Handiham World for February 28, 2022

Logo for Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, part of Allina Health

Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World E-Letter for the week of February 28, 2022

This is a free bi-weekly news and information update from the Courage Kenny Handiham Program, serving people with disabilities in amateur radio since 1967.

Our contact information is at the end.

Listen here:
https://handiham.org/audio/handiham28FEB2022.mp3


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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…

In August, from the 8th through the 14th, we will be taking time to celebrate the 55th Anniversary of the Handiham Program during a weeklong virtual event. We will get to hear from numerous people who have participated in the Handiham Program over the years, attend classes in amateur radio operating skills, and get on the air for a special Handiham 55th Anniversary QSO Party. We look forward to having everyone join us for this very special week!

Photo of Handiham Program 55th Anniversary logo.

On the weekend of Friday, April 29th through Sunday May 1st, we will hold a special event station honoring 55 years of serving people with disabilities in the amateur radio hobby. Last year, lots of contacts were made celebrating Handiham 54, and we hope that this year will be even bigger. Listen out for CQ Handiham 55 on phone and CW!

Are you planning to attend Dayton Hamvention this year? It’s been a long time since the last one was held in 2019! The Handiham Program will have a booth again, and we are looking forward to seeing everyone there from May 20 – 22. We will have several volunteers helping out, and attendees will have the opportunity to see demonstrations of accessible radio equipment throughout the event. We look forward to visiting with everyone at Hamvention, so be sure to stop by the Handiham booth.

Photo of Dayton Hamvention Tent Buildings.

Due to ongoing problems with the Handiham AllStar and DMR setup, please use alternate ways to connect to the Handiham Radio Club nets. The best way is via Echolink. We are thankful for some very helpful volunteers who are working on finding a solution to these issues and hope to have it up and running soon.

The Extra Class is on week six, covering digital logic and the first part of radio circuits and systems this Wednesday. There is a lot to cover each week to get through all the material included in the Extra Class exam, and this is our largest virtual license class so far! The students are busy keeping up with the rather long weekly handouts and interactive classes.

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

The Intermediate Morse Code class is on week 2 now, and participants are already increasing their speed for copying. For this class, students work on improving their ability to copy and send, increasing their speed from around 5 words per minute to 13 words per minute. Students attend an interactive Zoom class once weekly, utilize practice recordings, and schedule one-on-one practice times with instructors. If this class sounds too advanced for you, the next virtual Basic Morse Code class is planned to start in September. You can reach out to Pemdy for an application if you are interested.

Photo of the Morse code key.

While we continue to work remotely, we still check our phone messages and return phone calls, and mail is 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 26) covers amateur radio information resources on YouTube. 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 expect to 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 Windows 11 voice typing and dictation, another article about the effect of the state of emergency in Ukraine on amateur radio, and the next part of the 2021 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

Windows 11 Voice Typing and Dictation

Photo of Windows 11 logo.

With the Windows 11 update, voice typing and dictation is much improved over Windows 10. While you can choose auto-punctuation, Sam from The Blind Life has found that it is not as accurate as he would like. Windows has been working to achieve universal accessibility, allowing it to work for people with all kinds of disabilities. It has numerous options for people with special needs for vision, hearing, and interaction. To learn more about the accessibility options, you can check out the following article at: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/accessibility/windows.

You can also watch a video that takes a more in-depth look at using voice typing and dictation for the visually impaired at: https://youtu.be/Xb_Tg9d_-jo.


From the Mailbag

Photo of mail carrier with mail bag and letter.

The mail bag was quiet over the last two weeks. Check back next time for more emails.


Interview of the Week

Last November, we held our second annual Gratitude Gathering, getting together to share what we are thankful for in the amateur radio hobby. Please join me for the next part of this interview.

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

LM: All right, Tom Behler, you’re going to be up next here.

TB: Okay. Wow. Good afternoon to everybody. Man, listening to Pat’s story–I don’t know that I can top that one. But I think the topic for today is what we’re thankful for. And, you know, I am so thankful for amateur radio. It has been the source of so many friendships and great working relationships in my life that I have trouble even counting them and keeping track of them at times. It’s just a great hobby. It’s a hobby where you can learn stuff. It’s a hobby, where you can meet people. It’s a hobby where you can serve the community, you can do positive things. I don’t know what gets better than that. I really don’t. So, I’m happy for the hobby.

