Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, November 8, 2017

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Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, November 8, 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

  • Ham Radio Operators Coming to the Rescue

  • Accessible Time and Date Website

  • Early Handiham Program History, Part 5

  • Down memory lane…

  • Check into our nets!

  • ...And more!

A note from the coordinator...

The weather is getting a definite chill, causing me to realize that, ready or not, winter is coming. While I am not a fan of bitterly cold weather, the long nights during winter do bring about improved DX propagation on the lower bands. In fact, my first HF contact after I got my ham license was on 75 meters to Spain on half a vertical antenna. I say half a vertical antenna because I did not have any radials down yet. (Yes, I did impress my Elmer with that contact!) Fast forward a few years, and with the addition of 120 40-foot radials, I worked the world using that same vertical antenna.

Change can be a good thing! Just like my vertical antenna needed changing in the form of radials to make it more effective, the Handiham Program website is in need of some upgrades to increase its effectiveness for our members. The website, located at https://handiham.org, is undergoing some serious renovations. Pages are being updated, links are being corrected, and the site is being mapped in preparation for rolling out the updated website. The organizational structure will be changing to make it more accessible. If you have some time, look over the site and send me an email with changes, thoughts, or suggestions. Your input and feedback is greatly appreciated!

In the E-Letter this week there are some links to news stories about the amateur radio response in Puerto Rico. The next link is to a suggestion about an accessible time and date website. Sister Alverna’s early history of the Handiham Program is back with Part 5. Finally, there is an article from the Spring 1982 issue of Handiham World in Down Memory Lane.

Do you have a story to share about assistive technology or 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.

Ham Radio Operators Coming to the Rescue for Puerto Rico

Communication is key right now as people try to help those affected by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, but without power, that hasn't been easy. Check out these news clips about ham radio operators in hurricane ravaged Puerto Rico and those assisting from outside areas.




Accessible Time and Date Website

Shane Buck likes the site www.thetimenow.com for its accessibility. How about you? What is your go-to site for time and date? Share your suggestions, and we can include them in a future E-Letter.

Early Handiham Program History, Part 5

by Sr. Alverna O’Laughlin

Sr. Alverna O’Laughlin

Handiham History: Program Gains Momentum

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

February, 1971—The Handiham Program’s Board of Directors searched its membership to find just the right person to fill the vacant position of president. We had to find an influential person in the amateur radio fraternity; an individual with a desire to promote the cause of amateur radio for persons with disabilities. The person who seemed ideal for the job was Ward Jensen, W0TLE.

Ward owned and operated a thriving amateur radio business known as Electronic Center in Minneapolis. He was well-known, loved, and respected in the world of ham radio. It was nearly impossible to expect a man as busy as Ward Jensen to serve as the Handiham Program’s president. It was nothing new, however, for the Handiham Program to ask for big things. Ned
Carman, founder of the Handiham Program, was particularly happy when Ward accepted, because of their long friendship and admiration for each other.

At this time, Ward had been serving on the Handiham Program Board of Directors since December of 1969, but he did not really know how his life would be changed with the new position. He soon found himself devoting all his spare time to the Program. Wherever he went, he talked about the Program’s need for volunteers. It wasn’t long before there was a full, active volunteer staff working on donated equipment that was in need of repair. Ward became very good at “arm twisting”—some of those who were talked into volunteering say they haven’t been the same since. Several of those early volunteers are still with the Program some ten years later.

In the March, 1971 FLYER, then the official newsletter of the Rochester Amateur Radio Club and the Handiham Program, our new president wrote, “Today, I believe the Handiham Program is the largest group of actively participating Radio Amateurs in Minnesota. If I count the latest membership list correctly, it now stands at better than 100 able-bodied persons and 65 members and students with disabilities, all working and participating actively in one phase or another toward our objectives. Where else can we find such a dedicated group? We’ve just gotta go places and do things!” This is the kind of determination and spirit which continues to be reflected in Ward’s relationship with the Program.

Officers of the Program worked closely with Ward and provided tremendous support. Alta Mitchell, WA0VTZ, vice-president (“president of vice” as we fondly called her); Helen Torbenson, WB9GPG, secretary; and Cecil Davis, W0AZR, treasurer, were the principal officers and worked with the 14 member Board of Directors. Finances were never all that abundant, but Cecil always managed to pay the bills somehow and have a fairly good bank balance at the end of the year. At the annual meeting in December, 1970, the bank balance was $458.54.

It was about this time that the idea of having a Handiham Program in every state was actually pursued. Iowa was the first to start a chapter in 1972. They had 35 members and seven students. The 3900 Club was a good support to the Iowa Program, but they still found the going to be very difficult. Finding one-on-one helpers and money were two of their biggest problems. Camp Sunnyside in Iowa was the site of a complete ham radio station which was donated by the Handiham Program in Minnesota. Duane Van Vickle, WA0VRJ, and Maurice Dougel, WA0UVH, worked very hard to make this Program successful, but there was just not enough help to keep the group going strong. Other states that showed an interest but did not actually organize were Wisconsin, Kansas, and North and South Dakota.

Under the direction of Ward Jensen, Radio Station KCCR 750 AM was set up at Camp Courage. Campers now had their own broadcast station. This provided them with entertainment and an opportunity for training. The console itself was donated by Faribault Radio Station KDHL through the efforts of former president Ott Miller, W0EQO.

(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 Spring 1982 issue of Handiham World.

Wireless World Magazine cover: The paper for every wireless amateur

Rockets? Satellites? You’re Kidding!

During the West Coast Radio Camp visit to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Dr. Norm Chaflin showed an article he had clipped from a magazine. The article dealt with putting satellites in geostationary orbits to enable the general populace to enjoy television broadcasts from all parts of the earth—

“…Let us suppose that such a station were built in this orbit. It could be provided with receiving and transmitting equipment and could act as a repeater to relay transmissions between any two points on the hemisphere beneath, using any frequency that will penetrate the ionosphere.”

The article goes on to describe in minute detail the nature of satellites, their necessary positions, the physics involved in getting them up into space and in a stationary orbit, and even the required earth station antennas. In short, the article described precisely what’s being done these days in the satellite relayed television.

So what’s so special about that? Nothing, nowadays; but the article, titled “Extra-Terrestrial Relays—Can Rocket Stations Give Worldwide Radio Coverage?” appeared in the October 1945 issue of Wireless World! This visionary writer, Arthur C. Clarke (author of 2001: A Space Odyssey), went on to write—

“…Many may consider the solution proposed in this discussion too far-fetched to be taken very seriously. Such an attitude is unreasonable, as everything envisioned here is a logical extension of developments in the last ten years—in particular the perfection of the long range rocket of which the V2 was the prototype…It will be possible in a few more years to build radio controlled rockets which can be steered into such orbits beyond the limits of the atmosphere and left to broadcast scientific information back to the earth. A little later, manned rockets will be able to make similar flights with sufficient excess power to break the orbit and return to earth.”

Editor’s Note: These days, it does not take a lot of equipment to operate satellites in the ham bands. One simply needs an antenna that can be angled to follow the position of the satellite, a receiver for the downlink band, and a transmitter on the uplink band. Check out www.amsat.org for more information.

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 six hours ahead of Minnesota time during the winter.

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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