Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World E-Letter for the week of May 27, 2022
This is a free 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.
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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…
We are back after a very welcome return to Dayton Hamvention in 2022. We had so much fun at our booth located in Building 5 this year! Tom, KB8TYJ, Sue, KC8IFP, and Jim, KE5AL, joined me in the booth to demonstrate accessible equipment and talk to visitors about the Handiham Program. It was especially fun to talk about how the Handiham Program recently turned 55 years old and all the people that made it possible for us to reach this exceptional milestone. We spoke with potential volunteers and donors, and we also got to visit with Handiham members in the booth. One of the most exciting moments was on the first day when Mark, N2MJT, let us know that he passed his General exam! Mark was in both the General and Extra Class license classes, and he plans to take his Extra Class test later this summer.
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!
If you are interested in joining the new Technician class starting in September, we will be taking two semesters to cover all the material for the new Technician question pool. The class will be held over Zoom and include handouts and a list of the questions from the question pool that are covered each week. Students will also receive audio recordings of each class. You can contact Pemdy for an application.
The next virtual Basic Morse Code class is also starting in September. This class starts from the very beginning, covering letters, numbers, punctuation, and prosigns. We aim for about 5 words per minute by the end of the semester. Of course, students do need to practice outside of class to be successful. You can reach out to Pemdy for an application if you are interested in joining us.
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.
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 29) takes an in-depth look at what FM really means and how it is different from AM. 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 will be working during her usual hours over the next two weeks. I will be on vacation through June 10th, so the next Handiham World E-letter will be out the week of June 13th. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the E-Letter, there is an article about the Scanmarker Reader, another article about the successful 2022 Dayton Hamvention, and the Hamvention first day recap interview with Tom, KB8TYJ. Of course, you can check out the regular articles you find in every issue of Handiham World.
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
Scanmarker Reader offers writing, reading, and editing assistance tools while encouraging independent learning, leading to improved academic independence. Features include Bluetooth connection to any device; choice of reading speed, reading voice, word spacing, and font size; reading and translation of more than 70 languages; and a very accurate and fast multilingual OCR text scanner and dictionary. Scanmarker Reader facilitates a clearer understanding of the scanned material. It enhances comprehension, reading ability, and self-confidence, helping in the learning process and ultimately empowering students to achieve academic success. To learn more, you can check out the following article at: https://www.westminstertech.com/products/scanmarker-reader.
You can also watch a video at: https://youtu.be/_1AjdtX1MNU.
From the Mailbag
Vispero’s monthly podcast for May features an interview with Joe Stephen, a blind JAWS developer who lives in Tasmania. He has also developed firmware to make HT radios accessible.
The podcast is episode FS215 and can be found at the following link.
The interview with Joe Stephen starts at 3:48. While I found the whole conversation interesting, the discussion about accessible ham radios starts at 21:58. The interview ends at 29:25. Almost all the last few minutes is devoted to radio accessibility.
Interview of the Week
We are continuing our break from the Gratitude Gathering to air the daily recap interviews from the 2022 Dayton Hamvention. Please join me for the day one recap with Tom Behler, KB8TYJ.
LM: Well, it’s Friday night, and we’re down here in Dayton, Ohio. We’re actually on the south side of Dayton, Ohio, in a hotel room after a long day in the booth, our first day of three. And this year, we’ve got Tom and Sue Behler that are helping us. And for those of you who were at Radio camp in 2019, you’ll remember that they were there that week as well. And of course, for those of you in the virtual Morse code classes, you know Tom very well. So, yes, Tom, you have a reputation. It’s dangerous.
TB: It is.
LM: All right, so we’re going to talk about day one of Hamvention. Tom, why don’t you tell us what happened on day one?
TB: Well, after a wet start in the morning, it is Dayton after all, and it is May, right. So there’s always going to be some kind of inclement weather in Dayton in May. After we got through the wetness of the morning, we got set up. And what we have is we have the very nice Handiham banner. We have another, I don’t know what would you call that with all the Handiham pictures on it? A little display. And then what we did this year is Jim Shaffer, who many of you know, KE5AL, he came along too. He set up a laptop, a TS-590, and a Braille display and used his JJ Radio program to demonstrate various aspects of ham radio operation to people.
TB: I brought a TM-V71a and a TW-2 watt meter. And I also brought my TH-D74 to show people what can be done on the VHF/UHF part of the spectrum with accessible equipment. And so we had that available, we demonstrated to people who are interested in seeing it. And we also talk to a lot of people, people that, you know, this was the first Dayton since what, 2019, right? Yeah, this is the first Dayton since 2019. So, we got to meet a whole lot of people that we hadn’t talked to for two years, three years, actually. It’s kind of scary when you think about it. That was fun in and of itself.