TB: I haven’t agreed with all the changes that have come down over the years. But, you know, you sort of learn not to sweat the small stuff, I guess. And I’m happy for Handihams. I remember back in the 1990s, I had been out of the hobby for quite some time. And I got back into it in the mid 90s. And I got my Technician license back, but obviously I wanted to upgrade. And it was through Handihams that I was able to do that.

TB: I got the General class study materials, Advanced class study materials, Extra Class study materials, and all of it was done, by the way, by Tony Tretter. I don’t know if any of you guys remember Tony, but he put together excellent study materials. In fact, I probably even still have them here on old cassette tapes, although I have nothing to play them on anymore. But I think I kept the tapes just because. I don’t know that I would have successfully upgraded without that material. I really don’t. And so I’m indebted to Handihams.

TB: I became a life member a number of years ago, and now I’m hoping that through my teaching efforts and the other things I’m doing that I’m giving back in a way because it’s just–Handihams is a very special organization. And I’m thankful for that. And I’m also thankful for–I may have said this last year at this time–I’m thankful for the technology that allows us to get together like this. And sure, it’s frustrating sometimes. It doesn’t always cooperate with us. You can ask Lucinda and the people who are with us when we do the Morse code class where we’re trying to do that via Zoom and sometimes there are these little grid glitches, but we make it through. And it’s because we’re hams, and we just do what we have to do. And if we got to go to an alternative means, we will, so I am really thankful for all that.

TB: And Lucinda, I appreciate your doing these gatherings. I do have to be on short time. I can hang around a little bit here, but I’ve got to get on to some other things. So, thanks, everybody. Thank you, Lucinda. Thank you, Pemdy. One of these days we’ll actually get to meet you. And I will turn it back to you, Lucinda.

LM: Thanks, Tom. Yep, next time we have an in-person gathering, we’ll definitely have to make sure Pemdy gets there because there’s a lot of people who’d like to do an in person meet and greet there. But I appreciate you sharing, Tom, about some of the things that have happened because of the hobby. And it’s neat to see how that’s impacted people. And I understand that you’re short time, and that is okay. Let’s see. John Gunn, go ahead.

JG: Okay, well, greetings to all and especially to you Pemdy and Lucinda. You guys really do a great job of this, and Pemdy is always helpful if I need to yack with her on the phone, which is not often, and that’s good because she’s a busy lady. I am thankful that amateur radio, I would categorize amateur radio as a buffet. There’s many things you can choose from, you know, whether it be modes or whatever the case is. And I was originally licensed back in 1969. I received my Novice license two days before Apollo 11 launched. Well, anyway, I won’t get into that, but it was pretty exciting.

JG: And one thing I’m really thankful for as well is that the materials from Handiham and also that Handiham still does teach Morse code. I think we all know that’s kind of a dying art. And I think it’s really great that–to stick with the Morse code even though it’s not required anymore. And just lately I’ve been getting back more into amateur radio locally. We’ve got a 440 repeater net in Wisconsin, that goes kind of from Green Bay all the way down, actually, I think to Rockford, Illinois. And that’s kind of neat, just getting into that, and by doing so, and getting in contact with some of my friends that I used to go to high school with. So that’s kind of neat. But again, thankful to everybody that that participates, and Lucinda, especially to you and Pemdy. And back to you.

LM: Thanks, John. And we’re thankful for you and appreciate you being able to stop by. We’ve got a lot of years in the ham radio hobby among this group. That does not include my cat Ranger, however, he’s not a ham. He just likes to talk a lot. So, I think that really does take us through all of our short time stations. So, let’s start through the list we’ve got here. And Al, do you want to go ahead?

AU: I’m Al, KE0EYG. I’ve been a General since 2019. I’ve been a Tech since–I was a Tech in 2015. And it was a hobby I came back to. I had a Novice license back in the early 60s, that would be 19 not 18. And I just wasn’t able to proceed after that at that time. And I always thought I’d come back. Anyway, I had some friends, had a friend in the Kansas Nebraska Radio Club, and then I got back on the air, and, anyway, one of the things I’m thankful for is I have a lot of good support here for the hobby.

AU: We have a number of hams, oh, a small number, but an active group of hams in our county in north central Kansas, and we started a–three or four of us got together and started a group of simplex stations. We get together, oh, probably just about every evening for 45 minutes or an hour. And at 146.550, we’re known in the area as Club 55. And we’ve got somebody in Nebraska and people across north central Kansas and people in Wichita know about us as well even though we don’t usually hear each other. They have an active group on the frequency down there too, and occasionally we talk to each other. But that is really a lot of fun and I’m very thankful for that.

