Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Logo for Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, part of Allina Health

Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, December 13, 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

  • Snap Circuits Review

  • Ham Radio In the News

  • Win Some Handiham History Loot

  • Benton County ARES Reaches Out

  • Check into our nets!

  • ...And more!

A note from the coordinator...

The kits that Ken, KB3LLA, sent links to last week generated several emails back to the program. It seems there will be some children and adults playing with STEM projects this Christmas! It is always gratifying to see people interested in learning and testing their skills in science, technology, math, and engineering.

In the Handiham Program office, we are preparing for the holiday break. If you need anything before the end of the year, you will want to contact us soon. The office will be closed from Friday, December 22 through Tuesday, January 2. During this time, the website will be intermittently out of service. If you need any lectures to work on over the holiday break, please be sure to download them soon! Don’t forget that if you currently use old links to access content on the website, they will no longer work after the new website is rolled out. You will only be able to access them by logging in with your username and password. If you need to update anything like your contact information, call sign, license class, membership, or members only log-in information, you can email Nancy at Nancy.Meydell@allina.com.

Answer the Handiham History trivia question correctly to be eligible to win this week’s prize! Only a few people responded with the correct answer again last week, so your odds of winning remain good if you answer the question! Winners will need to respond, confirming their contact information before we send out your prize. Please note: only current Handiham Members are eligible to win.

In the E-Letter this week, there is a review of the Snap Circuits kit from last week by Bill, K9BV, some links to amateur radio in the news, and an article about a special surprise for one Handiham member who has been working particularly hard over the past several months.

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.

Snap Circuits Review from K9BV

accessible snap circuit kit with all parts labeled

The Snap Circuits Jr. kit works VERY well. I put together the first four projects, and my wife also did one “all by herself!”

My “likes” include: the plastic breadboard matrix identifying module physical placement with a letter and number system for rows and columns—teaches graphing; and very clear explanations, excellent general design and organization—following directions.

My “dislikes” are a few of their statements like:

1) Elenco NOT responsible for parts damaged due to incorrect wiring. Couldn’t the design have modules which are “fail safe” and would merely not work instead of getting damaged?

2) Adults should choose which projects are SAFE for their child. I guess ANY child toy requires such statements, giving credit to our litigious society.

3) Snap Circuit Jr. is ONLY for adults and children who can follow directions and heed warnings! Apparently, one cannot just “turn a kid loose” with this kit.

THEREFORE, it looks best to do the first few projects with the child and then ask the child to do other further projects without the batteries, then ask the parent to check the circuit BEFORE the 2 AA batteries are installed for testing circuit function.

OTHERWISE, kids will be too tempted to push buttons or flick switches on their own before “final inspection” by a responsible adult, possibly burning out vital modules.

IF properly presented as “the adult thing to do” is to have work checked “just like adults have project monitors or final inspections,” then the child is unlikely to complain about the near constant supervision.

There ARE very detailed procedures included on how to test modules to see if they are ok or burned out before purchasing replacements—a good feature—so, how big of a problem is the possible damage to modules?

Only time will tell how necessary all these precautions are.

Ham Radio in the News

Here are two articles about amateur radio involvement in the response to the Southern California wildfires.

Win Some Handiham History Loot

Here is your chance to own a piece of Handiham Program history! This week, we are offering a 40th Anniversary Handiham hat. These hats were originally offered in 2007 as part of the celebration of forty years of the Handiham Program. If you want a chance to win this hat, make sure your membership is current and answer the following question:

Tan baseball style cap with embroidered Handiham 40th Anniversary logo on the front” width=

In what city did the Handiham Program start? (Hint: Check out past E-Letters from 2017 if you are not sure of the answers to these questions.)

You can send your answer via email to Nancy.Meydell@allina.com or call 612-775-2291. Make sure to include your name, call sign, license class, and current contact information. We will pick the winner on Tuesday, December 19.

