Handiham World for May 1, 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, May 1, 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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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…

Greetings from West Michigan where I am attending the blind accessible SKYWARN training class on Thursday. I had a great trip to Camp Courage North last weekend!
Photo of the sign at the entrance to True Friends Camp Courage North
It even snowed on Monday, enough to remind me that I was in Northern Minnesota. We made a lot of plans for camp including all the radio stations we will be operating during the week. One of the pontoon boats will be outfitted with a radio and antennas so we can make lots of contacts during our daily boat rides as well.
Photo of the dock on Lake George at Camp Courage North
Also, don’t forget to bring your swimsuit. One of the non-ham radio activities for the week is tubing on Lake George!

Completed Radio Camp applications continue to come in for the 2019 Radio Camp at True Friends Camp Courage North. Don’t forget, transportation is available between the Minneapolis-Saint Paul airport and camp. For those who have attended before, this camp will be different from those in the past. There are many more non-ham radio activities that campers can participate in, including fishing, a murder mystery, and a ropes course. Plus, the old operating skills classes have been updated with new options to explore. Plan to eat your meals on the beautiful new deck at the dining hall, breathing in the fresh air while you enjoy wonderful food.
Photo of the Camp Courage North Dining Halls Deck with picnic tables.
Of course, the ever-popular campfire will be a staple each night. 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 yet requested an application, please contact Pemdy as soon as possible.

Even if you don’t normally do so, you might want to check out Ham Nation this week. They are airing their 400th episode! It is sure to be a great one in honor of their achievement.

If you are planning to go to Hamvention at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center this year, our booth number is 6602, located in the same spot as last year. We would love to have you stop by for a visit. Kelly Stanfield, W0YQG, and Jim Shaffer, KE5AL, will also be helping at the booth at different times. Additionally, the Hamvention officials decided to open the gates to the public on Sunday at no charge! The booths are open between 9 am and 1 pm on Sunday. Hamvention starts in just 15 days!

Our new podcast feed is titled “Handiham World.” There are new subscribe links on the website and in the E-Letter. The podcast is no longer posted in the old location, so please be sure to update your pod catchers.

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.

While I will be out of the office the rest of this week, 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 Stascom, a program that makes Windows more accessible, another article about an on the air meet and greet with the new CEO of the ARRL, and the third part of our 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

Stascom 2019.4

photo of many different assistive technology options

Stascom is a program that allows you to make Windows more accessible using hotkeys and modifier keys. It has been tested with JAWS, NVDA, and narrator. You can learn more and download the free program by checking out the developer’s page at https://www.stascom.co.za/stascom.html#features

From the Mailbag

Photo of mail carrier with mail bag and letter.

Hello, Lucinda,

I’ve heard you announce on the weekly newsletter that you’re looking for a new reader for the CQ digest. Well, I’m not your man. But I wanted to let you know I’ll miss Jim Perry. He has done a fabulous job. I hope all goes well with him going forward.

Thank you for making the CQ digest available. All the best with finding that new reader.


John, KC0HSB

Editor’s note: We are so thankful for all the work Jim has done over the years in reading CQ Magazine. He leaves some big shoes to fill for the next reader.

Interview of the Week

I had the pleasure of interviewing Kitty Hevener, W8TDA, a few weeks ago. She has many years of experience and fun in the amateur radio hobby. Please join me for the next part of our conversation.

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

KH: While I was living in Boston, I realized I was only two hours away from the ARRL. I was looking for another job because the conditions where I was working were not that great, and I needed to have a little more than $10,000 per year.

KH: I found out that the ARRL was looking for someone in their education and training department, and I thought, wow! What an opportunity to marry my hobby with my background in education. Why can’t I prepare license manuals and stuff like that? I have the educational background and the ham radio experience.

KH: So, I applied. I didn’t get it because I didn’t have a high enough class of ham radio license. I thought, I can fix this! So, I did! I studied on my own for my Advanced and Extra. I also worked with my rehab counselor to come up with better strategies for answering interview questions that would focus on my skills rather than the disability.

