Handiham World for September 20, 2021

Logo for Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, part of Allina Health

Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of September 20, 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…

The Handiham Program is currently experiencing difficulties with our toll-free telephone number. If you need to reach us, please either email us at handiham@allina.com or call 612-775-2291.

We are holding our first virtual General Class series starting this week. Classes take place 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. We are looking forward to a new group of General Class hams after students complete their studies and exams.

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 Monday, September 27th. 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.

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 21) is an in-depth look at the ARRL Handbook. 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 wheelchair ramps made of Legos, another article about four more hams headed to the International Space Station, and the final part of the 2021 Field Day Round-Up Zoom 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

Lego Bricks for Wheelchair Ramps

Photo of wheelchair ramp made of recycled Legos.

As preparation for the European Championships in Munich in 2022, organizers are raising awareness around the need for increased accessibility everywhere in a unique way. They are building wheelchair ramps using recycled Legos. As word of this effort has spread, others are choosing to get involved as well, collecting used Legos and building ramps for friends and family. You can learn more at: https://assistivetechnologyblog.com/2021/09/munich-2022-championships-seeking-22000-lego-bricks-for-wheelchair-ramps.html.

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

From the Mailbag

Photo of mail carrier with mail bag and letter.

Hi Lucinda,

I am currently studying for my Technician Class license via Handiham’s audio files. I think I’m now ready for my Technician Class exam!

Also, I just wanted to say that I think you do an exceptional job with your reading of the weekly Handiham newsletter. I love how you make every interviewee feel special and treat them from the heart, really giving them your time and attention, and listening to them before you give your response. You don’t rush anyone! The world would be a lot better place if we saw more of that.

Anyway, thanks for listening and blessings to you,


Editor’s note: We wish you well on your Technician Class exam and can’t wait to hear the results!

Interview of the Week

In July, we had another Zoom Gathering. This time, our focus was on Field Day, sharing stories from 2021 and past years. Please join me for the final part of this interview.

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

LM: Next up here is Carolyn, go ahead.

CR: I didn’t do anything on Field Day.

LM: You didn’t do anything on Field Day?

CR: I don’t have a radio, remember?

LM: Right. But you haven’t worked with any groups or anything yet?

CR: No.

LM: Okay, well, we’ll have to keep working on getting you into a club that where you can go operate with the club on Field Day.

CR: Okay, that would be good.

LM: Yeah, I think you would have a lot of fun with that. But I’m glad you’re able to stop by and join us today.

CR: Yeah, it’s the first time I remembered.

LM: That happens, you know, it’s a Saturday afternoon, and kind of an odd time of the week. But we’re glad you’re able to join us. Anybody that has any rechecks for today, anybody that has anything more they want to share?

JS: Well, I guess, I’ve heard about Field Day logging. And a lot of times we, sometimes the logging programs kind of get in the way. But the last time I was at the Austin Radio Club, we had a computer with NVDA on it. And it had N3FJP, and it was configured in the net configuration. So, it was tied in with other stations that were logging. And, you know, for example, if you work to station that had already been worked? Well, if it was a dupe, it would tell you, and also, if we had the information for that station, it just filled it in automatically. And that’s how you could tell. And you could get a running count of the QSOs and stuff like that. Well, anyway, using that with a PC, I was able to actually log for some sighted people, log for others. So, that’s a situation we don’t find ourselves in very often.

LM: Well, you know, that’s pretty cool, when you’re able to fill in. It’s also a good way to show off how technology can work for people who are blind. And I like doing things like that, especially on Field Day where you can be around a lot of people who maybe haven’t been around people with various disabilities, and you can show how things can work. And just because you have a disability, it doesn’t have to limit everything that you do. You find different ways of doing things. So, that’s pretty cool. Anybody else with anything to add for today?

AS: This is Austin, Kilo, Alpha 3 Tango, Tango, Tango. I just wanted to quickly add that I also copied the W1AW bulletin on 80 meters, first on CW and later on voice. And it’s an easy, it’s a good way to make 100 points. So yeah, I thought I would throw that in there.

LM: Yeah, that’s a really fast way to make 100 points. Yeah. Anybody else with anything? Tom, go for it.

TB: Yeah, to key in on what Austin just said and what Jim said about logging for others, that’s the thing about Field Day. You may be initially reluctant to be assertive and put yourself in the game, so to speak. But clubs tend to be very receptive. And if you can say, you know, I can log for you guys, here’s how, I’ll show you. Or I can make contacts. Here’s how I do it. Just let’s get a rig, a radio that I can work with a little bit, and we’ll be good.

