[image: Logo for Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, part of Allina
*Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for
the week of Wednesday, October 4, 2017*
This is a free weekly news & information update from the Courage Kenny
Handiham Program <https://handiham.org>, serving people with disabilities
in Amateur Radio since 1967.
Our contact information is at the end.
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Subscribe or change your subscription to the E-mail version here.
*Welcome to Handiham World.*
*In this edition: *
*A note from the coordinator*
* Better Receive Audio*
* Space Weather & Ionospheric Propagation *
* Early Handiham Program History, Part 1*
*Down memory lane…*
*Check into our nets!*
*A note from the coordinator...*
With all the events that have taken place in recent weeks, there has
been a renewed focus on amateur radio’s critical role in emergency
communications. The following is a news story about the amateur radio
operators who have responded to the need for communications in Puerto Rico
in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
The Handiham Headquarters is fully staffed again this week! Please be
patient as Nancy and I continue to catch up on all the messages and work
that backed up while she was away.
In the E-Letter this week there are links to a couple of YouTube videos.
The first is Bob Heil, K9EID, talking about receive audio. The second is a
lecture given at a DC radio club meeting about space weather. This week, we
also start reprinting a series of articles covering the early history of
the Handiham Program. Finally, there is an article from a 2010 issue of
Handiham World in Down Memory Lane that is especially appropriate to our
discussion of emergency communications.
Do you have a story to share about your ham radio related activities?
Please send your articles and stories via email to
Lucinda.Moody@xxxxxxxxxx or by calling me at 612-775-2290.
* Better Receive Audio *
Much has been written about how to make our SSB signals more easily
understood in adverse conditions. Bob Heil explains how we can make our
receivers and the audio we hear clearer and with far better clarity than
one could have expected. https://youtu.be/DvJhCKyFwVc
* Space Weather & Ionospheric Propagation *
Understanding space weather and its impact on HF propagation is helpful
to ham radio operators. Check out this presentation by Dr. Damien Chua that
took place on December 10, 2014 at the HacDC Amateur Radio Club (W3HAC),
located in Washington, DC. https://youtu.be/WPQILipSyXI
* Early Handiham Program History, Part 1*
by Sr. Alverna O’Laughlin
[image: Sr. Alverna O’Laughlin]
(Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of articles on the early
history of the Handiham Program. This was initially published in the Spring
1981 issue of Handiham World. Sr. Alverna, who had recently joined the
Courage Handiham Program staff as educational services coordinator, had
been actively involved in amateur radio for people with disabilities for
years. She was one of the first members of the original Handiham
organization and served as the first secretary of the System when it was
known as the Handi-Ham System of Rochester, Minnesota.)
The Handiham Program has been around for many years, just how long may
be a little hard to document. I would like to share some of my memories of
the early years of the System. Ned Carman, W0ZSW, was the founder of the
Handiham Program. Ned, now deceased, used to talk about Jean (Heikkila)
Fingarson, W0IRJ, Hildur Hedine, W0TOP, and Bill Bazil, W0CID, as first
making a connection with amateur radio and people with disabilities. Bill,
the only one of the three still living, recalls, “In the summer of 1958,
Ned, Jean, and Hildur stopped here (Eveleth, MN). This Handiham Program was
only an idea, a dream, then.” It was during this visit that the foursome
tossed ideas around.
On April 30, 1967, there was a thunderstorm watch in Rochester,
Minnesota, and Ned Carman called Sr. Lauren Weinandt, WN0RRJ, and Sr.
Judith Simon, WN0QVN, to activate the amateur radio stations at their
respective locations: “Sky Wave” at St. Mary’s Hospital and “The Voice of
Assisi” at the Assisi Heights convent. A few weeks after this, four sisters
at St. Mary’s and one sister from Assisi Heights received their novice
calls. At this time, only one sister in Minnesota held her general class
license, Sister Cletus Kroll (now Mary Fiero), WA0JIE.
The weather watch worked so well that Ned invited the sisters to help
him start an organized group. The first meeting was attended by Helen
Swanson, WN0SVD, and Charlene Mott, WN0QWE, (both deceased), Sr. Lauren and
A 14 member steering committee was formed which met on the air every
week to suggest policies and discuss problems. A six member management
committee met in person each month. Later, the steering committee became
the board of directors and the management committee became officers.
