Handiham World for January 18, 2021

Logo for Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, part of Allina Health

Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of January 18, 2021

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…

Please join us for the next Handiham Member Gathering on Saturday, February 13th. Whether this is your first time or you are a veteran of our Zoom gatherings, all Handiham Program members are welcome to join us. It’s a great time to reconnect with members that you haven’t heard from in a long time and to get to know new members. Watch your email for instructions to get an invitation to participate.

Do you need cartridges for your NLS Talking Book Player? You can now order 4 GB, 8 GB, and 16 GB cartridges from the Perkins Library on Amazon with free shipping. Additionally, you can get mailers and the cable you need if you want to load your own cartridges. Please note: if you are waiting for mail arriving via Free Matter for the Blind, be aware that due to post office delays, mail may take as long as 6 to 8 weeks to arrive.

Photo of the NLS Talking Book Player.

The next Morse code class series will be an intermediate level class starting March 1st and running for 12 weeks. Students will be able to attend an interactive class using the Zoom platform and will receive class recordings and practice recordings each week in Mp3 format. For this class, you need to already know the letters, numbers, and prosigns. We will focus on increasing your ability to copy, working toward a speed of around 13 words per minute by then end of the series. Students will need to practice regularly outside of class to be successful. If you are looking for a basic Morse code class, we will offer another series later this year. Contact Pemdy to be put on the list for an application for either of these two class series.

Photo of the Morse code key.

Building on the success of the 2020 Virtual Get on the Air class, we are getting ready for the next Get on the Air session, now running the week of February 15th. This will be an intermediate level class with in-depth coverage of just a few topics. If you want to receive an application, please contact Pemdy right away. Space is limited, and the class is filling up fast.

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. Invitations went 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 invitations. 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.

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

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.

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 13) covers inspiring club activity through the use of project nights. 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 office hours this week. I received a jury summons effective January 25th through February 5th. Because of this, there may be delays and or disruptions in the E-Letter and other Handiham Program activities for the next couple weeks. Thank you in advance for your patience during this time. 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 the GoodMaps app, another article about amateur radio and astronauts, and the final part of a new interview series featuring attendees from the recent Member Gratitude Gathering. 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

GoodMaps

Photo of GoodMaps app open on smart phone.

Imagine being in an airport and not knowing how to get to your flight gate or shopping at the mall and not knowing what stores are around. GoodMaps Explore helps everyone, whether they are visually impaired or not, to navigate safely and efficiently. GoodMaps Explore provides a seamless indoor to outdoor navigation experience, allowing users to have a hassle-free trip. To learn more, check out the following website at: https://www.goodmaps.com/apps/explore.

You can also watch a video at: https://youtu.be/auxQeTzy75Y.


From the Mailbag

Photo of mail carrier with mail bag and letter.

From Mark Senk, WB3CAI

Rev. Tom Carten, K1PZU, passed away Dec. 24, 2020 at an assisted-living facility in Indiana. Tom was the voice of WorldRadio Magazine on tape for the blind for 35 years and the voice of the QCWA Journal for 15 years. He was a braille transcriber and creator of a radio reading service for the blind on WRKC in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, until his retirement in 2013.

You can read more at: https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/father-carten-beloved-priest-radio-host-writer-dies-at-78/article_62851b08-27b3-5109-9180-f0404601ac7b.html


Interview of the Week

On November 28th, we held the first Member Gratitude Gathering using Zoom. As part of the activities of the event, members introduced themselves and shared a little about what they are grateful for in 2020. Please enjoy the final part of this event.

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

LM: Next phone call here, area code 614. Go ahead.

SR: I’m Shirley my call is N8LX. I live in Ohio. We do try to spend some time during wintertime in Florida, although I don’t know unfortunately, we’re going to get there or not this year with the virus. We’re having a tough time trying to figure out what’s going on and whether to do that or not. But I wanted to say hi to Doug, I hadn’t talked to him in a long time. There are a couple other people I know as well.

SR: I used to listen to Lowell, not him personally. But he and I lived in the same area. Interestingly enough, he moved to Pickerington, which is a suburb of Columbus, and we live kind of in a suburb of Columbus right now also, but he used to help the weather, the meteorologists. He had some kind of weather station set up or something like that, and would call in reports to them. And so every once in a while we’d hear his name. So that was always kind of interesting.

