[handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 5 January 2011

  • From: "Patrick Tice" <wa0tda@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 5 Jan 2011 15:34:59 -0600

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. 

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Welcome to Handiham World!  

Description: Pat, WA0TDA, at the Handiham booth in Dayton.

You know how people seem to be drawn to making resolutions at this time of
year?  Losing weight, balancing the checkbook (if you even use one anymore),
keeping the house clean, and all the usual things that seem to be hard to
get done and awfully easy to leave until tomorrow - those are the usual New
Year's resolutions.  Well, on New Year's Day I was listening to National
Public Radio, and I heard a discussion of resolutions, and I thought that
they came up with a brilliant suggestion. Since making and keeping
resolutions seems to be so difficult, why not quit making resolutions for
yourself and instead just make them for other people?

Now, THERE'S an idea!  Since I am so lousy at keeping my own resolutions, I
will instead tell YOU what you should do.  Not only will it be easier for
me, you will benefit by my great wisdom and while I sit and drink coffee and
eat donuts, YOU can be the one working out at the gym and eating celery.
What could possibly go wrong? 

So here are my New Year's resolutions for you:

·         You will get on the air every day, if you possibly can.  I call
this idea DOTA, which stands for "Daily On The Air". Not only is this a good
way to stay in touch with your friends, it is also a necessity if you want
to be familiar with your equipment.  I was discussing this with Linda,
N7HVF, recently in an email exchange. We both agreed that it is hard to
remember how to use some of the feature on your equipment if you don't get
on the air regularly, preferably every day.

·         You will follow the Amateur's Code to the best of your ability.
The Amateur's Code appears as regularly as clockwork in each new edition of
the ARRL Handbook. It was written by Paul Segal, W9EEA, in 1928, and it is
as good a set of guidelines today as it was then. To refresh your memory,
the amateur is considerate, loyal, progressive, friendly, balanced, and
patriotic. In the months ahead, we will be looking at each of these
guidelines individually and discussing each in more depth.  I will be happy
to have my brand-new 2011 ARRL Handbook available to help us as a reference.
It's an awesome book, and the entire contents - every bit of text - is
searchable in PDF on an accompanying compact disk.  I'm sure they still have
a good price on the Handbook at ARRL.org in case you want to pick one up. 

·         You will attend your local radio club meetings and do something to
participate, whether it is writing an article for the club newsletter,
taking a leadership post, being part of an ARES group, volunteering to plan
or run an operation on Field Day, helping another club member with a
project, or maintaining the club's equipment, repeater, or website.

·         If you are not a member of a radio club, you will find one and
(hopefully) join up.

·         You will be an ambassador for Amateur Radio by welcoming questions
from non-hams about our hobby and by stepping up to the plate to showcase
ham radio whenever you can, whether it is at a trade show, school classroom,
or through a media outlet.

·         You will resolve to give back as much as you get out of ham radio.
Get in the habit of saying "yes" when someone asks you to serve,
participate, help, whatever.  One good way to do this is to be a net control
station when someone asks for help covering their net session.

·         If you are a member of the Handiham Radio Club, you resolve to
participate in the Handiham nets as much as you can, and also help by
suggesting club activities and then participating.

·         Finally, you will practice good operating skills, and you will
start by always using your callsign correctly and never saying "73's"
instead of the correct "73" when you finish a QSO. 

I hope these New Year's resolutions keep you busy.  If anyone has
resolutions for me, I am holding my hands over my ears right now and saying,
"Nyaa, nyaa, nyaa, I can't heeeear you!" 

Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Handiham System Manager <mailto:wa0tda@xxxxxxxx> 


Shortwave America - alive and growing in 2011

Description: Plugged in cartoon robot

October 21st, 2008 - That's the day Shortwave America was born. Several
inspirations take responsibility for this now popular web publication coming
to life, along with necessity being the mother of invention and the sharp
mind of a seasoned writer in possession of a dream.

