[handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 25 May 2011 - 27 May Update

  • From: "Patrick Tice" <wa0tda@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 27 May 2011 11:06:02 -0500

This is a free weekly news & information update from Courage Center Handiham
System. Our contact information is at the end
<unsaved://Untitled_1.htm#Contact> , or simply email
handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx for changes in subscriptions or to comment. 

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Welcome to Handiham World!  

May 27: Important! Our Freelists mailing lists for the weekly e-letter and
the Friday audio notifications was out of service mid-week. The Freelists
site has now returned to service and we are re-sending this weekly e-letter
in HTML format.  

Description: Larry Huggins, KA0LSG, Handiham volunteer.
Photo: Larry Huggins, KA0LSG, Handiham volunteer.  Hap Holly, KC9RP, is in
the background since our Handiham booth and the RAIN Report booth were

Description: John Pedley, N0IPO, puts up the banner.
Photo: Volunteer John Pedley, N0IPO, hangs the banner at the back of the
booth because he is the tallest of our crew and can reach the hooks.

Description: Larry, KA0LSG, John, N0BFJ, and Ken, KB3LLA, on booth duty.
Photo: Larry, KA0LSG, John, N0BFJ, and Ken, KB3LLA, on booth duty.

Thanks to all who stopped by to visit us at HamventionR 2011 and to
volunteers John Hoenshell, N0BFJ, Larry Huggins, KA0LSG, John Pedley, N0IPO,
and Ken Silberman, KB3LLA, Handiham Radio Club President, for staffing the
booth. We'll have a full report later, but I also wanted to thank DARA for
their generous support in awarding the Handiham System a check for $500 and
to John Hoenshell, N0BFJ, for his financial support of the Hamvention trip
that enables us to be there. 

The ARRL Youth Forum, conducted by Carole Perry, WB2MGP, was a must-see,
because our young people are the future of amateur radio - we all know that
- but I like listening to the poised young folks telling us about the
aspects of ham radio that they have mastered.  And do you know what?  I feel
positively uplifted by their energy and enthusiasm for science and
technology, as well as for public service.  I know the world will be better
off with people like them in our future. 

We are giving a special shout out to 10 year old Amanda Lee, KD0JAY, for her
excellent presentation about "People with Disabilities and Ham Radio" and
Handihams at the Youth Forum! Hopefully a video of her presentation will be
available on YouTube soon.  Amanda told us that she was inspired by Gerry,
WB6IVF, who had been mentioned in our past columns as the owner of the
"Unseen Bean" coffee roasting business. 

Description: Shirley Roberts, N8LX, and Lynn Roberts, N8LXK, at the Handiham
Photo: Shirley Roberts, N8LX, and Lynn Roberts, N8LXK, at the Handiham

Shirley Roberts, N8LX, is a celebrity this year, because she won the Dayton
HamventionR Amateur of the Year award.  She and her husband Lynn, N8LXK,
stopped by and paid us an extended visit at the Handiham booth. Shirley and
her many accomplishments in amateur radio public service are featured in the
Richard Fisher, KI6SN, Public Service column in the May 2011 CQ Magazine.
Shirley is active in many ham radio organizations, including the ACB radio
club, QCWA, Handihams, ARRL, and, of course, SKYWARNR as a liaison. 

Speaking of CQ, when I stopped by the CQ/Worldradio booth to visit with
publisher Rich Moseson, W2VU, he pointed out a giant reproduction of the
Worldradio June 2011 cover, and there I was, right on the front.  The photo
was taken by Avery Finn, K0HLA, and shows a smiling Pat Tice wielding that
familiar Handiham coffee mug. The photo accompanies a story about how I have
completed 20 years with the Courage Center Handiham System in May, 2011.  Be
sure to read it!  Bob Zeida, N1BLF, writes that he should have the audio
version ready in time for the Friday Handiham Audio Digest, available to our
blind members. 

Description: Worldradio Online June 2011 cover with picture of Pat Tice,

Wandering around is always fun.  The main arena section has a very high roof
and hosts some familiar manufacturers like Kenwood, Icom, and MFJ.  In this
photo taken from the stands, we look down at the MFJ booth with its many
tall vertical antennas. 

Description: MFJ booth with its many tall vertical antennas. 

I make no secret of the fact that I like my own Icom IC-7200.  Imagine my
surprise to see it dressed up in a camo paint job at the Icom booth!  We
have mentioned in the past that the IC-7200 comes with speech frequency
readout installed. Kudos to Icom for including this accessibility feature
instead of making it an option. 

Description: Stack of three IC-7200 transceivers, one in plain black, one in
army green, and one in camo paint. 
Photo: Stack of three IC-7200 transceivers, one in plain black, one in army
green, and one in camo paint. 

What a great show it was again this year!  Now that we are all jazzed up
from all the new ham radio stuff we saw at Dayton, it's time to roll up our
sleeves and get busy with the summer antenna work and ARRL Field Day!

Patrick Tice
Handiham Manager

Larry, KA0LSG, made a YouTube video about our Hamvention experience.  (Note
to blind users that there is no audio description or speech dialog, so all
you will hear is the music track.)

