Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of October 12, 2020
This is a free weekly news & information update from the Courage Kenny Handiham Program, serving people with disabilities in Amateur Radio since 1967.
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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…
We had our second session of the 2020 Morse Code Class last week with Jim, KE5AL, teaching. This week, John, W2QCY, was our instructor. In addition to a recording of each week’s class session, students also receive a second recording with more practice to help solidify what they learned in class. If this class sounds like something you would like to participate in or if you are interested in an intermediate level Morse code class to increase your speed, you can ask Pemdy to put you on the list for the next classes in 2021.
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 in February of 2021. This will be an intermediate level class with more in-depth coverage of topics. If you want to be placed on the list to receive an application, please contact Pemdy.
The Handiham World E-letter list along with Handiham Notify and the Handiham Radio Club lists are moving to Groups.io. Invitations have gone out to everyone on the old Handiham E-letter and Handiham Notify lists. If you haven’t received one, please contact Pemdy for assistance. Once you are subscribed to the new lists at Groups.io, you will be unsubscribed from the old lists. 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. Just like with the old Handiham World E-letter and Handiham Notify lists, you can’t post emails to the new lists. The lists are only for receiving notifications and E-Letters from the Handiham Program. 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 post, 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 contact Pemdy.
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.
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 10) has an interview about the ARRL’s new Learning Network webinars. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the E-Letter, there is an article about accessibility improvements with iOS 14, another article about astronauts earning their ham radio licenses, and the next part of a new interview with Diane, KK6LOE, our new Handiham Radio Club Net Manager. 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
Accessibility with iOS 14
With the release of iOS 14, there are some new accessibility options for people who have newer iPhones and iPads. The new back tap feature allows users to replace screen gestures that could be tricky for people with cognitive or motor disabilities. The new sound recognition feature can be helpful for people who are hard of hearing or deaf, allowing the device to monitor for several different sounds such as a crying baby, the doorbell, or even sirens. Additionally, FaceTime will be able to detect when someone is using sign language and will focus on that person to allow for improved communication. While each of the improvements were designed for people with disabilities, in reality, they can be useful for users of all abilities. You can learn more by watching a video from Sam at the Blind Life at: https://youtu.be/7aCZgl4BDRU
From the Mailbag
Alpha Antenna just released a new antenna called the HOA Buster. You can check it out at https://alphaantenna.com/product/hf-gutter-antenna-for-10-through-80-meters/ It turns a gutter into a vertical which covers 80-10 meters. How interesting!
Interview of the Week
This week, we hear more from Diane Fisher, KK6LOE, our new Handiham Radio Club Net Manager. Diane possesses both a love for the hobby and excellent interpersonal skills, making her an obvious choice for net manager. Please join me in welcoming Diane back for the next part of this interview.
LM: I think there’s a lot of good stuff to come, and I think it’s going to be neat to watch the radio club get more active with members participating on a regular basis and feeling like they have a way of giving back.
DF: Absolutely. And that’s kind of why I jumped into this with both feet. I feel like I have nothing but time on my hands to give. I have a very limited income, but I do have time and a little bit of know-how to give.
LM: Yes, and when you think about the legacy of ham radio—who steps in when emergencies happen. This is the legacy of ham radio that we give back as hams. It’s what we do. We give back not only to the hobby but to the general public as well.
DF: Oh, sure, we do help in health and welfare situations. In fact, in ’96, I don’t know if it made national headlines, but there was a firebug who had started a fire around the Reno-Sparks area, which was where I lived at the time. They called it the Belli Ranch Fire, and, oh, what a mess. We could have had two cities go up in a puff of smoke, and fortunately, I was able to get a friend to drive me to The Salvation Army where they had radio equipment set up and scanners and this and that. And I could report back what I heard from the fire fighters to the community, to the ham community, so that it could be passed along. And it was just a really rewarding thing to know that there was going to be somebody that could help in a situation like that.
LM: Yes, absolutely. So, with the Handiham Radio Club, we’re just carrying on that tradition.