Dan Hensley, KC9NCF, has been an avid lover of radio communications since he
was young. His father and mother were both licensed in the radio service
long ago, and his father moved on to amateur radio in the 80s. It was in the
late 80s that Dan was exposed to commercial radio by Doug Zelden; otherwise
known as "Rabbi Doug" who was his grade school teacher and also a
semi-regular character on the "Kevin Matthews" show back when WLUP AM - 1000
was still on the air. Doug was responsible for introducing Dan to Kevin and
the gang at AM 1000. Ed Tyll then noticed Dan and had him in the studio
twice, and then as a regular guest during his late night show via telephone.

In the early 2000's, John and Jeff of "The John & Jeff Show" got to work
with Dan for a short while. It was December of 2006 when Dan got his FCC
Technician license, then following up with his General Class License at the
last Handiham California Radio Camp in 2008.

Since that October day in 2008, Shortwave America has seen continued growth
and has served the mission of keeping radio alive through station loggings,
radio related observations, silliness and sarcasm. Mix all of this together
with interviews of popular radio personalities, creative flow, ingenuity,
hard work, devotion, and what you get is a recipe for success.

This past year, Shortwave America has been featured twice on the longest
running short-wave radio show known to mankind; "The Happy Station Show"
which was revived by Keith Perron at PCJ Radio. Shortwave America also saw
the following highlights in 2010: The creation of a Numbers Station
Monitoring Resource that became popular with everyone at Enigma2000 and the
Spooks List, a focus on Communications Freedom In Iran that saw Canadian
radio host, Shabnam Assadollahi as both an interview subject and a special
guest with her interview of Dr, Mehrdad Emadi who is the Senior Economic
Adviser to the European Union. As part of that communications freedom focus,
Shortwave America also interviewed Mehrdad Emadi and Homayoun Mobasseri of
NEDA For A Free Iran.

Pam Mark Hall, a popular Christian Contemporary Music Musician from long ago
even promoted that three part series and became a fan of Shortwave America.
There was a special focus on RadioReference in the context of their live
audio feeds, a piece that went viral involving an 1800 foot tall radio tower
climbing video, daily increasing international readership, and a piece that
inspired a viral spoof of DXer's Unlimited host, Arnie Coro.

Shortwave America has become popular with the users of a popular internet HF
radio forum called HF Underground and its owner, Chris Smolinski; who also
owns the Spy Numbers Database. Shortwave America has seen praise from the
likes of Mr. Fahey who was responsible for uncovering and discovering the
transponder used by the Chinese Government for operating what is known as
"Firedrake" and then isolating the audio channels. That piece was done when
it was publicized that the China Radio International Censor tape was
publicly released. Other praise has been given by a veteran cryptographer,
Pirate Radio Weekly, The Southgate Amateur Radio Club who featured Shortwave
America in a piece about residents of Peoria, Illinois becoming upset about
a ham who is building several towers in the area, Lisnews, and a list of
other sources.

An important piece for Shortwave America that contributed to its growing
popularity was "History Of The California Repeater Wars - Part 1" that
included audio captured directly by Dan during one of the more disgusting
skirmishes on the W6NUT repeater in Los Angeles. During the production of
this piece, WA6ITF of Amateur Radio NEWSLINE was interviewed and generously
provided some information as part of the focus of that work.

Shortwave America has become so wildly popular that it now has over nine
thousand loyal readers and is looking to expand by way of an official
website, an on-line product store, and will start giving access to six or
more popular radio shows focusing on amateur and short-wave radio. Shortwave
America has recently added two listening galleries that readers can use to
listen to short-wave stations on-line and will soon feature an amateur radio
listening gallery. The first listening gallery is devoted entirely to Radio
Netherlands Worldwide. All listening galleries are located at the top of the
Shortwave America homepage.

Shortwave America plans more interviews, a podcast, the possible addition of
an international liaison team to assist in language translation and
relations with readers from across the world. Shortwave America has recently
added a reader's hotline where readers, the general public, and members of
the radio community can leave messages about anything that is radio related
from breaking news stories to questions, comments, criticism, ideas,
discoveries, and any other radio subject matter. You can call the Shortwave
America hotline at: 1-206-666-8235.

