Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, October 25, 2017

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Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, October 25, 2017

This is a free weekly news & information update from the Courage Kenny Handiham Program, serving people with disabilities in Amateur Radio since 1967. 

Our contact information is at the end.

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Welcome to Handiham World.

In this edition: 

  • A note from the coordinator

  • Echolink Nets List

  • Amateur Radio Podcasts

  • Early Handiham Program History, Part 3

  • Down memory lane…

  • Check into our nets!

  • ...And more!

A note from the coordinator...

Handiham World was on vacation since I was at the Closing the Gap conference last week. (If you ever wonder what is up with Handiham World, just go to the website. If there are any changes, there will be an announcement posted there.) The focus of the conference is on assistive technology to meet the needs of persons with disabilities. Over the next few weeks, you will get a taste of what I saw and learned through articles in upcoming issues.

Closing the Gap 2017 Conference logo with Conference information and four pictures of persons with disabilities.

In the E-Letter this week there are a couple of lists that are useful for ham radio operators. The first is a list of Echolink nets compiled by John, W2JLD. The second is a list of amateur radio related podcasts, put together by John, NU6P. We continue reprinting a series of articles covering the early history of the Handiham Program. Finally, there is an article from a 2015 issue of Handiham World in Down Memory Lane about working 6 meters.

Do you have a story to share about your ham radio related activities? Please send your articles and stories via email to Lucinda.Moody@allina.com or by calling me at 612-775-2290.

List of Echolink Nets (ALL TIMES ARE EST)

Echolink Logo of antenna with radiating signal

Editor’s note: Thanks to John, W2JLD, for this list of Echolink nets.

Monday - Saturday - 2pm Est. time - "The Alaska Morning Net"- Irlp 9101/Echolink WL7LP-R#9191

Monday - Saturday - 10am- Friends Conference - IRLP 9618- "The Good Morning Net"- N0STY - Nasty

Monday - Friday - 7am-9am - Dodropin Conference - " Kowabunga Net"

Monday - Friday - 8am - "Professional Loafers NET"- VE3PBO -R - Node 891471

Monday - Friday - 9am-10am - KB4SVP-R - " Breakfast group"

Monday - Friday - 12noon - Handihams Conference server - Handiham net

Monday - Friday - 2:30pm-4pm -" Vagabond Ragchew Net"- WB9SZL-R, Node 420473

Monday - Friday - 7pm-9pm - KB4SVP-R -"Coffee shop"

Monday - Sunday - 8am - 9am - ELMIRA,ONT - "ERC NET" - U-NODE CONFERENCE

Monday - Sunday - 9pm - K4NET-L NET- NCS VARIES

Monday - 8pm - "220 Rag Chewers Net"- Friends Conf - IRLP 9618

Monday - 8pm - Georgia conference server

Monday - 8pm - The Guild Conference - GMARC - WW8GM-R - NCS VARIES

Monday - 8:30pm - Public svc Net- N3TN-R - Node #286427

Monday - 9pm - General Net- N3TN-R - Node #286427



Monday - IRLP 9251 - 10:30pm - "Santa Cruz County Amateur Radio Club"

Tuesday - 7pm - N2AAR-R - FUN NET

Tuesday - 7pm - Dodropin Conference - "Ladies Tea Time"-

Tuesday - 7pm - *K7PB* Conference - K7PB - IRLP Caribbean Net


Tuesday - 8pm - Techlink Conf - Mississauga Amateur Radio Club- VA3WM John

Tuesday - 8pm - Dodropin Conference - " Tuesday night Technology Net"-V01UKZ - Darryl

Tuesday - 9pm-World Conference - "WORLD PARANORMAL NET"- KD2KVZ - David

Tuesday - 10pm-Michigan Conference - "NORTH AMERICAN HANDSHAKERS NET"

Wednesday - 5pm - The Guild Conference - "The Guild Coffee Net"

Wednesday - 7pm - W2QYT-R - CENTRAL NY SWAP NET

Wednesday - 7:30pm - VE3OSR Repeater - ECHOLINK Node # 333014

Wednesday - 8pm - U-NODE Conference - Elmira amateur radio club

Wednesday - 8pm - Handiham Conference - Handiham NET- N6NFF

Wednesday - 10pm -Dodropin Conference - HAM NATION-N3NTV - Dave

Thursday - 7pm - SCARS - "TIN NET"- VARIES

Thursday - 8pm - K8VON-R - Defiance, Oh ARC Net- K8VON-John

Thursday - 8pm - K2SRV-R- GAINES,NY - node #603973 - 442.875mhz/141.3/+5 offset - PCN Net- AC2UR - Steve

