Handiham World for September 14, 2020

Logo for Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, part of Allina Health

Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of September 14, 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.

Listen here:
https://handiham.org/audio/handiham14SEP2020.mp3


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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 is pleased to announce the winner of our 2020 Morse Code Class early registration drawing. To accomplish this important task, Pemdy enlisted the help of Diego, a fearless feline who was happy to assist.

Photo of Diego looking over the pile of names to choose from.

Diego took his duties seriously as he chose the winner.

Photo of Diego separating one name from the pile.

And the winner is Darren Tomblin! Congratulations to you, and your Morse code key and oscillator will be going out in the mail later this week.

Photo of the piece of paper Diego picked as the winner.

Thanks to the success of the 2020 Virtual Get on the Air class, we are already working on plans for the next Get on the Air session, likely in January of 2021. If you want to be placed on the list to receive an application, please contact Pemdy.

Screenshot from 2020 Virtual GOTA Class with N3FJP logging software in use and photos and names from Zoom attendees.

The Handiham World E-letter list along with Handiham Notify and the Handiham Radio Club lists are moving to Groups.io. Please keep watching for invitations to all the new lists. Invitations have gone out to everyone on the old Handiham E-letter list. If you haven’t received one, please contact Pemdy for assistance. Once you are subscribed to the new list at Groups.io, you will be unsubscribed from the old list. All you have to do to subscribe is reply and send when you receive the invitation. You don’t have to type anything additional in the email to be subscribed to the new lists. Please note, while Handiham World is available to everyone, only current members of the Handiham Program are eligible to join Handiham Notify and the Handiham Radio Club lists. We are enjoying the improved accessibility with Groups.io.

The new Handiham Radio Club email list is the place where members can ask questions and share their experiences with amateur radio and assistive technology. We have so many talented and highly experienced members in the Handiham Radio Club, making this an invaluable resource for information. If you are a Handiham Program member and would like to join the Handiham Radio Club email list, please send an email to Pemdy.

Photo of green road sign with the word change printed on it.

Due to the spread of COVID-19, we are not working from the office right now. We are still able to check our phone messages and return phone calls, and mail will be picked up as often as possible. Of course, the best way to get in touch with us during this time is via email.

Photo of 2 meter wavelength as guide to social distancing.

Along with the release of the new On the Air magazine, the magazine for beginner-to-intermediate ham radio operators, the ARRL is also doing a monthly podcast to take a deeper look at some of the topics and projects included in the magazine. The latest episode of the On the Air podcast (Episode 9) has more information about properly tuning signals on the HF bands along with some information on transceiver tools that will improve your listening. You can check it out at http://www.arrl.org/on-the-air-podcast.

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 working during our usual hours this week. If you call the Handiham Program office, please leave a message, and we will return your call as soon as we are available. 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 navigating the Zoom platform, another article about the latest Hurricane Watch Net activation, and the final part of a new interview with another of the participants from the recent virtual Get on the Air class. 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

Virtual Instruction: Zoom Video Conferencing Platform

Photo of Zoom logo.

With the increased use of Zoom for virtual learning, meetings, and even social interactions, it is important to understand how to access all the tools offered on the platform. To help people learn the keyboard shortcuts and navigate the program, Perkins created a helpful post and video. You can check out the website at: https://www.perkinselearning.org/technology/blog/virtual-instruction-zoom-video-conferencing-platform

You can watch the video at: https://youtu.be/uwWuTH9_khQ


From the Mailbag

Photo of mail carrier with mail bag and letter.

Hi Lucinda and all,

Recently, there was an article in the ARRL Letter about a proposal from the FCC to institute a fee for licenses and renewals. While I would hate to see a $50.00 fee to have my license, I certainly feel the hobby is worth it.

I do feel for sure, however, that there should be a fee for vanity call signs. If you want to pick your own call, then you can pay for it. Not that long ago there was a fee for vanity calls.

It should be pointed out that many years ago, there was a fee from the FCC
to get an amateur radio license. There was a fee for renewals too. That was dropped some time in the 70s, I think.

