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: <http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham.m3u> http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham.m3u Download the MP3 audio to your portable player: http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham.mp3 Get this issue as an audio podcast: http://feeds.feedburner.com/handiham _____ Welcome to Handiham World! cartoon happy clock The first order of business is the upcoming time change in November: Sunday, 1 November 2009, we move to standard time in the USA. The Handiham daily EchoLink net remains true to local time, so if you use local time to check in you will not notice any difference. However, if you use GMT, the net time appears to shift by 1 hour. Instead of beginning at 16:00 GMT, the net begins at 17:00 GMT. The first net affected by this change will be the Monday, 2 November EchoLink net. For net managers, the time change means making sure that net control stations are aware of the plan to shift net times by one hour relative to Universal Time. The problem is certainly one for amateur radio nets that have worldwide participation, since different parts of the world may elect to follow a seasonal time shift. About 70 countries have at least some form of daylight saving time. Three notable exceptions are China, India, and Japan. A station checking in to the Handiham EchoLink net via the N0BVE repeater system in Minnesota would observe no difference next Monday, as the net would begin at what appears to that station to be normal local time, 11:00 in the morning. However, relative to GMT (which never shifts by the season), the net will now begin an hour later, at 17:00 hours GMT instead of 16:00 hours GMT. An easy way to remember the difference is to know the "normal" number of hours between your local time and GMT. In Minnesota, where I live, the difference between local time and GMT is +6 hours. That means if the net is on at 11:00 hours in Minnesota, I add 6 hours to 11 hours and the total is 17:00 hours GMT. That is the same as 5:00 in the afternoon Universal Time. In the summer, when Daylight Time is in effect, the difference between Minnesota time and GMT is only 5 hours. So, to set forth a practical example, a station checking in from Japan will notice that the net now begins at 2:00 a.m. during the winter, when we shift to standard time. All summer, when Minnesota was on Daylight Time, that same station in Japan would see the net starting at 1:00 a.m., so you can see that it might be more difficult for Asian stations to keep the net schedule at such an inconvenient hour. We also get check ins from India, and since, like Japan, India does not shift times from Daylight to Standard, those stations will also observe that the net begins an hour later. The Handiham Monday HF nets also remain true to local time, the only problem being whether or not we are even going to bother keeping these nets on the books, so to speak. The nets, other than the CW net, have fallen into disuse and might as well be abandoned. The relentless sunspot minimum with its poor band conditions has taken a toll on participation, and the RFI that prevented us from using our old station at Courage Center meant that we could not pick up the net if there was no other net control station available. We had a number of dedicated phone operators who stuck it out as long as they could on the 20 meter net, 14.265 MHz, but when stations just don't show up, there really isn't much of a net. A perennial problem with the 14.265 frequency is that the Salvation Army Net backs up against our net time and does not always change with the season. It is time to decide what to do with these HF nets. The CW net stays in place on 40 meters, but the HF phone nets need a complete re-thinking. Let's hear your ideas, now that the sun is again showing signs of life and solar cycle 24 will begin bringing us better HF band conditions. Oh, and let's not assume that all the activity will be on 14 MHz and above. Maybe you would like to have a 75 meter net, or perhaps a 160 meter net, either of which would allow for fairly wide geographic coverage during the upcoming northern hemisphere winter. While nets are normally discouraged on 17 meters, we used to have an informal gathering on that band during cycle 23, when the band was open often. Alan, K2WS, started that "informal non-net get-together". When band conditions became so bad that we just couldn't keep the 17 meter non-net going, it simply died out. Maybe conditions will improve and we can get together informally on that band, or perhaps have a more formal net on a higher frequency band like 10 or 15 meters. Think of the advantages of a 10 meter net: · Novices and Technicians can operate SSB phone between 28.3 and 28.5 MHz. · A quarter wave vertical antenna for the 10 meter band is only about eight and a quarter feet (2.5 meters) long. It is much easier to fit a 10 meter band antenna into a apartment or condo living situation than it is to fit a 20 meter antenna into that same space. · Band conditions will soon favor 10 meters with the solar cycle producing higher sunspot numbers. That means that smaller antenna systems and lower transmitter power will become practical for working HF again. · There is a lot of spectrum space on the 10 meter band. It is not crowded with stations as the 20 meter band is. · Modern multiband rigs cover the 10 meter band, so many of us already have the equipment we need. · The Handiham Remote Base station at Courage North operates on the 10 meter band, offering another way to get on the air. Look, all I'm asking is that we mull this idea over and think about the HF nets. I hate to drop the 20 meter net altogether, but 14.265 MHz is just a very crowded frequency. We could consider running the net in a less crowded part of the band, but that would mean moving to the Advanced