[handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 22 June 2011

  • From: "Patrick Tice" <wa0tda@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2011 16:15:14 -0500

This is a free weekly news & information update from Courage Center Handiham
System. Our contact information is at the end
<http://www.handiham.org/local/blind/this_week.htm#Contact> , or simply
email handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx for changes in subscriptions or to comment.

You can listen to this news online:

MP3 audio stream:


Download the 40 kbs MP3 audio to your portable player:


Get this podcast in iTunes:

 <http://www.itunes.com/podcast?id=372422406> Description: Subscribe in


RSS feed for the audio podcast if you use other podcasting software:



Welcome to Handiham World! 

Description: lightning

One of the movies I remember enjoying was "The Perfect Storm". A huge storm
barreled up the Eastern United States seaboard and all the conditions
aligned to turn it into a real disaster. Everything that could go wrong did
go wrong.

This week seems a lot like that here in the ham shack. My main Windows
computer suffered a failure and the Windows installation could not be
repaired without a complete reinstallation. Although I regularly back
everything up, reinstalling an operating system is still a huge and very
disruptive process. Although you may have documents and the files you have
created preserved, you have to reinstall all of your applications. That
means all saved settings, passwords, usernames, the lot of it. So I am
operating here on an old computer with limited resources. I cannot retrieve
all of my old email and many contacts have disappeared. It is a huge mess
and it will take a long time to get back to anything like an efficient
office day.

But is it a perfect storm? Well, consider that yesterday I had to attend
some staff training at our main office at Camp Courage. A thunderstorm had
passed through several days before, knocking the W0ZSW remote base offline.
That problem was fixed easily enough by restarting the rig control computer
and setting the BIOS to always turn the machine on following a power
failure. Turning to my main office computer, I found that it had been fried.
So now my main office computer and my main home computer on which I produce
all audio podcasts, do all audio editing, all my home email, the web
publishing, and nearly everything else having to do with my computing life,
all both down for the count. 

Add to that the fact that we are into the busy season at camp and Courage
Center, like other healthcare providers, is worried about an impending State
government shutdown, and you can see that this is quite some storm! 

So today's e-letter will have to be shorter. I will do my best to catch up,
but ask that emails and phone calls be kept to a minimum. 

I know this is disappointing, so to cheer you up, we will hear a special
presentation by Matt Arthur, KA0PQW, later on in the audio podcast version
of this week's e-letter. Matt sent me an audio lecture on sporadic-e
propagation, and this is a perfect time of year to learn more about it and
then look for some sporadic-e yourself!

Patrick Tice
Handiham Manager



Description: Dog barking at mailman. Jasper loves our mail carrier - she
gives him a treat when she stops by!

Anne, K1STM, wrote to let us know that TIPSnet is in summer shut down mode
and will return on September 13. The final TIPSnet for this past season was
yesterday, June 21. 

Editor's note: I have lost a considerable amount of email. I am not sure
when it will be recovered. If you have sent me something and it does not get
acted upon, that is the reason. Please send only urgent email to
wa0tda@xxxxxxxx until further notice. 


Troubleshooting 101: No column this week

Description: Small tools and wire

Maybe if I ever figure out my computer problems, I'll write about that, HI!

Send your ideas about troubleshooting for possible inclusion in this column

Patrick Tice
Handiham Manager


Happy summer!

Description: Solar WX News

Just in time for the official start of the North American summer, Space
Weather News for June 21, 2011 reports a new solar flare with CME.


"SOLSTICE SOLAR FLARE: The first day of northern summer began with a solar
flare. Magnetic fields above sunspot complex 1236 erupted during the early
hours of June 21st, hurling a coronal mass ejection (CME) almost directly
toward Earth. The incoming CME does not appear to be particularly potent;
nevertheless, the cloud could trigger polar geomagnetic storms when it
reaches Earth on or about June 23rd."

Check http://spaceweather.com for movies and updates.


A dip in the pool

Description: circuit board

This feature will return next week.


FCC waives phone number disconnect rule for MO disaster victims

Description: FCC Logo


Carriers Also Encouraged to Waive Call Forwarding, Voicemail Charges for
Disaster Victims

Washington, D.C. - Missourians living in the federal disaster area that was
declared following May's severe flooding and tornadoes will be able to
temporarily discontinue phone service while they rebuild without losing
their existing phone numbers. Normally, FCC rules require carriers to make
numbers from disconnected phone service available for reassignment to other
customers 90 days after disconnection.

In addition, the Federal Communications Commission is encouraging carriers
in the affected areas to
waive call forwarding, message center and voicemail service charges for
customers until their service is restored.

The FCC waived those rules temporarily in the disaster areas so that
consumers who want to reinstate their service after the 90-day period has
lapsed can retain their existing phone numbers. Changing phone numbers is
burdensome for consumers, especially following a natural disaster. The FCC's
waiver is meant to ease one small part of the reconstruction effort in

The Federal Emergency Management Agency in May declared the Missouri
counties of Butler,
Mississippi, New Madrid, St. Louis, and Taney major disaster areas. Phone
service customers in these counties who are temporarily disconnecting
service while they rebuild should ask carriers to preserve their phone

Wireline Competition Bureau Staff Contact: Ben Childers at 202-418-1418.

News about the Federal Communications Commission can also be found on the
Commission's web site www.fcc.gov.


