Handiham World for June 21, 2021

Logo for Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, part of Allina Health

Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of June 21, 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…

Field Day is this weekend, June 26 – 27. While you can still operate Field Day from your home, it’s even more fun doing it with other members of a local radio club. With the widespread availability of COVID vaccines, many clubs are returning to in-person Field Day plans this year. Check in with your club to see how you can participate. If you haven’t yet become a member of a club, Field Day is a great opportunity to check out a new club and see if it is one you would like to join. Field Day typically involves lots of fun, fellowship, food, and making as many radio contacts as possible. If you are a skilled Morse code operator, you can really rack up the points for whatever club you join!

Photo of ARRL Field Day 2021 logo with ARRL logo, hand mic, and the words Field Day 2021.

This week is our third Technician Class license class. We will continue our exploration of electricity, components, and circuits. Over the 12 week class, we will help students prepare for their Technician Class exam while also having some fun along the way.

We are planning to hold our first virtual General Class series this fall. Classes will be held once weekly over Zoom, and students will get a recording of each class along with a list of the questions from the question pool that were covered in that week’s class. If you are interested in joining this class, please contact Pemdy to be put on the list for an application.

Cartoon of laptop with multiple people attending a virtual class on the screen.

We will also hold another virtual basic Morse code class this fall. Students will attend an interactive class using Zoom and receive class recordings and practice recordings each week in Mp3 format. This class starts from the very beginning, covering letters, numbers, and prosigns. Prior knowledge of Morse code is not required. Of course, students will need to practice regularly outside of class to be successful. If you want to join this class, you can reach out to Pemdy to be placed on the application list.

Photo of the Morse code key.

While we continue to work remotely at this time, we are still able to check our phone messages and return phone calls, and mail will be picked up regularly. Of course, the best way to get in touch with us 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 18) takes a deep dive into everything you ever wanted to know about Field Day. 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. 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 a non-verbal communication service for use in emergencies, another article about a new bonus station for the 13 Colonies special event, and the next part of the 54th Anniversary Zoom Gathering where we shared stories from over the years in the Handiham Program. 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

Save Lives with Rescu

Photo of cell phone with Rescu app open.

For people who are deaf or hard of hearing, getting help in case of emergency can be difficult. While some states have introduced 911 texting, this is not available everyone. Rescu, a non-verbal communication-based service, has launched an app available on both Android and iOS that works with government first responders to dispatch emergency services. In addition to sending help, it also notifies contacts previously set up in the app that users are experiencing an emergency. Rescu works from wherever the user is located, which is helpful during times when users are away from home. This is a subscription-based service and currently only available in the US. You can learn more at: https://www.rescusaveslives.com/.

You can also watch a video at: https://youtu.be/qrCU7HQq5Fw.


From the Mailbag

Photo of mail carrier with mail bag and letter.

Good afternoon,

I recently had a very good conversation on the Fusion repeater that serves this portion of California. The reason why I say this portion of California, is that the repeater is roughly 50 miles to my southeast, closer to the Los Angeles metro area.

I asked for permission to record the QSO because I wanted to use it as part of an initial episode of “My Life as a Deaf-Blind Person.” I am working on getting it published for the first time during Deaf-Blind Awareness Week. That week starts the last day of Field Day weekend. The recording came out very nice, and I was also able to give the listener a brief demo of the FTM 300 DR and the speech that comes out of it.

73,

Maurice Mines, KD0IKO


Hi all,

I am continuing to play around with different antennas to allow me to get on HF from my apartment. Bob, VE3UK, builds something called the MagLoop. He tested it out in his living room running 15 watts and worked a station 113 miles away on 40 meter SSB.

I’m testing different lengths of inverted V antennas, on my balcony and indoors, with 15 watts. I will also be buying a 138 foot snake antenna from Jim at the DX Store. If that antenna doesn’t work, I will be buying that loop from Bob, VE3UK.

73,

Trippy, AC8S


Interview of the Week

As part of our celebration of the 54th anniversary of the Handiham Program, we held a Zoom gathering on Saturday, May 1st. During the event, we asked members to share any memories and stories they had from their time in the Handiham Program. Please enjoy the next part of this event.

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

LM: Next up here is Mark Senk. Go ahead.

