Courage Center's Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 30 July 2008 This is a free weekly news & information update from Courage <http://handiham.org/> Center's Handiham System. Please do not reply to this message. Use the contact information below, or simply email handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxx Listen in MP3 audio: ipod <http://www.handiham.org/images/ipod.jpg> Streaming MP3: http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham.m3u Download the e-letter via accessible MP3: http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham.mp3 The Handiham podcast is at: http://feeds.feedburner.com/handiham Contact us at: Courage Center - Handiham System 3915 Golden Valley Road Golden Valley, MN 55422 Toll-Free: 1-866-426-3442 Email: hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxx Website: http://handiham.org <http://handiham.org/> _____ Welcome to Handiham World! ARRL Instructors Manual 4th edition <http://handiham.org/images/arrl_instr_man.jpg> Have you ever taken your place at the head of a classroom and taught a course about amateur radio? I know some of you probably have. Others of you may be thinking, "I wouldn't know how to begin to teach." Sure, you may be blind or use a wheelchair, but that doesn't mean you can't be part of your local radio club's team of educators. In fact, one of the best ways to keep amateur radio healthy in your community is to make sure that regular classes are taught for the beginner license. Now, here's the thing with clubs: It is too easy for most of the club members to just sit around and let a few really gung-ho members do all the club's work, whether it be teaching classes, writing the news letter, getting club programs together, arranging for meeting space, and all the rest. Clubs that call on help from all the members, each doing some of the work to which they are suited, will do best in the long run. I'd like to challenge you to be a teacher, and to share your experiences with us. A good place to start is a publication you may not even know about, but I'll bet your club's educational coordinator does: The ARRL Instructor's Manual edited by Mark Spencer, WA8SME. I've got both the Third and Fourth editions, and was happy to see the chapter by Peter Kemp, KZ1Z, carried over to the Fourth edition. In this important chapter, KZ1Z gives us "The Teacher's Guide to Amateur Radio Instruction". Starting with the very basics, this fine article covers every aspect of teaching, beginning with the questions you may have as a prospective teacher: What is a teacher? Who can teach? How does one organize a class? Becoming a ham radio instructor and organizing a class may seem like overwhelming tasks, but remember that you can accomplish them if you just break them down into smaller steps, each of which you know you can complete. As a former public school teacher myself, I know that I can use a good reference on setting up and running a class. No one, even experienced teachers, will turn down an opportunity to learn more about teaching, so that they can become even better at it! One slip-up that new teachers make is failing to put together a "lesson plan". Thankfully, KZ1Z gives us a complete list of what a good lesson plan should include. There is nothing like having a lesson plan in hand to give the new teacher confidence as they walk (or roll) up to the front of that classroom! In fact, we use lesson plans at Radio Camp sessions. As an example, let's say that the course we are teaching is one in Operating Skills, and the topic for that morning is "Diagnosing a Problem With the HF Rig". Your lesson plan would include specific objectives for the student, such as: * Find and reconnect a disconnected power cable or antenna * Turn on a power supply * Determine when a mode switch is set wrong and correct it * Determine when a filter setting is wrong and correct it ...and so on. You get the idea. What we want to do is know what specific skills the student will know once the lesson is completed. This makes it easier for you, the teacher, to stay focused on the job you need to do. It's surprising how much more smoothly your teaching will go if you take the time to learn these basics from the ARRL Instructor's Manual. Blind handiham members may be interested in the KZ1Z chapter. If so let me know and we will see if we can get it read into special audio for our members. You can get your own copy of the print book at http://www.arrl.org <http://www.arrl.org/> . It is publication number 256. Patrick Tice wa0tda@xxxxxxxx Handiham Manager _____ Now, back to our vintage QSL card series. N5VLZ QSL <http://handiham.org/images/n5vlzqsl.jpg> Hey, what gives? This is no vintage card! It's a sample card from N5VLZ, and the theme is AMTRAK mobile. The card shows