[handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 30 June 2010

  • From: "Patrick Tice" <wa0tda@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2010 15:49:57 -0500

This is a free weekly news & information update from Courage Center Handiham
System. Please do not reply to this message. Use the contact information at
the end, or simply email handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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Welcome to Handiham World!

Raining on a parade


Now that Field Day is over, we can look forward to a relatively quiet time
on the HF bands. Summer thunderstorms are making a lot of racket, and even
the 6 m band may have already peaked for the summer season. June is
typically a good month for 6 m,

and some activity was still being heard early yesterday morning. Sometimes
sporadic-E skip can help make the VHF bands exciting during the high summer
months, but you have to be on the lookout. Ducting can occur and enhance
long distance communications, even on 2 m repeaters. One way to check
conditions is to set your radio to scan, especially in the early morning
hours. You never know what you might hear!

So let's get to the topic at hand. I'm sure you have heard the expression
"raining on a parade". What it means is that someone has mostly negative or
uncomplimentary things to say about someone else's idea or event. After all,
no one enjoys going to a parade and then having a rainstorm come up so that
everyone gets soaked and the parade is ruined, right? When someone disrupts
an activity for someone else, whether by simply proselytizing against it and
saying negative things or by actually getting in the way of that activity,
that is "raining on the parade."

I was tuning the HF bands, listening for potential contacts, as were many
other people during last weekend's Field Day event. While my interest lies
mainly in the social aspects of the contest rather than the point score, I
do still enjoy listening around the bands to find out who is making contacts
and what the HF propagation conditions are like. I ran across an unfortunate
QSO -- if you can even call it that -- around 14.270 MHz. There seemed to be
some kind of argument or perhaps even a monologue going on about one guy
suing another guy, and then there was a CQ for a "no contest contest",
during which the caller went on and on without much listening time and
sparse identification. It didn't take long to figure out that he hated Field
Day and was not shy about letting everyone else know his opinion.

Of course anyone is entitled to an opinion and the regulations say that you
only need to identify your station at the end of the series of transmissions
and once every 10 minutes. While making domestic contacts, there is actually
no requirement to identify your station right away. The thing I find
disturbing is that it seems so confrontational to behave in this
ungentlemanly manner. Field Day is a popular operating activity, and this
really amounts to "raining on the parade". Why not just let people enjoy the
contest during this one weekend out of the year and let it go at that? Or,
if one really wanted to operate without competition from contesters, one
could just as easily get on one of the bands that is not used in the

Most of the amateur radio operators one meets either in person or on the air
are really friendly, but a single loudmouth can give our service a bad name.

My advice? 

Ignore the loudmouths and lead by giving good example yourself. Avoid the
temptation to make a contact with anyone who seems primed for a verbal
confrontation. Avoid giving them the satisfaction of knowing that they got
your attention. This is pretty much the same thing we have been told by
seasoned operators about how to deal with people who cause interference on
repeaters or during scheduled nets. While it is seemingly passive to let
someone blather on and simply ignore them, it is probably the most effective
course of action because it does not lead to  an escalation of the situation
on the air. Of course willful violations of rules and regulations should be
documented and reported to the governing authority, the FCC in our case, if
the situation is ongoing and serious. 

Wise old Elmer says:

*       Always identify your transmissions. 
*       Be polite while sharing the bands.  
*       Welcome those who are new to operating, and be patient with them
when they make mistakes.  
*       Be thoughtful and kind to others.  
*       Respect the fact that other operators may have different operating
goals, and give them their time and space on the bands to pursue them. 

For Handiham World, I'm...

Patrick Tice


Countdown: Old Technician Pool expires at end of the day June 30, 2010

Studying for license

The old Technician Pool expires at end of the day June 30, 2010. It will be
replaced with a new pool valid from July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2014. If you
have been studying for your Technician license under the old pool, you have
until the end of the day June 30 to take and pass the exam under the old
question pool. After that, the new pool, with different questions, will be
used to generate all Technician exams.

The old Technician audio lectures have been removed from the Handiham site.

Find an exam session in your area:

ateur-radio-license-exam-sessi on



Tracking and Data Relay Satellite first generation (NASA)

Image: TDRS-1 (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON -- After a long and successful career providing communications
support, NASA's groundbreaking Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) 1 is

On Sunday, June 27, NASA shut down the satellite that launched into orbit
during space shuttle Challenger's maiden voyage (STS-6) in April 1983. From
1983 to 1998, TDRS-1 provided NASA with the ability to communicate with
other satellites in orbit. NASA reassigned TDRS-1 in 1998 to support the
National Science Foundation's (NSF) U.S. Antarctic Program and others on
scientific, educational and operational endeavors.

TDRS-1 worked with eight additional satellites to relay data and
communications from more than 15 customers, including the NSF, the Hubble
Space Telescope, the shuttle and the International Space Station. The TDRS
system provides the capability not only to send commands and receive data,
but also to navigate and talk with crews in orbit.

"TDRS-1 paved the way for this incredible space communications system," said
Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for NASA's Space Operations
Mission Directorate. "The remaining TDRS satellites, and the new satellites
that will be online within three years, will carry on these critical
capabilities for many NASA missions, including science and human

TDRS-1 was the first satellite used to support launches from NASA's Kennedy
Space Center in Florida in the early 1990s, returning real-time telemetry.
It eliminated a dead zone over the Indian Ocean where there previously was
no communication, providing full coverage for the space shuttle and
low-Earth orbiting satellites.

TDRS-1 proved helpful during a 1999 medical emergency at the NSF's Antarctic
Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. The satellite's high-speed Internet
connectivity allowed personnel to conduct telemedicine conferences. Doctors
in the United States aided Dr. Jerri Nelson, who had breast cancer, in
performing a self-biopsy and administering chemotherapy. Later, in 2002,
doctors used TDRS-1 to perform another telemedicine conference with the
station to assist in knee surgery for a meteorologist.