MS: Well, good afternoon. And it’s interesting listening to this and people telling their stories, and you have to decide on what would people be interested in or how can I keep you bored or what do I really want to reveal about myself? I’m thinking back to my days in high school when I had the thick coke bottle glasses, so I couldn’t really participate in sports. I became a member of the audio visual club. And those were the nerdy kids who delivered the projectors of the film strips and set up the microphones in the auditorium for a meeting or something like that. And I guess as a result of that, I had some interest in electronics, how did those mixers work and XLR connectors and stuff like that.

MS: And I remember going to a Radio Shack, and on the book rack, they had the ARRL License Manual. I think it was like $1.50. And I’m just thinking back to the nostalgic days when all the ARRL publications were in, they had orange and black covers. They were small, but I’m just thinking now that it wasn’t, you know, the study guide for the Novice or the General. It was just a License Manual. And they had questions and a little short discussion of answers. And so I was probably like a sophomore in high school. And I’d read about, how do you calculate the third order intermodulation distortion product and AFSK, you know, teletype. How does, you know, frequency shift keying work and connecting an oscilloscope to display, I don’t even know how to pronounce it, Lissajous, I think, so it was like kind of magic that hams knew all these things. So that thing sat around.

MS: And I I’m also thinking about a friend who, one of us had the 5 to 1000 Watts book. It was kind of a study guide, a programmed guide. And that particular friend never got his ham license. But thinking about it, his adopted stepson got his Technician license a couple years back. And I’m wondering if that, you know, was somehow related, or karma but whatever.

MS: It was 1976, and I was trying to do the math here. So I guess that’s 45 years ago that I got brave enough to go to a different Radio Shack–it wasn’t the one where I bought the book as a matter of fact. But that’s where I took the Technician–no, I took the Novice class, I guess it was the Novice. Yep, sure. Because I had a WN3 call. I took that on January 7, 1976. And the FCC license didn’t come in the mail until about May because that was about the time when they were getting about a million CB applications every month. They used to go to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

MS: So, I know recently on the Blind Hams list, they were talking about CB licenses and what was your call sign and all that. It’s interesting. I was legally blind at about that time, shortly after high school. My vision was getting worse. I had glaucoma, and it was pretty much uncontrolled. But I remember getting the newspaper publication called World Radio. It came out monthly and it was like a tabloid newspaper.

MS: And I remember seeing well enough to read about Handihams and Maureen Pranghofer in Golden Valley, Minnesota. And I know someone at the start of the meeting mentioned Bruce Humphrys, and that suddenly rang a bell. I remember that name. But I never thought I would become a member of Handihams. They, you know, how could you do this stuff if you had a disability? And you’d read about, I remember the sip and puff keyers where people were out there able to send Morse code by inhaling and exhaling through a sip and puff keyer, and that was pretty, kind of amazing or whatever.

MS: Anyway, my vision grew worse. I remember getting QST magazine on flexible discs. I didn’t read Braille, and they had all those bumps on them. And then if you get those flimsy vinyl records mixed up, you wouldn’t know which one, which track you were on. And I remember listening to QST, and I would be in the middle of an article and the needle would skip across the record, you know, you’d lose your place. And so, anyway, things have improved, I guess we can say, over the years.

MS: I grew up in Wilkes Barre, and some of you might remember Father Tom Carten. I knew him. He was a member of the radio club that I joined in about 1978 or something like that. He was the editor of the club newsletter, he, I found out, he passed away last year. And I found out that he had several pseudonyms. He wrote columns for magazines and newspapers. He did literary, cultural critiques, and he did music reviews. He did a local radio reading service in Wilkes Barre, and you may remember again, he also produced the cassette version of World Radio and QCWA Journal. He was K1PZU, if that might ring a bell. Once or twice, I assisted with the distribution of the cassettes to help him out. And you may remember, things were on cassettes. I remember taking the duplicated cassettes and putting them in the little cardboard mailers. I haven’t even thought about those for a while.

MS: So anyway, my hiatus from ham radio, my vision got worse and worse and worse, and I gave it up because I couldn’t see the knobs and couldn’t read the meters. I tried a solid state rig at one point but then, you know, I didn’t have the skills, the skills that you needed to develop and acquire Braille. Of course, back then talking computers were non-existent. So, the world of ham radio was kind of shut out to me at that time. I gave up and sort of sat on the side until a couple years ago when I heard about the Baofengs things that had speech. That got me interested.

