[handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 19 June 2013

  • From: Patrick Tice <wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2013 14:49:50 -0500

*Courage Kenny Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 19
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]

ARRL Field Day is coming up this weekend, June 22-23.  The
Handiham-affiliated Stillwater Amateur Radio
is preparing the club Field Day in an accessible location where our members
with disabilities can participate if they wish. Last week we told you that
one of our projects is to consolidate equipment in such a way as to be
easily stored and transported, then deployed in the field.

[image: Rolling food cooler with Icom IC-718, a switching power supply, all
power cables complete with Anderson Powerpole connectors, the microphone
and instruction manual for the radio, and even a small antenna tuner.]
*Today we have a photo of the first prototype rolling cooler HF station
system. Believe it or not, there is an Icom IC-718, a switching power
supply, all power cables complete with Anderson Powerpole connectors, the
microphone and instruction manual for the radio, and even a small antenna
tuner. This prototype was assembled by Dave Glas, W0OXB.  I think Dave
bought the rolling cooler at Target, but I don't remember for sure.  As we
test different methods of doing this project we will provide more details. *

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
efficiency! If you are going to be deploying a station in the field,
perhaps as a response to an emergency, you cannot expect to waste valuable
time looking for all of the various parts of the station while the clock
ticks away valuable minutes.  The equipment needs to be collected in
advance and be ready to grab and transport at a moment's notice. Everything
needs to be stowed in such a way as to make sure it will arrive undamaged.
And of course the station must be complete;  it does little good to have
everything but the DC power cables!  That is the idea behind this project,
which will include at least a half dozen separate stations. Each station's
inventory will be tracked and listed both in the cloud as a digital file
and in the actual station container.  The availability of voice frequency
readout will be noted. Also being tracked are user notes as to things that
don't work or are missing or showing signs of wear. That will allow our
volunteers to pinpoint and schedule repairs.

This Field day event is June 22 & 23, daylight hours only.  SARA’s Field
Day activities will be held at wheelchair-accessible Autumn Hills Park in
Oak Park Heights (southwestern side of Stillwater, MN) again this year.
This city park is a few blocks south of Highway 36 at Norell Ave. N. (same
as Washington Ave.) and immediately west of Boutwells Landing. Details are
available at:

Please stop by to observe or sit down and operate the stations for a while.
Don't be concerned that you are not a practiced contester.  This Field Day
event has a different focus for us;  it's about getting on the air and
having fun. Setting up the stations is also a part of emergency
preparedness practice, so arrive by 9:00 AM on Saturday if you want to help
with or observe setup.  If you have never seen wire antennas deployed in
the field, this will be an educational experience for you. We plan to do
the same thing at Handiham Radio Camp, where we will be operating a "Field
Day" station outdoors part of the time. If you are into contesting and want
to run an aggressive series of contacts, that option is also available.
There will be jobs for people to assist with logging the contacts as well
as other things necessary to keep the operation on the air.

Do you have a favorite Field Day story?  Maybe you will find one this year,
and if so, you can share it with us.

Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Courage Kenny Handiham Coordinator
Get your 2 cents worth

[image: FCC round logo]

Buried in a lengthy Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), the FCC is
planning an increase in the vanity callsign license fee. The fee is now $15
for the 10 year license term.

In the NPRM the FCC addresses fee increases across many different services,
and the increase is in tabular form, so you have to locate the line
"Amateur Vanity Call Signs" and then the column "Rounded New FY 2013
Regulatory Fee". Where the two intersect is the number 1.52. What that
means is that the regulatory fee is $1.52 per year, or $15.20 over the 10
year vanity callsign period. In other words, a vanity callsign will set you
back an extra two cents every year once this increase goes through.

Talk about getting your two cents worth!

If you've got way too much time on your hands and would like to look at the
NPRM in PDF, you can find it

The table with the new vanity fee is on page 25.

