Handiham World for December 30, 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, December 30, 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 Handiham Program office is closed for the annual holiday break. We will reopen on Tuesday, January 7th. Pemdy and I wish you a wonderful holiday season!

There are still a few extra items from the latest merchandise list. If you want to see if something is available for you to order, please contact Pemdy after the holiday break.

Photo of stack of new gray sweatshirts with the Handiham Logo embroidered on them.

If you haven’t already signed up to receive an application for the 2020 Radio Camp, don’t forget to let Pemdy know that you want to be on the list. The applications will go out in mid-February. We are planning some great new classes for next year’s camp that will help campers continue to expand their knowledge of amateur radio.

Photo of radio campers out on the pontoon boat on Lake George.

Camp will include license class instruction along lots of hands-on amateur radio and training in science, technology, math, and engineering. Instructors are experienced ham radio operators from many locations who come together each summer to make this great experience a reality for campers of all abilities. The week will also give campers the opportunity to learn from each other while enjoying traditional camp activities like swimming, meals in the great outdoors, and nightly campfires.

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 Pemdy and I will be out of the office this week, the e-letters will go out per their usual schedule. 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 importance of having accessibility built into all products, another article about the new Volunteer Monitor program, and the last part of our interview with long-time member Johnny Ott, WA8WFH. 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

When Technology Becomes More Accessible, Everyone Wins

Apple logo

After breaking his finger in a dodgeball game, the importance of built-in accessibility became real for Luke. Using voice control with his iPhone, he found that he could continue his work while he recovered from surgery and went through rehabilitation. At some point in their lives, nearly everyone faces a disability, even if it is just a temporary one resulting from a sports injury or car accident. Having accessibility in all products makes it possible for people of all abilities to be able to function in a society that is increasingly dependent on technology. You can learn more at: https://www.imore.com/voice-control-when-technology-becomes-more-accessible-everyone-wins

From the Mailbag

Photo of mail carrier with mail bag and letter.

Hi Lucinda,

I am writing this to point out just how important it is to be sure
you know what you’re talking about before you tell someone they have a problem. Yesterday, I was listening to a repeater in my area. The repeater in question is known for having crackly noise problems, however the club involved feels that everything is fine and that it’s someone else’s problem.

So, now there is a new ham talking on the repeater in question. He is being told that he has a problem with his rig because they are hearing crackly noises on his signal. Now, I have been around repeaters all of my time since I became a ham. And I have been a repeater owner since 1987 or so.

The signal problem was clearly in the repeater and not the user. I was able to hear the new ham on the input of the repeater and his signal was fine. But, listening through that repeater it was bad. Luckily for the new ham, I was around to take him off frequency and explain that the problem was in the repeater and not him.

So, what can happen if the person were not told the truth? Well, the new ham could think he has a problem and maybe start taking his set-up apart trying to find a problem that isn’t there in the first place.

Most of the time when you hear noise problems on people’s signals going through a repeater, it is not the fault of the user but the repeater, especially if it sounds like an interference problem. Of course, rigs can have problems, but you need to learn the difference.

I think a lot of hams, both old and new, have this problem. They can’t always tell if it’s a repeater problem or a user. I can tell you, we don’t want brand new hams trying to troubleshoot something that isn’t there. It may take them a while to figure out the difference and may take them off the air all together. So, make sure you know the difference before saying you have a problem.

Thanks and Merry Christmas,

Matt, KA0PQW

Interview of the Week

This week, we have the last part of an interview with Johnny Ott, WA8WFH, recorded at his home here in the Twin Cities. Johnny is a longtime Handiham Program member and was one of the campers at Radio Camp this past summer.
Photo of arm in suit jacket with hand holding a large communications microphone.

JO: By the way, I would recommend that once you get your call, unless you really feel led to do otherwise, get used to that call. It’s yours. You earned it. You won it, or however you say it. That’s yours. That’s what you’ll be identified with. Most people, hams especially, it’s usually your first name and your call. So, hang onto it, and never let it go.

Photo of Johnny Ott holing his QCWA Golden Certificate.

JO: And if you move out of your district, unless you are told otherwise, like back in the good old days, hang onto that call. It’s yours, and it’s a part of you—something you can really be proud of and be very thankful for that you were able to achieve that goal. And not everybody does that, but then again, it may not be for everybody, but for those that it is, and remember too, you will join—you may not know or understand it now, but you’ll learn from time to time as you get into this, you will share this great experience with some very famous people.

JO: Why, you can run around to your friends and say, I share something in common with Barry Goldwater, King Hussein, Larnelle Harris. I am sure some of those people may be familiar with the names depending on what their interests are and if they are fans, but then you can say that you know more about them than they do.

JO: Now, a question might come up about Ronnie Millsap. People might say that there are some shared characteristics. But you can share about people like the astronauts and others, emphasizing that what we have in common is that we are all licensed hams. When you tell that to some people, they may not know what you are talking about. Just keep this in mind, you share this amateur radio heritage with a lot of famous people.

JO: Like Walter Cronkite, for one thing. For example, I know something about Walter Cronkite that even his fans might not know. They remember him as a newsman and his coverage of November 22nd of 1963 and his famous “And that’s how it is.” But we know something about Walter Cronkite that they don’t, and keep in mind, we’re not talking about gossip junk or things that you see on the entertainment channels, we’re talking about genuine activity that they are good at. And they are known throughout their sphere of influence by people that share the same passions.

JO: So, you enter into a very exclusive club. And that’s not to be shutting anybody out. I mean, everybody’s welcome to join! You should come up to camp some time!

JO: I just want to say that it’s been a great ride, and I recommend it to everybody. And depending on when you all hear this, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year! It’s been nice chatting with everybody. Here’s your New Year’s resolution: Get licensed and upgrade to the top! And we’ll be seeing you at camp next year!

LM: Thanks so much, Johnny! It’s good to hear from you as always.

JO: Thank you. I appreciate that!

Stay tuned for a new interview airing next week.

Ham Radio in the News

Volunteer Monitor Program Coordinator Looking Forward to a Positive 2020

ARRL logo.

Riley Hollingsworth, the coordinator of the new Volunteer Monitor program, is thankful to all who have helped to get the new program ready to launch. Building on the legacy of the Official Observer program, Hollingsworth believes that the new effort will continue to protect the amateur radio bands while providing volunteers with efficient reporting tools. You can learn more at: http://www.arrl.org/news/volunteer-monitor-program-coordinator-looking-forward-to-a-positive-2020

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 control operators.

T1E11 asks: Who does the FCC presume to be the control operator of an amateur station, unless documentation to the contrary is in the station records?

Possible answers are:
A. The station custodian.
B. The third-party participant.
C. The person operating the station equipment.
D. The station licensee.

While amateur radio operators are no longer required to keep a log, it is still a good idea, especially if your station is used by other hams or if you are passing third party traffic. You should note in your log who the control operator was every time your station is in use because if the FCC is monitoring, they will assume that you were the control operator unless you have records that show otherwise. 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.

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 six hours ahead of Minnesota time during the winter.

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 $15.00. The lifetime membership rate is $150.00.
    • 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.