Handiham World for August 2, 2021

Logo for Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, part of Allina Health

Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of August 2, 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…

It’s that time of summer to watch for meteor scatter. It can provide an opportunity for some great contacts on VHF and UHF. If can also give you a great story to share next time you are talking with members of your radio club. If you work meteor scatter this summer, be sure to let Handiham World readers know as well.

Wednesday is our ninth Technician Class license class. This week, we will cover licensing regulations. Students will also start working on practice exams. During this 12 week class, we will help students prepare for their Technician Class exam while also having some fun along the way.

We are holding our first virtual General Class series this fall, starting September 22nd. 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 receive 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, starting September 27. 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 receive an application.

Photo of the Morse code key.

While we continue to work remotely, 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 19) is all about the new ARRL online Learning Center. 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 the Microsoft Group Transcribe app, another article about SSTV transmissions from the ISS, and the final part of a new interview with Tom Behler, KB8TYJ. 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

Microsoft Group Transcribe

Photo of Microsoft Group Transcribe surrounded by photos of people ready to use the app.

Group Transcribe is a free live transcription app for Apple users that can help the deaf, hard of hearing, and many others. Some key features include high-quality, real-time transcription and translation; conversations that are easy to start from your phone; the ability to stay focused without taking notes; following along with the conversation in real-time in your preferred language; browsing previous transcripts on your device; and easily sharing transcripts with others. Of course, if you have heavy background noise, it will decrease the accuracy. You can learn more about this app at: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/garage/profiles/group-transcribe/.

You can check watch a video at: https://youtu.be/OMF1N1Dn4JY.


From the Mailbag

Photo of mail carrier with mail bag and letter.

Hello folks,

I thought everyone might be interested in this article about Janet and Janice Robidoux. They are long-time hams who have accomplished great things both in the amateur radio hobby and in many other areas of interest.

https://www.startribune.com/goal-oriented-86-year-old-minnesota-twin-sisters-have-mastered-everything-from-computers-to-canoeing/600075425/

73,

Jerry, N0VOE


Hi Lucinda and all,

This is from the AARP. It is about a renewed opt-in that may be needed for many to keep getting mailed notices in formats like large print and braille. I didn’t know anything about this prior to the email. Here’s a link to the article.

https://www.aarp.org/retirement/social-security/info-2021/blind-beneficiaries-special-notice-option-change.html

73,

Kitty, W8TDA


Interview of the Week

In early July, Tom Behler, KB8TYJ, joined me for an interview to talk about Field Day 2021 and the 54th Anniversary Special Event for the Handiham Program. Please join me for the final part of this interview.

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

TB: You may say, well, but I’m visually impaired, I’m blind, how can I do it? Well, talk to your club. If the club is interested in working with you, I see no reason why they wouldn’t allow you to, if you have a rig that you’re comfortable with, it as a speech chip in it, bring the radio out, hook it up. Or maybe somebody already has that kind of a radio that you can use.

TB: If you have another kind of impairment that requires an accommodation, talk to your club about it. I know very few clubs that aren’t willing to work with people. If you show an interest and you’re willing to make a contribution toward the effort, they’ll work with you. They really will. That’s what we’re all about as hams.

LM: Right. I’ve really enjoyed Field Day operations, both in Michigan, and I’ve gotten in on a few of them here in Minnesota since I moved here. And it’s always a lot of fun.

TB: It’s just one of those events that everybody comes together. I don’t have statistics, but it is definitely one of the most, if not the most popular operating event of the year, in ham radio, it just is, and once people have experienced it, initially, more often than not, they come back for more, because it’s just so much fun.

LM: I still don’t think I’ve met anybody who has gone to Field Day and said, oh, I never want to do Field Day again.

TB: No, it’s quite the opposite. You know you go through all this stuff, and at the end, you’re just totally exhausted. I mean, you just are. And yet what invariably happens, somebody will say, well, next year, we should, you know, and it’s like you’re thinking about next year already, aren’t you? Yeah, yep. That’s the nature of Field Day. Absolutely. Yep. Next year, we’ll do this. It’s, you just don’t give up. It’s just in your blood, I think, after you do it.

LM: Yeah. It’s like, you know, you’re exhausted. But you’re also exhilarated.

TB: Yeah. Yeah. And you do, I mean, you get to work with people under not the greatest conditions. I can remember Field Days where we had severe thunderstorms. And my wife and I didn’t have an RV at the time. We slept in our car. We had Field Days where a derecho came through a wind, derecho wind event came through and tore up a couple of our setups.

TB: In a couple of hours, we were up and running again. It’s just the way it is. And to see people come together to say, all right, we got to deal with this situation now, to see them come together and get back up and running. It’s just very, very exhilarating. I mean, I can’t describe the feeling to you, except it just says so much good about ham radio.

LM: Yes. Yes. And in the long tradition of ham radio, hams help each other out. They cheer each other on. And Field Day is just all about that.

TB: Absolutely. Absolutely. In fact, I use this–I run a number of nets locally here. And I use this as a trivia question. Field Day started in 1933. That was the first Field Day and look at it. I mean, we’re almost, well, just about 90 years, going strong. And if you don’t think Field Day is going strong, just take a listen to the bands next year for Field Day. You will be amazed. There is not a blank frequency to be had. It’s just so hard to even find a blank frequency to use to call CQ. But that’s part of the challenge.