Eventually, the hotline will become a toll-free 800 number if there is
enough interest in it. A reader's poll was just recently closed, and the
stats there will be calculated to determine what the readers want to see,
what can become a reality and how best to achieve those goals. Shortwave
America is quickly becoming competitive with the most popular mainstream
sites such as hfradio.org, RadioReference, hamisland, and will hopefully
rival QRZ and E-Ham.


(Information from Shortwave America)


FCC indecency rule is too vague

Description: FCC round logo

Oh, oh... We have all become used to assuming that "indecency", whatever
that might be, is taboo on the public airwaves, which of course include the
Amateur Radio Service. This week a Federal Court (The U.S. Court of Appeals
in New York) decided that the U.S. government's (read: FCC here) policy
about indecency is just too vague and threw out a fine, effectively killing
the FCC's authority.  The court case was about a nude scene in a TV show on
ABC, but when the government's case was thrown out, that left the door open
as to what interpretation can possibly be made about how the FCC can enforce
any kind of indecency rule at all. 

Amateur Radio is regulated in the USA by Part 97, which says:

§97.113 Prohibited transmissions.

(4) Music using a phone emission except as specifically provided elsewhere
this section; communications intended to facilitate a criminal act; messages
for the purpose of obscuring their meaning, except as otherwise provided
obscene or indecent words or language; or false or deceptive messages,
signals or 

Okay, so what exactly is "obscene or indecent"?  I think the court is saying
that rules that are vague are not enforceable, and if "obscene or indecent"
aren't really relative terms, I don't know what are.  Certainly what is
obscene to one person is fine and perhaps conversational language to
another.  I can just imagine the FCC hauling someone into a hearing and
telling them which words are permitted and which are not!  

Okay, so I think most of us more or less know what we can say in polite
company.  If you wouldn't say it in front of your mother, you probably
should not say it at all, right?  But then there will always be some whose
mother was a longshoreman or probation officer and salty language may have
been the order of the day in their house.  

This, folks, is one of those places where the FCC cannot really enforce the
rules.  The best way to proceed is to lead by example, always minding our
own language and maintaining an atmosphere of civility on the airwaves. Do
it not because the FCC may be listening, but because a kid might be
listening. Let's put our best foot forward and keep the bands civil on our

In other FCC news, the FCC issued an Official Citation to Doctor Radio's CB
Shop for marketing unauthorized radio frequency devices. Action by: District
Director, Detroit Office, Northeast Region, Enforcement Bureau. Adopted:
01/04/2011 by Citations. (DA No. 11-5). EB



Description: FT-718 rig

Ken, KB3LLA, writes:

You may be interested in this series, which starts tonight on WETA (local to
DC): <http://www.weta.org/tv/programsatoz/program/76617> 

"Established on July 29, 1958, by the U.S. government, NASA pioneered the
future in space exploration and scientific discovery. Delving into
previously unseen archive material as well as original negatives of more
familiar footage, The Space Age: NASA's Story offers a fresh look at an
amazing organization and mankind's quest to understand the universe. The
four-part series blends stunningly restored footage with revealing,
insightful, and engaging interviews with the people who were there-the
astronauts, family members, and journalists-to create the epic story of the
heroes, the triumphs, and the tragedies of space exploration. Starting with
NASA's beginnings in the Cold War, the program follows the iconic moments of
space exploration from the race to get the first man in space to the first
steps on the moon. And with triumph and achievement come risk and disaster
as the series follows the white-knuckle suspense of Apollo 13 and the
tragedy of the shuttle Challenger. It ends with the stage in space
exploration that heralds a replacement of rivalry with partnership: the
International Space station, where Japanese, Canadian, and European
astronauts work together toward its completion." 

Editor's note:  We Googled "The Space Age: NASA's Story" and found that it
is running this month on stations around the USA.  Check you local listings,
or Google it yourself for a show time in your area. The series will be on a
PBS station. 