a train pulling into a station at night, with platform lights illuminating the side of the train. Very cool! N5VLZ writes: I'll be operating CQ100 Amtrak Mobile on several trips in both 2008 and 2009...mainly on 3.821 on the CQ100 80 meter band...and doing EQSL confirmations via http://www.eqsl.cc <http://www.eqsl.cc/> . A sample eQSL card is attached. This is a "novelty operation", so no "award", per se, can be obtained for it. I tried to set up Echolink with the air card on my laptop, but they refused to cooperate with each other. I know the "purists" will say that "CQ100 is not ham radio" (since no RF occurs)...but because of the inability of my air card to work with Echolink, CQ100 is my only choice. The trips are as follows (travel time to/from each event is included)...but times are subject to change due the train schedule, and internet/aircard reception conditions...other operating notes are below. July 31 through August 3 - ARRL Texas State Convention, Austin, Texas...operating on Amtrak from 1300 to 2200 UTC July 31. The return trip is from 1500 UTC August 3 to 0400 UTC August 4. There is a possibility that the 2009 ARRL Great Lakes Division Convention will be held in the Cleveland, Ohio area, as the 2007 GLDC was...however, this is yet to be confirmed, and I won't be able to book that trip until March, 2009, at the earliest. Operations start shortly after breakfast (1300 UTC), continuing to just before lunch (1630 UTC). They'll resume after lunch (1800 UTC), continuing until before dinner (2230 UTC). Then, resuming for a short time after dinner (0000 UTC). At 0200 UTC, phone operation will cease, and I may try to operate PSK31...the exact frequency for this is to be determined. As noted at the top, times are subject to change, depending on train schedules, and aircard/internet connection conditions. I may also try to operate from the hotels and Sleeping Car passenger lounges, but these are not guaranteed. 73, Daryl, N5VLZ We will bet that you have vintage QSL cards, too. If you can send a scan or photo of your vintage QSL cards, we will feature them here. What the heck - the HF bands are still pretty poor, so we might as well keep ourselves busy with vintage cards! Please send the images to wa0tda@xxxxxxxx along with a few words, if you wish, explaining the card or perhaps recalling those days when you were sending lots of these out. We will also feature your comments and callsign in the story. _____ Avery's QTH: Avery tells a couple of jokes (?) and shares a couple more Field Day stories from readers. <http://handiham.org/images/avery_paper.jpg> Welcome once again to my humble QTH: Well, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson decided to visit us here at Handihams the other day. As they were walking in from the parking lot Sherlock yells to Dr. Watson, "Look up, what do you see? " "I did not see any Stars. I did not see any clouds in the sky. I did not see any birds either. All I see is bright blue sky", answers Dr. Watson. "Watson, what I see is that crazy Yagi Antenna with only the last two elements still on the boom. Everything else was GONE! ZIP! ZERO! You fool - someone has stolen their antenna!" Well, some you reading this are really into the electronics of how things happen so here is a little question for you. The "Q" of a coil is quite an important thing. So, What do you get if you have: 5 "Q"s Plus 5 "Q"s ________________ Equals You're welcome. So, anyway my editor dared me to use this "Q"s joke problem so I just had to do it. And now let us find out what some of our readers have sent in: Hi Avery, I was able to take part in my first fox hunt at our club's Field Day. Our club is the Central Missouri radio Association, Columbia, MO, and one of our newer members, John, N0OFJ, announced on the weekly net a few days beforehand that he would like to do a fox hunt for those interested. He did a presentation about fox hunts at the June meeting earlier in the month. An Unexpected rain shower postponed the originally scheduled time of 7:30 on Saturday evening, and it was after 8:00 before John could demonstrate how his HT and multi-element Yagi worked at finding signals. Sorry, I don't recall the specific type of antenna and don't know what model of HT he used. He used one of the local weather radio station signals to show how attenuation and proper pointing of the antenna helped. Turning the antenna on its side to change polarity made a difference as well. So did tuning off frequency. As it happened, I was the only one who stayed with it and did the fox hunt with John. I've got some partial vision, but not enough to see the S-meter on the radio. John said that was OK, since S-meters are not always that helpful. He held the radio and antenna, and waved the antenna around as I indicated