If I were the ARRL, here is how I would handle this. I would tell the FCC, if we pay your $50.00 fee, in return no more frequencies can be taken away from the amateur radio service. Further, if they do take more frequencies, then the fee must be lowered. Now, I know the FCC won’t go for such an idea, but it’s a good place to start.

I also feel you need to ask yourself what is the hobby worth to you. Maybe for some it isn’t worth the $50.00 every ten years. But I think for most of us, we can come up with the $50.00 to have our licenses. I should point out that it does cost the FCC money to process all of this stuff. I can also tell you that I have spent a lot more than $50.00 in the past few months just to keep my station on the air. I think we have a problem with too many people wanting everything for free.

I hope this letter finds everyone well and hope to hear you on the air.

Thanks and 73,

Matt KA0PQW


Interview of the Week

This week, we get to hear more from Austin, KA3TTT. Austin was one of the participants in our recent virtual Get on the Air class and has found ways to keep active in the hobby, even though he lives in an apartment. Please join us for the final part of his interview.

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

LM: So, I understand that you’re into Morse code. Why don’t you say a little about that.

AS: Yeah. As I said, when I was a kid, I had that Morse code chart, and the iambic keyer intrigued me. There was just something about it that always appealed to me. Now, being QRP, it’s especially appealing because you get more bang for your buck, so to speak. You get more miles per watt. I heard somewhere that a 5 watt CW signal is equivalent to a 100 watt SSB signal. But I’ve had more success on CW. I do pretty much all my work on HF on CW.

AS: And I’ve been having a lot of fun with a straight key, which came as a surprise to me. I thought I’d be doing all my work with an electronic key. But the SKCC, Straight Key Century Club, are very popular. I hear them a lot on the bands. And I thought, what is this SKCC thing. There must be something to it if I keep hearing all these people into it, so I got a straight key. And I’ve really been enjoying that also. I have both hooked up. A very nice ham made me a cable, so I can have a straight key and an electronic keyer hooked up to my KX3.

LM: Very nice.

AS: So, I can pick whatever I want. I’ve been really enjoying doing a lot of CW. I’m really glad I got back into it. When I got back into the hobby, I was around 15 words per minute, or so, and I was like, yes, I’m still over that hump. There’s that hump around 8 words per minute or so.

LM: Some people say around 10 to 12 words per minute.

AS: Yeah, 10 to 12 words per minute, that’s what it is. So, I was glad that I was still over that when I got back into the hobby. But, you know, I’ve just been doing a lot of listening and practicing, getting my CW back up. It’s a really fun mode, and I encourage people to get into it. It used to be required, and it’s not anymore. But it’s still a blast because you can very easily generate a signal and get on the air with CW. And when you’re low power, it’s the way to go.

LM: Yeah. It gives you a lot more options for what you can do if you’re able to do Morse code.

AS: There’s something relaxing about it. And I heard from somebody who did some research about it that it activates the same centers in the brain as learning a language.

LM: Yes.

AS: So, it has the same effect as learning another language. It’s stimulating, and it’s relaxing, and it’s fun. CW is great!

LM: Well, we sure enjoyed having you at the virtual Get on the Air event and loved your input in classes.

AS: Oh, thanks! Oh, that’s another thing. I use Linux, and that’s another thing that makes my station unique, so I tried to pitch in with some Linux solutions. Because Linux is free, the price is right. I feel like it’s this accessibility secret. It used to be a lot more arcane, but it’s not that hard to get into now. I would encourage people to check out Linux. If you’re coming from Windows, I would check out Ubuntu or something like that.

AS: If you have an old machine, Linux is a great option for resurrecting an old machine. If you have an old computer sitting around that can’t run the latest version of Windows, in other words, if it’s more than four years old, put Linux on it. Bring it back to life. Put it to use. I’m doing everything from Linux. I’m doing Logbook of the World, I’m doing QRZ, I’m doing all my logging. I’m doing all that in Linux.

LM: That just gives people more options.

AS: Yeah, exactly. It absolutely does. I think they go together really well. I wish we’d see more Linux support in ham radio. The two go together like peanut butter and jelly, I think. They both have that open source, DIY kind of spirit. I’d like to see more Linux support.

