This is a free weekly news & information update from Courage Center Handiham System. 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 stream: http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham.m3u Download the 40 kbs MP3 audio to your portable player: http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham.mp3 Get this podcast in iTunes: <http://www.itunes.com/podcast?id=372422406> Description: Subscribe in iTunes RSS feed for the audio podcast if you use other podcasting software: http://feeds.feedburner.com/handiham _____ Welcome to Handiham World! In this edition: · New net will be on 75 m · Band plan isn't the same as frequency chart · Dip in the pool · NASA internships available for students with disabilities · Launch date set for Discovery mission · Putting in a speech module proves to be quite a chore · K1RFD puts in a guest appearance on TIPSnet · This week at HQ _____ It's time for a new HF net - Part 3 Description: FT-718 rig Two weeks ago we said : We need at least consider moving our HF net to 160, 75, or 40 meters, and those bands are likely to be most useful in the evening. Because 160 requires a very long antenna, it is impractical for many users. 40 can get crowded, but requires the shortest antenna of the three. Of course we can consider reviving our 17 meter "non-net roundtable", which was originally started by Alan, K2WS, but the sun will have to spit out a few more spots for that band to get where it needs to be. So what do you think? 160? 75? 40? Or something else? And what about the time and day? Decision time is here! we really need to get moving on this new net, and the consensus seems to be building around 75 m as the best band. Therefore, we will proceed to the next step, which is choosing a net frequency. Most of the responses I have gotten indicate that users would prefer a frequency in the Extra or Advanced class portions of the phone band. We were reminded by one respondent about the "DX window" in the ARRL band plan, which is 3.790 to 3.800 MHz. The Extra portion of the band runs from 3.600 to 3.700 MHz. The Advanced portion runs from 3.700 to 3.800 MHz. The General portion runs from 3.800 MHz to the top of the band at 4.000 MHz. All General frequencies are available to Advanced and Extra licensees, of course. So the next step is to start listening in the evening for clear frequencies. Please report the frequency and the time you listened along with the day of the week so that we can pick a mostly clear spot for a regular weekly net. By the way, the net does not have to be weekly ? it could be daily, a couple of times a week, or whatever Handiham Radio Club members think is appropriate and reasonable. Send your reports to me over the coming week so that we can move on to the next step and get the word out about our new 75 m net. By the way, there are no plans to make this a formal traffic net or anything like that. While I wouldn't rule out the possibility of handling traffic, I think it would be fun to just have a nice social net on HF during the long winter evenings. As with the daily EchoLink net, we could enlist net control stations or simply have a more or less uncontrolled roundtable gathering. Maybe we will have some of both, depending on who shows up to join in the fun! Please e-mail me this week with your frequency and time suggestions, frequency reports, and other suggestions about the net. 73, Patrick Tice, WA0TDA Handiham Manager <mailto:wa0tda@xxxxxxxx> wa0tda@xxxxxxxx _____ ARRL Band Plan Most of us know what a frequency chart is, and we are likely to have one tacked up on the wall of the ham shack as a handy reference for FCC-assigned amateur radio frequencies. A frequency chart delineates our various bands and sub bands by mode and license class. Both print and electronic versions of this handy reference are available from a variety of sources. Less commonly known is a "band plan", specifically the ARRL band plan. Unlike a frequency chart, the ARRL band plan lays out special sub bands used for DX or special frequencies that might be used as calling frequencies. Unlike the frequency chart referencing FCC-assigned frequencies, the band plan provides a suggestion ? a blueprint, if you will ? for using our assigned frequencies in the most efficient manner possible. For example, when we talk about starting our new 75 m SSB net, we talked about avoiding a frequency that fell within the "DX window". There is no FCC regulation that tells us we may not operate a net within the DX window, but as responsible users of the bands we realize that voluntary cooperation in the support of keeping the DX window open for those who wish to work DX and hear weak DX stations will ultimately benefit amateur radio as a whole. The ARRL band plan is easy to find online. Simply head for the ARRL website and type band plan in the search box or use this direct link: http://www.arrl.org/band-plan-1 Take a few minutes to look the band plan over. It is organized by band and contains information on specific frequencies used for calling on various modes. If you are new to HF operation, you may not have taken time to examine the band plan, so you will have fun learning some of the voluntary guidelines that you didn't even know existed. That may give you ideas about trying new frequencies or modes of operation. In any case, the band plan is there for you, another excellent ARRL resource. _____ A dip in the pool No one told you there was going to be a quiz, right? I thought it would be fun to pick a question out of the question pool and see how many of us can remember the