which direction we should go. It was pretty easy to tell when the signal was at full quieting. I should mention that the fox was from a device used for APRS and operated on 2 meters (144.? MHZ) for a minute, then was silent for four minutes. We used the down time to walk toward the general direction of the signal. It turned out that the fox was behind the building that housed the restrooms at the state park where we held our Field day event. I thought it was a pretty easy find. Of course, John gave some good pointers; but he complimented my good ears when describing the hunt to one of the other members. I've always wanted to do a fox hunt since I first heard of them a few years ago as a new ham, so was glad for the chance. Maybe this wasn't as glamorous or elaborate as it could have been, but it was very instructive and a lot of fun. I'd be happy to do another one sometime. 73, John, KC0HSB And from somewhere near the ocean in the State of Florida: Hi Avery, Well, I read this week's eletter. You asked who played chess . Well, about four weeks ago, I began taking a chess class. This class is with the Hadley School for the blind. I am half way into the course. As of now, I like it! This class is being taught in Braille; with a Braille chess board! I will let you know when I finish the course so I can have a game with you over the Internet. 73, Steven, W4ORN And that is it for today so From the very "HOT" Minnesota summer, where we will be enjoying 90 degree WX today. 73 & DX from K0HLA, Avery. Do you have a field day story to share with us? Let me know about your Field Day adventures (or misadventures), and let us know if it is okay to use your callsign and name if we print your story. You may e-mail me at avery.finn@xxxxxxxxxxxx _____ Letters Here's a note from Handiham volunteer and ARRL Dakota Division Director John Bellows, K0QB: Join us at the ARRL Dakota Division <http://radioham.org/?q=node/23> Convention. <http://radioham.org/?q=node/23> Letters: DAKOTA DIVISION CONVENTION, W0DXCC CONVENTION, AND W0 CONTEST CENTRAL CONVENTION AUGUST 8TH, 9TH AND 10TH Sponsored by the Rochester Amateur Radio Club Forums Galore -- National and Local Speakers -- Antennas - N6BV -- N6BT -- K0BS Propagation & Sunspots -- K9LA Contesting -- K0AD -- AC0W --K7BV -- K0RC N0IJ -- W0ZQ -- W0AIH DXing - K0IR -- W0GJ -- K0MD -WO0Z --K0JUH QRP - NW0C ARES - K2DCD- KD0ASX- K0BLR --NY9D ARRL Town Meeting and Forum -- K0QB -- K0GW - KS0J Live Demonstrations Yaesu FT9000 & FT 2000 -- Dennis Motschenbacher, K7BV Alpha Amplifiers -- Gordon Hardman, W0RUN Force 12 -- Tom Schiller, N6BT Complete Information at http://www.rarexpo.org/ ARRL Dakota Division Director: John Bellows, K0QB k0qb@xxxxxxxx _____ <http://www.handiham.org/node/157> ITU Phonetic Alphabet Explained <http://www.handiham.org/node/157> ITU Phonetic Alphabet Explained Image: WA0TDA ponders the phonetic alphabet. ITU Phonetic Alphabet <http://www.handiham.org/audio/phonetics.mp3> You can listen to this file here. This is the word list adopted by the International Telecommunications Union. When it is necessary to spell something out with complete accuracy, such as a call sign, you should use these standard words to represent letters. Some letters sound alike when band conditions are bad. An example would be the call sign WA0TDA. The "D" could easily be mistaken for a "B". In that case, you could spell out the call sign with phonetics, saying wa0tda: whiskey, alfa, zero, tango, delta, alfa. Courage Center Handi-Ham policy is to urge all members to use these standard phonetics and not make up special or "cute" phonetics. * Read more <http://www.handiham.org/node/157> at <http://www.handiham.org/node/157> http://www.handiham.org/node/157. _____ <http://www.handiham.org/node/156> RST Explained <http://www.handiham.org/audio/rst.mp3> You can listen to this file here. The RST System is used by ham radio operators to describe the strength and quality of a signal. It is used to give the transmitting station a signal report from the receiving station. Courage Center Handi-Ham members are encouraged to learn and use the RST system, in which numbers are given as ratings for each quality: readability, signal strength, and tone quality in the case of Morse code operation. In this system, the lowest number is worst and the highest number is best. * <http://www.handiham.org/node/156> Read more at: <http://www.handiham.org/node/156> http://www.handiham.org/node/156 _____ The Handiham EchoLink net is on daily except Sundays. All licensed operators are welcome. The net is controlled but informal, and there is no need to be a Handiham member to participate. Sometimes the net control station will throw out a discussion topic to liven things up! Listen in a few times if you are shy, and then take the