SR: I don’t do a whole lot on the air. At this point, we really don’t have much setup ham radio wise. But I am in charge of the phone lines for both Dayton Hamvention and the Dayton Amateur Radio Association. I’m sure some of you people have heard of Hamvention. So if you call either of those phone numbers, you’re you’re going to get me. And I guess that’s pretty much what my story is at this point. And we certainly appreciate you putting this together. And it’s good to hear some voices from the past and some new people as well. So thank you very much.

LM: Thanks so much, Shirley, and really glad to have you. And thank you for all the work that you do for Hamvention and for the Dayton Amateur Radio club. That’s a lot of work to keep up with those phones.

SR: Yeah, I really appreciate that. And I think I got to meet you briefly. One time when you came into Hamvention. But anyway, so it’s, it’s good to be able to talk with you. And like I said, we certainly appreciate you putting this on and well, it’s the one thing that I can do volunteer work, which doesn’t involve me being any place at any certain time. I you know, can have a phone with me and you know, do it at my convenience more or less. I mean, you know, I need to be there as much as I can be available but still, you know, it can be where I am rather than me having to go someplace to to do things. So that makes it work out fairly well for me. And thanks again.

LM: Thank you, appreciate it. Let’s go try the 651. I believe this is Diane, go ahead.

DV: Yes, Diane, WD9DNQ Whiskey Delta 9 Delta November Quebec or some people say Diane Never Quits. Diane Never Quits. That really describes me, I guess. Anyway, I am from Vadnais Heights, Minnesota. Originally from River Falls, I heard somebody there’s over there from Janesville. And that’s where I used to go there. There’s also the state school for the blind.That’s where I got into ham radio in ’76, and I’m very thankful for for ham radio, thankful that it’s part of my life.

DV: But Morse code is the thing that attracted me mainly. I listened to it and loved the code, always have and then I had the Novice and General and then Tech because I I really needed the advanced I didn’t want you to take that with them but um anyway it’s just neat to speak to all these people in here. So glad for Lady A that I’ve got, and thanks to Sheila and my friend Anna–she was a great friend also. And we just–and for Zoom. Tthank you also, Lucinda, for putting on this Zoom. And I know so many things, the Morse code class that is almost done, but it is so good. These people really have been catching on fast to it. So I’m impressed.

DV: And it sounds so good to hear Susan League. Oh my goodness. And I heard you on forever and the different people that I’ve heard on here so and Dennis says hi to everybody. He was not able to get in here for whatever reason. He feels bad about that so much. He says Hi everyone.

DV: And I’m thankful for the nice weather that we’ve been having and good Thanksgiving. I couldn’t go anywhere, but they found a good meal for us here. I’m thankful for being here. The nurses and activities and good cares and I’m that I’m getting here stuff–for the Lord mainly which brings it all together. I guess that’s really all that I can say about that.

LM: Thank you, Diane, we really appreciate it. And I’m glad you had a good Thanksgiving and hi to Dennis as well. Um, and we’ve really enjoyed having you in the Morse code class. It’s it’s been a lot of fun. We’ve we’ve definitely, you know, we’ve only got three more class sessions left, which is hard to believe how that happened so fast. But we’ve definitely had fun.

DV: We have.

LM: Yeah. So let’s see. Next up here is Dana Ard. Go ahead.

DA: My name is Dana Ard, I got my my callsign is KB7OVE. And that’s a Novice sign. I got that in ’91. And I haven’t done much with it. I had some equipment, which I had some problems with, initially. And so and I didn’t have a lot of support to get on it. So it was a bit of a challenge. And then when I when I moved to where I live now, we can’t put antennas on the roof of our home because of it being a historical district. So anyway, I’m not quite sure the best where to go from here.

DA: As far as my own ham work, I know I would need to get my Technician license I think would be the next one. Because I can’t I can’t do two meter with the Novice license. I do have my code though. I got that. And because it was required, and I was able to do it. I was pleased about that. So I you know, if anybody’s got ideas, I do have a good a good computer. I’m not real techie, but I’m not bad.

DA: As far as what I’m thankful for, I’m certainly thankful that I have adequate resources at this time. I mean, I have, you know, good insurance. finances are good. I’ve got my own home that I own, and good friends, and you can’t get much–good health can’t get much better than that.

LM: Boy, there’s a lot of truth in that. Well, we really appreciate you being here. And yeah, you’re right, you’re gonna have to upgrade to Technician. Pretty cool, though, that you have the code though, because of because of having done it back then. And I would think the Technician wouldn’t be that hard to upgrade.

DA: Well, I don’t know. Because I don’t remember a lot. I mean, I from way back when I tested I’d have to do some real good reviews. So I if there’s I don’t even know the best approach of getting the materials I need now. I remember the cassettes too in the long boxes.

