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: MP3 audio stream: <http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham.m3u> http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham.m3u Download the 64 kbs MP3 audio to your portable player: <http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham.mp3> http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham.mp3 Get this issue as an audio podcast: <http://feeds.feedburner.com/handiham> http://feeds.feedburner.com/handiham _____ 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 wa0tda@xxxxxxxx _____ 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 learning. Here is a good resource that is easy to navigate: http://www.morseresource.com/ ARRL provides a selection of Morse MP3 files for practice: http://www.arrl.org/Code-Practice-Files The AA9PW website remains a standout learning resource: http://aa9pw.com/morsecode/ Morse Tutor is a very old program, but you will find it here: http://morsetutor.com/ Here is the AC6V list of Morse trainers: http://www.ac6v.com/morseprograms.htm 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 wa0tda@xxxxxxxx _____ Out there Sounds of Awareness has new site This disability-related radio program has moved to a new web site: <http://www.publicradio113.weebly.com> http://www.publicradio113.weebly.com 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. http://www.wtaq.com/news/articles/2010/apr/20/mount-pleasant-officials-will- decide-boys-ham-radi/ 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: <http://w5kub.com> http://w5kub.com 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: http://www.arrl.org Handiham website: http://handiham.org Courage Center website: http://www.couragecenter.org _____ 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: http://www.spaceweather.com _____ 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 cataloged. * 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 call: 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" automatically! 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. Volunteers: 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 <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 patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 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 activities. · 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: hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 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! Pat, WA0TDA Manager, Courage Handiham System Reach me by email at: patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Nancy, Handiham Secretary: hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Radio Camp email: radiocamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx _____ 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 <http://www.handiham.org/user/login?destination=comment%2Freply%2F765%23comm ent-form> to post comments · Printer-friendly <http://www.handiham.org/print/765> version · Send <http://www.handiham.org/printmail/765> 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.