Thursday - 8pm - CROSSROADS NET - Cross Roads Conference server

Thursday - 9pm - "The Pet Net"- Friends Conference

Thursday - 10:30pm - WORLD Conf/9251 - The Outdoor Adventure Net

Thursday - 11:30pm - NATIONAL HISTORY NET - KB7KWK-L Node #538499

Friday - 12noon - Handiham Conference- N5XCX- Woody

Friday - 5pm - The Guild Conference - The Guild Fellowship Net- W4JMF - Jason

Friday - 6pm - Friends Conf - "A.R.R.L. News discussion net"- N0STY - Nasty


Friday - 8pm - Techlink Conference - "The Technet" - VK6BQQ - Reggie

Friday- 8:30pm - DCF-ARC- Emcomm Net- N7BZN - Scott

Friday - 9pm - " The Net" - IRLP 9668- WB8ODF

Friday – 9:30pm - FRIENDS CONFERNCE - "YL NET"

Friday – 9:30pm - Starlink Conference - "THE FRIDAY NIGHT NET"- KW4QJ - John

Saturday - 7 am -World Conference - "SCRAMBLED EGGS AND TOAST NET"-W2JLD- John

Saturday - 7:30am - Dodropin - DX Morning Net- 9Y4C Dexter

Saturday - 8am - SCARS Conference - "SOUTH CARS NET"- N0STY - Nasty

Saturday - 12 noon - SCARS Conference - "INTERCONTINENTAL NET"- NCS Varies




Sunday - 10am - FRIENDS CONFERENCE - R.A.I.N. Report- N0STY - Nasty







Sunday - 8pm - KUEKA LAKE ARC- N2AAR-R - NODE #578244

Sunday - 8:30pm - " Skywarn Youth Net- EchoLink Node: 291849 or N∅NWS-R

Sunday - 9pm - DCF-ARC - Disaster Communications Forum Net

Sunday - 9pm - W8HP-L - "Hazel Park ARC Net" - 1st/last Sunday - KD8TBC - Lee

Amateur Radio Podcasts

Editor’s note: Thanks to John, NU6P, for providing this list of ham radio podcasts.

100 Watts and a Wire http://100wattsandawire.com/

ARES e Letter Audio Version from the ARRL http://www.arrl.org/ares-e-letter-audio-version

ARRL Audio News http://www.arrl.org/arrl-audio-news

ARRL the Doctor is In http://www.arrl.org/doctor

Amateur Radio Newsline https://www.arnewsline.org/

Ham Nation https://twit.tv/shows/ham-nation

Ham Radio 360 http://hamradio360.com/index.php/category/podcast/

Ham Radio Now https://www.hamradionow.tv/home

Ham Talk Live https://www.spreaker.com/show/ham-talk-live

QSO Today http://www.qsotoday.com/

The RAIN Report http://therainreport.com/

This Week in Amateur Radio http://twiar.net/

Early Handiham Program History, Part 3

by Sr. Alverna O’Laughlin

Sr. Alverna O’Laughlin

Handiham History: Beginnings of May Convocation and Radio Camp

(Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of articles on the early history of the Handiham Program.)

On December 2, 1969, the Articles of Incorporation were signed at the Olmsted County Court House in Rochester, Minnesota, and the Program received its nonprofit status. Article II stated, “The purpose for which the corporation is organized are to encourage and promote an interest in Amateur Radio among persons with disabilities and to help provide them with encouragement, equipment, and training.”

It was apparent at this time that a name change was in order to broaden the focus of this fast-growing group. The original name, “Handiham System of Rochester, Minnesota” was changed to the “Handiham System of Minnesota.” Founder Ned Carman, W0ZSW, said “Won’t it be wonderful when every person in Minnesota with a disability has the opportunity of being an amateur radio operator?”

The first annual May Convocation took place in 1969. Once established as an affiliate of MiSCCA, we were qualified to use the Camp Courage site. The purpose of the Convocation was to recruit new members—both those with disabilities and those without disabilities.

With an increase in student members, we found a shortage of amateurs willing to assist on a local level. For some, there was a willingness to help, but a fear of persons with physical disabilities. The May weekend at camp was a super opportunity to unite persons with and without disabilities in a non-competitive atmosphere of relaxation and learning. There was a tremendous turnout. Some spent the full weekend, while others came just for one day. Approximately 70 persons participated.

Eddy Thorson recalls being hostess for the first May Convocation. “I’ll never forget that Friday night sitting there armed only with a clipboard while a horde of hungry people bearing suitcases converged upon me from all directions! Awesome indeed.”

