[handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 21 April 2010

  • From: "Patrick Tice" <wa0tda@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2010 14:49:52 -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

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Welcome to Handiham World!

Did you miss us last week?

Did you miss us last week?

Image: Pat, WA0TDA, in the ham shack

Your weekly Handiham World E-Letter and the Friday audio notification were
on holiday at the very same time that I was on Spring break. What a
coincidence that was, eh? I am grateful for our volunteers who still help us
to maintain continuity in the Handiham program even when paid staff are out
of the office for one reason or another. Volunteers quite simply keep things
running behind the scenes as they work with those who need text read into
audio format, tapes made and sent out, or a friendly phone call to explain a
learning concept or how to operate a radio. Volunteers who give us hands-on
help with projects and equipment really make a huge difference in how we are
able to serve our Handiham members. When Nancy or I, the Handiham program's
only paid staff, take vacation or have to attend meetings or training
related to other aspects of our work, we do still get somewhat behind in our
member contact and program administration duties. It can be a little
frustrating to have so much work to do and so little time to get it all
done. If it weren't for the volunteers, the Handiham program would never
have survived for all of these decades -- since 1967. We are so grateful and
appreciative for all of the hard work our volunteers do every day.

Thank you, volunteers!

Patrick Tice, Handiham Manager


Camp Courage to go on the air with a new repeater system

 <http://www.handiham.org/node/762> Icom IC-706M2G transceiver showing
145.23 MHz on the frequency display

Image: ICOM 706 Mark 2G displaying the new repeater frequency of 145.23 MHz

Can you believe it? Handiham Radio Camp begins exactly one month from today,
on May 21. As part of our preparations to build a solid amateur radio
presence at Camp Courage, our new location near Maple Lake, Minnesota, we
are ready to install a 144 MHz repeater that will be on the air 24-7,
available not only during the week of camp but all the rest of the year,
each and every day. Not only that, but the repeater will be
Echolink-enabled. That will provide a valuable resource to any amateur radio
operator living or traveling near Camp Courage.

We chose 2 m for several reasons. Many of our Handiham members already have
2 m handheld radios and can bring them to camp. A handheld radio will work
perfectly at low power because the repeater will be right at camp and very
easy to access. Another very practical reason is that a couple of years ago
we received the gift of a used repeater. It needed some repair, and thanks
to our volunteer Claire Robinson, K0CJ, we got it in excellent working
order. It wasn't actually put on the air because we didn't really have a
place for it. However, we did get it prepared to go on the air using a pair
of 2 m frequencies that is shared and unprotected for purposes of repeater
coordination here in Minnesota. Several weeks ago volunteer Don Rice, N0BVE,
was helping me with another project at our new headquarters office and I
showed him the repeater. Don has taken the initiative to locate the
necessary repeater parts such as a duplexer so that we can get the repeater
on the air prior to radio camp next month. Dave, N0KP, donated a tone board
and tuned the duplexer. There was still the question of an antenna, and Matt
Arthur, KA0PQW, has led an effort to procure a new 2 m antenna so that we
can do the project right. Several donors have stepped up to the plate to
help us with the cost of the antenna, and I will write more about them and
the project later on, once we have done the installation. I will also have
some photos to share with you.

This new repeater system is not intended to be a wide-area repeater, and the
signal will probably not exceed a 20 mile radius from the transmitter.
However, reception will be rock-solid at radio camp and the nearby
surrounding area. Furthermore, the availability of Echolink on this repeater
will make it a fantastic resource that will allow us to stay in touch with
Handiham members who cannot make the trip to radio camp but who want to talk
with their friends during radio camp week.

In recent years we have had a repeater system and a simplex Echolink node
available at radio camp, thanks to Lyle Koehler, K0LR, and Don, N0BVE. These
systems operated only during radio camp week and had to be set up and taken
down for every camp session. This added to the work that we needed to do
during every camp session. The addition of a permanent repeater system will
be a welcome improvement to our new headquarters location at Camp Courage.

The new repeater will operate on a frequency of 145.23 MHz with a negative
offset and a tone of 114.8 Hz. The antenna will be a Hustler G7 with a gain
of seven DB.


Morse code resources

Morse code resources

Photo: Avery, K0HLA, operates Morse code, one of his favorite modes.

Even though Morse code is no longer a requirement for an amateur radio
license, there remains a solid and enduring interest in learning and using
"CW", continuous wave, which is how Morse code operation on the ham radio
bands is often described.