The Benton County, Missouri Amateur Radio Emergency Service Group Reaches Out to Help a Ham in Need!

by: Samantha Henley, KE0LMY and Renee Cason, KE0LMZ

Kelly Stanfield checking out her new Kenwood 590

It is a great honor to be part of something as special as a group working together toward a common goal. Two of our members, Jim McNally, KA0DXU, and Rick Wade, KD0CNC, spearheaded a super-secret plan to do something very special for a talented, warm, and outgoing amateur radio operator in our group.

Miss Kelly Stanfield (previously, KD0IWM, now, W0YQG) is a visually impaired ham who came to the Benton County, Missouri ARES (BC ARES) group in August 2017. She has attended every meeting, contributed ideas, participated in weekly nets, visited Rick’s EmComm trailer during Warsaw, Missouri Pioneer Heritage Days in October, attained her General Class and then Extra Class licenses within a span of two months, and inspired all of us to strive to be the best we can be every time we interact with her. She does not allow her disability to be a hindrance. She is open to trying new things, meeting new people, and enjoying life to the fullest.

When Jim and Rick heard that she had obtained her General Class license, they wanted to give her the ability to speak with people all over the world. They worked with members of the BC ARES to raise the funds needed to purchase a Kenwood TS-590S HF radio with a VGS-1 voice synthesizer board and a Powerwerx 30 Amp power supply. An 80-10 meter dipole antenna with a Comtec 4:1 current balun, 140 FT of coax, insulators, wire, and PL-259 connectors will be installed outside Kelly’s home. Kelly’s uncles, Joe, Lee, and Roger Krout purchased a flight case for Kelly to store and transport her new radio easily.


In order for a sightless person to operate a complex radio like this, the radio must ‘speak’ when settings change. The Kenwood has this ability with the speech synthesizer board installed. Rick ordered and paid for the VGS-1 voice synthesizer board and Jim installed and tested the feature that will allow the radio to verbalize and interact with Miss Stanfield. During all of this, Jim was in contact with Miss Stanfield’s uncle, Joe Krout, KR0UT, and best friend, Craig Martin, KY0O, so they could take part in the surprise as well.

Miss Stanfield is a third generation amateur radio operator on her mother’s side of the family. She was very excited to recently acquire her grandfather, Harry Krout’s call sign, W0YQG, since he became a Silent Key. It was obvious to the group that she wanted to keep up the family tradition. Her first radio was a Kenwood TMV71A, which she still owns and uses to this day for local contacts and participating in BC ARES nets and activities.

Miss Stanfield has been visually impaired for her entire life. This did not stop her from attaining a job and assisting with a radio podcast on a weekly basis. When the possibility arose for her to leave Kansas and move to Warsaw, Missouri, Miss Stanfield was excited by the possibilities. She soon found the Benton County, Missouri ARES and Twin Lakes Amateur Radio Club.

Rick Wade, then Emergency Coordinator for the BC ARES and current President of the Twin Lakes Amateur Radio Club, was astounded by her capabilities.

“I don’t know how she does it,” he remarked upon meeting Miss Stanfield. “She’s pretty amazing. She doesn’t complain about her disability or use it as an excuse.”

One of Miss Stanfield’s most remarkable traits is her sense of humor. She can often be found spouting one-liners and having fun with her disability. Some of her favorites are: “Long time, no see!” “Something bad happened? I didn’t see anything!” and “Looks fine to me!” among others.

We look forward to helping Miss Stanfield grow into a strong, independent Ham and watching what she can achieve!

We would like to thank the following people for their contributions to this great cause: Jim McNally, KA0DXU, Rick Wade, KD0CNC, Samantha Henley, KE0LMY, Joe Krout, KR0UT, Craig Martin, KY0O, Rick Harkins, W0YGH, Michael Schley, KB0LW, Steve Pierce, WA5ICX, Rebecca Pierce, W5RNX, Robert Scott, KD0AFI, Della Scott, KD0AFJ, Roger Henley, KD0WXT, Renee Cason, KE0LMZ, Lee Krout, and Roger Krout.

Editor’s Note: It has been exciting to follow Kelly’s progress as she prepared for and successfully passed her General and Extra Class license exams. The Handiham Program congratulates Kelly and all those involved in helping her to accomplish her goals.

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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