LM: You know, once I went to my first Field Day operation, it was, okay, every year I had to find a way to go.

TB: Right, right, right. Oh, and those years where you can’t. I mean, I haven’t made all Field Days. I know there were a couple years I couldn’t because of medical situations. One year, we had a 50th anniversary celebration for my parents. I was out of town. However, what I did for that is I actually brought an HF rig along, and we set up something temporary in my parents’ backyard. I at least made a few contacts.

TB: But I haven’t made all Field Days. And it’s really a bummer when you can’t. It’s like, oh man, I can’t do this. I’ve got to wait another year now, really. But it’s fun. It’s fun. I would encourage anybody and everybody to do it. It’s just a lot of fun. And don’t hesitate to ask your local club. Say I’d like to help out with Field Day. How can I help and here’s what I’ve got. And I’d be very surprised if they didn’t work well with you.

LM: Yeah, I’ve had really good experiences with Field Day. And I’ve done everything from being the one who’s planning it. Well, you know, the one year we actually did it at the Salvation Army headquarters there in Grand Rapids. We were out front, had our antennas all hooked up there and working out front. We didn’t have, you know, we only were able to do it that Saturday not run the entire time. But we had such a fun time. And people were coming through, stopping by. They’d get on and operate for half hour an hour and, you know, just the chance to talk to people and then have them get on the air and make some contacts. It’s so much fun.

TB: Yeah. And anybody, by the way, anybody can do Field Day operating. You don’t even actually, you don’t even have to be licensed as long as you’re operating using the club or the group’s call sign, and as long as there’s a control operator in the area who can, you know, just make sure that everything’s legal and proceeding well.

TB: In fact, I’ve known any number of people who went to a Field Day–they were thinking about becoming ham operators, they went to a Field Day, started making contacts. It’s like, oh, man, I got to do this. Now, I can’t stop. I’ve got to do this. And next thing we know they were licensed and actively participating in future Field Days. That’s what it’s all about. It’s a great, great recruitment event.

LM: I remember watching a guy one year. He got all excited watching one of our guys do CW operation. He was like, next year I’m coming back, and I’m going to do CW. And sure enough, he’d learned CW and came back the next year and was operating.

TB: Which by the way provides a segue, Lucinda.

LM: Yes.

TB: Beginner Level CW class in the fall. Right, right, right.

LM: Yes, it is on the calendar. And yeah, we’ll be starting towards the end of September, and can’t wait. So, this fall, we have two classes we’re offering. We’re actually going to offer General class, as well as basic Morse code. So, it’s going to be a lot of fun.

TB: There you go. Yep.

LM: And we already have people that are on the list for both classes. So, it’s–and we already have people who are already in anticipation of next spring, when we’re planning to do Extra class plus the intermediate level Morse code. And we’ve already got people looking at those classes as well. So, lots of fun to come.

LM: And then, this is just a little bit of a tease, because the announcement isn’t coming quite yet. But there is something big coming later next year. And we’re going to give a little heads-up announcement next month. And then we’ll have the full rollout coming. Probably in January. But we’ll give people a heads-up so they can start preparing.

TB: Stay tuned to your E-Letter, right, Lucinda?

LM: Oh, my goodness, yes. Something big is coming later next year. Yeah, yeah. We’re really looking forward to it. And looking forward to seeing how things go with all these license classes that we’re doing this year, and it’ll kind of roll into getting ready for what we’re doing next year.

TB: Yep. It’s a lot of fun.

LM: Yeah, the Handiham Program always has stuff going on. Well, thank you so much for joining me today and recording this interview. It’s a Saturday morning, and you know, we’re hard at work.

TB: Yep. As always. I appreciate it. As you know me. I always love to talk. I have no problem and happy to be–happy to be not only participating in this interview, but really happy to be a part of Handihams and helping do what we do. That’s what it’s all about. We will continue.

LM: Yes. Thank you.

TB: Okay.

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


Ham Radio in the News

SSTV Transmissions Scheduled from the ISS

Photo of International Space Station.

On August 6 and 7, Russian cosmonauts onboard the International Space Station (ISS) will transmit slow-scan television (SSTV) images on 145.800 MHz using SSTV mode PD-120. The images are part of a Moscow Aviation Institute SSTV experiment and will be sent via RS0ISS, the ham station located in the Russian service module. If you are in the path of the ISS, signals should be easy to copy with a handheld transceiver and a quarter-wave antenna. To learn more, go to: http://www.arrl.org/news/sstv-transmissions-scheduled-from-iss.


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 a third party and your station.

G1E01 Which of the following would disqualify a third party from participating in stating a message over an amateur station?

A. The third party’s amateur license has been revoked and not reinstated.
B. The third party is not a U.S. citizen.
C. The third party is a licensed amateur.
D. The third party is speaking in a language other than English.

While we can often facilitate third party communications using our ham station, there is one time when it’s forbidden. If the third party previously held a ham license and it has been revoked and not reinstated, you cannot allow them to talk using your equipment, making answer A the correct choice. For everyone else, however, giving people an opportunity to talk over the air may help get them excited about getting their amateur radio license. It’s a great way to introduce people to the fun in ham radio!


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 August issue of the QCWA Journal is now available in Mp3 format 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. 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!