Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, December 20, 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 20, 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

  • Santa Nets

  • Ham Radio In the News

  • Win Some Handiham History Loot

  • In Amateur Radio History…

  • Check into our nets!

  • ...And more!

A note from the coordinator...

As 2017 comes to a close, we end our celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Handiham Program. It has been good to look back over the years of the program as we plan for the future. There is one last big change coming as we end our 50 year birthday festivities—the Handiham site is being redone! During the interview process last summer, Handiham members shared their wishes for an upgraded Handiham Program website, so Santa is delivering over the holidays. You will find that the website will be offline for parts of the next couple weeks. Please be patient, and check back for the updated site. I look forward to hearing your feedback once the new site is online!

In the Handiham Program office, we are preparing for the holiday break. Work will continue as normal on Thursday, December 21, but that is the last day for normal office hours until January 3, 2018. Please be sure to contact Nancy or me right away if you need anything because we will not be responding to phone calls or emails during the break. Don’t forget, if you currently use old links to access content on the website, be aware that they will no longer work after the new website is rolled out. 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 loot! 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 are some links to Santa Nets. There is a link to NASA’s yearlong special event station, and, in honor of the end of 2017, there is an article about transatlantic testing that took place in 1921.

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.

Santa Nets

I had the privilege of being Net Control for a local Santa Net several years ago, a fun and memorable experience! I highly recommend helping the little ones in your life talk to Santa. It is a great way to introduce them to ham radio! Check out the links below if you need help finding Santa. Listen in on your local repeaters too. Santa nets are often run on Christmas Eve locally. Don’t forget to track the Big Guy himself on Christmas Eve at https://www.noradsanta.org/.

http://www.3916nets.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/3916santanet/
and a clip from a 2016 Santa Net on YouTube: https://youtu.be/akTgr086kic

Ham Radio in the News

NASA Yearlong Special Event Station—NASA On the Air.

image of moon surface with lunar landing module, astronaut, and United States flag with text, NASA on the air. Amateur Radio Special Event December 2017 through December 2018.


Win Some Handiham History Loot

Here is your chance to own a piece of Handiham Program history! This week, we are offering another 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=

What was Ott Miller’s Call Sign? (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 Wednesday, January 3, 2018.

In Amateur Radio History...

Transatlantic Tests Succeed!

black and white image of ham radio operator at desk

International DXing is taken for granted by a lot of radio amateurs nowadays, but a look at the QSO card of Jim Russell, W8BU, reminds us that it wasn’t always so…

Russell, formerly 8BU, was a retired attorney from a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, and had applied for membership in the Handiham Program. His card touted the fact that he was one of about 30 American ham operators who took part in the first successful Transatlantic Sending Tests in 1921.

The Tests, conducted by the American Radio Relay League, marked the beginning of world-wide Amateur Radio communication as we know it today. Details of the epoch-making accomplishment were documented in the January 1922 issue of QST.

The December 1921 tests were actually the second attempt at verifiable transatlantic transmissions by amateurs. The first test failed several months before. Although American ship operators had reported hearing signals from American amateurs during transatlantic runs prior to the tests, there was considerable doubt that the low power, short wave transmissions of amateurs could be heard across the Atlantic.

In 1921, the ARRL took responsibility for the transatlantic tests. Given the state of commercial communication and transportation at the time, elaborate arrangements had to be made.

The ARRL sent an American listener to England to supplement the efforts of the British amateurs and facilitate “free-for-all” periods of the testing which gave all amateurs in the United States a chance to participate in the tests. Paul F. Godley, then considered “America’s most expert operator in the reception of short wave signals,” was chosen as the overseas listener.

Godley had originally planned to use the receiving station of Commander Frank Phillips near London, but initial results there were discouraging, and he moved to Ardrossan-Moor in Scotland. There he erected a tent with a lantern and oil stove and a 1300 foot long “beverage” wire antenna for his temporary station. Godley was accompanied by an official listener, D. E. Pearson of the Marconi Company in Glasgow, to watch and verify the reception of every signal.

For six hours each night, December 7th to the 16th, transmissions were made by amateurs in America and watch was kept by Godley in Scotland. Each night was divided into two parts, the first part from 7 to 9:30 pm EST was free-for-all period, consisting of 10 periods of 15 minutes each. During each period, all amateurs in a given inspection district called “test” and signed. The periods were rotated so that all districts would have an equal chance of being received.

The second part of each night, from 9:30 pm to 1:00 am EST, was devoted to individual stations which had been chosen earlier as the best American stations through preliminary qualifications. The preliminary qualification criterion was that the station be able to cover 1,000 miles overland. Sealed secret cypher combinations were assigned to qualifying stations along with individual transmission schedules. These selected stations transmitted for rotating 15 minute periods during the second half of the test period each night.

Although the cyphers and calls of several American stations were heard during the testing period, the distinction of sending the first amateur transatlantic message ever goes to E. H. Armstrong, 1BCG, Greenwich, Connecticut. The message, which carried congratulations to Godley from the ARRL, was received on December 12, 1921 and was acknowledged by Godley by cable. An interesting sidelight is that the very first signal heard in the test came from 1AAW who was later determined to be operating an illegal station. 1AAW declined stepping forward to claim the honor of being the first station heard overseas.

Elation over the successful transatlantic testing prompted the following prediction in QST many years ago: “It is with much trepidation that we venture to talk of the future. Who can say? But surely these accomplishments open the road to a broader field of Citizen Radio. The scientific world is startled at our ARRL’s achievement. In the most graphic way, we have demonstrated the high radiation efficiency of the shortwaves. To put a message across the Atlantic on less than one kilowatt! It was done. To cross the Atlantic on antenna powers of 50 watts or less! It was done. To get over on wave lengths sometimes under 200 meters, with our aerials that are as grasshoppers to the commercial stations. That too was done.

“We sincerely hope that, as a result of these tests, Amateurs not only in Britain but on the Continent as well will be inspired to get into the relay game and duplicate our feat in the reverse direction giving us the opportunity to repay our debt to them; that being shown possible, one-way amateur traffic to England and other countries may begin soon on schedule; and that the British authorities in particular will be so impressed by the potentialities of such work as demonstrated by our tests that the amateur restrictions in that country may soon be sufficiently modified to give hope to two-way amateur communication across the Atlantic.

“Surely radio has been given added impetus by these tests, and certainly the day of International Private Radio has been brought closer!”

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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