friday and fixed the ant. for the remote site. The
ice took down one of the guy ropes. Had to shoot a new line up into the
trees and pull up the antenna.

Please let people on the Handi Ham net know the site is back up.

Bill, N0CIC

Our thanks to Lyle, Tom, and Bill for their work on the remote base station.
Like any other station, it does require maintenance.

We apologize for the inconvenience. 


Waltham ARA Raises Funds for Courage Center Handiham

Waltham ARA Raises Funds for Courage Center Handiham

Submitted by k9hi on Wed, 03/10/2010 - 21:33

Members of the Waltham Amateur Radio Association recently embarked upon a
project to benefit the Courage Center Handiham program, and to honor the
memory of long-time member and Silent Key, Laurie Cote, KC1BN.

A Cote family member contacted Handiham in November, 2009 to inform them
that KC1BN had left a sizeable amount of ham equipment from his estate to
the non-profit organization based in Golden Valley, Minnesota. Handiham's
Manager, Pat Tice, WA0TDA reached out to Eastern MA Handiham volunteer
instructor Phil Temples, K9HI.

Handiham very much appreciated the generous gift from Laurie," explained
Temples. "But the Handiham staff were not easily able to take possession and
liquidate the equipment." That's when Temples thought to approach Laurie's
home club, the Waltham Amateur Radio Association and seek their help.

"I suggested to WA0TDA that it might make sense to enlist the aid of WARA to
sell the equipment from Laurie's estate, retain a portion of the proceeds,
and donate the remainder to the Handiham program. Pat agreed." Temples
added, "I thought it would both honor an organization that Laurie admired,
and afford WARA the opportunity to honor Laurie's memory."

All parties were agreeable, so K9HI presented the idea at a Waltham ARA
meeting in January, 2010. WARA's Vice President, John Flood, KB1FQG
enthusiastically agreed; he volunteered to spearhead the project.

"I'm glad that WARA is able to help the Handiham group with this project,"
said Flood. "I do remember hearing that [Laurie] liked the work they do. He
wanted to do something like this to help Handiham."

Flood spent many hours cataloging and testing equipment from Cote's estate,
as well as advertising the items on the club's mailing list. The response
has been very positive: to date, over $3,500 has been collected from sales,
with an additional $1,000 expected in the coming weeks.

"Thank you so much for your hard work on our behalf," wrote Pat Tice, WA0TDA
to Flood on behalf of WARA.

"I want to add my thanks for all the hard work [KB1FQG] and other Waltham
ARA members have contributed to this project on behalf of Laurie's family
and the two organizations," added K9HI.

The Courage Center Handiham System is a national program that provides tools
for people with disabilities to learn Amateur Radio and technology skills,
and to earn their Amateur Radio licenses.

The Waltham Amateur Radio Association is an ARRL-affiliated club,
established in 1938. Its repeater site is located on Prospect Hill in
Waltham, MA.


Courage Center Handiham System asks users with disabilities to test FCC
broadband website

Courage Center Handiham System asks users with disabilities to test FCC
broadband website

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released its beta website
tool for consumers who wish to test their internet connection speeds.
Service providers are not shy about making speed claims, and this tool
should provide an easy way for any broadband customer to find out what their
internet connection is really delivering.

The website, http://www.broadband.gov/, directs users to a pop-up form, and
we are interested in learning from our users who have disabilities exactly
how accessible this new FCC beta tool is. Screen-reader users and voice
input computing users are encouraged to email wa0tda@xxxxxxxx to report how
easily the site worked for them. Please let me know if it is all right to
use your callsign in our report, which will appear in the weekly podcast and

You may also want to let us know how fast your internet connection turned
out to be, and whether you were pleasantly surprised or disappointed by your
service provider's performance.

Thank you for your help!

Patrick Tice, Handiham Manager


This week @ HQ

*       Pat will be out of the office Thursday & Friday.
*       New this week: Bob Zeida, N1BLF, has completed the March 2010 CQ
audio digest for our blind members.  
*       Bob has also completed the March 2010 Worldradio audio digest for
our blind members.  
*       We have also finished reading the April, 2010 QST audio digest for
our blind members. 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

·         I have completed a new Extra Class lecture this week. It is number
62 and is about spread spectrum.  Members sign in to the member section and
browse to the Extra Class lecture series.

·         We need more campers! 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. 

·         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 sent 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. 

Wednesday Echolink net news - Net time is new for GMT, now that we are on
Daylight Time.

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 00:30 Z.

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 03/17/2010 - 15:04 

·         Add new <http://www.handiham.org/comment/reply/733#comment-form>

·         Thumbnail

·         Printer-friendly <http://www.handiham.org/print/733>  version 

·         Send <http://www.handiham.org/printmail/733>  to friend 


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, 17 March 2010 - Patrick Tice