Handiham World for May 15, 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 15, 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…

I am on my way to the Dayton Hamvention. I will be setting up our booth tomorrow to get ready for gates to open first thing Friday morning. If you are planning to attend this year, our booth number is 6602, located in one of the two tent buildings. We would love to have you stop by for a visit. They have debuted a new app this year, and Kelly Stanfield, W0YQG, says it is accessible with Apple’s VoiceOver. You can search for 2019 Dayton Hamvention in the Apple or Android app store to find it. Don’t forget that attendance on Sunday is free this year!

Photo of the sign at the entrance to True Friends Camp Courage North Camp is coming up fast! If you are planning on taking a license class, now is the time to start reviewing all your study material. While you will spend lot of time learning, camp will also be a great opportunity to make some new friends, participate in camp activities, and get radio-active. Don’t forget, transportation is available between the Minneapolis-Saint Paul airport and camp. Plan on lots of boat rides, and you can even go tubing on Lake George! Photo of the dock on Lake George at Camp Courage North Meals will be served on the beautiful new deck at the dining hall, breathing in the fresh air while you enjoy delicious food. Photo of the Camp Courage North Dining Halls Deck with picnic tables.Of course, the ever-popular campfire with musical entertainment will be a staple each night. Because space for camp is filling up quickly, 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.

Our podcast feed is now titled “Handiham World.” The subscribe links are 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. Of course, you can still click through the link on the E-Letter to listen like always.

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.

I will be away at Hamvention this week and traveling back to Minnesota the beginning of next week. If you need something, Pemdy will be in the office during her usual hours. If you call the Handiham Program office, and we do not answer, please leave a message. When you leave that 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 BraillePen, a Bluetooth braille keyboard, another article about a home owners association that is allowing some ham radio antennas in their community, and the next 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


photo of BraillePen device

BraillePen is a Bluetooth braille keyboard. You get all the functions that you need without unnecessary buttons and options. Navigation is simple. Just use the joystick to navigate through your external device. Edit notes and memos with ease using revolutionary ActiveTouch cursor routing. Just slide your finger over the character you want the cursor to route to and there it is. You can learn more at: https://braillepen.com

From the Mailbag

Photo of mail carrier with mail bag and letter.

Hi all,

I just tried this, and it blows my mind! I am a ham radio operator, and for the fun of it, I said, “Alexa, what ham radio skills do you have?” She gave me at least 20 skills, and I tried some of them!

After you ask her about the skills, she will go through each one with you and ask if you want to enable it. Or, she might ask if you want to try it. You can answer yes or no. If you find a skill that you like, just write it down, so you won’t forget about it. Then, any time you want, ask Alexa to open that skill.


Trippy, AC8S

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.

LM: So, if somebody asks you why they should become a ham, what would you tell them?

KH: You know, I have opportunities to talk about that. I also forgot to mention, in Cincinnati, I have also been part of a team that teaches the technician licensing class. I would say it depends on the age of the person that asks me, but I would say that it is a hobby that has something in it for everybody.

KH: Most of the youth are more interested in stuff that will help them with STEM programs. For adults, it might be just to be able to communicate with one another and other people. I had one group where a lot of people in the class had got their license so they could communicate when they were out motorbiking.

KH: So, the opportunities are just so numerous, and you might say, well, yeah, I can talk to people over the internet. I can get into all these chat groups, so what do I need ham radio for?

KH: It is just a different experience. I know that there is a community. There is a way to connect with people who do things locally. Where else would I have found the guy who convinced me to stick it out in college?

LM: Yes. That is pretty significant. Thanks so much for taking the time to talk with us. Do you have anything you would like to add?

KH: I look forward to a time when the manufacturers of ham radio equipment will bake in accessibility in their design. I know there are some that do that a little better than others, but for the equipment that I have had, I have had to go buy a voice synthesizer as a separate device.

KH: Making adaptations to some of the digital equipment now is more challenging than it was when we had equipment that you could just turn the dials. You could take a file and scratch a mark in a particular part of the dial to mean something.

KH: So, I would like to see equipment be made more accessible, and I would like to see clubs become more inclusive. I feel like that is an area that the ham radio community needs to and can grow in if they want to.

LM: That’s a good reminder. Very important.

KH: By inclusive, if you happen to live near someone that would like to go to your club meeting, maybe that person can’t drive due to age-related driving concerns. How about offering to give them a ride? How about making your newsletter accessible? It is easy to embed text in a newsletter if you do it on a computer. For public service events, find out what areas that you can include people with various disabilities.

LM: We have a lot of areas where progress is being made on inclusion, but more can be done.

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

Ham Radio in the News

Arizona Homeowners Association and Hams Agree on Outdoor Antenna Guidelines

Photo of beam antenna sticking up above the treetops.

In an antenna-restricted community in Arizona, the Board of Directors recently voted to allow hams to put up certain outdoor antennas on their property. With some 75 hams in the community, it is considered a big success for amateur radio operators. Amateurs focused their campaign on the value hams provide during emergencies or in crisis situations. The allowed antennas are limited to flagpole antennas and verticals with height restrictions and wire antennas without traps. Towers are strictly prohibited. While many hams would like to see more freedom to put up antenna structures, this is definitely a step in the right direction. You can read more at the following link: http://www.arrl.org/news/arizona-homeowners-association-and-hams-agree-on-outdoor-antenna-guidelines

A Dip in the Pool
drawing of person studying

It’s time to test our knowledge by taking a dip in the question pool…

Let’s go to the Extra Class pool this week to a question about spurious emissions?

E1B01 asks: Which of the following constitutes a spurious emission?

Possible answers are:
A. An amateur station transmission made at random without the proper call sign identification.
B. A signal transmitted to prevent its detection by any station other than the intended recipient.
C. Any transmitted signal that unintentionally interferes with another licensed radio station.
D. An emission outside its necessary bandwidth that can be reduced or eliminated without affecting the information transmitted.

The FCC requires that hams keep spurious emissions to a minimum. That means hams need to avoid random splatter on adjacent frequencies, second harmonics, and any other emission that has no purpose outside of the bandwidth necessary for the mode being used. That makes answer D 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 May issue of CQ Magazine is now 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.


  • 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.