[handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 21 October 2009

  • From: "Patrick Tice" <wa0tda@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 19 Oct 2009 16:08:46 -0500

This is a free weekly news & information update from Courage Center Handiham
System <http://handiham.org> . 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:

Listen to an MP3 audio stream:
Download the MP3 audio to your portable player:
Get this issue as an audio podcast:


Welcome to Handiham World!

Check out our YouTube video of the new station and office space at Camp
Courage. It's sure not a professional video, since I made it with a
hand-held Sony camera designed primarily for still photos, but it does
capture standard definition video with sound.



Well, as we have been reporting, the Handiham headquarters station and
offices are moving to Camp Courage. Most of the move has been completed, and
now we begin the process of getting things organized. Most of our contact
information remains the same. The Handiham.org website will be maintained
and will have the latest news.

Thursday, October 15 was the "official" moving day, but as anyone who has
ever moved an office or household knows, the movers get the boxes and
furniture off the truck and into the new space, and then they leave and
there you are with the feeling that the real work is about to begin.

And so it is: You have to get things situated, and with a ham station that
means you have to plan for antennas and power. Fortunately, we already had a
station and antenna in place at Camp Courage, and even though it is really
not up to the standards we would like, it is a functional installation. When
I arrived to meet the movers, I determined that the station would stay in
its current location, near some windows with good lighting and proximity to
antenna cabling and power outlets.

The antenna is a GAP vertical, and the station transceiver already in place
was an old Kenwood TS-430. I quickly decided that a rig without a built-in
voice module for our blind users was simply not acceptable. I unpacked and
installed a Kenwood TS-570SAT and a Kenwood power supply in short order and
situated it on a desktop immediately to the right of our station cabinet,
one that is similar to those at Courage St. Croix and Courage North. The
TS-570SAT tuned the GAP vertical immediately on 75 meters, which was quite a
relief - after all, it was raining and around 45 degrees outside, and I
didn't feel like stringing up another antenna!

My first contact from W0ZSW at Camp Courage was with Lyle Koehler, K0LR, who
was net control for the popular regional net called "PICONET". The net meets
mornings and afternoons on 3.925 MHz, and has a long history of
collaboration with the Handiham System. Lyle, you may recall, is our
volunteer engineer in charge of the remote base station at Courage North.
Lyle might have been just a little generous in reporting an S-9 signal from
W0ZSW, but at least we are able to get out on the GAP, so the station is

There is no VHF/UHF antenna at Camp Courage, so that is definitely something
that needs work. Our location at the Camp Courage Reception Center is a good
one, because there is already a TV antenna mast on the building, and we
could probably get an antenna on that mast without too much trouble. In the
meantime, I was able to check in to the daily EchoLink net using a computer.
Since Camp Courage is located about 40 miles west of the Twin Cities, the
VHF/UHF situation is completely different than it was for us in the metro

There is also a working tribander for 20, 15, and 10 meters on a 50 foot
tower. The rotor and coax leads are terminated in a different (but nearby)

This means that a second station can easily be set up in that second
building during radio camp, and it would likely not interfere with
operations on the main station in the headquarters office.

Boxes are stacked on the floor and there's a lot to do. Bear with us while
we whittle this job down bit by bit. In the meantime, we will keep up our
Wednesday e-letter, tape production, and Friday audio lectures as usual.

Questions may be directed to Handiham Manager Patrick Tice, WA0TDA, anytime
at  <mailto:wa0tda@xxxxxxxx> wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx

For Handiham World, I'm...

Patrick Tice, wa0tda@xxxxxxxx 
Handiham Manager


FCC holds daylong staff workshop on broadband access for people with

 <http://www.handiham.org/node/135> FCC

Washington, D.C. -- The Federal Communications Commission will hold a
daylong staff workshop to further address broadband accessibility for people
with disabilities as part of the development of a National Broadband Plan.
The workshop will discuss accessibility and affordability barriers faced by
people with disabilities, opportunities that broadband can present people
with disabilities and policy recommendations to address these barriers and
maximize opportunities.

See agendas below for participants.

TIME: Tuesday, October 20, 9:15 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. ET
LOCATION: FCC Commission Meeting Room, 445 12th St. SW, Washington D.C.
20554. Those attending are asked to register in advance at

ONLINE: Press and public attending online must register in advance at

During the workshops, audience members -- both in the room and online --
will have the opportunity to suggest questions in writing. Questions will be
reviewed and, time permitting, may be asked by the moderator.




Dear Handihams,

For about the past 6 weeks or so, I have been spearheading something that
has now been named the Cross-country Blind Ops net. The net meets every
Sunday evening at 7:00 pm Minnesota time, 00:00 GMT on or near 7217 KHz
lower sideband on the 40 meter band. We have had check-ins from many blind
hams across the country, and many of my Michigan ham friends have joined in
the fun as well. 

Tonight, despite some really flaky band conditions, we had another neat
surprise. Scott, from New Zealand, checked into the net via the Handiham
remote base station at Lake George, MN. He was very readable for me here in
Colorado. I just thought you might want to know about the net, and I also
wanted to let you know we heard from Scott via the remote station.

When the time change occurs on November 1, we'll have to adjust the ZULU
time to 01:00 GMT Monday morning, so you might want to make a note of that
too.  The local time will remain the same, 7:00 pm United States Central
Time. (8:00 pm Eastern, 5:00 pm Pacific)

Tom Behler, KB8TYJ, Louisville, CO

Thanks, Tom!  To recap, here is the net information:

*       What: Cross-Country Blind Hams Net
*       Where: 7.217 MHz LSB
*       When: Sundays at 7:00 p.m. Minnesota Time


This week at Headquarters:

 <http://www.handiham.org/node/476> We are on Twitter!