The May Convo was concluded with an interdenominational Sunday service, conducted by clergy of three different religious convictions—Reverends George Metcalf, W0JH, Frank Brentine, WN0CHA, and Cliff Gronneburg, W0KRK.

In September, 1970, radio week was added to the Handiham Program yearly events. Radio week was a full week at Camp Courage for the purpose of studying radio, Morse code, and theory. Emphasis was not placed on the importance of studying prior to the session (or if it was, it was not heeded), and several came unprepared. Ott Miller, W0EQO, then president of the Program, was an excellent instructor but just could not teach everything in one week. The FCC examiners arrived on Thursday to administer the examinations. Out of the nine who took the General test, only two passed. It was a real blow to Ott and Ned, who had worked so hard covering the material. The only saving factor was that two people passed the advanced test, and all of the Novices passed their tests. If nothing else, we did learn a lesson—stress home preparation.

Camp Courage has two separate units—one for people with physical disabilities and another for those with speech and hearing impairments. Because we were late in making reservations for the physically disabled side, we missed out and had to use the speech and hearing side. Those of us who served as “motors” for the non-electric wheelchairs were mighty tuckered out going up those hills three times a day. I don’t know what we would have done without the cheerful, hard-working camp counselors! They helped to smooth the difficult spots. All things were looked upon by them as a challenge to be met. Bless them!

(Sr. Alverna’s account of the early years of the Handiham Program will continue 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 June 3, 2015 issue of Handiham World written by Dr. Ron Milliman, K8HSY.

Amateur radio tuned to 50.125 megahertz.

Getting Started on 6 Meters

By Dr. Ron Milliman, K8HSY

The 6 meter band (50-54 MHz) is often referred to as the “mystery band” or the “magic band” by many hams. It is almost always available for short distances, like line of sight, but it occasionally opens up for some exciting DX opportunities too. You just never know when those exciting DX openings are going to happen. When it does open up, it might only last for a few minutes and then, suddenly go dead, available once again to only line of sight contacts or somewhat longer contacts with the help of a repeater, much like two meters.

6 meter propagation is substantially controlled by sun spot and atmospheric conditions. For instance, on 6 meters when the solar flux index numbers rise to between 150 and 200, the F-layer skip can provide, literally, worldwide QSO opportunities. 6 can get really exciting when openings arise from sporadic-E, aurora, meteor-scatter, trans-equatorial and even moon bounce leading to some fun communications.

Of these propagation events, sporadic-E is most often used for 6 meter long distance communications. Sporadic-E openings usually hit maximum during the solstices in the months of June and December. When these openings occur, such propagation often provides QSOs over distances of from a few hundred miles to possibly even a few thousand miles or more with what we call a "double-hop." These openings occur every year, no matter what the sun spot index is. Though this propagation opening can happen at any time, normally, the E-skip is most prevalent from May to July, with another heightened opportunity during December and the first half of January. Again, such openings can last for a few minutes up to a few hours. It is lots of fun and excitement while it lasts, and you can work the skip quite successfully with very little power and with even a very modest antenna array.

Equipment You Need

It is especially easy to get on 6 meters these days because many of our modern transceivers are designed to cover 160 through 6 meters. If you want to get the best results working DX, however, you will need a transceiver that provides more modes than just FM. You need a rig that will allow you to work SSB and even CW if you enjoy operating CW. Ten watts is sufficient when 6 is really open.

Your Antenna

There are numerous commercially made antennas on the market designed to cover the 6 meter band, including Yagis, verticals, various types of wire antennas, single-banders, multi-banders, etc. The prices range from well below $100 to well over $1000, and they are available from most all of the well-known brand name companies.

However, since the size of most 6 meter antennas is relatively small, they are also quite easy to build yourself. There is an endless repertoire of designs from which to select readily available online and described in many articles published in the ham magazines. A simple dipole, for example, is only 9’ 4” cut for the bottom of the band, and only 9’ cut for the middle of the band. Even with this very basic of all antennas, you can still make lots of DX contacts when 6 meters is open. When it isn’t open, a dipole will also allow you to make solid local contacts working simplex or through repeaters. Since a dipole has some directional characteristics, it is also desirable and quite easy to homebrew a rotatable dipole from light weight, aluminum tubing. In like manner, it is very easy to build a Yagi; a 3-element Yagi utilizing a director, driven element, and reflector, is still quite small and will give you considerable added DB gain over a simple dipole. Excellent results can also be obtained on 6 meters from other simple antennas too. For instance, ground-planes and J-Poles are popular 6 meter antennas. Construction details for all of these kinds of antennas are readily available from many online sources.

