Handiham World for April 17, 2019

Logo for Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, part of Allina Health

Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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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https://handiham.org/audio/handiham17APR2019.mp3


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Welcome to Handiham World.

In this edition:

  • A note from the coordinator
  • News in Assistive Technology
  • From the Mailbag
  • Interview of the Week
  • Ham Radio in the News
  • A Dip in the Pool
  • Website Update
  • Equipment Connection
  • Help Needed
  • Check into our nets!
  • …And more!

A note from the coordinator…

Spring has finally sprung here in the Twin Cities. Most of the snow from last week’s storm has melted, and the heavy rain today should eliminate all but the largest snow piles. The grass has the first hint of green after yesterday’s warm temps.

Tomorrow, April 18, is World Amateur Radio Day. It is celebrated on that date each year to commemorate the formation of the International Amateur Radio Union in Paris. There are numerous special event stations in honor of this day. You can check them out and learn more at http://www.iaru.org/world-amateur-radio-day.html

photo of World Amateur Radio Day poster

If you are planning to go to Hamvention this year, our booth number is 6602, located in the same spot as last year. Please plan to stop by and hang out with us. Kelly Stanfield, W0YQG, and Jim Shaffer, KE5AL, will also be helping at the booth. Additionally, the Hamvention officials decided to open the gates to the public on Sunday at no charge! If you live in the area and have never attended, this is your chance to check it out. The booths are open between 9 am and 1 pm on Sunday. Hamvention starts in just 29 days!

We have a new podcast feed titled “Handiham World.” You may have already noticed that there is a new player that appears below the E-Letter on the website. There are also new subscribe links below the player and in the E-Letter.

Radio Camp applications continue to stream in for the 2019 Radio Camp at True Friends Camp Courage North. Because space for camp is limited, we are accepting campers based on when they requested and turned in their completed application packets. If you have questions or if you want to attend and have not requested an application, please contact Pemdy as soon as possible.

If you are having trouble receiving your E-Letter, you can always go to https://handiham.org/wordpress1/weekly-e-letter/ to see the latest E-Letter. Additionally, you can go to https://handiham.org/audio/handiham.mp3 to listen to the current podcast. These links are updated each time a new E-Letter and podcast is released.

Pemdy and I will be in the office during our usual hours next week. If you call the Handiham Program office, and we do not answer, please leave a message. When you leave a message, don’t forget to leave your name, phone number, and call sign, if you have one. Also, if you send an email, please include your name along with your call sign to speed up the response time. As always, if you need to update anything like your contact information, call sign, license class, membership, or members only log-in information, you can email us at handiham@allina.com.

In the E-Letter, there is an article about the new Volunteer Monitor program that is replacing the old OO program, an article about the Supersense app for people who are blind or visually impaired, and the first part of an interview with Kitty Hevener, W8TDA. Of course, you can also find the regular articles you see here each week.

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.


News in Assistive Technology

Supersense – A new kind of app for the blind

photo of Supersense App open on smart phone

Supersense is a new kind of app for the blind and low vision community. It locates objects around you. Do you need to find an empty chair or a trash can? Are you trying to locate the door of a building? Choose what you are looking for and scan your environment with your smartphone. Supersense will find it in real-time without an internet connection. You can learn more by checking out the app at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mediate.supersense&hl=en_US


From the Mailbag

Photo of mail carrier with mail bag and letter.

Hi Lucinda,

That amateur radio celebrity, Matt Arthur, KA0PQW, was mentioned in the May Issue of QST on page 93 in “The World Above 50 MHz.” In the “On the Bands” section under 50 MHz, the article states “The next morning, strong Es reappeared at 1447Z. W3RZ (EL29) worked KA0PQW (EN33) on CW.”

73,

Avery, K0HLA


Interview of the Week

I had the pleasure of interviewing Kitty Hevener, W8TDA, last week. She has many years of experience and fun in the amateur radio hobby. Please join me for the first part of our conversation.

Photo of arm in suit jacket with hand holding a large communications microphone.

LM: What got you interested in amateur radio?

KH: It was peer pressure. I figure that’s kind of odd, but when I was in school, I hung around with kids who were older than me because my classmates were difficult to be with. They were not interested in academics, and I was. So, I hung around with kids who were older than me.

