Courage Center's Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 22 October 2008 This is a free weekly news & information update from Courage Center's Handiham System <http://handiham.org> . Please do not reply to this message. Use the contact information at the end, or simply email handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxx Listen to an MP3 audio stream: <http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham.m3u> http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham.m3u Download the MP3 audio to your portable player: http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham.mp3 Get this issue as an audio podcast: http://feeds.feedburner.com/handiham _____ Welcome to Handiham World! Well, well. Here we are listening to the weather forecast and thinking (at least here in Minnesota, in the center of North America) that there is probably no way to fool ourselves into thinking that winter won't arrive as usual this year. It can, and it will. I'm starting to think about what I call my "Alternate Plan B". Sure it's a little redundant, but what this is all about is having a second way to do things... Namely, to stay on the air all winter in case the weather takes out my antenna. I've already followed my own advice and gotten my antennas into shape for the winter, but you never know. I've set myself up with a wire antenna and a tuner that will pretty much cover all of the HF bands that I normally use. My alternate plan B is a multiband vertical. If the wire antenna comes down in an ice storm, the vertical will remain standing -- I hope. This is just one example of building redundancy into your amateur radio station. If you are on the air long enough, chances are that you have collected more than one HF transceiver and more than one power supply. I have, and to build redundancy into my station all I have to do is flip a couple of switches to bring the spare station online in case there is some failure in my main station. The addition of the handiham remote base at Courage North adds one more way that I could get on the air if I needed to, and we remain on schedule to bring this member resource to members in early 2009. Nonetheless, the remote base suffered a failure over the past weekend, and there is no alternate plan B for that station. I suppose that is all right, since the station is not meant to be anyone's "main" station, but I imagine some members will be in situations where they have no antennas because of restrictions. For them, a second choice would be a different remote base, and the W4MQ software provides for this option, though users have to be registered and approved for the other stations, just as they have to be approved for the handiham remote base. The concept of Alternate plan B is well known at amateur radio special events and Field Day operation. Generally Murphy will pay a visit at the least opportune times, making it necessary to switch out equipment or quickly string up another temporary antenna system. In fact, I just spoke with Dave, W0OXB, who is planning a special event station at Minnesota's Split Rock Lighthouse. The event recalls the sinking of an iron ore freighter in Lake Superior, the Edmund Fitzgerald. Because the lighthouse is located in northern Minnesota on Lake Superior, you have to have a plan! There is a rumor that the weather in northern Minnesota at the end of October isn't always the best. Keep on reading for that special event news. For your Handiham World, I'm... Pat Tice wa0tda@xxxxxxxx _____ Split Rock Lighthouse Edmund Fitzgerald special event Split Rock Lighthouse Edmund Fitzgerald special event It's time for the SARA ?Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald? Split Rock Lighthouse Special Event October 31 ? November 2, 2008. SARA, the Stillwater Amateur Radio Association, is a Handiham-affiliated club. November 10, 2008 marks the 33rd anniversary of the sinking of the iron ore carrier and loss of her 29-man crew. Special Event: SARA is planning to operate two HF stations at Split Rock Lighthouse, Split Rock State Park (Minnesota). <http://radioham.org> http://radioham.org Operating Schedule (all times are U.S. Central): Friday, 10/31 (~2:00 - 6:00 PM) Saturday, 11/1 (10:00 AM - 8:00 PM) Sunday, 11/2 (10:00 AM - 8:00 PM) Operating Frequencies & Modes: Primary: 3.860, 7.260, 14.260, 21.360 Secondary: 1.900, 18.160, 28.360 Frequencies are listed in MHz and + or ? 10 KHz The standard mode will be SSB. SARA also plans to operate SSTV, PSK and CW occasionally. SARA QSL & Club Info: QSL to WØJH for 8.5? x 11? certificate, send SASE. For an unfolded certificate, use a 9? x 12? SASE. The following week, November 7-9: N8F & K8F (Stu Rockafellow Amateur Radio Society): Operating from Whitefish Point Lighthouse and Paradise, MI. <http://www.qsl.net/w8njh> http://www.qsl.net/w8njh November 8: W8F (Livonia Amateur Radio Club): Operating from the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle in Detroit, MI. <http://www.livoniaarc.com> http://www.livoniaarc.com For complete QSL and Club info look in: November issues of QST, World Radio & CQ _____ Avery's QTH Avery's QTH - Avery with Collins station Welcome once again to my humble QTH: Many of the old timers learned the radio frequency spectrum by having a radio and tuning around the dial listening to whatever was there. We called that Short Wave Listening or SWL'ing. Some places there were commercial broadcasting stations. Other places there were ships and planes. Still other spots on the dial had other things to hear. By tuning around, a person begins to notice the frequencies where certain bands of operation are and where they are not. What is this thumping noise that was heard around 7 MHz? For people with radios that had a beat frequency oscillator, it was just a matter of switching it on and presto: International Morse Code was able to be copied. For others it was just a bunch of thumping noise. Now if they went up in frequency just a little, there was voice operation and as we all know today, that part of the spectrum is the 40 meter ham band. After awhile people would think that would be neat if they could get on and talk back to those stations on the 40 meter band. So, they would study and when they were ready they would go down to the FCC office nearest to them and take the exam. Most people today do not have that advantage of being an SWL first and so they have to learn concepts like the frequency spectrum. Most just end up memorizing a bunch of frequencies