or Extra portions of 20 meters. Do you have any ideas about that? Perhaps it would offer even more incentive for some of our Generals to upgrade, but even if they don't want to upgrade, there would be other nets that they could join on bands like 10 meters. I guess we have to admit that every station is not going to be able to get on every net. The secret to building a successful on the air community is to have enough choices, alternatives that serve as many Handiham members as possible. For Handiham World, I'm... Patrick Tice, wa0tda@xxxxxxxx Handiham Manager _____ Sunspot 1029 gets active Sunspot 1029 gets active (SOHO image) Image credit: SOHO Sunspot 1029, first reported on October 25, is advancing across the solar disk (left to right in the SOHO photos) from day to day. Part of new cycle 24, its robust growth is good news for amateur radio operators around the world, who have been waiting for cycle 24 to really get underway. Spaceweather.com reports that 1029 is also the most active spot of the year, having produced 6 C-class flares in the past 48 hours (as of 15:00 CDT Tuesday.) The sunspot group is actively growing, and you can even see a movie of the growth and see some excellent photos by amateur astronomers: http://spaceweather.com/ _____ Report on free Microsoft Security Essentials software By Ken Silberman, KB3LLA I installed Microsoft Security Essentials from the link in the 14 October 2009 "Handiham World Weekly E-Letter". It installed as advertised and without any problems. It seems to be very accessible. All of the buttons and dropdown boxes are accessible by tabbing through the application's window. The only menu item is the one that sizes and closes the window. The protection status of your computer is displayed in the system tray, and you can also open the program from the tray or from the desktop shortcut. There are some items in the program's window that give some useful status information but are not read. So, I recommend that folks read the application window with the JAWS (mouse) cursor to get acquainted with the program the first time and every time that they run it. The window reads easily. Additionally, the initial scan takes some time. Updates are automatic and free as is the software for registered copies of Windows. I do recommend that folks still use a firewall such as Zone Alarm or the Windows firewall. My computer has sure speeded up, and MS Security Essentials found some remote-control malware on my machine that the competition didn't! Getting Windows Security Essentials Windows Security Essentials works really well, and is not a system resources hog like some of the other antivirus and security suites. It is also free, which is definitely a plus in my book. Microsoft Security Essentials provides real-time protection for your home PC that guards against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. Problem is, it can be a little difficult to find out exactly where to get this new, free security software. Here is a handy link to a Blind <http://blog.blindaccessjournal.com/2009/09/download-instructions-for-micros oft.html> Access Journal article to get you started: <http://tinyurl.com/yf5g74o> http://tinyurl.com/yf5g74o _____ Slideshow <http://www.handiham.org/node/594> of new Handiham HQ I apologize for the relative inaccessibility of the Flash slideshow to our blind readers. The content shows the overall room, which is large and bright, with white walls and excellent lighting, including some large windows facing a beautiful wooded area. The ham shack has a wooden storage cabinet like the one at Courage North, and this can serve both to secure the equipment and to serve as an operating desk, since the front folds down into a desk surface. Next to that cabinet, we have a TS-570SAT station on a more standard computer desk. Since the area serves as office space, I have a work area with my computers that connect me to the company network and the internet. The DAISY book production gear is also there. At the rear of the room, we have a good-sized computer lab area that can be used to produce video. There is even a modern countertop with a kitchen sink! The entire room is nicely carpeted, which helps to hold down noise. There is a large double door opening directly to the outside, through which wheelchair users can roll without a ramp. Finally, we have several large equipment storage cabinets. The antenna outside the window is a GAP vertical, but we do intend to get several other antennas into service, including the triband beam. _____ Letters Thanks for slide show, Pat. What a facility! I gather from previous postings that the tower and tribander are not immediately at the new shack. In situations where the coaxial cable runs are long, hard-line is warranted, as you well know, and relatively inexpensive (sometimes free) CATV 75 ohm trunk line has been used. The additional VSWR is easily tuned out by the transceiver's internal antenna tuner. W2FMI transformers may help, if needed. Good luck and have fun, Jeff, K0JS. _____ 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 Volunteer reader Bob Zeida, N1BLF, has completed the November Worldradio digest. 