Handiham World for July 3, 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, July 3, 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…

We are busy getting final camp preparations done.
photo of Camp Courage North sign at entrance to camp
Don’t forget to pack your hand-held radio to use during camp. We will have camp nets each evening, and the mid-day Handiham Radio Club Echolink net will be run from camp each day. All regular net controls get a vacation that week as campers take their turn running the net.

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

photo of open box with blue Handiham Program Radio Camp T-shirts inside
Pemdy has everyone’s orders ready for delivery at camp. If you ordered any Handiham Program merchandise, it will be delivered to you at camp. If you didn’t order anything, we have a few extras of some of the items that you can purchase during camp while supplies last.

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. Please be aware that with all the final camp preparations going on, it is taking longer to respond to messages than usual. 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 a funding source to help purchase assistive technology, another article about Ham Radio 2019 in Germany, and a new interview with Linda Reeder, N7HVF. 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

Assistive Technology Fund

Photo of Association for Blind Citizens logo

With the high cost of assistive technology, it’s nice to know there is a place where you can apply for financial assistance to purchase what you need to allow you to be more independent. The Association of Blind Citizens offers a grant to cover 50% of adaptive devices or software. There are cost limits and income restrictions. To learn more, check out their website at: https://blindcitizens.org/assistive-technology-fund/

From the Mailbag

Photo of mail carrier with mail bag and letter.

Hi Lucinda,

With the hot weather, we got our first tropo of the summer. I just worked W5LDA, Larry, in Oklahoma. His grid is EM15, near Tulsa. I ran 100 watts to my 17 element yagi at 50 feet. It seems he and I were the only ones that had propagation. Another station near me with a better set-up couldn’t do anything with it.

I guess this hot weather is good for something! When it gets hot like this watch the bands above 50MHz.

Thanks and 73,

Matt, KA0PQW

Interview of the Week

Linda Reeder, N7HVF, a longtime member of the Handiham Program and the current president of the Handiham Radio Club joined me for an interview last week to talk about the Radio Club and camp. Please enjoy the first part of our interview.
Photo of arm in suit jacket with hand holding a large communications microphone.

LM: I wanted to talk to you about the Handiham Radio Club

LR: I think the club is a wonderful thing because if people have a concern, they can bring it to the club and talk about it. I can remember when we used to have a meeting on the fourth Tuesday, and I thought it was really good. I know we tried to plan for the Handiham Program birthday, but it just didn’t work out.

LR: I really think the club is a good thing because it gives you a chance to talk with one another and make plans. I’m glad that we have it.

LM: So, for people who don’t know, the Handiham Radio Club officially sponsors our nets, because of course the Handiham Program can’t.

LR: Yes. So, I use the club a lot, and I’m the president now, so I try to do what I can to help out. I know it’s just been crazy busy this summer, and I’m so excited to come to the camp.

LR: The club actually started one year when Sister Alverna came. She thought we needed a club, so she got one going. I think I was the president the first time it started.

LM: And you are the current club president, and of course we will have a club meeting at camp in just a couple weeks.

LR: I know! I just can’t believe it’s so close.

LM: It’s coming fast! So, it’s actually in our club bylaws that we have a meeting at Radio Camp. We will be voting on officers, and it should be interesting to see how that comes out. Are you going to run for president again?

LR: Sure! And hopefully things will settle down for me because I had to learn a new radio at work because they couldn’t fix my old one. So, I had no choice. It’s been a lot of work, and that’s what I’ve been doing every day. I hope things will be settled down by camp.

LR: But I really like the club. I enjoyed our little get-togethers that we had. I think everybody did good at showing up. We did it by phone because we wanted it accessible for those who didn’t have a computer.

LM: Well, maybe one of the things we can talk about at our club meeting this year is what we want to do to have meetings more often than just at camp.

LR: Yes, like we were doing.

LM: Why don’t you tell us about what you are looking forward to at Radio Camp?

LR: Well, I know you were talking about having that thing where we get to learn about different radios and how to use them. I filled out the paperwork where I had to tell you what kind of station I had. I am also looking forward to getting on the air. It’s a lot of fun to do that, especially since my HF rig isn’t working right now. So, it will be wonderful to get back on the air.

LM: Are you planning to get stranded on the lake?

LR: Oh, I love going out on the lake! I think they have it set up now so the radio runs off a different battery than the engine.

LM: Right.

LR: It used to be that you had to keep the motor running when you were on the radio because if you didn’t, you would use up the battery, and that’s what happened that day at camp when we got stranded. But, yeah, I love going on the pontoon boat and talking on the radio. That’s a lot of fun.

Stay tuned next week for the next installment of our interview with Linda Reeder, N7HVF.

Ham Radio in the News

HAM RADIO 2019 in Friedrichshafen Reports 14,300 Attended from 50 Countries

Photo of Ham Radio 2019 logo

Held on the same weekend as the ARRL Field Day, hams flocked to Germany for the 44th Ham Radio 2019 show. Among the attendees was ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR. The ARRL booth was busy, with many taking the opportunity to renew their membership or get their QSL cards verified for ARRL award programs. Many of the attendees were younger hams, and Youngsters on the Air had a large contingent there. You can read more at http://www.arrl.org/news/ham-radio-2019-in-friedrichshafen-reports-14-300-attended-from-50-countries

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 new General Class pool this week to a question about band conditions on the lower HF frequencies during the summer:

G2D11 asks: Which of the following is typical of the lower HF frequencies during the summer?

Possible answers are:
A. Poor propagation at any time of day.
B. World-wide propagation during the daylight hours.
C. Heavy distortion on signals due to photon absorption.
D. High levels of atmospheric noise or “static.”

Since we are in another extended low end of the sunspot cycle, it’s a good idea to understand how the low bands behave. Why the low bands? Because they are less impacted by the sunspot cycle. While this might initially have you racing outdoors to put up an 80-meter dipole, you might want to think again. All those thunderstorms that occur during the summer create a lot of noise or “static” on the band, making it difficult or impossible at times to copy stations. This makes answer D the correct choice. If you do decide to operate 80-meters, this is when you are more likely going to have to crank up the power to overcome the atmospheric noise.

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 new General Class question pool is now available in text format in the license exam prep 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.

We are always looking for more readers, including some with a background in teaching in STEM related fields, especially if you have also worked with students requiring accommodations. 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.