right answer. Ready? Here we go: E0A02 When evaluating exposure levels from your station at a neighbor?s home, what must you do? A. Make sure signals from your station are less than the controlled MPE limits B. Make sure signals from your station are less than the uncontrolled MPE limits C. Nothing; you need only evaluate exposure levels on your own property D. Advise your neighbors of the results of your tests Did you pick answer B, Make sure signals from your station are less than the uncontrolled MPE limits? That's the right choice, and important because your neighbor's property is in uncontrolled territory as far as picking the correct MPE limit is concerned. When you do a station evaluation, print out the results and place them in the FCC file in your ham shack along with your original license and any communications from the FCC, including your passwords for the FCC website. _____ NASA Internship Opportunities for Summer 2011 Description: NASA's R2 humanoid robot (NASA image) NASA is looking to increase the number of blind and disabled students, pursuing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers through our internship programs. We have a two-percent hiring goal. Students can apply between November 1 and February 1. They can register for an account and look for internships anytime at http://intern.nasa.gov/ . Internships run for ten weeks from May 31, 2011, through August 5, 2011. In order to be eligible to apply, students must be accepted as freshmen at an accredited institution of higher learning, i.e., a college or university at the time of the internship. This is what we call a rising freshman. NASA has internships for rising freshmen through doctoral students in STEM fields. A minimum GPA of 2.8 is required to apply; however, applicants must understand that the competition for internships is keen. The age limits for interns are eighteen years and up. Internships are available at all NASA centers nationwide. Students can submit applications where they either select or do not select an opportunity or opportunities. Selecting an opportunity or opportunities has the advantage of allowing applicants to be considered by mentors who work in disciplines of interest and at a particular center. For example, an opportunity having to do with the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) will be at Goddard in Maryland because SDO is here. Not selecting any opportunities may result in no mentors even looking at their applications because they will not have flagged their applications to mentors' opportunities. It's important to make clear that applications can be viewed by all mentors whether students select opportunities or not. However, not selecting any opportunities means that prospective interns will be hoping that a mentor happens to read their applications rather than directing their applications to mentors in fields and at centers of interest. Students, who are selected for internships, will receive an offer letter by E-mail sometime after February 2, 2011. They will then have five days to either accept or reject the offer on the website. The offer will automatically expire after five days if no action is taken. Please feel free to contact me for more information or help with applying. Kenneth A. Silberman, Esq. U.S. Supreme Court, Maryland, & Patent Bars B.A., M.Eng., J.D. NASA Engineer & Registered Patent Attorney Education Office Code 160 NASA/GSFC Mailstop 160 Bldg. 28 Rm. N165 Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA Voice: (301) 286-9281 Fax: (301) 286-1655 E-mail: kenneth.a.silberman@xxxxxxxx Office Location: Building 28 Room W151 Editor's note: Dr. Silberman, KB3LLA, holds Amateur Extra Class and is president of the Handiham Radio Club. _____ In other space news, NASA Sets Launch Date for Space Shuttle Discovery Mission <http://www.handiham.org/sites/default/files/images/spacesuit.jpg> Description: Spacesuit CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Space shuttle Discovery is scheduled to begin an 11-day mission to the International Space Station with a launch at 4:40 p.m. EDT on Monday, Nov. 1, from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The STS-133 mission is Discovery's final scheduled flight. Discovery's launch date was announced Monday at the conclusion of a flight readiness review at Kennedy. During the meeting, senior NASA and contractor managers assessed the risks associated with the mission and determined the shuttle and station's equipment, support systems and personnel are ready. More at: <http://www.handiham.org/node/952> http://www.handiham.org/node/952 _____ Remote base progress report: 27 October 2010 Description: Kenwood TS-570 Last week I had an interesting time getting some of the new equipment set up and tested. As we reported, Lyle, K0LR, had already configured the new tower computer. With that part of the project completed for the moment, I then turned my attention to un-boxing the new equipment for the station. That included the new Kenwood TS-480HX transceiver, two Samlex metered switching power supplies, an LDG AT-200Pro auto tuner, and, oh what's this? A tiny box containing the Kenwood VGS1 speech module, which hadn't been installed in the rig ahead of time as I had expected. "Well, time to roll up my sleeves and get to work", I thought. Out came the instruction manuals for the TS-480HX and the VGS1 module. The tiny instruction sheet that came with the module simply referred me to the main rig instruction manual for installation. The manual for the radio is pretty comprehensive and has a section on installing