KH: Our school had gotten funding to open a non-commercial 10 watt educational FM radio station. So, I got my Third Class Commercial Radio License. Our electronics teacher was a ham, and next thing I knew, these older kids were studying Morse code. Well, I did that too, because I thought it was kind of cool. Then they were talking to me about getting my ham license.

KH: I didn’t want to do it, but I was afraid to say no because I was incredibly shy at that point in my life. I thought I would go ahead and get my license, which was only good for two years at that time. It will expire, these kids will have graduated, and no one will be the wiser to know what I have done. So that’s how I got into it—simply peer pressure.

LM: But you obviously stayed in it.

KH: I did. We were fortunate in the school that I attended to have people who donated equipment, similar to how people do with the Handiham Program. People would donate equipment that we could use until we were able to come up with enough money to buy our own equipment. Remember, we were all kids, so we did not really have our own source of income, other than the generosity of our parents or family.

KH: So, I got some equipment on loan and took it home for the summer. I sent CQ until I was perfect at sending CQ. There was a problem that no one realized with the rig, so I had no output the whole summer. I was determined, however, and I kept calling CQ.

KH: The other big surprise that I had prior to that was convincing my parents that this was a good thing for me to do and that it wasn’t going to cost them anything. I had borrowed a separate transmitter and receiver which was taking up a lot of space, and I didn’t have a lot of space. So, I traded it in.

KH: But, for the original equipment, I finally got my dad to string a simple dipole. Then I realized that it hadn’t been grounded, but he was not in a really good mood. So, I decided that I could just handle it without being grounded. Obviously, that wasn’t a good idea because I got shocked; but I still didn’t want to believe that it was the lack of ground, so I got shocked again. Then my dad wanted to know why I was getting shocked. I realized it was the ground. So, he went out, put in a ground, and life was good.

LM: So, obviously at that point, when you got your first license, you were Morse code only.

KH: I was, and my call was WN8TDA.

LM: Nice! So when did you upgrade—because back then, it was not a lifetime license. You had to upgrade, or you were done.

KH: Right. I tried three times to upgrade, and by the time I succeeded in passing the General, I was in my second year of the license. The clock was ticking, and I was feeling the pressure. All three times, I passed the CW with no problem. It was the theory that was getting me in trouble.

LM: That was a tough test!

KH: Yes, it was. Most people would pass the theory and struggle with the Morse code, but not me. I will say that each time I had to go back to take the test—then you had to actually appear in front of the FCC. As a high school kid, that was really intimidating. It was the big federal government, and we were in Washington, DC.

KH: Fortunately, the FCC Examiner was also a ham. I will never forget, his call was W3DAV, and his name was Dave. He was nice enough and very good with us kids. The first time, I wasn’t really expecting to pass the code, and I did.

KH: So, the second and third time, instead of being confident that I would pass it because I had been there and done that before, I was afraid that I wouldn’t pass it for some reason. By the third time, he stopped me before the end of the exam. I remember just taking off the headphones and being really upset. He didn’t understand why I was upset because I had passed. At that point, you had to copy a minute solid. Because I kept getting worse as time progressed, I think he decided to put me out of my misery—or maybe his misery at that point.

LM: Well, you definitely knew the code!

KH: Yes! I actually enjoy, then and still do, Morse code. For me, it’s the way to go.

Stay tuned next week for the next installment of our interview with Kitty Hevener, W8TDA.


Ham Radio in the News

ARRL and FCC Sign Memorandum to Implement New Volunteer Monitor Program

Photo of FCC logo

The ARRL and the FCC have signed an agreement to establish the new Volunteer Monitor program as a replacement for the old Official Observers (OO) program. A familiar name, Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, will oversee the ARRL’s role in the development and implementation of the new program. Trained and vetted volunteers will monitor the amateur bands looking for evidence of misconduct and recognizing exemplary operators. Flagrant violations will still be referred to the FCC for action. The program hopes to re-energize enforcement in the ham bands after the reduction in FCC field staff. The ARRL hopes to have the first volunteers ready in 9 months. You can read more at the following link: http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-and-fcc-sign-memorandum-to-implement-new-volunteer-monitor-program


A Dip in the Pool
drawing of person studying

Let’s go to the Technician Class pool this week to a question about lightning protection on a tower:

T0B12 asks: Which of the following is good practice when installing ground wires on a tower for lightning protection?