and what modes of operation can be used where. They have a very difficult time with where bands and frequencies are in relation to each other and more importantly, where they can operate and where they cannot according to the license class they hold. This is true with many other of the concepts people are expected to know in order to pass their license exams. By building their own equipment people learned how circuits worked and what things did in their gear. Let's see... if I want this to operate on the 80 meter band what are the values of the inductance and capacitance necessary to make it function there? Out come the formulas and figuring to determine the correct values. After doing this a number of times, certain relationships begin to be noticed. After so much hands-on experience, is it any wonder that given the information a person could figure out the answers to the many questions required for their ham license? Many people today just attempt to memorize the questions and answers, which is one way to pass the exam, I guess. But what happens if a station is outside the ham bands and you want to listen to it? Could you build the proper antenna to work on its frequency? Could you figure out the proper LC circuit to make a radio that would give it's best reception on that frequency? So, if you know the logic behind why and how things work in amateur radio, it won't really matter what questions are on the exam because you will know how to figure out the answer. So, until next time 73 es DX de K0HLA Avery You can reach me Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday mornings at: 763-520-0515 or avery.finn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx _____ Firefox Keyboard Shortcuts Dick Garey, WA0CAF, writes to tell us about a link to Firefox browser shortcuts: http://www.snipurl.com/4825n _____ <http://www.handiham.org/node/230> Elmer Blog - what about IRLP? Dear Elmer, I am a ham operator and I have the IRLP and I know you broadcast on a IRLP reflector as I have heard you but I can't find the reflector number on your site. All I see is EchoLink. Can you please tell me what IRLP reflector you use. Thanks, Susi Susi, I just called Don to get the info. He said all the info is on QRZ.com under his N0BVE call sign, too. IRLP # is 3590 WIRES 2 # is 1427 And of course the EchoLink node number for the daily Handiham net is 89680. The net meets Monday through Saturday at 11:00 AM United States Central Time. Everyone is welcome. Editor's Note: Yes, you can now access the daily Handiham net via the Yaesu Wires II system. A list of current WIRES stations may be found online at: http://www.vxstd.com/en/wiresinfo-en/ There is also information about the WIRES system. _____ This week at Headquarters KG0BP and K0LR at camp * There is a correction in camp dates. Minnesota Radio Camp dates are tentatively set at Sunday August 16 to Sunday August 23, 2009. Last week I had incorrectly said August 22, which is actually a Saturday. Both Sundays are travel days. The change to an earlier week in August will allow us to have the entire camp week before schools and universities start classes. This will help us recruit camp staff and school age campers. Another benefit is that travel to Bemidji, Minnesota by economical scheduled bus service on Sunday is an option. * We are not planning a California Camp in 2009, due to budget concerns. * Pat, WA0TDA, is taking vacation day on Friday, but will still send out a weekly education letter, so look for that. * Tony Tretter's popular Extra Class Math tips audio tape is often requested. Now it is available online in MP3 format in the members section. Look in Education and then Op Skills, but I will provide a direct link in the Friday education letter. * QST, CQ, QCWA Journal, & WORLDRADIO audio digests are available for our members. Login <http://handiham.org/user> to the member section of the Handiham website and find the magazine digests in the Library. The November QST and Worldradio magazine digests have been read by Bob, N1BLF. He will soon start the November CQ digest. * The remote base was offline this past weekend after an Internet failure. The station has now returned to service and beta testing continues. * We have 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. This page is updated on Fridays. 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. _____ This morning's media hits from Google News - Wednesday, 22 October 2008 Postcards <http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/10/21/1577741.aspx> from space MSNBC - 9 hours ago When you think of ham radio, you usually think of someone hunched over a microphone, sending their voice around the world. And that still plays a big role in the work carried on by Amateur Radio on the International Space Station. ARRL <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2008/10/21/10395/?nc=1> Announces New Youth Editor ARRL - 15 hours ago Amateur Radio runs in the MacLachlan family -- 12 family members are hams. "I got interested in ham radio through Boy Scouts," MacLachlan said, "but it was with family support that I got licensed. Boy <http://www.thevillagesdailysun.com/articles/2008/10/20/news/news03.txt> Scouts learn about ham radios Villages Daily Sun - Oct 20, 2008 That?s because this weekend the Scout hut is home to the Lady Lake Scouts as they participate in the Jamboree on the Air, an event that puts Scouts worldwide in touch with one another via ham radio. ?The main purpose for us being here is the Scouts,? ... Over <http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Over-400-radio-experts-to-chant--Ham-sab- ustaad-hain--from-Oct-11/371441> 400 radio experts to chant ?Ham sab ustaad hain? from Oct 11 Indian Express - Oct 9, 2008 To popularise Ham radio activities in the state, over 400 Ham Radio operators from across the country will participate in a two-day national event, HamfestIndia, from October 11. <http://www.radioandmusic.com/content/editorial/news/ham-radio-no-longer-jus t-a-hobby> "Ham Radio no longer just a hobby" RadioandMusic.com - Oct 15, 2008 During his brief speech, he emphasised that amateur radio ( or ham radio as it is popularly called) is no longer a hobby , and is a necessity now. _____ Huge alligator grabbing Pat, WA0TDAReminder: 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." 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 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. _____ 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.