Because of its orbit, the satellite was able to link the North and South
Poles and relayed the first pole-to-pole phone call. TDRS-1 also transmitted
the first internet connection and live webcast from the North Pole and
supported the first global television event from the South Pole Station - a
worldwide television broadcast to commemorate the beginning of the year

TDRS-1 was instrumental in supporting innovative astronomy and astrophysics
research programs at the South Pole Station, including the one-of-a-kind
IceCube Neutrino Observatory and the South Pole Radio Telescope. The
satellite transmitted gigabytes of science research data to university
researchers worldwide on a daily basis.

The first six TDRS satellites were built by TRW Inc. (now Northrop Grumman
Corp.). Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems also built three TDRS
satellites. NASA plans to launch two additional satellites into the Tracking
and Data Relay Satellite System by 2013.

On June 13, 2010, the satellite arrived at its final destination,
approximately 22,500 miles above the Earth. After the orbit is stabilized
and the remaining fuel removed, NASA shut down the satellite on Sunday, June

For more information about the TDRS system, visit:


For more information about NASA and agency programs, visit:


The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency that
supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and
engineering. For more information on the NSF, visit:



Amateur Radio recognized in proclamation by Minnesota Governor Pawlenty

Amateur Radio Operator Recognition Days proclamation signed by Minnesota
Governor Tim Pawlenty

The proclamation reads:

State of Minnesota Proclamation

Whereas: during times of national, state and local emergency, amateur radio
operators have provided communication resources at no cost to Minnesota
taxpayers; and

Whereas: Amateur radio clubs throughout Minnesota provide courses of
instruction and assistance with elementary and high school programs about
amateur radio. These efforts  enhance student interest in science,
geography, and physics, and provide an opportunity for students to become
licensed amateur radio operators; and

Whereas: Amateur radio operators trained in spotting and reporting severe
weather assist the National Weather Service and the State of Minnesota
through the SKYWARN program; and

Whereas: Amateur radio organizations provide communications support for
community and public service events; and

Whereas: Amateur radio organizations, such as the Radio Amateur Civil
Emergency Service (RACES) and the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES),
are organized and trained to provide effective emergency communications

Now, therefore, I, Tim Pawlenty, Governor of Minnesota, do hereby proclaim
the days of June 26 and 27, 2010, as:

Amateur Radio Operator Recognition Days

In the state of Minnesota.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of
the State of Minnesota to be affixed at the State Capitol this 23rd day of
June in the year of our Lord 2010, and of the State the 152nd.

The document is signed by Governor Pawlenty and Secretary of State Mark


Out there

Found by Dick Garey, WB0CAF: Add Universal Keyboard Shortcuts to Windows
Media Player.

WMP Keys is a global hot keys support add-on for Windows Media Player. This
would be useful for anyone who doesn't want to use the mouse. It is an
open-source project available from Sourceforge.net:


Here is a short note about WMP Keys on the Fred's Head site:


One error in the Fred's Head article is that WMP Keys is attributed to
Microsoft.  In fact, it is open-source software and does not come from
Microsoft's website.


Handiham Radio Club President meets Elvis

Photo: Elvis, right, plants a smooch on Ken, KB3LLA, left.  Bill Rouch,
N6HBO photo.

Few of us get to meet someone as famous and distinguished as Handiham Radio
Club President Ken Silberman, KB3LLA. In fact, Elvis was so impressed that
he decided to plant a big kiss on Ken. In this photo, Ken is visiting the
radio camp horse barn and Elvis (the horse, not the singer) took a fancy to
Ken.  We have all heard of politicians on the campaign trail kissing babies
to garner votes, and guess what?  Ken was elected! You've gotta do what
you've gotta do. 



cartoon dog barking at postal carrier

Howard, KE7KNN, writes:

Our Field Day was great! I met a dad & mom who have their children studying
for their Technician. They found our Field Day site by just driving down the
road and seeing the sign and all the activity at the site. The mom was
feeling left out of ham radio, so she is now learning, too - being taught by
her kids! Soon this will be an all-ham-radio family.


This week @ HQ

*       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

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

*       Bob Zeida, N1BLF, has completed the July Worldradio audio digest for
our blind members. The CQ audio digest will also be posted shortly.
*       We have finished reading the July, 2010 QST audio digest. Ken
Padgitt, W9MJY, has completed the June 2010 Doctor column from QST for our
blind members, but the July edition of the Doctor column will be delayed.
Handiham members who use adapted audio can log in to members only for the
digest. If you qualify for National Library Service audio books, you can get
the entire issue of QST, once the issue is read and cataloged. 
*       The new Technician pool is online at Handiham.org, as modified for
Handiham use. Find it in the Manuals section.

.         Shipping address for Handihams: Our shipping address is different
than our mailing address, though we can still get packages and mail at
either address. The thing is, it is much, much easier if packages, such as
equipment donations, are sent directly to our headquarters office. This is
the same address where Radio Camp will be held. 


Camp Courage
Handiham System
8046 83rd Street Northwest
Maple Lake, MN 55358-2454 

Please don't call the Camp Courage number to reach Handihams. The phone at
the main Camp Courage office for all departments is (320) 963-3121. However,
we do not always get phone messages left at that number in a timely manner,
so if you wish to leave a phone message, be sure to call:  

Pat: 763-520-0511

Nancy: 763-520-0512 

Nancy and I will get your calls or voicemails at those numbers no matter
where we are working. 

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"

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

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 2010.



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 $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

.         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
<http://www.handiham.org/> 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: 



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.


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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.


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  • » [handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 30 June 2010 - Patrick Tice