[handiham-world] Handiham World for 30 July 2008

  • From: "Patrick Tice" <wa0tda@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 30 Jul 2008 14:01:45 -0500

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

Listen in MP3 audio: 

 ipod <http://www.handiham.org/images/ipod.jpg> Streaming MP3:

Download the e-letter via accessible MP3:

The Handiham podcast is at:

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
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.


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

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

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

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



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>

 <http://radioham.org/?q=node/23> Letters:  


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
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


 <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

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/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:


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

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/> 

KNFB Reader:  <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:

You can write to Elmer with your questions: <mailto: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

*       Donate an extra amount of your choice to help support our

*       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> 

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


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> 

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 Handi-ham System
Reach me by email at:  <mailto: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
t-form>  or register
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.

Other related posts:

  • » [handiham-world] Handiham World for 30 July 2008