MS: And then I’ve kind of been on the sidelines, I guess, for many years. I’d read on, sign up for the Blind Hams email list, and I’d read about these radios with menus. They seemed so complicated, and everybody would always have a problem. And I have a problem right now because my recently acquired TS-590 will not transmit on 40 meters. I just built an antenna and put it up this morning, and I can transmit on other bands but the autotuner doesn’t work. So, I think there’s some sort of lockout or it has shut down because of high SWR. And that was kind of the thing that kept me out of or afraid of ham radio. It’s either too expensive or it’s hard to do or too complicated.

MS: But anyway, I guess as a result of joining the Get On the Air classes last summer, I guess I’ve taken the plunge. I have the radio, and I’ve made a few contacts. Today was a good day. It was kind of Christmas in May. I got several items in the mail. I got a length of RG8X, I got some antenna insulators, and something I didn’t know existed. It was an indoor, sorry, an outdoor weatherproof power strip. That’s a story for another day–the blind guy was fishing the wire through the little space in our wall to get the power outdoors. So, maybe I’ll be doing patio on the air. I might be taking the 590 out to the table on the patio and operating from outside, sort of a picnic operation.

MS: Well, anyway, nice to hear a lot of these stories. A lot of people I haven’t heard, Darrell, and other people I knew from some of the email lists and other people I haven’t heard of for several years. I had hoped to get to the Handiham camp last summer. I put in a request for an application. And I wanted to compare transportation prices. And I said, you know maybe the train would be a fun way to get there. And I told Pemdy that I called Amtrak and said, how much is it for a train from Pittsburgh to Minneapolis, and Amtrak told me that the trains didn’t go there. They had no schedule. But they did have a train that did the other, you know, you could get out of there, you can go Minneapolis back to Pittsburgh. And I said, well, that doesn’t make sense, does it? You know, one way out. So, I don’t know how that works. I guess that’s how Minneapolis keeps its population down there. The trains only leave, but I’m sure there’s a way to get there. But maybe we’ll find out next year if I am able to attend, and we’ll get to meet some new people in person.

MS: So anyway, I’ll look for you on the bands. Maybe I’ll try to get on 20 meters or 10 meters. I’ve had some fun on a couple local repeaters. We have 6 meter and 10 meter repeaters, and I’ve been able to get into those using ham sticks. Anyway, it’s nice to talk to all of you, and 73 from Pittsburgh, WB3CAI, back to net.

LM: Thanks Mark. And apparently you can only leave Minnesota–Minneapolis–by train, that’s interesting. Maybe there’s a long way around that we don’t know about, who knows. But thanks so much for being here today.

Stay tuned for the next installment of this interview airing in the next issue of Handiham World.


Ham Radio in the News

13 Colonies Special Event Station Has New Bonus Station

Photo of 13 Colonies list of station call signs and the 13 Colonies flag with 13 stars.

The French, who supported the colonial army fighting for independence in 1776, are now supporting the 13 Colonies event by adding a new bonus station, TM13COL. This new station joins the other bonus stations, GB13COL in England and WM3PEN in Philadelphia. 2021 also marks the 13th year for the special event station, which will operate through July 7th. Last year, the event logged more than 202,000 contacts, and with improved band conditions, they hope to log even more this year. To learn more, go to: www.13colonies.us.


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 Extra Class pool this week to a question about band edges.

E1A02 When using a transceiver that displays the carrier frequency of the phone signals, which of the following displayed frequencies represents the lowest frequency at which a properly adjusted LSB emission will be totally within the band?

A. The exact lower edge.
B. 300 Hz above the lower band edge.
C. 1 kHz above the lower band edge.
D. 3 kHz above the lower band edge.

Since this question is asking about lower sideband, it might be 40 or 75 meters. To stay within the band, we would need to operate 3 kHz above the lower band edge, making answer D the correct choice. It would be poor operating practice to intentionally transmit too close to a band edge.


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 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. During the Friday Mid-day net, Jim, KE5AL, asks a question from the current Extra Class pool. The answer is given at the end of the net. A big THANK YOU to all of our net control stations and to Diane, KK6LOE, our Net Manager.


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.