[handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 25 September 2013

  • From: Patrick Tice <wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2013 14:30:45 -0500

*Courage Kenny Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 25
September 2013*

This is a free weekly news & information update from Courage Kenny Handiham
System <http://handiham.org/>. Our contact information is at the end, or
simply email handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx for changes in subscriptions or to
comment. You can listen to this news online.

MP3 audio:

Get this podcast in iTunes:

RSS feed for the audio podcast if you use other podcasting software:
http://feeds.feedBurner.com/handiham <http://feeds.feedburner.com/handiham>
*Welcome to Handiham World.*Antenna improvements completed at W0ZSW

[image: Dave, W0OXB prepares a center connector on a wire antenna.]

Work was planned and led by volunteer Dave Glas, W0OXB.  Here we see Dave
in a file photo showing how he solders the center connector wiring as the
open wire line is affixed to the horizontal wires.

[image: Olive tree lies on the ground.]

The antenna at W0ZSW needed work after summer storm damage. It had been
replaced in a temporary configuration. The trouble began in June, when
there was a stretch of three weeks rain followed by strong winds.  Its
roots soaked and weakened, a big, sturdy olive tree fell, taking the
northeastern leg of the 200 foot antenna down with it. Several other trees
went down, too - so there was a lot of clean up work to do.  In late June
the antenna was restrung and placed in the temporary location.  Overall,
the antenna's performance was marginal over the remaining summer months as
band conditions were poor, combined with the temporary setup.

It was replaced on Tuesday 24 March 2013 with a repaired double extended
zepp (W0OXB Special) dipole fed with 450 ohm ladder line and a 4:1 current
balun.  Minor finishing work remains to be completed, but as of now the
station is operational. Reports or comments may be directed to

Remaining work includes weatherproofing the current balun, performing more
tests, and replacing the power supplies with a single 50 amp unit.  I have
located an Astron RS-50M, the model with a meter, for use in the station.
The Kenwood TS-480HX radio requires two "standard" capacity power supplies
to operate and even has two separate power connectors.  The single 50 amp
supply will have the capacity to handle the greater current demand of the
radio, even in 200 watt operation.

What's up for the future?


   We could consider using the TS-480HX's second antenna port for another
   antenna.  We would appreciate your feedback on the current antenna system
   and any other ideas you might have if you are a registered user.

   Radiosport:  Are there any users out there who might be interested in
   using the station to work toward awards or participate in contests?  How
   would a shared resource be used in a contest, anyway?

   What about the software?  Is it working for you and do we need to
   improve it to make the station more useful?

Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Courage Kenny Handiham Coordinator

[image: Bob Zeida, N1BLF, at his recording desk.]

Handiham volunteer Bob Zeida, N1BLF, shared an article that was written
about him  recently.
most of you know, Bob has recorded many, many hours of audio for us over
the years, tackling magazine articles, books, and the periodic question
pool updates.  He has even volunteered at Radio Camp!  If I comb the photo
archives, I know I'll run across a photo of Bob up in a tree at California
camp.  The article Bob sends is one that focuses on his volunteer recording
for us and for others over the years.  He has an impressive portfolio of
recordings and his work is much appreciated not only by us at Handihams but
by many others around the world!  Thank you, Bob!
Practical radio

[image: pliers and wire]
43 foot verticals

The 1/4 wave vertical antenna is resonant on a single band and is a good
match for 50 ohm coax. What about those 43 foot verticals we've been
hearing about?

The whole idea of the 43 foot vertical probably came about because no one
wants to deal with complexity in the mechanics of antenna design. Perhaps
it would be possible to pick a magic length for a simple vertical conductor
that could be made to tune on various ham bands without having to add stubs
or traps.  The sleek design would be good-looking compared to trapped or
stub-tuned multiband verticals and would be cheaper to produce.

Enter the 43 foot vertical.  It is - as Joel Hallas, W1ZR, points out in
QST, one-half of a 20 meter extended double zepp antenna. It is actually
not resonant on 20 meters, though.  If you fed it directly without a tuner,
you would have to put up with SWR readings of almost 10 to 1 on 20.  It
would tune on 10 and 60 meters without a tuner, though.  Unfortunately,
these antennas just do not work well above 20 meters.  In fact, in the
October 2013 QST Frank Fahrlander, N7FF, points this out and suggests a
method of adding dipole antennas on top of the 43 foot vertical, feeding
them with coax through the hollow center of the vertical's tubing. You can
check out both Joel's article about 43 foot verticals and how they work and
Frank's article about these mods in QST.  Joel's article is in the June
2012 issue and is entitled "The 43 Foot Vertical Monopole - What's the
Magic? <http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/arrl/qst_201206/index.php#/38>"
Frank's mods are in his article "Dipoles Atop a
in the October 2013 QST.  Both are available in the QST archives or in your
NLS Daisy audio editions. You must have your ARRL log in credentials to
read these articles on line.

What do I think of the 43 foot vertical?

Not much.  They tune best if you are willing to add a wide-range automatic
antenna tuner at the base of the antenna.  Anything short of that will tend
to be lossy, since SWRs can be as high as 54 to 1.  You might be tempted to
tune the antenna with a tuner located in the ham shack instead of outdoors
at the base of the radiating element, but those high SWR numbers will mean
lots of loss in the coax!  You are better off with a trap antenna if you
are interested in a low angle of radiation for DX and for better SWR
readings with less loss.