The official Hamvention website is here:


Strap on your tool belt! It's time for... 

Troubleshooting 101: When to fix, when to pitch.

Description: Small tools and wire

I remember growing up in the 1950's and 60's, and as a kid one of the most
interesting adventures with my dad was a trip to the city dump.  Not only
was it a chance for a car ride, but the dump was an interesting place where
small mountains of junk rested, waiting to be bulldozed into the ravine that
was slowly being filled with all manner of trash. Those were the days when
you backed your car up to the edge of the precipice, then got out and
emptied your trunk load of junk, pitching it out over the edge.  Dad always
managed to get pretty close to the edge, which made it exciting, and the
sometimes burning junk piles gave the whole place the feel of being at the
edge of a volcanic crater. I sometimes got out of the car and found some
discarded piece of junk to take back home.  

Well, things are different these days.  For one thing, we don't dump trash
into ravines to leach hazardous waste into the aquifers, and what is now
called "e-waste", short for electronic waste, is broken into its constituent
components and recycled. Another thing is that many electronic items are
unrepairable - or so they say. 

So how do you decide what to fix and what to pitch out?

Here's what I'm talking about: In 1970, I would have been able to repair a
set of headphones with a broken plug or damaged cord.  I could easily locate
a new plug or strip the wires down to connect and solder them. Most of the
headphones used a 1/4 inch plug.  No one would think of throwing away a set
of headphones with a damaged cord or broken plug.  Today it is different.
The plugs are generally 3.5 mm and are molded onto the cord.  The cord
itself has impossibly fine conductors inside, making them very difficult to
strip and solder. Our family dog Jasper once found my good set of voice
dictation boom mic headphones and chewed the cord all the way though.  It
had been dangling right down near his snout, and I guess it was just too
tempting.  Although I liked the headset, I took a good look at the mangled
cord and decided that it just would not be possible - at least in any
practical sense - to repair it.  The tiny conductors would be very difficult
to manipulate and even harder to solder, and would likely break again at the
repair point almost immediately. Out they went - into the e-waste recycling.

Another thing that is much different today than in yesteryear is the very
economics of electronic devices.  Of course I would never consider taking
that chewed up headset to a repair shop - if I could even locate a repair
shop that would touch it. The fact of the matter is that it is usually
cheaper to simply replace a broken electronic item than to repair it.  Some
items are not repairable anyway, since they may have sealed cases or
impossible to find parts. 

That brings us to the decision point:  When to fix or when to pitch.  It all
depends on the item itself, so here's a checklist to help you decide:

1.      Is it an expensive item?
2.      Is it a somewhat unique, special-purpose item, such as an HF
3.      Is the damage relatively minor?
4.      Is there an authorized repair facility for that product?
5.      Is the item relatively new and had it been serving your needs before
it failed?

If you answered "yes" to three or more of the questions, you might consider
fixing it, or at least getting a quote for repairs. If the item was small
and inexpensive in the first place, it is probably not economically
repairable. The same goes for old gear that has served you for years but
which is no longer worth much and could easily be replaced by simply looking
on the used market. 

I saw some new imported dual band radios for under $90 at the hamfest last
weekend. If you had a problem with one of those radios after a few years,
would it be worth repairing?  Probably not, if the shipping and service
charges exceed $50-60, as one might expect.  I guess the point is that there
is not definitive answer, but you do have to weigh the options.  If you do
decide to throw something out, please do so responsibly and make sure that
it is properly recycled. 

Send your ideas about troubleshooting to wa0tda@xxxxxxxx for possible
inclusion in next week's edition of your weekly e-letter.



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

Bob Zeida, N1BLF, writes:

Pat. I've downloaded the June issue of Worldradio and obviously very
pleasantly surprised to see your smiling face and familiar cup of coffee
mug. It will be the first feature piece after NEWS and Editors Log in the
recording. You should have it perhaps by Friday this week. Not sure though.


Thanks, Bob!  We will be looking forward to that new issue of Worldradio. 


A dip in the pool

Description: circuit board

G2D09, which is from the new General pool, asks us: What information is
traditionally contained in a station log?

Your possible answers are:

A. Date and time of contact
B. Band and/or frequency of the contact 
C. Call sign of station contacted and the signal report given 
D. All of these choices are correct

The answer is D, since all of the choices are correct.  Logging software
usually fills in the frequency, date, and time for you via a data connection
to your radio. You fill in the other station's callsign and the software can
usually look up the op's name and location.  You will have to fill in any
comments and a signal report manually. 


Remote Base Report for 25 May 2011

Description: Remote Base Update

The W0EQO & W0ZSW Handiham Remote Base HF stations are on line.  EchoLink is
disabled on W0ZSW. We still have W0EQO-L available for people who just want
to listen. This is due to a driver problem on the W0ZSW host computer. 

Please report any problems to:  <mailto:wa0tda@xxxxxxxx> 


This week @ HQ

*       We are going to be closed on Monday, 30 May 2011 for the United
States Memorial Day holiday.  
*       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. 
*       The audio magazine digest will be updated for our blind members on
Friday, 27 May. The private email list will receive a notification. 
*       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, 25 May 2011 - 27 May Update - Patrick Tice