Remote Base Health Report for 22 June 2011

Description: Remote Base Update

Both stations are operational. 

W0EQO is on line. W0ZSW is on line.

Thunderstorms moved through Wright County and the W0ZSW station went off
line for some reason, probably failure of the computer to restart following
a power outage. We have changed the computer BIOS setting to restart
following a power outage. Echolink on W0ZSW is intermittently available due
to a proxy issue. 

You can read the complete status page at:

We did have an issue with the RF gain control being set way down on W0EQO.
Please, if you are going to change these controls, be thoughtful and return
them to their normal settings when you are finished with the station. 


This week @ HQ

*       Listen on the HANDIHAM conference server, node 494492 on Field Day!
Some of us will be making Field Day contacts there. 
*       Please hold phone calls and emails to a minimum. Nancy & I are both
dealing with a heavy workload. 
*       Reminder: New General Pool: Bob Zeida, N1BLF, has completed his
recording of the new General Class Question Pool with only the correct
answers. It is available in the members only section and is divided into
subelements, with each subelement in MP3 format. The link page describes
what is covered in each subelement so that you can easily go to the sections
you want to hear by topic. 
*       Introduction to the new General Audio lecture series began last
Friday. There is no new audio lecture this week due to the computer issues. 
*       The audio magazine digest: Worldradio, CQ, QST, and AMSAT Journal
audio is available for our blind members. July audio is going to be posted
as soon as possible. Bob Zeida and Ken Padgett have both sent me audio, but
it will take me some time to process it and get it posted, so keep checking
the audio page.
*       Handiham membership has gone up slightly from $10 to $12. We have
not increased dues in many years. 
*       Radio Camp will be from Monday 8 August to Saturday 13 August, 2011.

*       Handiham Radio Camp to feature Wouxun radios for our new
Description: Wouxun HT
Come to Radio Camp, get your first license, and go home with a new radio. If
you are a Handiham member and are studying for your Technician level amateur
radio license, you should consider attending Handiham Radio Camp, which will
be a wonderful opportunity for you to review what you have studied and take
the exam in a completely accessible environment. Our campers who earn their
Technician Class Amateur Radio licenses at camp will be presented with
brand-new dual-band handheld radios, thanks to the support of a generous
donor. The radios are by Wouxun, and operate on the 2 m and 70 cm bands,
which are the most popular repeater bands. Since these radios also include
voice prompts in plain English, they are especially preferred by blind

Wouldn't it be wonderful to attend Radio Camp and then go home with a
brand-new radio? 

We sure think so! If you are not a Handiham member and are interested in
joining us, here is a link to request a membership application:

If you are already a Handiham member and would like a radio camp
application, call toll-free 1-866-426-3442 and request a camper application.
You may also download the application package or contact us by email to ask
a question or request a camper application:

*        <http://handiham.org/files/camp/mn_camp_2011_cover.pdf> Download
the camp cover letter in PDF 
*       Download a self-extracting zip file with the complete radio camp
application package <http://handiham.org/files/camp/mncamp2011.exe> , or 
*       Download a zip file with the complete radio camp application package
<http://handiham.org/files/camp/mncamp2011.zip> . 

*       If your email program does not display links, go to our website:
Although you may not live nearby Camp Courage, we do pick up campers at the
Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport. Campers come from anywhere and
everywhere, so even if you live far from camp you will have the opportunity
to join us for this fun and unique session. All campus buildings are modern
- although we are a camp, no one sleeps in a tent or has to eat beans out of
a tin can! Our facilities are modern and include wireless Internet access
and modern construction. All facilities are wheelchair-accessible.

Handiham Radio Camp 2011 is at Camp Courage - Woodland Campus - August 8-13,
2011 and serves Handiham members ages 16 and older. 

Enjoy an experience of Ham radio fun and learning. Make new friends while
building an on-air community that continues after you leave Radio Camp. Get
a first Ham radio license or upgrade a current one, or learn new operating
skills. Keep abreast of the latest technology, including assistive
technology. Wireless internet access is available. Instructors are
experienced amateur radio operators from throughout the nation. Trained
staff members provide personal care assistance. And, we leave plenty of time
to take a break from studying and enjoy traditional camp activities.

.         Tonight is EchoLink net night. The Wednesday evening Echolink net
is at 19:30 United States Central time, which translates to +5 hours, or
00:30 GMT Thursday morning. 

o    EchoLink nodes: 

*       KA0PQW-R, node 267582 
*       N0BVE-R, node 89680 
*       HANDIHAM conference server Node 494492 (Our preferred high-capacity

o    Other ways to connect: 

*       IRLP node 9008 (Vancouver BC reflector)
WIRES system number 1427

*       Stay in touch! 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 toll-free at 1-866-426-3442. Mornings are the best time to contact


Supporting Handihams - 2011. 

Description: graphic showing figure using wheelchair holding hand of
standing figure

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 2011.


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 $12 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 $36.

.         Lifetime membership is $120.

.         If you can't afford the dues, request a 90 day non-renewable
sponsored membership.

.         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 Walt Seibert at 763-520-0532 or
email him at walt.seibert@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 

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
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 Handiham System

Reach me by email at:

Nancy, Handiham Secretary:

Radio Camp email:


Description: 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.

Courage Center Handiham System
3915 Golden Valley Road
Golden Valley, MN 55422




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  • » [handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 22 June 2011 - Patrick Tice