 <http://www.handiham.org/sites/default/files/images/ham_mobile.jpg> 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!

.         In Operating Skills: 

o    Volunteer reader Ken Padgitt, W9MJY, reads the November "Doctor is in"
column from QST for our blind members.  

o     <http://handiham.org/user> Login to the member section of the Handiham
website and find the magazine digests in the Library. 

.         I have fixed a whole bunch of broken audio links on the website,
especially in the operating skills section.

One of the things I have fixed is the audio lecture by now silent key AB7HW
on using EchoLink with JAWS.  

And that reminds me: If you have an EchoLink problem, the place to go for
help is  <http://www.echolink.org> www.echolink.org. Sure, you can pick up
the phone and dial us, but all you're going to get for your trouble is a bit
of sympathy, since we can't solve your EchoLink problems, most of which are
caused by firewall settings specific to your installation. When you call us,
you are going to be directed to the EchoLink website anyway, so you might as
well just go there in the first place, roll up your sleeves, and  get to
work reading and researching the EchoLink system. Many computer programs are
self-installing and use port 80 to communicate over the internet, the same
as your web browser. EchoLink is different; it needs specific ports opened
and forwarded in your home router. It needs your computer's audio settings
to be adjusted for the proper levels.  It needs more detailed information
about you and your ham license before it can even log you on to one of the
worldwide EchoLink servers. We have heard complaints from hams who expect
the EchoLink service to provide a help desk phone line. When they find out
there is no way to call for EchoLink help, they call us instead.  That, as I
said, is pretty much not going to work. There is a reason they don't take
phone calls at EchoLink, and that is that they have already put all of the
necessary information on www.echolink.org, neatly organized into logical
categories. If they took phone calls, they would need a paid staff.  The
EchoLink volunteers already have plenty of work to do without talking on the
phone to someone who has not bothered to read through the information
already available to them.  Like a good luncheon buffet, you can go right to
the support pages and "help yourself, so go ahead and dig in:


.         Our Contact information is the same:

Courage Center Handiham System
3915 Golden Valley Road 
Golden Valley, MN  55422
763-520-0512 (Nancy)
763-520-0511 (Pat)



.         Tentative MN Radio Camp dates for 2010, Camp Courage: 

Arrive Friday, May 21

Class days: Sa, Su, M, Tu, W

VE Exam Day: Th

Depart Friday, May 28


.         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 username 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. He is studying in Tokyo this semester and sends a big
"hello" to our readers and listeners.

.         The Friday audio lectures return  this week.  There will be new
lectures posted by early afternoon on Friday, and a notification will be
sent by email. 

.         The Remote Base at Courage North is in service. Please feel free
to use this wonderful member resource.  

.         Remote Base users who try the built-in IRB sound feature instead
of SKYPE are encouraged to send us reports on how the audio worked.

.         Bob Zeida, N1BLF, has recorded audio of the October Worldradio and
CQ digests, so check out the audio page. The Friday notification email will
have a link. If you are a member and are not getting the Friday audio
lectures notification, let us know and we will get you on the list.

.         Our new volunteer reader for QST is Michael Gregg, KA5EXI. Michael
is now working on the November issue, and I think you will agree that he
does a great job with nice, clear diction and good technical quality.  As
always, check the audio page for the latest updates. I will note on the
audio page when November digest audio is available for our blind members.

.         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. 




Computer resource

" <http://webanywhere.cs.washington.edu/> Web Anywhere" is a free web-based
screenreader brought to my attention by Dick Garey, WA0CAF. 

WebAnywhere is a web-based open-source screen reader for the web. It
requires no special software to be installed on the client machine and,
therefore, enables blind people to access the web from any computer they
happen to have access to that has a sound card.  It's completely FREE to

You can get either the original release or a newer, updated version (which
we recommend) at the University of Washington Web Anywhere project site:


You can also watch (or listen) to a video description of Web Anywhere on




Wednesday Evening EchoLink Net

Wednesday Evening EchoLink Net happy guy with headset

Wednesday evenings the Handiham EchoLink net will be on the air. Please join
us and check in or simply listen in, as you see fit:


Wednesday evenings at 19:30 hours Minnesota time (7:30 PM)
GMT: Thursday morning at 00:30 Z


145.450 MHz N0BVE repeater (Minneapolis-St. Paul) 
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. 

By the way, our Net Manager Howard, KE7KNN, reminds us that we need net
control stations for the Wednesday evening net and for the Monday through
Saturday morning net. If you are in the Twin Cities, all you need is a radio
that can get on the 145.45 N0BVE repeater, and if you live outside the RF
area, you can still be net control via EchoLink, IRLP, or WIRES. 


Reminder:  Handiham renewals are now 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.

.         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: <mailto: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

1-866-426-3442 toll-free -- Help us get new hams on the air.

Free! 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:  <mailto:hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> 

Handiham members with disabilities can take an online audio course at
www.handiham.org <http://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 Handi-ham System
Reach me by email at:  <mailto:patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> 

.         Nancy, Handiham Secretary: hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

.         Pat, WA0TDA, Manager, patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

.         Radio Camp email: radiocamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


ARRL </p />
<p>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 10/19/2009 - 16:01

.         Add new <http://www.handiham.org/comment/reply/588#comment-form>

.         Printer-friendly <http://www.handiham.org/print/588>  version

.         Send <http://www.handiham.org/printmail/588>  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, 21 October 2009 - Patrick Tice