By early fall of 1967, there were four new novice tickets. In September
of that year, Ned was honored by the Rochester Chamber of Commerce for his
efforts in helping persons with disabilities, his tireless efforts in
finding equipment for homebound students, taking lessons to students’ homes
and finding transportation. Ned also received the WCCO radio Good Neighbor
Award that year. By this time, there were ten students in the Handiham
On December 2, 1967, representatives of the Federal Communications
Commission came to the Rochester Courthouse to administer the General Class
test to Edna (Eddy) Thorson, WA0RRA (now N0YL); Charlene Mott and Helen
Swanson. Harold Allen, FCC field engineer, and T.E. Kangas, FCC electronic
engineer, were the FCC representatives, and they were so impressed with the
three young women that they offered to return to Rochester if the Handiham
Program ever needed them.
On February 5, 1968, the FCC examiners returned to Rochester to give
license examinations to three more members with disabilities. This time,
Scott Suddendorf, WA0VUA (now deceased); Sr. Alena Bickel, WA0UWT; and Alta
Mitchell, WA0VTZ, passed their general tests.
A white elephant sale was held during the summer of 1968 to raise money
to repair equipment and purchase study material. At that time, the
Minnesota Society for Crippled Children and Adults (later Courage Center)
gave the Handiham Program $1000 to help purchase equipment.
The PICONET (Public Information, Convenience, or Necessity Network) and
the Rochester Amateur Radio Club invited the Handiham Sytem to join them in
hosting the 1968 Winter Hamfest. Handiham officers were announced at this
meeting: Charlene Mott and Helen Swanson, co-chairmen; Sr. Alverna
O’Laughlin, secretary; Sr. Lauren Weinandt, treasurer; Alta Mitchell,
progress report chairman; Don Johnson, WA0EPX, historian; Wes McAnnally,
K0HGO, chief technician, and Ned Carman, chief coordinator.
The weekend of June 21, 1969, the Handiham members made their first big
venture. Twenty-six amateur radio operators with severe disabilities
traveled by bus and car to the National Amateur Radio Convention in Des
Moines, IA. Six non-disabled helpers, Sr. Cletus, Sr. Judith, Sr. Clara
Marie Schotzko, Sr. Alverna, Ron Frisby, K0IJU, and Ned Carman went along.
The caravan of the Sunshine Bus and the loaned car left Camp Courage in
Maple Lake, Minnesota at 6 a.m. and made pickup stops at the MiSCCA office
in downtown Minneapolis, Assisi Heights convent in Rochester and, the
Albert Lea armory.
The Handiham Program was the talk of the convention. People who were
blind pushed wheelchairs and the people in wheelchairs told people who were
blind which way to go. Everyone helped someone, and you can be sure there
were a good number of inside jokes about the convention. Helen Swanson, who
was unable to travel by bus, made the trip to the convention in a private
plane piloted by Dave Young. Her doctor, Donald Erickson, and Sr. Lauren
attended her during the trip. Sen. Barry Goldwater, the featured speaker at
the convention, made a special trip to Helen’s hotel room which had been
equipped with a rocking bed. The Senator was quoted as having said, “I
wouldn’t miss this visit for anything.”
The trip to the convention was made possible through the generous
donations of many and is an example of the support and enthusiasm that
fostered the Handiham Program.
(Sr. Alverna will continue with her account of the early years of the
Handiham Program in the next issue of Handiham World)
* Down memory lane...*
In honor of the celebration of 50 years of the Handiham Program, here is
an article from the February 24, 2010 issue of Handiham World.
[image: Red Cross emergency communications vehicle with elevated mast.]
* Amateur Radio: Reliable Emergency Communications*
by Pat Tice, WA0TDA
If there is any theme that runs through publicity about amateur radio
these days, it is generally one about the reliability of our communications
in an emergency situation. In story after story that I see ferreted out by
Google, ham radio operators tell the press and the public about the way
amateur radio operators can stay on the air to provide vital communications
when cellular phones are overloaded or down altogether and other
communications infrastructure has failed. The training and volunteerism of
amateur radio operators are highlights of these articles, and the very best
of these stories also include some human factor - a volunteer operator who
has helped the community, a team of operators who have worked in tandem
with emergency personnel to provide backup communications, and sometimes
even a victim who owes a debt of gratitude to amateur radio. These are
themes that the ARRL has taken a leadership role in promoting, and the
evidence is that the strategy has worked. More new hams than ever joined
the ranks of amateur radio here in the United States last year.
Quoting from a story on ARRL's website, "A total of 30,144 new licenses
were granted in 2009, an increase of almost 7.5 percent from 2008. In 2005,
16,368 new hams joined Amateur Radio's ranks; just five years later, that
number had increased by almost 14,000 -- a whopping 84 percent! The ARRL
VEC is one of 14 VECs who administer Amateur Radio license exams."