DF: Hey, that’s great, and what a tradition. And I think we also need to keep the radio alive, the radio hobby alive, because what people don’t realize is, they say they can just use their cell phone. But what if those cell phone towers go down? If those towers go down, all you have is radio. And really, it all comes full circle, because even if you’re using those towers, you’re still transmitting radio waves whether you realize it or not.
LM: Yeah, I think a lot of people don’t stop to think about how a cell phone actually works.
LM: It’s transmitting on a frequency.
DF: And people don’t think a lot about when those towers go down, it’s going to be the hams who are going to come out and are able to help out in situations, to kind of calm the waters a little bit.
LM: Yes, and it can happen at any time. You think about when that big tornado hit in Joplin, and suddenly the only communications that were available was amateur radio.
DF: Yeah, and my Mom lived in Joplin at that time.
LM: Wow. I was volunteering for The Salvation Army and was staffing a canteen that went from West Michigan down there to help.
LM: And the first net that got going after that tornado hit, I believe it was an 11 or 12 year old girl that was running it.
DF: Wow, it just goes to show that anybody can run a net, and somebody who had the gumption and know-how did it. It’s kind of neat to see our young people getting involved in ham radio.
LM: Yes, here was a girl with a ham radio license and the knowledge and who was not afraid to step up and help.
DF: Absolutely, and that’s what this is all about.
LM: So, is there anything else you would like to add for listeners and readers of Handiham World.
DF: Well, I’d love to continue to see the organization grow and get out there and get people to learn about ham radio because we want to also keep our frequencies. We don’t want to lose them. The more we educate people about ham radio, the less likely we are to lose some of our band privileges.
DF: And I’m really excited about the, and unfortunately, I didn’t register, for the Morse Code Class. I don’t have an oscillator, but it would be fun to do. And even though the code requirement has been eliminated, it is kind of neat to see people learning that, and hopefully we can bring it back.
DF: But as far as the hobby, the more people we can get involved with ham radio, I think that it can help a lot in disastrous situations, and the more people that know about it the better.
LM: Absolutely. And get on there, and use those frequencies. What you said is so true—if we don’t use them, we lose them. There are plenty of commercial entities that would love more spectrum, so we’ve got to prove that we’re going to use what we’ve got. And get that license, and key that mic!
Stay tuned for the final part of our interview with Diane airing next week.
Ham Radio in the News
Two More Astronauts Earn Amateur Radio Licenses
Even though the Johnson Space Center lockdown postponed amateur radio training over the past several months, NASA ISS Ham Project Coordinator Kenneth Ransom, N5VHO, was able to work with all the new astronaut-class graduates while also offering refresher courses for those astronauts already licensed. Astronauts who are licensed are able to operate the ISS ham radio equipment without restrictions, and they often participate in ARISS contacts with schools and groups on Earth. To learn more, go to: http://www.arrl.org/news/two-more-astronauts-earn-amateur-radio-licenses
A Dip in the Pool
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 receive filter bandwidth for CW.
T4B10 Which of the following is an appropriate receive filter bandwidth for minimizing noise and interference for CW reception?
A. 500 Hz.
B. 1000 Hz.
C. 2400 Hz.
D. 5000 Hz.
When operating Morse code, we limit the bandwidth to just 500 Hz, and sometimes even less, making answer A the correct choice. This narrow bandwidth leaves more room for people to operate this mode, which is one of the advantages to learning CW. On most newer HF rigs, a 500 Hz CW filter is automatically selected when you switch to CW mode. It’s a good idea to check your manual, however, since not all rigs do this. Sometimes, it can be helpful to use a wider filter even when you are in CW mode; and the better rigs will let you choose the appropriate filter, so you can accommodate these unusual operating conditions.
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 email@example.com or 612-775-2291.
An audio demonstration of QLog is now available in the Manuals and Tutorials section of the members only website. Many thanks to John Farina, W2QCY, for providing these recordings.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
Courage Kenny Handiham Program
3915 Golden Valley Road MR 78446
Golden Valley, MN 55422
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for changes of address, unsubscribes, etc. Include your old email address and your new address.