Handiham World for June 19, 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, June 19, 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…

It’s hard to believe, but Field Day is this weekend already. If you don’t have plans in place, this is a great time to check out some of your local clubs. You can get to know members while making lots of contacts for the club. If you have any Field Day stories to share in a future E-Letter, be sure to send them our way.

I know I have been talking about how soon it is coming for a while, but Radio camp will be here in just 4 ½ weeks!
photo of Camp Courage North sign at entrance to camp
We have many new activities planned for the Get On the Air class at camp, including playing with the Buddipole system. That’s right! The Handiham Program now has both the Buddipole and Buddistick antennas for campers to learn hands-on antenna theory and operation.
photo of Buddipole and Buddistick antennas in their open cases
While we will set up other antennas before campers arrive, these new antennas will be set up by campers during camp. If you want to do some studying about these antennas before camp, you can check out their website at http://www.buddipole.com.

Speaking of studying, if you are one of the many license class students coming to camp, please make sure you are studying all the materials ahead of time. If you are having difficulty accessing them, please contact Pemdy or me for assistance.

Several other packages arrived this week containing some great looking Handiham Program shirts, jackets, and hats. If you ordered any of these, they will be delivered to you at camp.
photo of open box with blue Handiham Program Radio Camp T-shirts inside
If you didn’t order anything, we have a few extras of some of the items that you can purchase during camp on a first come, first served basis.

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 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 voice control for Mac and iOS, another article about predictions for sunspot cycle 25, and the final 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

Introducing Voice Control on Mac and iOS from Apple

Photo of Apple logo

Coming this fall, Apple will include voice control in all its devices, making great strides toward universal accessibility. You can learn more by watching the following audio described video: https://youtu.be/v72nu602WXU

From the Mailbag

Photo of mail carrier with mail bag and letter.

Hi Lucinda,

I am really enjoying your interview with Kitty Hevener, W8TDA, and am impressed with all she has done. I actually had a chance to work with her several years ago. While employed with the Internal Revenue Service, I had a chance to attend a class where she taught us computer braille. It must have been in 1987 or 1988 because I still had my old call, KB8AHL. I believe at that time she was working for an agency for the blind in Cincinnati, where the class was held. At that time, with the equipment we had, we had to know computer braille to use the IRS computer system to work with customer accounts. I already knew computer braille but did enjoy being away from the office for a couple days. And Kitty was a lot of fun and very knowledgeable. I can’t wait to read the next installment.

I’m so happy that you have decided to return radio camp to Courage North, a beautiful spot. I attended there several times and really enjoyed myself. I frequently taught NTS format at the time. One year, I also won the Good Joe/Good Jane camper award, which I still have. Glad you are bringing awards back.

Keep up the good work.


Diane, WI8K

I passed my test and got my Technician license. I was even able through the vanity program to get back my old call sign, K2ZXJ.
Good luck to everyone in their studies!

Edward, K2ZXJ

Interview of the Week

I had the pleasure of interviewing Kitty Hevener, W8TDA, several 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: I also think another lesson that I learned through leadership, and this one is a very painful, sad reality, and that is sometimes you have the ability to succeed in a position, be it work related or be it volunteer, but other people around you who you have to work with or who you may even have to report to are not receptive, no matter what.

KH: Sadly, I have encountered that with a group that I very much would have liked to have done more public service events with. I know I have the skill. I have demonstrated that I can do the skill as well as the next person who is not disabled, but the head is absolutely convinced that I can’t succeed.

KH: Public service is at the core of my foundation. I really believe in it, and it is something I know I can do.

LM: I ran into that when I first got into amateur radio. The initial Em Comm group that I thought I would get into, I quickly realized wasn’t ever going to happen. They were a very closed-minded group. I moved on. That’s how I ended up doing a number of years in SATERN and being in leadership there because they were completely open to working with me.

LM: I figured I didn’t need to waste my time on these other people. That’s their loss. Unfortunately, there are still people who can’t see potential in others. As people with disabilities, we are going to run into that throughout our lives.

LM: There are going to be those who are open to learning and developing inclusiveness, and there are others who just have a blind spot for accessibility and inclusiveness. There’s a point where you have to look at your own sanity and realize that they aren’t worth my time. I can do other things and help out in other ways and have fulfillment in my life rather than all this pain.

KH: Yes, and it is sad, because you might want to save the whole world. But as one of my friends pointed out, so who do you think you are?

LM: Yes, they are constantly preaching to us as social workers that you can’t be all things to all people. You can’t save the whole world, and if you don’t take care of yourself, you have nothing left to give others.

KH: Exactly.

LM: It becomes a part of respecting yourself to just back out and remember that it is their loss.

KH: It is. And the other thing that I picked up was that I also got into Toastmasters, which is an organization that teaches communication and leadership skills. A lot of people associate Toastmasters with public speaking, and they do that. But they also have a section now on leadership.

KH: I have often thought that Toastmasters and ham radio have a lot in common because both groups focus on pretty much the same thing. One of the programs that I have offered is becoming a better listener. I call it, two ears and one mouth, the better to receive you with.

KH: I did a program focusing on various listening skills and how we often anticipate what someone is going to say. So, if you have already anticipated it, you are not with the speaker any more. You have gone on in your own direction. It made for an interesting program.

KH: That’s about all I can think of on leadership, and I learned a lot through ham radio.

LM: You developed a lot of skills, and that’s another neat way to use the hobby to grow.

Stay tuned next week for a new interview.

Ham Radio in the News

Weakest Sunspot Cycle in 200 Years Predicted

Photo of NASA logo with space pictures in the background

According to a recent report, NASA forecasts that the next solar cycle will be the weakest in 200 years, making sunspot numbers 30 to 50 percent below the last cycle. They are predicting that the next cycle will start in 2020, reaching maximum in 2025. This prediction came as a result of new methods where data from direct observation of magnetic fields emerging on the surface of the sun were used. You can read more at https://www.nasa.gov/feature/ames/solar-activity-forecast-for-next-decade-favorable-for-exploration

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 power delivered to a load:

E4B06 asks: How much power is being absorbed by the load when a directional power meter connected between a transmitter and a terminating load reads 100 watts forward power and 25 watts reflected power?

Possible answers are:
A. 100 watts.
B. 125 watts.
C. 25 watts.
D. 75 watts.

Avid hams often find that a directional wattmeter is an invaluable tool in their shack. While it is similar to an SWR meter, the directional watt meter gives you an actual reading of both your forward and reflected power, something that can offer more information to the operator. This question involves some pretty basic arithmetic since the actual power delivered to a load is simply the forward power minus the reflected power. 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 June issue of CQ magazine is now available in the Magazines and Newsletters section of the members only website. Also, the old Handiham Program videos are now available in the Archives section for members. Watch for a new Handiham Program video coming later this year!

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.