Learning Morse code these days is a breeze compared to the limited and
mostly inconvenient methods of bygone years. These included clunky Morse
code oscillators and long playing phonograph records. Today we have a huge
variety of choice in amateur radio learning, and Morse code resources on the
Internet are sure to provide exactly the learning experience to suit every
individual learner. You can download standalone Morse code practice
software. You can listen to MP3 files using your computer or download them
and put them on any MP3 player for portable use. You can use online
applications to convert plain text to Morse code audio. The variety of
resources is simply amazing.

But the biggest advantage that Morse code learners have today is that their
motivation for learning is simply a desire to learn the skill and art of
Morse code operation. They no longer have the Morse code requirement hanging
over their head, forcing them study and pass an exam in a sometimes
stressful high-stakes situation. Yes, the days of traveling hundreds of
miles to an FCC office to sit for an exam under the watchful eye of an FCC
bureaucrat are gone. Many people will recall those days and not remember
them fondly, that's for sure! If a person wants to learn a skill like Morse
code today, it is for the love of learning -- the very best motivation
toward success that there ever can be.

It is with all of this in mind that we are pleased to present this page on
the Handiham website with several Morse code learning resources that we
think are good places to begin. We hope to be able to update this page and,
with your help and suggestions, to make it relevant and useful to our
Handiham members and friends who are interested in Morse code operation and

Here is a good resource that is easy to navigate:

ARRL provides a selection of Morse MP3 files for practice:

The AA9PW website remains a standout learning resource:

Morse Tutor is a very old program, but you will find it here:

Here is the AC6V list of Morse trainers:

Do you have some other suggestions for us? Please let me know so that I can
check them out and possibly post them here.

Patrick Tice, Handiham Manager


Out there

Sounds of Awareness has new site

This disability-related radio program has moved to a new web site:

Mount Pleasant Officials Will Decide on Boy's Ham Radio Tower Today

Thanks to Chris, KG0BP for finding this story about a kid with cerebral
palsy who has run up against complaining neighbors in an antenna dispute.

The Helmetcam returns to Dayton

The W5KUB.Com ham radio video broadcast will be back again for Dayton in
2010. The broadcast will feature live streaming video and audio of the
Hamvention®. They will be broadcasting the Dayton Hamvention in mid-may but
the site is up and running 365 days per year with recorded video of ham
related activities. In addition to the video, there is a chat room where
everyone can chat with the W5KUB gang or other hams around the world. The
video is viewed in around 150 countries each year during the live broadcast.
W5KUB.Com converted from media player to Flash media this year and they need
your help to log in to the site and help us test the capacity. The site is:

ARRL website is up & running

 <http://www.handiham.org/node/735>  New ARRL Web Site to Launch Wednesday,
March 24, 2010

The ARRL website is now active after an initial testing phase. The
impressive layout is more inviting and easier to navigate for sighted users,
and we would like to know what the user experience is for our Handiham
members who use screenreaders. Please drop me a line with your comments on
the new ARRL website's navigation structure and overall screenreader
friendliness. If you navigate the web with voice input software such as
Dragon, let us know what your experience is like with that software. If you
have comments on the Handiham or Courage Center websites, we would like to
hear those as well. Send comments to Patrick Tice at wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx

ARRL website:

Handiham website:

Courage Center website:



May 2010 edition of WorldRadio has Handiham Story

The May 2010 edition of WorldRadio Online magazine is live and posted free
at: http://www.worldradiomagazine.com/.

This edition is full of great columns and features including:

* Here Comes the Sun: A Solar Cycle 24 Propagation Update
* Live! Streaming Video from the Dayton Hamvention® (beginning May 12)
* Inside the Summer 6-Meter DX Season, Part II
* 'Audio Insurance' For the Operator in the Field
* EmComm: Are You Ready For the 'Protracted Scenario?'
* A Handiham Receives Praise from The White House
* Krusty Ol’ Kurt Answers Readers' Questions


Blank sun

The sun has quieted down after some stormy solar weather in the past few
weeks. There are no Earth-facing sunspots today. 

More at:


This week @ HQ

*       Last chance!  The Radio Camp deadline is April 23.  Call IMMEDIATELY
if you want to go to camp: 1-866-426-3442 
*       Bob Zeida, N1BLF, has completed the May 2010 Worldradio audio digest
for our blind members.  The audio was posted this morning.
*       We have also finished reading the April, 2010 QST audio digest and
Ken Padgitt, W9MJY, has completed the May 2010 Doctor column from QST 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
*       The May QST has arrived at the WA0TDA QTH, but I am not sure when
time will be available to record the digest. 

·         There has been no time to complete the Extra Class lecture the
past week. Our shortage of staff time continues as other administrative
tasks take up time. We are carrying over the last lecture, which 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 04/21/2010 - 19:35 

·         Login
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·         Printer-friendly <http://www.handiham.org/print/765>  version 

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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, 21 April 2010 - Patrick Tice