Handiham World for October 7, 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, October 7, 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…

The Closing the Gap conference was a great experience. This is my third year attending, and it is amazing how fast assistive technology is evolving to better serve everyone, not just people with disabilities. The focus on serving everyone is a good thing since that means there is a wider market for the technology, making it more available and affordable. There were a lot more sessions this year than in the past that pertained to people who are blind or visually impaired. It is interesting to see how Apple, Microsoft, and Google are all building accessibility into their products now. It wasn’t that many years ago that we thought that would never happen!

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

Orders are now being taken for Handiham Program merchandise. If you would like to get some Handiham Program gear, this is your chance! You can contact Pemdy to place an order or have an order form sent to you via email or postal mail at handiham@allina.com.

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.

While I will be in the office during my usual hours this week, Pemdy will be away until next Tuesday. 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, and the reason for your email 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 VistaTEC conference held at the end of September, another article about a ham in Australia who spent 30 years helping NASA, 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

Vista Technology Education Conference

photo of Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired logo

The Vista TEC conference was held on September 28th in Santa Clara, California. An outreach of the Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the daylong conference provided a platform for assistive technology users, technology researchers, and software developers to collaborate in the field of technology accessibility. You can learn more at: https://www.vistatec.org/

From the Mailbag

Photo of mail carrier with mail bag and letter.

Hi Lucinda,

I am a Life Member of the Handiham Program, and I really enjoy listening to your E-letter. I live in Ottawa, Canada, and I have been a member for at least 25 years if not longer.

Today, I want to pick your mind to find out if there are any companies out there that sell talking VOM meters for visually impaired or blind people.

Keep up the good work!

Best regards,

Roger VE3NPO

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 Nick, KE0WKX. 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: Nick, where are you from?

NB: Apple Valley, Minnesota.

LM: Okay, you are from just south of the Cities. Did you have fun this week?

NB: Yes, I did. I had a lot of fun with Lucinda, a lot of the campers, and the counselors were pretty nice up here. Over all, the test questions were pretty good, and I was excited to pass my test today.

LM: Nick cheered, let me tell you!

NB: And the camaraderie with all the ham radio buddies up here, they were great!

LM: And you rode the bus up here. We chartered a bus out of the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport so people wouldn’t have to try to get flights up to Bemidji. Was that fun?

NB: Yes, we had a nice coach bus with a lot of room to move around!

LM: Since you passed your test, you will have your call sign in about a week. What do you want to do with your ham radio license?

NB: I am looking forward to doing some contesting and talking to the local hams.

LM: There are some good hams in Apple Valley, so you will have plenty of people to talk to. Do you want to come back to camp in the future?

NB: Yes, I would!

LM: We would love to have you! Thanks so much!

Stay tuned next week for more interviews from Radio Camp!

Ham Radio in the News

NASA Considers 80-year-old Ham Radio Operator Part of the Astronaut Family

gallery of NASA photos

Known in the ham radio world and to NASA personnel as VK5ZAI, Tony has been a ham since 21 years of age. Over his 30 years of involvement with NASA, he has helped during times of crisis, completed phone patches between astronauts and their families, and worked with the ARISS program facilitating contacts between schools and astronauts in space. His contacts to space began in 1992 with a cosmonaut on the Mir space station. NASA found out and had him make contact with one of the US astronauts on board Mir. Later, NASA asked him to help form ARISS. Over the past 20 years, ARISS has helped some 1,300 schools and educational institutions make contact with the space station. At the end of 2019, Tony will be stepping back from ARISS to enjoy retirement with his wife. You can learn more at: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-06/nasa-considers-amateur-radio-buff-part-of-astronaut-family/11530046

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 digital communications:

E8C11 asks: What is the relationship between symbol rate and baud?

Possible answers are:
A. They are the same.
B. Baud is twice the symbol rate.
C. Symbol rate is only used for packet-based modes.
D. Baud is only used for RTTY.

The simple answer is that symbol rate and baud rate are the same, making A the correct choice. Symbol rate and baud rate are the best indicators of the bandwidth necessary for the given digital transmission. While the number of symbols per character may determine the ultimate data rate, the bandwidth is still determined by the symbol rate and baud rate.

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 October issue of the QCWA Journal is now available 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.

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.