KH: I found another opportunity, but it was in a different department dealing with FCC rule interpretations and included writing a column for QST. I honestly didn’t think I stood a chance of getting this job, so I applied for it. It doesn’t sound logical, but I applied because I needed to practice the new skills I was learning from my vocational rehab counselor. And, I just wanted to get more interviewing practice.

KH: So, I went to the job interview, and they ultimately hired me. I will never forget the first question the interviewer asked. I had two versions of my resume floating around at the time. While I meant to give him the customer service one, the one he actually got was the one that I was sending out for teaching positions.

KH: He saw the objective and said something about teaching, and I thought, oh no! I sent him the wrong resume! I said, well, I believe that everything you do centers around teaching. And, I talked my way through the whole thing! Later, we were talking about it, and he told me he had no clue that I sent him the wrong resume.

LM: That’s awesome!

KH: There was a performance-based test, but he provided the appropriate accommodations. Basically, he gave me a bulletin from the FCC. I was allowed to take it home, work with a reader to get the information, and write up a summary of this bulletin. And, it was all on a deadline. Well, that was my job. The job was constantly working to meet deadlines. I was hired.

LM: That’s pretty neat.

KH: So I worked there. My first Washington Mailbox column was in March of 1984, and it dealt with testing for people with disabilities.

LM: That would be right up your alley.

KH: Yeah, it kind of was. That’s why I chose that topic. I was also coordinator of their program for the disabled. At that time, they had one. I don’t think they have it any more, but they did then.

LM: So, how many years were you working there?

KH: Basically two years. I realized that while I was enjoying it, I had kind of maxed out where I could go career-wise there. I was kind of missing teaching.

LM: That makes sense.

KH: So, I decided it was time to go back into my field of study, and that’s what I did.

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

Ham Radio in the News

ARRL CEO Howard Michel, WB2ITX, to Connect Directly with Hams via W1AW

Photo of building that houses W1AW with tower and antennas to the left of the building.

The new CEO of ARRL will give ham radio operators a chance to get to know him over the air. He will be operating from W1AW on Monday, May 13, beginning at 1800 UTC on or about 14.254 MHz. Howard just started his job at ARRL headquarters last October, so most hams have not yet had the opportunity to welcome him and learn about his hopes for the organization. You can read more, including how this idea was developed, at the following link: http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-ceo-howard-michel-wb2itx-to-connect-directly-with-hams-via-w1aw

A Dip in the Pool
drawing of person studying

Let’s go to the Extra Class pool this week to a question about unsuccessful attempts to make contact with a digital station.

E2E13 asks: Which of the following is a possible reason that attempts to initiate contact with a digital station on a clear frequency are unsuccessful?

Possible answers are:
A. Your transmit frequency is incorrect.
B. The protocol version you are using is not supported by the digital station.
C. Another station you are unable to hear is using the frequency.
D. All of these choices are correct.

With another extended sunspot low, many hams are turning to digital modes. If that station you are hearing is not coming back to you, check to make sure your transmit frequency is correct and make sure you and the other station are using the same mode. Remember, even if you can clearly hear the station, they may be hearing many stations. That makes D, all of the choices are correct, the right answer.

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 May issue of the QCWA Journal is now available in Mp3 format 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. As a reminder, there is some fine print that you will need to be aware of when these connections take place.

Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, part of Allina Health (“CKRI”), provides a way to connect Handiham members in need of radio equipment with people who want to donate used equipment; however, CKRI makes no warranty whatsoever regarding the equipment. No warranties, promises, and/or representations of any kind, express or implied, are given as to the equipment.

CKRI shall not be liable for any loss or damage of whatever nature (direct, indirect, consequential, or other) whether arising in contract or tort or otherwise, which may arise as a result of your use of contact information (or failure to use) contact information provided by CKRI. CKRI only provides contact information upon request where an individual has used ham radio equipment to share that matches a request and both individuals have agreed to the exchange of contact information. The outcome of the contact between the individuals is not with the control of CKRI, and we cannot take responsibility for any aspect of the communications or transactions. The provision of contact information is not to be taken as an endorsement or representation of any kind by CKRI.

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.


  • 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:
  • 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.