Handiham World for September 23, 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 23, 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…

With September more than half over and the official start of fall, it is time to start thinking about winter propagation. As the frequency of thunder storms decrease and the days get shorter, 40 and 80 meters turn into great bands for DX contacts, even when the sunspots are at a minimum.

Are you a newer ham? A great podcast to listen to is the ARRL’s So Now What. The latest episode is all about demystifying the language of Morse code. With a new episode released every other week, I would encourage you to check it out at: http://www.arrl.org/so-now-what

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. If you haven’t already done so, please help us better gauge interest in the fall merchandise order by completing 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.

Pemdy and I will be in the office during our usual hours this 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, 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 Samsung app for people who are deaf and blind, 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

Samsung Good Vibes App Lets Deaf-blind People Text Using Morse Codes

screen shot of Good Vibes App

Samsung’s Good Vibes app allows people who are both deaf and blind to communicate using Morse code. The app has two interfaces, including a deaf-blind mode and a caregiver mode. In the deaf-blind mode, the entire screen turns black, becoming an interface for the user to tap with their fingers using Morse code. The caregiver mode is for sighted people. You can learn more at: https://assistivetechnologyblog.com/2019/09/samsung-morse-code.html

From the Mailbag

Photo of mail carrier with mail bag and letter.

Hi Lucinda,

Well, you can tell it’s getting toward fall here. The 75-meter band is showing winter band conditions already. I was on 75 AM tonight with my old Johnson Viking Ranger and National NC303 receiver and dipole and worked stations in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan. They all had great signals! That rig runs about 40 watts carrier.

It’s nice to have a lot of different things you can do with ham radio. When one thing isn’t working, then some other band is.

Thanks and 73,

Matt, KA0PQW

Hi Lucinda,

I am on 75 meter AM all the time, and I know what it is like to have noise on this band. For the person that was having trouble on 80 meters, I feel for him, and I had the same problem.

First of all, he says he lives in an apartment. No matter how much he turns off the lights in his apartment, noise will still be there. It might be something as simple as a doorbell transformer. You have to turn off the main power and run your rig on battery power to really know if the noise is coming from your electrical in your home. However, if it is still there, then it is from your neighbors, especially if someone is using a cheap switching power supply.

I would do the following: set your rig to battery power, turn off your main power, and listen with your rig. If the noise is gone, you know it is something in your apartment. If the noise is still there, it is coming from outside your apartment and could even be your neighbors. I would not worry about the modem. They are designed to keep their settings even when the power goes out. Plus, it is always a good practice to reboot your modem every once in a while.

I hope that this helps a little.

Pierre, K9EYE

Hi Lucinda,

I just wanted to let everybody know that the latest new ham radio skill for Alexa is called Continuous Wave. She teaches you Morse code, character by character, and, if you say practice, she’ll practice Morse code with you. To use it, just say, Alexa, open Continuous Wave.


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 Tom, KB8TYJ, and Sue, KC8IFP. 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: We have Tom and Sue coming over here, and Tom is a retired college professor that I ran into in Michigan before I came to Minnesota to take the Handiham Program Coordinator position.

LM: It’s kind of interesting that we originally ran into each other on the air on an emergency communications net that I used to run on Sunday nights. It’s a good reminder that you have to be careful what you do because out of all that, Tom and his wife, Sue, are now in Minnesota volunteering for Radio Camp! Tell us a little bit about your week.

TB: This is Tom, and it has been an absolutely great week. I taught the Get on the Air class or the basic radio operations class—whatever you want to call it. It’s for people who are already licensed, but they want to know more about operating procedures or nets or net control. We even did some stuff on emergency communications.

TB: So, I was asked by Lucinda if I wanted to teach that set of classes, and of course, me being the teacher that I am, I said sure! Absolutely! And I developed a curriculum and the course modules.

TB: And the group I worked with was absolutely terrific! I think we had seven or eight students, if I remember the count, and they were very receptive and very engaged. There were times when I actually had to say that we had talked about a topic long enough. I wanted to cover a little bit more, so we could get through what we needed to.

TB: And, you know what? That’s the rewarding part! To have them enthused and engaged, and then we had everybody checked into several nets. And we had a number of class members actually be net control. And I’ll tell you what, they worked hard at it!

TB: And it’s so refreshing to see that happen! That enthusiasm where they work hard, and they actually do it. And the feeling of accomplishment is just unbelievable, and we were happy to share in that!

LM: That’s awesome! And I can tell you that every time I walked by the class, I could see that everyone was engaged and involved in what was being taught. They weren’t sleeping through the class! They were having fun, and they were coming out telling me what they were learning. It was great!

LM: And Sue, you taught in the Technician Class, so tell us a little about what you’ve done this week.

SB: Well, I think the Technician Class went really well, and personally, I enjoyed remembering again all that I had forgotten about the Technician Class license. The refresher for me was very nice, and I, myself, learned a lot.

SB: I enjoyed working with the students, and I am so happy—just head over heels—that we have Technician students who went on to get their license. That makes my day, and makes my week, and my month, and even my year!

LM: Oh, yes! That makes it so much fun! This morning, Sue was one of our VEs for our VE team. We had a guy named Al Doree who came clear from Motley, a couple hours away, and drove up here for a morning test session. And we did do a morning one because people have a better chance of passing their tests in the morning. And we wanted to give them the best chance possible.

LM: And we had another guy from Bemidji come in and help us out along with several VEs from the Handiham Program. With everyone working together, we had a great test session! So, it was a lot of fun!

SB: Well, I’m just glad that everybody did so well! And I can’t wait until tonight when they get presented with their awards. Just the looks on their faces and the excitement in their voices is worth a million dollars!

TB: And that feeling of—often times as teachers, you just never know if you have made an impact. You just never know sometimes. Well, I know that I did. And to be able to go away from camp knowing that you had that impact on people. I can’t necessarily quantify it right now, but I know that we had an impact, and that is a huge takeaway that will stay with me for a very long time and that makes me want to come back again.

LM: We want you to come back again! We have campers so excited right now! It’s great! So, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us.

Stay tuned next week for more interviews from Radio Camp!

Ham Radio in the News

Festival of Frequency Measurement Set to Honor WWV Centennial

WWV Logo

HamSCI and the Case Amateur Radio Club of Case Western Reserve University will sponsor a “Festival of Frequency Measurement” to mark the centennial of WWV on October 1st from 0000 to 2359 UTC. In the US, that means it will start on the evening of September 30. The event encourages ham radio operators, short-wave listeners, and others able to make high-quality frequency measurements to participate and publish their data on HamSCI’s open-data sharing site. One question they hope to address is how WWV’s 5 MHz propagation path varies over the 24 hour period. You can read more at: https://hamsci.org/wwv-centennial-festival-frequency-measurements

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 Technician Class pool this week to a question about multimeters:

T7D06 asks: Which of the following might damage a multimeter?

Possible answers are:
A. Measuring a voltage too small for the chosen scale.
B. Leaving the meter in the milliamps position overnight.
C. Attempting to measure voltage when using the resistance setting.
D. Not allowing it to warm up properly.

When you decide to enter the amateur radio hobby, one of your first investments (if you don’t already have one) should be a multimeter. One thing to remember, however, you are likely to damage your analog multimeter by attempting to measure voltage if you leave it set for measuring resistance (ohms). That makes answer C 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.

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.