TB: And we got to discuss the Handiham Program a little bit with some of the people that came by. And we also were able to deal with some more specialized concerns. One person that I talked to was very interested in the SKYWARN training for the visually impaired that I worked with to put together with the Grand Rapids National Weather Service office. And so, they were very interested in that. They’re from the Seattle, Washington area, so I’m trying to get the Weather Service offices together with their help to kind of get it started maybe out there. So, I don’t know, I think it was an extremely productive day. And it was really great to be here.
LM: Well, we had some big crowds. You know, at one point, they kind of revised the numbers down on the expected crowds. But I’ll tell you, if it keeps going like it was today, we may have a near record crowd again. So, it was nice to see so many people there. And it was a hot day. So, I think they started out early because of that. And kind of the last hour things slowed down a bit, but I think people were just kind of ready for a break from the heat. The ice cream sales were definitely going strong today.
TB: Yeah, we actually tried to get some ice cream. But the line was so long. It was like, well, we’re going to get our ice cream, but by the time we actually eat it, it’s going to be melted. So, maybe that’s not such a good idea. But other people made it work. So, I don’t know, there’s tomorrow. We can try tomorrow.
LM: There you go. So yeah, it was really fun to see people that I haven’t seen in three years and catch up on what’s going on. I actually got to meet the guy who took over for me for SATERN Coordinator after I moved to Minnesota. And that was really neat to get to talk to him and talk to people that I used to talk to on the radio on the nets that I ran. So, it was just a lot of fun and telling people about the Handiham Program.
TB: Oh, you know what else, Lucinda. You’re going to have to help me fill in the blanks here. But Mark, okay, Handiham member, took the General class and the Extra Class? And he did, he sat for exams today, and we know that he at least passed the General.
LM: Yes, we haven’t heard a report on the Extra yet, but we know he passed the General with flying colors.
TB: Oh yeah, yep.
LM: So, we’re still waiting to hear on the Extra, but this is exciting because he came through both our General and our Extra Class, so we’re looking forward to hearing what happened there. And this is just day one. We’ve got Saturday and Sunday yet to go, so there’s going to be more to come.
TB: You never know what will happen, and I guess we’ll be back to report again tomorrow, right?
LM: We will.
LM: See you then.
Stay tuned for the day two recap interview airing in the next issue of Handiham World.
Ham Radio in the News
Hamvention 2022 A Great Success
The 2022 Dayton Hamvention, also the 70th reunion, was a great success. The event was attended by thousands of ham radio operators along with their families and friends. Official numbers and estimates will be available later. At the event, the ARRL had a large exhibit area and hosted a steady flow of visitors who enjoyed a variety of exhibits representing numerous popular membership programs and services. The ARRL presence included more than a dozen booths. Additionally, using the theme, “Be Radio Active,” the ARRL also organized many Hamvention forums to encourage attendees to become more active and involved with amateur radio. To read the complete article, go to: http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-expo-and-hamvention-2022-a-great-success.
A Dip in the Pool
It’s time to test our knowledge by taking a dip in the question pool…
Let’s go to the new Technician class pool this week to a question about VHF signal strengths.
T3A01 Why do VHF signal strengths sometimes vary greatly when the antenna is moved only a few feet?
A. The signal path encounters different concentrations of water vapor.
B. VHF ionospheric propagation is very sensitive to path length.
C. Multipath propagation cancels or reinforces signals.
D. All these choices are correct.
When a radio signal bounces off an obstacle, whether man-made or natural, it can combine with a direct signal to either reinforce or partially cancel the resultant signal. This creates either constructive or destructive interference, and the antenna only has to move one-half wavelength to have the two signals switch between constructive and destructive interference. Thus, multipath propagation cancels or reinforces the signal, making answer C the correct choice.
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 email@example.com or 612-775-2291.
The May issue of the QCWA Journal is now available in Mp3 format in the Magazines and Newsletters section of the Members Only website.
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.
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 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 round table on the air get-together.
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.
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 goes out to all of our net control stations and to Barry, K9AMO, our net manager.
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.
- 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.
Courage Kenny Handiham Program
3915 Golden Valley Road MR 78446
Golden Valley, MN 55422
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for changes of address, unsubscribes, etc. and include both your old and new email address.