Of the many reasons people become interested in amateur radio, the one I
have heard most often in recent years is that new hams want to earn a
license so that they will have the means to help in emergencies and to be
of service to the community. This, among the other themes, has been
expertly promoted by ARRL in special websites, publicity releases,
articles, and videos. Taking on the erroneous image of ham radio as an
"outdated technology" that has been all but replaced by the internet, ARRL
answers the questions of why we are relevant in the 21st Century on its
Wordpress "We Do That Radio" and "emergency-radio" websites.
Well, with all of that in mind, we turn to the large cardboard envelope
I received from Matt Arthur, KA0PQW, this week. Matt had told me he was
sending me an article, but I was surprised and delighted to see that it
* Honored by President Obama * [image: Matt, KA0PQW]
* Local ham radio hobbyist recognized *
The story appeared in the February 18, 2010 edition of the Star-Eagle
newspaper, and featured a photo of Matt, KA0PQW, in his well-equipped ham
shack. In the article, staff writer Jody Wynnemer explained that when a
letter arrived from the White House, Matt had learned that he had been
selected to receive a President's Volunteer Service Award.
"Congratulations on receiving the President's Volunteer Service Award,
and thank you for helping to address the most pressing needs in your
community and our country," the letter began.
Matt was recognized for his work with the Community Emergency Response
Team in Steele County, Minnesota. He recalled how he volunteered and
handled communications during a flood in 2007. It had been nine hours until
the National Guard could relieve him, and in the meantime he handled
traffic in and out of the flood zone, passing messages to authorities in
Those of us who know Matt as a Handiham leader and volunteer understand
what a great spokesman he is for amateur radio. To paraphrase a familiar
saying about politics, all good ham radio work is local - at least that's
how it begins. Local ham radio classes, local Skywarn training, local ARES
exercises, local club meetings and programs - and local news stories, just
like the one that features Matt. Of course ham radio is worldwide by its
nature, but getting the word out about the things we can do really does
begin right at home.
Congratulations to Matt, KA0PQW, on this wonderful honor!
*What are you waiting for? Check into our Handiham nets... Everyone is
How to find the Handiham Net:
The Handiham EchoLink conference is 494492. Connect via your iPhone,
Android phone, PC, or on a connected simplex node or repeater system in
The Handiham Net will be on the air daily. If there is no net control
station on any scheduled net day, we will have a roundtable on the air
[image: Cartoon multicolored stickman family holding hands, one
wheelchair user among them.]
Our daily Echolink net continues to operate for anyone and everyone
who wishes to participate at 11:00 hours CDT (Noon Eastern and 09:00
Pacific), as well as Wednesday evenings at 19:00 hours CDT (7
PM). If you
calculate GMT, the time difference is that GMT is five hours ahead of
Minnesota time during the summer.
Doug, N6NFF, poses a trivia question in the first half of the
Wednesday evening session, so check in early if you want to take
The answer to the trivia question is generally given shortly after the
half-hour mark. A big THANK YOU to all of our net control
stations and to
our Handiham Club Net Manager, James, KD0AES.
*You can pay your Handiham dues and certain other program fees on
line. Simply follow the link to our secure payment site, then enter your
information and submit the payment. *
Handiham annual membership dues are $12.00. The lifetime
membership rate is $120.00.
MEMBERSHIP DUES PAYMENT LINK
If you want to donate to the Handiham Program, please use our
donation website. The instructions are at the following link:
DONATION LINK <http://www.handiham.org/drupal2/node/8>
How to contact us
There are several ways to contact us.
*Postal Mail: *
*Courage Kenny Handiham Program 3915 Golden Valley Road MR#78446 Golden
Valley, MN 55422*
* E-Mail: **Nancy.Meydell@xxxxxxxxxx* <Nancy.Meydell@xxxxxxxxxx>
* Preferred telephone: 1-612-775-2291 Toll-Free telephone: 1-866-HANDIHAM
Note: Mondays through Thursdays between 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM United
States Central Time are the best times to contact us.
You may also call Handiham Program Coordinator Lucinda Moody, AB8WF, at:
73, and I hope to hear you on the air soon!
For Handiham World, this is Lucinda Moody, AB8WF
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
Nancy.Meydell@xxxxxxxxxx for changes of address, unsubscribes, etc.
Include your old email address and your new address.