LM: Yeah.

AS: I think we will now that Raspberry Pi computers are becoming more popular.

LM: Yes. I think Raspberry Pi has been a good thing for the hobby.

AS: Yes, it has. That ClearNode is a Raspberry Pi device. Yeah, it’s very exciting to be back. And being into computers and having that experience, the Linux and programming experience, it’s really fun to be back in the hobby.

LM: Well, it was really nice talking to you today.

AS: Thanks, Lucinda.

LM: I appreciate you taking the time to do it. We’re just kind of wetting people’s appetite for future events.

AS: I’m so glad. I had hoped and assumed that you would continue doing these in the future, you know, no matter what the future holds. We’re seeing that trend in general, and that’s great. You know, do it all.

LM: Yes, because, when we can, we’re going to bring back in-person Radio Camp.

AS: You could even do some hybrid kind of things.

LM: And this gives us the opportunity to do things more often. You can only do so many in-person events. This gives us the opportunity to do more things more often and keep adding things.

AS: Yes. This was fantastic. I’m already looking forward to the next one.

LM: And one of the things we realized, and that’s going to be kicking off in September, is having the Handiham Radio Club get back to more regular activity by having them meet on Zoom.

AS: Oh. Yeah. I was a little confused about that. I think I’m a member of it, but I was little confused about all that.

LM: So, in order to get into the Handiham Radio Club, you have to be a member of the Handiham Program; but you’re not required to join the club if you join the Program.

AS: So, is that the special event? Is it the Radio Club that does the special events and stuff like that?

LM: Yes, that’s how it works. And what we’re working on is having the club do the Elmering for Handiham members, having the radio club take over more of that. With the new club email list, members will be able to get on and ask their own questions, basically freeing Pemdy and I up so we can plan more activities and yet still allow people to get the support and ham radio help they need that way.

AS: So, that frees you up to do more of the administrative stuff. That’s great! I would like to see some more special events, even though I didn’t get to work anyone. I was trying for a few hours! I didn’t get any takers, and of course, the Worked all Europe DX contest was going on, so I just got clobbered.

LM: Well, that happens.

AS: With QRP, that’s how it goes. When you’re going up against a 1500 watt contest station, forget it.

LM: Yeah, there isn’t a lot you can do there.

AS: But I hope we can do some more special events because I’d like to have some fun with the radio club with Elmering and special events. It sounds like something I’d be interested in for sure.

LM: And Elmering gives radio club members a way to give back and help other people. Well, thank you so much!

AS: And I’ll see you on the Handiham AllStar node.

LM: Yes, and when you do, write it up, and we’ll put it in the E-letter because I’m sure there are others who would be interested in doing it too. Sometimes people need to see that someone else has done it, and then they’ll get on and do it too. Well, have a good night.

AS: You too. 73.

LM: 73.

Stay tuned for a new interview airing next week.


Ham Radio in the News

Attention Turns to Hurricane Sally after Hurricane Paulette Hits Bermuda

Photo of Hurricane Watch Net logo.

The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) is staying busy monitoring multiple storms. While continuing to collect reports from Hurricane Paulette which made landfall on Monday in Bermuda, they are also gearing up for Hurricane Sally, expected to make landfall on Tuesday, impacting Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The net is looking for weather data, storm surge, and damage reports. To learn more, go to: http://www.arrl.org/news/attention-turns-to-tropical-storm-sally-after-hurricane-paulette-hits-bermuda


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 new Extra Class pool this week to a question about phase angles.

E5C08 What coordinate system is often used to display the phase angle circuit containing resistance, inductive and/or capacitive reactance?

A. Maidenhead grid.
B. Faraday grid.
C. Elliptical coordinates.
D. Polar coordinates.

To show the impedance of a circuit with its phase angle, you would use polar coordinates, making answer D the correct choice. Polar coordinates offer a visual representation of the value of the impedance along with its phase angle.


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 September 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.


Membership

  • 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.
      MEMBERSHIP DUES PAYMENT LINK
    • If you want to donate to the Handiham Program, please use our donation website. The instructions are at the following link:
      DONATION 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.