Handiham World for September 16, 2019

Logo for Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, part of Allina Health

Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Monday, September 16, 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…

Even though it is only September, we are busy planning activities for the Handiham Program during 2020. Stay tuned for updates on what you can expect next year!

Don’t forget, the current ARRL Technician Class book is now available from BARD, DB94819. You can download it directly from the BARD website or request it in the digital talking book format from your local NLS library.

Pemdy is preparing the for the fall merchandise order. If you would like to get some Handiham Program gear, this will be your next opportunity. To help us better gauge interest in the fall merchandise order, you can complete the following survey: https://handiham.org/wordpress1/quiz/2019-fall-merchandise-survey/

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 in the office during our new usual hours this week. Pemdy, however, will be out of the office until Tuesday, September 24. 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, call sign, if you have one, and the reason for your call. 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 new service from the people at Be My Eyes, another article about the upcoming WWV centennial celebration, and the next part of our interviews recorded during Radio Camp 2019. 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

New Hair Help from Be My Eyes

photo of Be My Eyes app home screen

Be My Eyes is now partnering with Pantene, maker of hair care products, to provide professional support Monday through Friday, from 9 am to 6 pm EST. By connecting with the Pantene team through your Be My Eyes app, you can find out what products are right for your hair type, learn more about ingredients, or just get general hair care advice.

From the Mailbag

Photo of mail carrier with mail bag and letter.

Hi Lucinda,

Well, this weekend and this morning have been good for tropo on VHF and UHF. While I didn’t get in on the best part of the opening during the VHF
contest this weekend, conditions were fairly good for me on 2 meters through 432 MHz.

I worked locals from the four states around, Iowa, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Minnesota on 6-meters for the contest. On 2-meters, I worked as far as Nebraska, EN10, in the contest.

This morning, Monday, September 16, I worked EN74 in Michigan and EN70 near Fort Wayne, Indiana on 2m. I worked K9MRI in EN70 in Indiana on 2-meters, 1.25-meters / 222 MHz, and also on 70 centimeters / 432 MHz.
So, as I say, watch the bands! The weather has been warming up here again, and when that happens, so do the bands this time of year.

Thanks and 73,

Matt, KA0PQW


I have some good news. I wanted to find an accessible logging program. I settled on YFKlog because it has a text interface. I noticed an easy change to make it more screen reader-friendly and emailed the programmer. He quickly completed a fix and released v0.6.0 today. Now the blind have logging software with minimal system requirements and good accessibility. You can find YFKlog at: https://fkurz.net/ham/yfklog.html

Enjoy and 73!

Austin, KA3TTT

Hi Lucinda and all,

I know how to solve antenna stuff in ham radio, but with noise levels I am clueless. I need some help from anyone out there! I have an S7 noise level most of the time on 80-meters, and I cannot hear anything. Once in a great while it goes down to S6, but that is very rare.

I have no idea what the sound of the noise is because I don’t know what each noise is supposed to sound like. Is it a power line? Who knows? Is it a bad transformer? Who knows?

So far, what I’ve done is unplugged my computer, and that was not it. I unplugged a wall wart that’s connected to my home phone, but that was not it. I don’t want to unplug my modem because that would mess up its settings, and I would have to reset the modem all over again. I have no lights on in my apartment because I don’t use lights, so it’s not a lights issue.

It’s 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I have a portable AM radio, but again, I don’t know what each specific noise is supposed to sound like. So, it would be useless to track it because I don’t know what I’m looking for. I can say that I have no broken cables anywhere. If you want to know the frequencies on my AM radio where the noise is, it’s at: 860, 910, 920, 940, 960, 1010, 1120, 1150, 1200, and 1210. I also unplugged my AM radio and ran it on a battery, and the noise is still there.

As far as finding what direction it’s coming from, I have absolutely no idea how to figure that out. I could take the AM radio outside and see where it’s the loudest, but I can’t see what’s around me. I have no handheld, and I don’t have a 2 meter 5/8ths wave antenna. I have no idea if my AM radio has an S meter on it. I’ve never heard of S meters on regular AM radios.

I’m trying to test an antenna I have built on 80 meters, and I don’t want to talk with someone locally on the band. I want to talk to stations farther away on 80 because that will tell me if the antenna is getting out. Thanks for whatever help any of you can give me.


Trippy, AC8S

Interview of the Week

We recorded several interviews at the end of Radio Camp 2019. Please enjoy an edited version of the next part of our camp interviews with Steven, WB2HHV. If you want to hear the complete interview, make sure you listen to the podcast!
Photo of arm in suit jacket with hand holding a large communications microphone.

LM: Steven is another first-time camper this year. He came to us with a license and is part of the Get on the Air class. So, tell us what you did this week.

SD: I went to classes in the morning and afternoon, and I learned about emergency communications, Q signals, contesting, and DXing.

LM: That sounds like a lot of fun! I heard you ran a net one day.

SD: Yes, I did. I had trouble remembering the call signs, though. When I had to say my call sign, then I couldn’t remember the other station’s call sign.

LM: That’s common.

SD: There was a guy sitting next to me writing down the call signs, and when I couldn’t remember, he would whisper it to me.

LM: So, teamwork helps. It’s a good thing! Did you have fun this week?

SD: Yeah. What I am really excited about is that I figured out how to have something to talk about when I am on the radio with people. I always have trouble talking to people I don’t know.

LM: So, it sounds like you learned some useful skills this week.

SD: Yes, and once I get to know people, talking to them should be easier.

LM: Would you tell other people to come to Radio Camp?

SD: Yes, I would!

Stay tuned next week for more interviews from Radio Camp!

Ham Radio in the News

WWV and WWVH to Broadcast Defense Department WWV Centennial Greeting, Special Event Reminder

WWV Logo

Beginning on September 16, both WWV and WWVH will broadcast a US Department of Defense message marking the centennial celebration of WWV. The message will also announce the WW0WWV special event station running from September 28 through October 2. You can listen to the special message through October 1. You can read more at: http://www.arrl.org/news/wwv-and-wwvh-to-broadcast-defense-department-wwv-centennial-greeting-special-event-reminder

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 noise in an HF receiver:

E4C15 asks: What is usually the primary source of noise that is heard from an HF receiver with an antenna connected?

Possible answers are:
A. Detector noise.
B. Induction motor noise.
C. Receiver front-end noise.
D. Atmospheric noise.

In an HF receiver, there are two common sources of noise. First, there is thermal agitation noise from the random molecular motion in the antenna. Second, there is atmospheric noise, commonly called static, making answer D the correct choice. If you are operating on the lower HF bands, atmospheric noise is the main factor. If, however, you are using the upper HF bands, thermal agitation noise may be what you are hearing.

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.

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.

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: Tuesdays through Thursdays between 9:00 AM and 3:00 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 Mondays, 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.