Antenna polarization is another factor that needs to be considered, depending upon what kind of communications you are seeking on 6 meters. Antennas can be either horizontally or vertically polarized. While the details of antenna polarization are beyond the scope of this basic article, let it suffice to state that for working DX on 6 meters, polarization is not very important. However, in contrast, for working short distance, ground wave, how your antenna is polarized is considerably more important. In general, 6 meter Yagis or rotatable dipoles tend to use horizontal polarization, which have a higher angle of radiation than vertically polarized antennas. Of course, a Yagi, for example, can be erected for either horizontal or vertical polarization, and some are actually designed for both. Verticals, ground-planes and J-Poles are all normally vertically polarized antennas. Vertically polarized antennas have a lower angle of radiation, and thus, they normally perform best over longer distances. The ideal antenna would be both vertically and horizontally polarized, and there are such antennas available commercially, and construction details for home-brewing such arrays can be found online.

Listen for the Beacons

To help you know when 6 meters is open and open into which area of the country or world, there are numerous beacons set up that you can listen for. Here in the United States beacons can be heard in the frequency range between 50.060 and 50.080 MHz. However, in other countries around the globe, they are more scattered across the 6 meter band. For a comprehensive and up-to-date list of 6 meter beacons go to:
G3USF's Worldwide List of 50MHz Beacons:

The 6 Meter Band Structure

According to Dave Finley, N1IRZ in his article entitled: "Six Meters: An Introduction," published in QRPp, Spring 2000, "...six meters is much more rigidly structured in terms of what frequencies are used for what purposes than the HF bands tend to be. 6 meters has a CW-only sub-band which runs from 50.0 to 50.1 MHz... Also, Calling frequencies are used extensively. From 50.100 to 50.125 is a "DX Window," in which domestic QSOs tend to be discouraged. The DX calling frequency is 50.110. The traditional domestic calling frequency is 50.125." Several years ago, back in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, there was a movement to extend the DX window to 50.130 and make 50.200 the new domestic calling frequency. The movement was precipitated by the extension of six-meter privileges to hams in other countries around the globe, resulting in a significant increase in the number of DX stations on the air. However, this movement never really caught on. N1IRZ goes on to point out that "...The recommended CW calling frequency is 50.090, but you will often hear CW CQs on 50.125, too… I would recommend monitoring both 50.125 and 50.200, as well as 50.090, during an opening. If the opening seems really good, start checking 50.110 for DX stations, too."

Do You Know Your Grid Square?

As N1IRZ points out you need to know your grid square when operating 6 meters because you are likely to be asked for it. The grid square system "is almost universally used as a locator system by VHF, UHF and microwave operators." It "divides the world into 32,400 squares, each 2 degrees of longitude by 1 degree of latitude. There are larger "fields" of 100 locator squares each, and each square is divided into smaller sub-squares. Most generally, it will be sufficient if you only know your 2 degree by 1 degree square."

Dave, N1IRZ, says: "VHF operators collect grid squares like HF operators collect countries. Many are working toward the ARRL's VHF-UHF Century Club (VUCC) award, which requires confirmed contacts with 100 grid squares. During VHF contests, some enthusiasts go on "Grid Expeditions," to put rare grid squares on the air, while others become "rovers" to operate from several grids during the contest. Just as states or countries serve as multipliers for HF-contest scores, grid squares are the typical multipliers for VHF-contest scores."

To find your grid square, go to:

If you work 6 meters very much, it might be a good idea to even add your grid square number to your QSL card information.

The Key Word When Working 6 Meters

The key word when working 6 meters is 'patience.' It requires considerable patience, and you will need to make it a part of your ham operating routine to check 6 meters frequently for band openings. Listening for several beacons will let you know not only if the band is open but also what part of the country or world is open to you. Of course, 6 is open pretty much all of the time for local communications, much like 2 meters in that regard.

Good luck...

Ron, K8HSY

Editor’s Note: Be sure to also check out the tutorials by Handiham Volunteer Matt Arthur on 6 meters in the Op Skills section of the Members Only website.

Check into our Handiham nets... Everyone is welcome! 

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 your area.

  • 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 get-together.  

    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 a guess. 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 Michael, VE7KI, the Handiham Radio Club Net Manager.


  • 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.

    • If you want to donate to the Handiham Program, please use our donation website.  The instructions are at the following link:

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


Preferred telephone: 1-612-775-2291
Toll-Free telephone: 1-866-HANDIHAM (1-866-426-3442)

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: 612-775-2290.

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@allina.com  for changes of address, unsubscribes, etc. Include your old email address and your new address.

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