AU: I like to work–well 40 meters is my favorite band I guess. I grew up listening 40 meters, and I think I’ve always liked 40 meters, and I like to see what I can do on 40 meters. Also, I’ll work 20 quite a bit, a little bit of 80 and a little bit of 160, so but really enjoyed that. And I really appreciate Lucinda and Pemdy and everything from Handiham, and I still get up here and look at tutorials every now and then and see if I can unscramble my brain.

AU: My HF rig is it is a Kenwood 590 SG, and I acquired this year a used 480hx. I wanted to run a little more power, but it didn’t have a speech chip. So, I got ham pod but I’ve also–now I have a ham friend who’s going to–I have an old TM-V71a that has I think the same speech board in it that will go in the 480, so we’re going to, he’s going to transfer that. But the ham pod is a good device too. I’m glad I have it because it will possibly make some other radios available.

AU: I just really like hearing and talking to people all over the place. And I really appreciate, you know, the friendships you can make in amateur radio, and that’s really a neat thing. It’s nice that–I’m not much of a net person, but I’ve got a few nets that I like to get into. And in one of them, I’ve done it often enough now that if I’ve missed for a while, somebody really wants to know how I am. And they really actually want to know!

AU: I’ve had a good year on the radio. One goal I haven’t achieved this year that I had as a goal and still hope to do but it will probably still be a while, I want to get involved in a little PSK31 or related digital operation just so I can become familiar with it. And I think it might be a little fun. So anyway, I’m just thankful for the hobby and thankful for, especially for the people I know and our Amateur Radio Club, people in our simplex group and all that. So, and I thank Pemdy and Lucinda for keeping the fires burning at Handiham. So I will turn it back to you, Lucinda.

LM: Thanks, Al, and we appreciate you being here and sharing a little bit. It’s amazing to me how much experience we have in this group. There is such vast experience in the hobby. And, you know, when you start going through and telling stories and telling about the things that you’ve done over the years, you know, you’ve made lots of contacts and had lots of fun. I’m glad to hear that we’ve got another person on 160 in this group. That’s great!

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


Ham Radio in the News

Amateur Radio in Ukraine Ordered Off the Air in State of Emergency

Photo of blue and yellow Ukraine flag.

A state of emergency was declared in Ukraine on February 24th. For at least the next 30 days, there is a ban on operating amateur radio transmitters, among other things. According to the DARC HF Committee from their February 27th statement, “Any radio amateur currently transmitting from Ukraine is risking his or her life. If you hear a Ukrainian station, do not broadcast its call sign, location, or frequency — whether on the band, in a cluster, or on social media. You may be putting lives at risk.” To learn more, go to: http://www.arrl.org/news/amateur-radio-in-ukraine-ordered-off-the-air-in-state-of-emergency.


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 Beverage antennas.

G9D09 What is the primary use of a Beverage antenna?

A. Directional receiving for low HF bands.
B. Directional transmitting for low HF bands.
C. Portable direction finding at higher HF frequencies.
D. Portable direction finding at lower HF frequencies.

Some hams with larger HF base station rigs have a separate antenna port to connect an optional directional low frequency band long wire receiving antenna. This makes answer A the correct choice. This is a perfect application for the Beverage antenna, an antenna that you can build yourself out of wire.


Website Update

Photo of the words website update with construction equipment working on the letters.

Here are the latest updates on the Handiham.org website. 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 March 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 looking for instructors for both operating skills and licensing classes. A background in teaching is not required. We have veteran instructors who are willing to mentor new teachers. Classes take place during the fall and spring semesters via Zoom. We have a group of instructors for each class, so you do not have to be available during every week of the semester. If you are interested in helping, please contact Lucinda.

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.


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 and AllStar are not working at this time. Stay tuned for future updates.
  • 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 round table on the air get-together.

Cartoon multicolored stick man 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.

Linda, N7HVF, 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 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 reach 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

Handiham World is a compilation of assistive technology, operating skills, and Handiham Program news. It is published as a bi-weekly podcast and a brief update is released on the opposite weeks. Handiham World is available to everyone free of charge. Please email handiham@allina.com for changes of address, unsubscribes, etc. and include both your old and new email address.