TB: And also, the whole thing, what Austin just said, there are so many ways to get bonus points in Field Day for particularly a club or a group. Maybe you could help coordinate some of that stuff, copying a W1AW message, calling an official. If you have a local official come out to visit a club Field Day site, you get points for that. There are all sorts of ways your club can get extra points, and you could help coordinate those things. So, my message to anybody would be if you’re at all interested in Field Day, contact your local club, whoever they are, be assertive, show them what you can do. And I’d be willing to guarantee you they’ll put you to work. And you’ll have a lot of fun in the process.

LM: Yeah, good reminders, Tom. And yeah, sometimes you have to just assert yourself a little bit and show people what you can do. And there’s nothing wrong with that. And Darryl, go ahead.

DH: Yeah, I have a kind of unrelated question. Eventually, are you going to be offering an Advanced class after you get through the Tech and the General?

LM: For license class?

DH: Yes.

LM: Yeah, we’re going to do Extra in the spring.

DH: Okay, great. Looking forward to it!

LM: Yeah. Yeah.

DH: That should challenge me.

LM: Oh, oh, yeah. Yeah, that’s the understatement. Yeah, that one’s going to be a 16 week class.

DH: Okay.

LM: Because there’s a lot more material to cover for Extra Class.

DH: Well, now that I know that it’s coming, I think I’ll start reading and getting a little bit of a head start there. Although I’m still trying to get my Morse code down so that I can move on to a new project. That’s been interesting.

LM: What you know what you could do when you’re practicing your Extra Class test questions, you could send the answer in Morse code.

DH: You know, my objective on Field Day was to try to make one CW contact, but I couldn’t find anybody that was going at a speed that I could even comprehend. So, I chickened out.

LM: Yeah. On Field Day, the speed is up there a little bit in Morse code. It’s a little hard to find somebody doing a slow enough speed on Field Day.

AS: That’s too bad. I slowed down for one, I remember.

LM: Good for you, Austin. I think it’s important when we do hear people that are on the air that need somebody to slow down for them, just do it. Because it’s worth getting one more person to make that CW contact. Anybody else with anything?

LM: Well, we’re going to go ahead and wrap this up for today. It’s been fun hearing the Field Day stories. I really enjoyed that. And it’s been fun hearing all the different contacts and things like talking to a seven year old and weather events and all the different things that can happen. And, of course, Field Day, when you get together with a group, involves food, but that’s, you know, food, fellowship. That’s all part of it. Ham radio is a social hobby. So, it’s part of the deal.

LM: But I really appreciate everybody getting on here and sharing. And we’ll be putting this, an edited version, into the E-letter over the next few weeks. Actually, I have an interview with Tom that we’re going to run next. And then after that, we’ll plan on running this. So, everybody have a great Saturday. And hopefully if it’s hot where you are like it is where I am, you have air conditioning, and hopefully your weather isn’t too extreme. And if you’re in one of the areas that are dry, may you get some rain coming soon, because goodness gracious, we need it. And if you’re in a wet area, I hope it stops raining. So, you know if you’re in a wet area, please send the rain out west–we need it. And everybody take care, and we’ll look forward to talking to you maybe on the next Zoom Gathering. Thanks!

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

Ham Radio in the News

Next SpaceX Commercial Crew to ISS Comprised of Radio Amateurs

Photo of the ISS.

Four hams will be heading to the International Space Stations (ISS). They will launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which provides reliable and affordable transportation to and from the ISS. This group will have a six month stay on the ISS as part of a seven-member crew. To learn more, go to: http://www.arrl.org/news/next-spacex-commercial-crew-to-iss-comprised-of-radio-amateurs.

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 ground loops.

G4C10 What could be a symptom of a ground loop somewhere in your station?

A. You receive reports of “hum” on your station’s transmitted signal.
B. The SWR reading for one or more antennas is suddenly very high.
C. An item of station equipment starts to draw excessive amounts of current.
D. You receive reports of harmonic interference from your station.

As a General class licensee, you get on the air, and everyone tells you that you sound loud and kind of clear but with a hum on your signal. If that happens, it’s probably a ground loop, which makes answer A the correct choice. To fix the problem, use good copper foil grounding interconnected to each and every piece of metal equipment you have on your radio desk. Then connect everything to a common ground. Make sure you include your computer as well to solve your issue.

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 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.

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.


  • 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.
    • If you want to donate to the Handiham Program, please use our donation website. The instructions are at the following 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!