extra features, so I quickly located the part about the VGS1 installation. It seemed fairly straightforward and there would be (thankfully) no soldering. It's not that I mind soldering so much, but I hate to take a soldering iron to a circuit board on a brand-new piece of equipment! The procedure required removal of the top panel on the main part of the radio. Those of you familiar with the 480 know that it is a two-piece transceiver with a remote control head. The voice module installs in the main part of the radio, and the top panel is secured with eight tiny screws, four on the top and two on each side because the panel wraps around from the top down each side of the radio. All eight screws are exactly the same, with a Phillips head. Thinking a jeweler's screwdriver to be the most appropriate match to the screw heads, I gave it a try. These screws were really tight, so I needed more leverage and had to go to a screwdriver with a larger grip. The four screws on the top came off with no problem, as did the two on the left side of the radio. It was when I got to the seventh screw, the one at the back of the right side, that I encountered some real resistance. I could see that the screw wasn't mated exactly 90° into the cabinet, and it was pretty hard to remove, even with the screwdriver that had the larger handle. Still, I was able to remove it all right by bearing down hard so as not to strip the screw head. Can you guess where the story is going? Yup, you are right. That final eighth screw was a real bear. Pushing down on the head and trying to twist the screwdriver at the same time produced no results. It felt like the darned thing had been put in place at the factory with an air driver! When the head started to strip, I knew I was in trouble and began to think about the possibility of having to head for the Camp Courage machine shop to drill out the screw. I finally settled on a jeweler's screwdriver with a vice grip attached for leverage. With the body of the radio set on the carpeted floor between my legs, I knelt down so that I could bear down on the driver and twist the vice grip at the same time. Success! It finally let loose and I could proceed with the installation. Inside the rig, there were four more screws to remove so that I could take off a metal shield. The module itself mates to the main board under that metal shield with a matching plug, but in order to keep the module from vibrating loose, especially in mobile operation, Kenwood provides foam rubber stick-on shims to affix to the top and bottom of the module. These keep the module firmly in place once it is plugged in and the metal shield is screwed back in place. Everything fit perfectly, and I screwed the top cover back on, this time taking care to make sure that every screw was seated correctly and not over-tightened. After that experience, even dressing the power supply leads and tinning them with the soldering gun seemed pretty easy. Because the TS-480HX is a 200 Watt radio, it requires two power supplies. The radio comes with two DC power cables instead of just one. I have to wonder why the DC leads have almost 2 inches of insulation removed at the power supply ends. I cut those down and tinned them to fit into the Samlex receptacles without shorting. At the same time, I soldered the LDG power leads in parallel with those of one of the Kenwood power cords. Everything was fitted to the Samlex supplies and tightened up. The Samlex receptacles hold the DC cables in place with very effective set screws. After that, I scrounged up some short coax cable jumpers and our dummy load with built-in wattmeter, and connected the wattmeter to the antenna 1 position at the back of the rig. With everything in place, and the LDG tuner out of the RF circuit for the moment, I powered up both Samlex supplies and pushed the power button on the radio. What a relief when the radio came to life and announced the frequency! The receiver and speech module were both working, so it was time to check out the transmitter. The first check was on a 20 meter SSB frequency, and modulation seemed normal with the handheld microphone. A test with the mode set to RTTY showed that we were definitely getting full power out. A quick series of similar tests on the other bands showed normal, expected results. Next, I powered everything down and connected the LDG autotuner to antenna 2 on the radio and our 300 foot W0OXB wire antenna to the LDG. A series of tests on several bands indicated that we would have no problem getting a match. As expected, the autotuner clattered away each time it encountered a "new" frequency far enough away from those it had already tuned, so that it could store the frequencies in memory. After that, the LDG would tune almost instantly. I'm familiar with this tuner because I use the same model in my home station. Although it was mid-day, the time when the 75 m band is least useable because of high absorption due to solar radiation, I made a contact with another station on 3.925 MHz and got a good report. That completed the preliminary setup and testing, and the next step will be to configure the RIGblaster Nomic interface and get everything connected to the new control computer. I have decided to do this separately from the existing station setup so that there will be minimal interruption of service. In the meantime the TS-570 station remains in place and active when you log in. Would you like to try the station right now? If you would like to connect to the station via EchoLink to listen to the radio, you can search for W0ZSW-L, node 