Handiham World for March 9, 2020

Logo for Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, part of Allina Health

Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of March 9, 2020

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…

I will be meeting with our lead Get on the Air instructor, Tom, KB8TYJ, later this week as we continue our work on the curriculum for the 2020 Radio Camp. While it is only March, July will be here before we know it!

If you are within traveling distance of Grand Rapids, Michigan, I highly recommend you attend the SKYWARN for the Visually Impaired class scheduled for May 13th. Tom worked with the National Weather Service to develop the curriculum for this class, and the attendance has grown every year. If you would like more information, you can send me an email.

Photo of 2019 Skywarn training class held in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Along with the release of the new On the Air magazine, the ARRL is doing a new podcast to take a deeper look at some of the topics and projects included in the magazine. You can check it out at http://www.arrl.org/on-the-air-podcast.

Radio Camp applications went out last month and several completed applications have already been returned. If you want to come to camp, please fill it out and return it as soon as possible. If you haven’t requested one and you want to come to camp this year, please contact Pemdy right away.

Photo of Camp Courage North bunk in one of the lovely log cabins.

Camp will include license class instruction along with 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.

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

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, 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 an eye gaze technology user, another article about moon bounce communications in Australia, and the final part of a new interview with Rachel Niedringhaus, KC0VBV. 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

French Musician Produces Music Album Using Eye Gaze Technology

photo of man using eye gaze technology

A 45-year-old French hip hop artist has used assistive technology to continue making music following his diagnosis with ALS. He was inspired by Stephen Hawking to start researching technology that would help him achieve his goals. While the artist is unable to move his limbs or speak, he was able to use eye gaze technology to complete his work. You can read more at: https://assistivetechnologyblog.com/2020/03/french-musician-pone-produces-music-album-using-only-eye-gaze-technology.html
You can learn more about his experience with ALS by going to: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/feb/14/pone-paralysed-producer-making-music-with-his-eyes?

From the Mailbag

Photo of mail carrier with mail bag and letter.


In light of your comments about experiencing satellite communication at Radio Camp this coming summer, I thought Handiham World readers might enjoy listening to an ARISS contact with a local elementary school in Cincinnati. This was a direct contact, no telebridge was used. Readers will be able to listen to the astronaut’s voice from the downlink. The newsletter editor fills in with questions the students were asking. The students’ voices cannot be heard as we do not have the uplink. It can be found at: http://amateurnewsweekly.com/2-23-20%20ANW%20Audio%20Report.mp3


Kitty, W8TDA


I pulled the following article from the March 4 issue of the ARRL Letter. I don’t know if this gentleman had any connection to the Handiham Program.

Paul McIntyre, KC5JAX, a blind social work trainee completing his internship, became a silent key in a knife attack. He served for many years as an officer in his local club, was on the Board of Directors, contributed as a net coordinator, and participated regularly in Field Day. According to his wife, Paul ran toward the danger when he heard screaming. He helped save a life, but his act of bravery cost him his own. You can read more at:

Kitty, W8TDA

Interview of the Week

We interviewed Rachel Niedringhaus, KC0VBV, to find out what she is looking forward to at Radio Camp 2020. Please join us for the final part of her interview.

Photo of arm in suit jacket with hand holding a large communications microphone.

LM: Did you ever do the hidden transmitter hunts last year?

RN: No.

LM: That will be something that’s offered again this year if you want to. Basically, the schedule during the day will be the same as last year, so it will be familiar to you. What did you think when you got your application in the mail?

RN: I was feeling very excited!

LM: I heard your dad say you wouldn’t give him any peace until he got the application filled out. You wanted to make sure, and you are the first person to get their completed application turned in. So, you are officially going to Radio Camp this year! Last year, did you go visit the canteen?

RN: Yes, I got a bag and a pop and a candy bar.

LM: You know a lot of the campers who have come to camp over the years. There will be a bunch of new people too, but you know a lot of the people there, and they know you. Do you remember the net you ran last year? You had a lot of check-ins.

RN: Oh, yeah!

LM: It was a long net! I think we were into the third sheet of paper with the list of names.

RN: Oh, yeah!

LM: Of course, the nets during Radio Camp are longer than usual. I ran that net with you, and John Glass, another of our volunteers, was helping too. We did it in the gazebo.

RN: Oh, yeah!

LM: It’s kind of fun to run a net in a gazebo! And that way Tom could go on teaching in his class while we were doing the net since we weren’t interrupting them. What do you think you’re going to learn at camp this year?

RN: I want to learn about the satellites, and I want to learn a little more with Tom.

LM: And this will be Tom’s second year teaching at camp, so I think you’ll get even more this year. And Tom’s a nice teacher who really knows how to teach. Besides all the amateur radio activities that we do all week, which is a lot, what’s your other favorite activity?

RN: You mean outside the classroom? I want to do boating and what they had last year where you swam to the pad.

LM: Oh, the water mat?

RN: Yeah. I’m thinking of doing it, but I’m kind of scared too.

LM: Well, the one nice thing at camp when you try something like that is you have lots of counselors who are all trained lifeguards, so you can try things there and know you will be safe. Did you get to do boat rides last year?

RN: I don’t think so.

LM: Then you will want to make sure you get out on the boat, and I think we will have two of them going this year! And on the boats, you can also make radio contacts, because we always have radios.

RN: Is Tom’s crew going on the boat?

LM: Oh, yeah. You’ll have a busy week! And we’re back on the same dates in July again this year, but because it’s a leap year, it will be a Tuesday to Tuesday. So now you just have to count the days! It will be here before we know it! So, we will look forward to seeing you at camp and having a fun week together.

Stay tuned for a new interview airing next week.

Ham Radio in the News

Australia’s First Ever Moon Bounce Remembered as a Feat That Shocked Industry Experts

Photo of moon bounce diagram

Some 55 years ago, Ray Naughton, VK3ATN, was responsible for Australia’s first moon bounce. Knowing that astronauts would soon be walking across the surface of the moon, he was determined to make it happen. While what he was doing was known to be possible, no one believed that an avid ham radio operator could make it happen in his own yard. American scientists thought his 100-watt set up would never work, but he proved them wrong and got an all expenses paid trip to the US to share what he had learned. You can learn more about his life story at: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-04/australias-first-moon-bounce-schocked-us-experts/11339552

A Dip in the Pool
drawing of person studying

Let’s go to the Technician Class pool this week to a question about over the air test transmissions.

T2A06 Which of the following is required when making on-the-air test transmissions?

A. Identify the transmitting station.
B. Conduct tests only between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. local time.
C. Notify the FCC of the transmissions.
D. All of these choices are correct.

Even if you are just making a short test transmission, you still must provide station identification, making answer A the correct choice. To avoid causing problems for others, it is a good idea to test your VHF and UHF antennas on simplex rather than repeater frequencies. Other tests such as for a damaged mic cord can be done without going on the air by transmitting into a dummy load and monitoring with a local receiver. The dummy load converts your signal to heat, only sending it only a few hundred feet.

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 March issue of QCWA journal is now available in Mp3 audio 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 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.