Happy reading!
Bulletin Board

[image: cartoon robot with pencil]
WA0CAF suggests a link to the NFB Petition Supporting WIPO Treaty for the
Blind and Print Disabled:

The National Federation of the Blind and the American Council of the Blind
urge all supporters of a treaty promoting exceptions and limitations
allowing the production of accessible copies of copyrighted works and the
cross-border sharing of such accessible-format copies to sign the following

Please read the petition and if you agree, sign and submit.  You will be
asked to confirm the submission via an email message.
A little Q & A from a Handiham perspective:

   - Question:  What does "WIPO" stand for?
   - Answer: The World Intellectual Property
Organization<http://www.wipo.int/about-wipo/en/>(WIPO) is the United
Nations agency dedicated to the use of intellectual
   property (patents, copyright, trademarks, designs, etc.) as a means of
   stimulating innovation and creativity.
   - Question: So what's the problem?
   - Answer:  We're glad you asked.  As we read it, the whole idea of the
   treaty is to "promulgate international norms for the promotion of
   exceptions and limitations allowing the production of accessible-format
   copies of copyrighted works and for the cross-border sharing of such
   accessible-format copies."
   - Question: Sounds good to me - who wouldn't want that?
   - Answer: Oh, just about any publisher with an interest in keeping their
   copyrighted content from being pirated.
   - Question:  That sounds like a lot of stuff might be affected, right?
   - Answer:  Yup.

Where does the situation stand right now?

Okay, so the NFB petition basically supports the concept behind the WIPO
mission, which says: "Our mission is to promote innovation and creativity
for the economic, social and cultural development of all countries, through
a balanced and effective international intellectual property system."  The
problem for people who use assistive technology to access books is that
simple, straightforward plain text digital content (which is easy to
access) is seldom easy to find.  The reason is that it is easy to copy and
share, potentially costing the copyright holders a bundle.  That means that
there are two opposing interests:

   1. Copyright holders:  Lock down content to prevent illegal reproduction
   and sharing, thus protecting intellectual property.
   2. People with reading disabilities:  Open content to make it easy to
   access with assistive technology from day one of publication.

The give and take between the two interests has traditionally been such
that materials available to the general public can take months or years to
become accessible to people who are blind or have reading disabilities.
Back in the old days when type was set by typesetters and the printed page
was king, turning ink on paper into something a blind person could read
meant manually converting it into Braille or having a human read and record
a spoken word audio version.  Oh, sure - Technology did make scanning a
printed page and converting it to computer text possible, but this
technology was often only available at public libraries and was clunky and
hard to use. When OCR became more common, it was still a scan and recognize
process that assured that the user would get one heck of a workout while
trying to "read" the same book anyone else could just pick up and read with
their eyeballs.

Of course these days any typesetters who are still around probably live in
retirement communities. Today virtually every publication begins life as
computer text.  The obvious question that blind people began asking was,
"Why can't the original plain computer text be used to make accessible
versions of these books?"

Well, that is a good question, isn't it?  Amazingly, even though that plain
text version is out there sitting on a computer hard drive at the
publisher, the process of converting a book to an accessible format is
still decades behind the times.  Human readers must still record spoken
word audio or printed pages must be scanned and recognized by OCR software,
then proofed and formatted by humans before being converted into the
current worldwide accessible standard, DAISY. This clunky process pretty
much assures that blind users will be waiting months or years to read what
their sighted friends can pick up off the shelf the day the book is

That doesn't make much sense.  Not today, when every book begins as text on
the author's PC.  One effect of keeping this text from legitimate
organizations whose mission it is to produce DAISY versions is not often
mentioned:  If a book is not popular and in demand, it is too much trouble
(and therefore too expensive and time-consuming) to produce a DAISY version
at all with the old scan-the-paper-pages method.  That means that some
readers will NEVER have access to a particular publication they might want
to read, simply because it deals with an academic or specialized topic and
the demand is too small to justify the conversion expense.  This, by the
way, is also true for Braille production since text can be readily
translated into Braille and embossed by computer, or directed to a
refreshable Braille display.
How hard would it be to create DAISY from the original computer text,
assuming it would be made available?

Not hard at all.  For example, if you are a writer and know how to use the
organizational features of Microsoft Word, you can create a DAISY-ready
book with no extra effort, simply by using Word's built-in heading
formatting. This can also help you stay organized, especially if you are
writing a technical book.  The headings are created for you if you simply
type the text, click somewhere on the same line, and then click on the
heading choice.  In this case, Heading 1 has been selected and the text
appears to a sighted user in a large font and blue color.  The organization
of the book by sections created through headings and sub-headings is seen
in a tree in a pane to the left of the main document text. ARRL included
the embedded accessible text in its original PDF document, making it easy
to open the file in Adobe Reader and save it as plain text.