524906, and connect. Entering a frequency and pressing the enter key will allow you to change the radio's receive frequency from the EchoLink text box. Enter U, L, or A for Upper sideband, Lower sideband, or AM, respectively. One thing to remember is that EchoLink control only works on receive, not transmit, and it is only available if there is no control operator logged in to the W4MQ remote base software. Don't forget about our station at Courage North, in far northern Minnesota's lake country. If you would like to connect to the station via EchoLink to listen to the radio, you can search for W0EQO-L, node 261171, and connect. Just as with the other station, entering a frequency and pressing the enter key will allow you to change the radio's receive frequency from the EchoLink text box. Enter U, L, or A for Upper sideband, Lower sideband, or AM, respectively. One thing to remember is that EchoLink control only works on receive, not transmit, and it is only available if there is no control operator logged in to the W4MQ remote base software. _____ EchoLink founder K1RFD on TIPSnet - archived audio available Anne West, K1STM, and John West, N1IWT, write: Thanks for the giant turnout on TIPSnet last night, over 400 stations connected throughout the world to hear Jonathan Taylor K1RFD discuss EchoLink and internet linking.. in a close and personal way. Here is the link to a downloadable MP3 file (36 Mb): http://www.tipsnet.org/TIPSaudio/TIPSnet_EchoLink_K1RFD_10_26_10.mp3 In case you wish to stream the audio or download a smaller file size use these links: Listen to the audio stream from the Handiham server: http://handiham.org/audio/k1rfd_tipsnet102610.m3u Download the 18 MB file to your hard drive or portable player: http://handiham.org/audio/k1rfd_tipsnet102610.mp3 <http://handiham.org/audio/k1rfd_tipsnet102610.m3u> TIPSnet meets every Tuesday 7:30pm to 8:30pm local time (ET) on several RF linked repeaters throughout New England, including the *SPARC* system, our RF HUB in West Haven, CT connection is via the 147.505/146.505 repeater with input (-1 MHz PL 77.0) National and International connections are welcome via the New England Gateway - EchoLink Conference *NEW-ENG2* (node # 9127) and IRLP *New England Reflector* 912, Channel 7 (node # 9127), also the *DODROPIN* Conference server Node # 355800 and *HANDIHAM* node #494492. Streaming audio available at http://new-eng.com TIPS discussion welcomes messages from members please POST at: <mailto:at:tipsdiscussion@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> tipsdiscussion@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Our Info Page and Web Portal (the easy way to get to your acct) www.freelists.org/list/tipsdiscussion Subscribe to the list send a blank email with SUBSCRIBE in the subject field: <mailto:field:tipsdiscussion-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> tipsdiscussion-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx _____ This week @ HQ * This week's Friday Technician audio lecture will be on the subject of radio frequency interference (RFI). * A big thank you to our net control stations for "saying yes" and volunteering for this leadership role. We really appreciate your help and everyone has noticed that the nets are running more smoothly than ever. Here are some net tips from Howard, KE7KNN: * On November 7, we fall back one hour to standard time. The net remains true to whatever local time you use, but shifts by +1 hour for GMT relative to USA daylight time. Here in Minnesota, the difference is 6 hours, with GMT being 6 hours ahead. So if the net begins at 11 AM Minnesota time, that is 17:00 hours GMT, or 5 PM in London. * There is no time limit to the nets. The NCS may run as short or long a session as necessary or convenient. * Don't forget to use the word "recheck" to request a second check in through the NCS instead of just jumping back in. In any case, please keep rechecks to as few as possible. Too many rechecks can disrupt the net. * If you use the Echolink text box, remember that most of the net control stations will not be able to read your texts and no one using RF will see them, either. * Thanks to all participants, Net Control Stations, and listeners for making the net such a success! Tonight is net night. The Wednesday evening EchoLink net is at 19:30 United States Central Daylight time, which translates to +5 hours, or 00:30 GMT Thursday morning during North American Daylight Time. In the winter, the GMT schedule is +6 hours. Connect from any Internet-enabled computer in the world, and come out on Twin Cities repeater N0BVE on 145.450. If there is no designated Net Control, there will be a simple roundtable net. EchoLink nodes: KA0PQW-R, node 267582 N0BVE-R, node 89680 HANDIHAM conference server Node 494492 (Our preferred high-capacity node.) Other ways to connect: IRLP node 9008 (Vancouver BC reflector) WIRES system number 1427 * 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. _____ Supporting Handihams - Year-end is a critical time. 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 <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 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: 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! Pat, WA0TDA Manager, Courage Handiham System Reach me by email at: patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Nancy, Handiham Secretary: hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Radio Camp email: radiocamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx _____ 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.