I suggest doing a web search for 43 foot vertical antennas and doing some
reading.  Find out what others think.  The bottom line is that they can
work, but the best place for the tuner is right at the base!  Remember that
you cannot get something for nothing.  The simplicity of the 43 footer is
attractive, but the extremely high SWR numbers are a concern - and a
deal-killer if you try to feed the antenna with coax and tune it with an
antenna tuner in the ham shack. And even if you get it to tune, the
performance can be rather poor on 14 MHz and above.

Remember that this column is about "practical radio", which is figuring out
what works and making the most of it.  Use what works for you!
Handiham Nets are on the air daily.

If there is no net control station during any scheduled net time, just go
right ahead and start a round table discussion.

[image: TMV71A transceiver]

*We are scheduled to be on the air daily at 11:00 USA Central Time, plus
Wednesday & Thursday evenings at 19:00 USA Central Time.  *A big THANK YOU
to all of our net control stations!  What will Doug, N6NFF, come up with
for his trivia question tonight?  I guess we'll just have to tune in and
listen!  Tune in and see how you do with the question this week, or just
check in to say hello.

*We maintain our nets at 11:00 hours daily relative to Minnesota time.
Since the nets remain true to Minnesota time, the difference between
Minnesota time and GMT is -5 hours.  The net is on the air at 16:00 hours
GMT.  *

*The official and most current net news may be found at:
http://www.handiham.org/nets *
*A dip in the pool*

[image: Pat shows off his new Plantronics USB headset!]

It's time to test our knowledge by taking a dip in the pool - the Amateur
Radio question pool, that is!

*Let's go to the Extra Class pool and examine a question about vertical

E9C11 asks:  "How is the far-field elevation pattern of a vertically
polarized antenna affected by being mounted over seawater versus rocky

Possible answers are:

A. The low-angle radiation decreases

B. The high-angle radiation increases

C. Both the high- and low-angle radiation decrease

D. The low-angle radiation increases

The correct answer is D, The low-angle radiation increases.  That is one
reason that those operators lucky enough to be located at the edge of the
sea and its excellent conducting salt water always seem to rack up the DX
points while those who live over rocky, crystalline poorly-conducting soil
have to put in extensive radial systems and still sometimes struggle to
work as many DX stations.

Please e-mail handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx to comment.
*This week @ HQ

[image: Cartoon robot with pencil]
Remote Base News

[image: W0EQO station in the server room at Courage North.]
*Both Handiham Remote Base internet stations W0ZSW and W0EQO are on line.
W0ZSW was off line for almost six hours yesterday for antenna repairs. Outages:
We are expecting minor outages on W0EQO as we do updates.  Outages are
reported on http://handiham.org/remotebase/station-status/.

*Band conditions:* As of this writing, conditions on HF are good.  Check
http://handiham.org/remotebase/station-status/ for a current HF conditions
report from G4ILO.

*Operating tip: * Find out how to tell if the remote base station is
already in use if you are using JAWS:

   - Listen to the tutorial:
   - Read the tutorial in accessible HTML:



[image: Pat holding up NLS digital cartridge and mailer]
Don't care to download Handiham materials via computer? This digital
cartridge and mailer can bring you Handiham audio digests each month, plus
we have room to put the audio lecture series or equipment tutorials on
them, too!

   - If you have trouble logging in, please let us know.
   - All Daisy materials are in zip file format, so you simply download the
   zip file you need and unzip it so the Daisy book folder can be accessed or
   moved to your NLS or other Daisy player.
   - Tip: When in the Daisy directory, it is easy to find the latest books
   by sorting the files by date. Be sure the latest date is at the top. The
   link to sort is called "Last Modified".
   - You can also find what is on a web page by using CONTROL-F.  This
   brings up a search box and you can type a key word in, such as
   "September".  You may find more than one September, including 2012, but you
   will eventually come across what we have posted for September 2013.

   - Our thanks to Bob, N1BLF, Jim, KJ3P, and Ken, W9MJY, for reading this
   month.  Look for these DAISY materials in the members section.

*Digital mailers are important: *If you do mail a digital cartridge to us,
please be sure that it is an approved free matter mailer. Otherwise it will
quickly cost us several dollars to package and mail out, which is more than
the cost of the mailer in the first place. We don't have a stock of
cartridges or mailers and not including a mailer will result in a long
delay getting your request back out to you.

*DAISY audio digests are available for our blind members who do not have
computers*, playable in your Library of Congress digital player.  Handiham
members who use these players and who would prefer to receive a copy of the
monthly audio digests on the special Library of Congress digital cartridge
should send a blank cartridge to us in a cartridge mailer (no envelopes,
please), so that we can place the files on it and return it to you via free
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mailer so that we can make sure we know who it's from. Blank cartridges and
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Inc. <http://www.aph.org/>

Digital Talking Book Cartridge Catalog Number: 1-02610-00, Price: $12.00

Digital Talking Book Cartridge Mailer Catalog Number: 1-02611-00, Price:

Order Toll-Free: (800) 223-1839.

The Library of Congress NLS has a list of vendors for the digital

Get it all on line as an alternative:  Visit the DAISY section on the
Handiham website after logging in.
Stay in touch

[image: Cartoon robot with cordless phone]

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 at
763-520-0512.  If you need to use the toll-free number, call

Handiham Program Coordinator Patrick Tice, WA0TDA, may be reached at
handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx or by phone at 763-520-0511.

Mornings Monday through Thursday are the best time to contact us.

The Courage Kenny Handiham Program 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.

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

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That's it for this week. 73 from all of us at the Courage Kenny Handihams!
Coordinator, Courage Kenny Handiham Program
Reach me by email at:

Nancy, Handiham Secretary:

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!

[image: ARRL diamond-shaped logo]

The weekly e-letter is a compilation of software tips, operating
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  • » [handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 25 September 2013 - Patrick Tice