LM: Yep. Yep. Well, we do have some materials available on if you do use one of the digital Talking Book players.

DA: Yes.

LM: We have some material that we can put on a cartridge for you.

DA: Yeah, yeah, that’s good. I use the cartridges.

LM: Okay, yeah, if you get a hold of Pemdy, we can we can get that set up for you.

DA: Sounds good. Thank you.

LM: Yeah. Yeah. So I think we made it all the way through the list. Is there anybody else that has any additional comments? We’re actually already over time, but we’ve sure had a lot of fun today.

DH: This is Darrell with two L’s. I had a question. Yes. I don’t know if Howard is still there. But when I listened to him talk, he may have sold me his Kenwood 570 I don’t know if he’s still there and remember selling it to a gentleman in California? If so, I’m the one.

HT: I’m still here. And how is the radio doing?

DH: About a year ago, I got an option to buy a 590. And so I bought that and sold a friend here in my hometown, the 570. So it worked out well, and both radios are very similar. So I transitioned transitioned. But thank you so much. You’re the one that got me started in HF. So I appreciate it.

HT: Good deal.

LM: Well, now you know the rest of the story. Does anybody else have anything else you’d like to add? We’re going to kind of wrap things up here.

JS: This is Jim, KE5AL. I do an Extra Class question every week on the Friday Handihams net.

LM: Well, there you go. There’s another good study opportunity.

JS: I’d like to invite anyone interested to stop by 7113 on Thursday nights at eight o’clock Central time. We do some slow speed CW on there and didn’t didn’t do it last Thursday on Thanksgiving, but hopefully every other Thursday we’ll be doing it.

LM: Yeah. I can’t believe that you didn’t do it on Thanksgiving, Jim. I mean, where’s your dedication?

JS: Yeah, I should’ve.

LM: Oh, we’ll we’ll give you the holiday off, I guess.

JS: Okay, well, that’s big of you. 7113 at eight o’clock Central time.

LM: Yep. So and Jim’s really good if you need, you know, if you need slower speed, he’ll slow down for you, and and he just wants people to get out there and use the code.

JS: That’s right. I got to have somebody to talk to in my dotage.

LM: There you go. Anybody else have anything to add before we close things down for today?

JSA: Just want to say thank you, Lucinda, for doing this today.

LM: You’re welcome, Joseph. It’s It’s my pleasure. And hopefully we can do some more of these because I think this was fun.

JSA: Yeah, it was great. I really appreciate it. Great hearing from everybody.

LM: Yeah. And nice to hear you know, just what people had to share and little bits about them, you know, because I’m getting to know some people that I haven’t met before either. So that’s that was fun. And also getting to catch up with some people that I’ve known for a long time. Alright, anybody else with anything to add?

MD: Just to say thank you.

LM: Oh, you’re welcome. Moose. It’s been fun. I, you know, I’m starting to think maybe we ought to do do this gratitude thing once a year too just because even even in a year, that’s not a pandemic, you know, it’s never a bad thing to stop and remember what we’re thankful for.

HT: Thank you very much.

LM: Well, we’re gonna close things up. I really appreciate everybody that came.

Stay tuned for a new interview starting in the next issue of Handiham World.


Ham Radio in the News

Ham Radio and Astronauts

Photo of astronaut talking on the amateur radio on the ISS

If you struggle with feelings of isolation because of the pandemic, imagine being an astronaut on the International Space Station (ISS). To combat the loneliness, some astronauts, such as Doug Wheelock, turn to ham radio. The ISS has an amateur radio station available for licensed astronauts to use during their free time. Of course, any ham who hears the ISS calling CQ will respond, creating an instant pile-up and providing a sense of connection for astronauts with the planet below. To read the entire article, go to: https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2020-12-23/ham-radio-and-astronauts


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 General Class pool this week to a question about using new digital modes.

G1C13 What must be done before using a new digital protocol on the air?

A. Type-certify equipment to FCC standards.
B. Obtain an experimental license from the FCC.
C. Publicly document the technical characteristics of the protocol.
D. Submit a rule-making proposal to the FCC describing the codes and methods of the technique.

Unlike with commercial radio, in amateur radio, encrypted radio signals are prohibited on all bands. Using encryption goes against the very nature of amateur radio, which was always intended to be fully transparent. To avoid violating the rules about no encryption, hams using new digital modes must first publicly document the technical characteristics of the protocol, allowing any licensed amateur to decode the transmissions with non-proprietary equipment. This makes answer C 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.


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.