Possible answers are:
A. Put a loop in the ground connection to prevent water damage to the ground system.
B. Make sure that all bends in the ground wires are clean, right-angle bends.
C. Ensure that connections are short and direct.
D. All of these choices are correct

Having an antenna farm is the dream of nearly every ham. On that farm, you want at least one good tower. Of course, you want that tower to be taller than any surrounding land or buildings, which makes it a great target for lightning strikes. To protect your shack, you should ground the tower, ideally using copper ribbon, making the length as short as possible and connecting directly to a good Earth ground. That makes C, ensure that connections are short and direct, the correct choice.


Website Update

Photo of the words website update with construction equipment working on the letters.

Here are the latest updates on the new Handiham.org website. Don’t forget to monitor the site for updates throughout the week. When changes are made, I will post to the website. You can also find the latest updates any time by going to https://handiham.org/wordpress1/website-updates/. If you have any feedback about the website, I would love to hear from you. If you are a current member and your credentials are not allowing you to login to the site, please contact Pemdy for assistance at handiham@allina.com or 612-775-2291.

The April issue of CQ Magazine is available in DAISY audio in the magazines and newsletters section of the members only website.


Equipment Connection

Photo of Icom IC-7200 with LDG auto-tuner and power supply.

Equipment connections are happening, and the list is open! If you have a request for the Equipment Connection, contact me, leaving your name and phone number. I will call you to discuss your request. Please note that it may take several days for a return call due to all the other things going on in the Handiham Program. If you don’t hear back from me after two weeks, you may contact me a second time. Additionally, if you have received any equipment from the Handiham Program during the last 12 months, you will automatically be placed at the bottom of the list so that others can also participate in the Equipment Connection.

Many thanks to the numerous people who have offered equipment for Handiham Members. If you have equipment that you would like to donate to a Handiham Program member, please email Lucinda at Lucinda.Moody@allina.com or call 1-612-775-2290.


Help Needed

Photo of note with the words help needed written on it.

The Handiham Program needs contributors to Handiham World. Do you have a particular interest in amateur radio that you would like to share with others? Maybe you have a particular mode or band you like to operate and have learned a lot about. Or maybe you have some great stories to share from your experiences in the amateur radio hobby. Put your writing skills to work for Handiham World by sending your submissions to Lucinda.Moody@allina.com.

The Handiham Program needs more readers. We are currently searching for a new reader for CQ Magazine. We also need some readers with a background in teaching in STEM related fields, especially if you have also worked with students requiring accommodations. This volunteer position requires you to use your own equipment to record, however, we will provide the reading materials. If you or someone you know would like to try reading material for the members only section, please contact me for more information on how to submit a demo recording.

We need help updating our available resources for members. If you are blind and enjoy using your ham radio or assistive technology related devices, your assistance is especially needed. It would be a big help to your fellow Handiham Members if you would record a tutorial or product review. These need to be sent in Mp3 format, and the Handiham Program reserves the right to edit the recordings as needed before publishing in the Members Only section of the Handiham.org website. Please contact me at Lucinda.Moody@allina.com or 612-775-2290 if you have any questions.

I want to say a big thank you to those who have made or volunteered to make tutorials for the Members Only portion of the website. We have already had a number of members step up to offer their services, and their help is greatly appreciated! We also have some new readers who are working on some books, so keep watching for website updates as we add more content.


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 DMR Talkgroup on Brandmeister is 31990. On AllStar, it is available at node 47367.
  • 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.


Membership

  • 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.
      MEMBERSHIP DUES PAYMENT LINK
    • If you want to donate to the Handiham Program, please use our donation website. The instructions are at the following link:
      DONATION LINK
  • As always, while our other services require that you have a current Handiham Program membership, you do not have to be a member to receive the Handiham World E-Letter.

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

E-Mail: handiham@allina.com

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 assistive technology, operating information, and Handiham Program news. It is published on Wednesdays, and is available to everyone free of charge. Please email handiham@allina.com for changes of address, unsubscribes, etc. Include your old email address and your new address.