plunge and throw out your callsign. Days: Monday through Saturday, and Sunday if anyone wants to take an informal session. Times: 11:00 hours United States Central Time M-S and a second Monday session at 19:00 Central Time. Frequency in the local Minnesota repeater coverage zone: 145.45 FM, negative offset with no tone in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul Minnesota. EchoLink nodes: KA0PQW-R, node 267582 WA0TDA-L, node 302454 N0BVE-R, node 89680 The Monday evening EchoLink net is at 19:00 United States Central Standard time, which translates to 00:00 GMT Tuesday morning during North American Daylight Time. In the winter, the GMT schedule shifts one hour to 01:00 GMT. Connect from any Internet-enabled computer in the world, and come out on Twin Cities repeater N0BVE on 145.450. _____ This week at Headquarters The August QST audio digest is available for our members. Login to the member section of <http://handiham.org/user> the Handiham website and find the magazine digests in the Library. We have also added an "audio this week" link at the top of the member page once you log in. This is a good place to find out what audio is new on our website each week, including magazine digests and audio lectures. *** Avery's schedule changes: Avery is now out of the office on Tuesdays. This helps save transportation costs and energy! *** One day to register! 2 spots available. There are still 3 places open for campers at Minnesota Radio Camp! Handiham members who pass their Technician license exams at Radio Camp this summer will receive new handheld radios. If you know a person with a disability who would enjoy ham radio, please send them our way. We want to get those new hams on the air! Camp begins on Wednesday, August 20, 2008 and finishes on Wednesday, August 27. Both Wednesdays are travel days. We now think we have a pretty good chance of a camp van being able to make the trip from the Twin Cities up to Courage North. Be sure to let us know if you are interested in the camp van. It would be much less than taking a commuter airline flight, but space is limited so it is first come, first served. *** 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@xxxxxxxxxxx or call her toll-free at 1-866-426-3442. Mornings are the best time to contact us. _____ plugged-in robot <http://www.handiham.org/images/bd05047_.gif> RekkyTec Links Free screenreader via the web: <http://www.accessibilityisaright.org/> http://www.accessibilityisaright.org/ KNFB Reader: <http://www.knfbreader.com/products-mobile.php> http://www.knfbreader.com/products-mobile.php _____ Cartoon guy with toolkit <http://handiham.org/images/bd06227_.gif> Elmer has started a blog! You can find it at: <http://www.handiham.org/node/123> http://www.handiham.org/node/123 You can write to Elmer with your questions: <mailto:elmer@xxxxxxxxxxxx> elmer@xxxxxxxxxxxx _____ Huge alligator grabbing Pat, WA0TDA <http://handiham.org/images/alligator.jpg> Reminder: Handiham renewals are now on a monthly schedule - Please renew or join, as we need you to keep our program strong! Image: Meet our new dues collection agent! A huge alligator grabs Pat, WA0TDA. "Sure wish I'd renewed my Handiham dues sooner." For years Handiham membership renewals were done each July. This year, we are going to a monthly system. If you renew in March, your membership goes until the following March, for example. 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. There is a postage paid envelope provided, and you won't get a visit from you-know-who. 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@xxxxxxxxxxx> hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxx 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. DONATE USED HAM GEAR 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@xxxxxxxxxxx> hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxx 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@xxxxxxxxxxx> patt@xxxxxxxxxxx * Nancy, Handiham Secretary: hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxx * Jerry, N0VOE, Student Coordinator: jerry.kloss@xxxxxxxxxxx * Avery, K0HLA, Educational Coordinator: avery.finn@xxxxxxxxxxx * Pat, WA0TDA, Manager, patt@xxxxxxxxxxx * Radio Camp email: radiocamp@xxxxxxxxxxx ARRL </p /> <p>diamond logo <http://www.handiham.org/images/arrllogo.gif> 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 07/30/2008 - 18:53 * Login <http://www.handiham.org/user/login?destination=comment/reply/158%2523commen t-form> or register <http://www.handiham.org/user/register?destination=comment/reply/158%2523com ment-form> to post comments _____ Courage Center Handiham System 3915 Golden Valley Road Golden Valley, MN 55422 E-Mail: hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxx 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.