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. · 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) · Pat's phone number goes directly to voice mail, due to a problem with our forwarding system. Leave a message with the best time to return your call. · Our email address (for Nancy's office) is <mailto:hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx · Pat can be reached by email any time at <mailto:wa0tda@xxxxxxxx> wa0tda@xxxxxxxx or <mailto:patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx · The equipment loan program is on hold right now due to limited staff hours. o The Handiham equipment program still welcomes donations of good ham radio equipment. o We plan to distribute donated equipment to our radio campers at the next Radio Camp session. o Handiham members who already have equipment out on loan may continue to borrow that equipment. · Minnesota Radio Camp dates for 2010, Camp Courage: Arrive Friday, May 21 Class days: Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday VE Exam Day: Thursday (VE team still needed.) Depart Friday, May 28 · Camp Courage is west of Minneapolis. The address is 8046 83rd St NW, Maple Lake, MN. o The phone number of the Camp Courage office is (320) 963-3121. o If you want to receive a Camp Courage summer camp schedule, you may call for one. The camp schedule includes information about Handiham Radio Camp. If you need specific information about the radio camp or want to be on the radio camp mailing list, you may call Nancy in the Handiham office at 1-866-426-3442. o Here is an interactive Google map showing Camp Courage: <http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=embed&hl=en&geocode=&q=camp+courage+ maple+lake+mn&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=41.496446,93.076172&ie=UTF8&hq=cam p+courage&hnear=Maple+Lake,+MN&ll=45.271066,-94.056286&spn=0.084565,0.145912 &z=12> View Larger Map · 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. · Volunteers, get your October hours in through VOLLI - I'll be checking them soon! You may also submit volunteer hours to Nancy at <mailto:hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx · 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. · 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. _____ Elsewhere: computer Looking for a metric calculator? You can convert feet to meters or vice-versa by using the World Wide Metric web calculator: <http://www.worldwidemetric.com/metcal.htm> http://www.worldwidemetric.com/metcal.htm How about a time calculator? Find out what time it is around the world: <http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/> http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/ _____ NASA App for the iPhone and iPod touch is available free WASHINGTON -- A NASA App for the iPhone and iPod touch is available free of charge at the App Store from Apple. The NASA application will deliver a wealth of information, videos, images and news updates about NASA missions to people's fingertips. "Making NASA more accessible to the public is a high priority for the agency," said Gale Allen, director of Strategic Integration and Management for NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate in Washington. "Tools like this allow us to provide users easy access to NASA information and progress at a fast pace." The NASA App collects, customizes and delivers an extensive selection of dynamically updated information, images and videos from various online NASA sources. Users can access NASA countdown clocks, the NASA Image of the Day, Astronomy Image of the Day, online videos, NASA's many Twitter feeds and other information in a convenient mobile package. It delivers NASA content in a clear and intuitive way by making full use of the iPhone and iPod touch features, including the Multi-Touch user interface. The New Media Team at NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif., developed the application. The NASA App also allows users to track the current positions of the International Space Station and other spacecraft currently orbiting Earth in three views: a map with borders and labels, visible satellite imagery, or satellite overlaid with country borders and labels. "We're excited to deliver a wide range of up-to-the-minute NASA content to iPhone and iPod touch users," said Gary Martin, director of the New Ventures and Communications Directorate at Ames. "The NASA App provides an easy and interesting way for the public to experience space exploration." For more information about NASA's iPhone application, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/iphone (NASA) _____ Kudos Congratulations to Rachel, KC0VBV: We received a postcard in the mail from Ann Niedringhaus (Rachel's mother). Rachel's artwork was featured on the front of the postcard that was an invitation to an art show put on by Rise, <http://www.rise.org/> Incorporated, which is on display at the Dunn Brothers <http://www.dunnbros.com/locate_results.asp?location_id=17> Coffee Shop at Loring Park in Minneapolis though Oct. 30th. Rachel's piece is entitled "Energy is Life" and Ann included this note, "Her text was about ham radio. Rachel was so excited about this that she wanted to share it." The postcard says, "This unique art show featuring works created by people who have physical and intellectual disabilities." They had a reception for the art show back on Oct. 8 at the coffee shop, so we can see why Rachel was excited that her art was featured in the announcement. _____ 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: When: Wednesday evenings at 19:30 hours Minnesota time (7:30 PM) GMT: Thursday morning at 00:30 Z this week, but remember that next week the GMT start will be 01:30 once we return to standard time. Where: 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 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 Nancy at: 1-866-426-3442 or email: <mailto:hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> 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 toll-free. 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> 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 Handi-ham System Reach me by email at: <mailto:patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> 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 10/28/2009 - 19:28 · Login <http://www.handiham.org/user/login?destination=comment/reply/596%2523commen t-form> to post comments · Printer-friendly <http://www.handiham.org/print/596> version · Send <http://www.handiham.org/printmail/596> 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.