[image: Screenshot of VE Manual text being organized with Word.]

Once the plain text is in hand, the next step is to open the text file in
Word and begin the process of creating the navigation tree by designating
the sections and subsections of the book. For example, in "Section Two:
During the Exam", you would find subheadings like "Conducting the Test
Session", which in turn would have sub-subheadings like "The Candidates
Arrive" and "Collecting the Test Fee".  Creating this navigational
structure is somewhat time-consuming, but it is necessary to make the book
practical to use. A blind VE can use the navigational structure to find
exactly the right part of the book to reference.

We don't have the time to go into a complete description of how DAISY books
work, but suffice it to say that the DAISY worldwide standard is the first
technology that has the potential to allow blind readers to read a full
range of titles and content as easily as sighted readers. DAISY qualifies
as a special accessible format that can be sent via postal mail on Library
of Congress digital cartridges.

But will that content be available to make into DAISY in the first place?
Will it be timely?

Not if there is no breakthrough in how international copyright law is
handled.  That is why the NFB has taken up this cause to support the WIPO

In an ideal world, publishers would make original text available to be
turned into DAISY.  Vendors whose products include on line publishing
systems would have full text accessibility built in, perhaps with a key
available to blind users in order to protect the content from pirates. Of
course we are not there yet and there is much to be done in educating the
general public, content producers and authors, and the publishing companies
as to why building in accessibility from the get-go is the right thing to
do. In the final analysis, there must be a reasonable compromise that makes
content accessible while providing protection to copyright holders. We get
that. But the world's population of users with reading disabilities or
blindness must not have to go without, wait months or years for content, or
jump through complicated ever-moving hoops to be included among the reading

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 filters:*

E6E01 asks, "What is a crystal lattice filter?"

Possible answers are:

A. A power supply filter made with interlaced quartz crystals

B. An audio filter made with four quartz crystals that resonate at 1-kHz

C. A filter with wide bandwidth and shallow skirts made using quartz

D. A filter with narrow bandwidth and steep skirts made using quartz

With Field Day coming up this weekend, you may have occasion to use a
filter to cut out some of the QRM on either side of the signal you are
trying to copy. You probably knew that answer D, "A filter with narrow
bandwidth and steep skirts made using quartz crystals", was the correct
one. The ideal filter needs steep "skirts", a term which refers to the
steep sides of the filter's response curve when it is graphed out.  Gently
sloping skirts would indicate that the filter would not attenuate nearby
signals as effectively.  Crystal lattice filters have the characteristic of
steep skirts on either side of the desired frequency, which makes it easy
to hear just the signal you have within the passband.  The bands are
crowded on Field Day, and hearing the callsign and exchange is easier with
the right tools!

Want extra credit?  Look up the difference between crystal lattice filters
and crystal ladder filters.  Both are covered in the ARRL Extra Class
License Manual.

Please e-mail handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx to comment.
This week @ HQW0EQO & W0ZSW are on line.

[image: W0EQO station in the server room at Courage North.]

The remote base HF station at Courage North, W0EQO, went off the air this
morning due to an unknown problem but has returned to service.   W0ZSW
remained on line.  HF propagation conditions are predicted normal to good
as of this morning.  Enjoy both stations!

   - Remote Base operating tip:  If you are interested in working PICONET
   on 3.925 MHz, W0EQO often works best because of its northern Minnesota
   location.  In the summertime, there is a barrier between northern and
   southern Minnesota on 75 meters during the daytime.  Up here in Minnesota,
   we call this "the iron curtain" because it seems to really block the
   north-south propagation. Most of the PICONET net control stations seem to
   be up in the northern part of the state, so you will hear them best on
   W0EQO.  In the winter, with its shorter days, 75 meter propagation
   north-south returns to normal.

Merger news:

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

   - This week Nancy has been working on the new payment system, which will
   allow us to take membership dues on line. We expect it to be ready for use
   in July.

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

Interested in the VE program and becoming a volunteer examiner? The new
ARRL VE Manual 2013 version is available in beta Daisy format with complete
text and 
Download 74 MB zip file and unzip to play on NLS digital player.

   - 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.

*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, 19 June 2013 - Patrick Tice