Connecting with EchoLink

Description: EchoLink screenshot

In today's edition of this Connecting with EchoLink segment, we will keep it
simple by reminding everyone that working stations on Echolink is not like
working them on a repeater system or on simplex.  In fact, on simplex, where
both stations are within RF range and no repeater system is used, you can
switch rapidly between transmit and receive without missing a syllable.
When  you use a repeater system, there is a slight, but relatively
noticeable lag in the time it takes to make the changeover from receive to
transmit and vice-versa. If you fail to respect the delay and transmit
before the repeater "drops" and therefore resets its timer, you will end up
timing the repeater out and it will go off the air until it resets on its

In Echolink operation, delays inherent to repeaters are added to any lag
time that may be added in the internet connections between various systems.
This delay is very significant at times and requires the Echolink user to be
extra vigilant about waiting to transmit.  All of the linked systems will
need time to handshake and reset.  The delay can vary, so when you get on
Echolink each time, whether through a repeater or on a computer or smart
phone, it is better to be safe than sorry and allow for a long delay between
transmissions.  Internet conditions can vary, much as propagation on HF.
You have to be ready to work around delays. If you find that the delay is
very short, then you can tighten up your changeovers. The key is to be
patient and listen for everything to be ready.  Doing so will help you be a
better Echolink operator, and it will also make things easier for net
control stations when you participate in the Handiham net. 


January Events by N1YXU

Description: J-38 code key

I know I say this every January, but it is true ? It amazes me how quickly
each year seems to pass. I wish each of you only the best in 2011. If you
are one who makes New Year?s resolutions, perhaps one item on your list is
to become more ?radioactive?. There should be several events in January that
will help you achieve your resolution!

Have a good month?

- Laurie Meier, N1YXU

Read Laurie's column:  <http://www.handiham.org/node/1008> 


A dip in the pool

Description: circuit board

Today's dip into the question pool takes us to the General Class question

G2B07 asks: What is a band plan?

Your possible answers are: 

A. A voluntary guideline for band use beyond the divisions established by
the FCC
B. A guideline from the FCC for making amateur frequency band allocations
C. A guideline from the ITU for making amateur frequency band allocations
D. A plan devised by a club to best use a frequency band during a contest

The right answer is "A", A voluntary guideline for band use beyond the
divisions established by the FCC. The key here is "voluntary", as there is
no force of rules or regulations behind the band plan. However, it is vital
that a voluntary band plan be followed by everyone, since the many different
modes of operation cannot all coexist in the same parts of the band.  For
example, weak signal work is adversely affected by high power operation on
FM.  QRP frequencies are set aside for low power operation.  A DX window is
set aside for working long distance contacts. 

You can get the ARRL Band Plan here: <http://www.arrl.org/band-plan-1> 


Remote base progress report: 5 January 2011

Description: Kenwood TS-570

Both stations are functional. Report problems to wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx 

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

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. 


This week @ HQ

*       Handiham staff will be in an all-day meeting Thursday, 6 January.
We will not be able to take phone calls (at least not many) or emails.
*       Worldradio digest audio for January 2011 has been completed by Bob
Zeida, N1BLF, and is available to our blind members. 
*       QST digest audio for January 2011 has been completed by Pat Tice and
Ken Padgitt, and is available to our blind members. 
*       Don't put it off!  General Class students had better study faster.
The NCVEC Question Pool Committee has completed the new General Class pool,
which will be effective on 1 July 2011.  We have heard that the pool
questions are more difficult, and there are more total questions in the new
pool.  Our advice to those of you who have been dragging your feet about
getting your General Class upgrade is to get busy right now and pass that
General!  If you wait too long, you will have to go through the new pool and
take a harder exam. 
*       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.
*       George, N0SBU, is putting together the January tape digest. 

·         Tonight is net night.  The Wednesday evening EchoLink net is at
19:30 United States Central time, which translates to +6 hours, or 01:30 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

*       We need an Echolink, IRLP, or WIRES node in Rochester, MN so that
Sister Alverna, WA0SGJ, can continue to check into the Handiham net.  
*       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 $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
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.



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  • » [handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 5 January 2011 - Patrick Tice