Handiham World Update for March 21, 2024

The Handiham Program office is a busy place as always. We have had many new members join us recently, we released stage one of the new multistage application process for Radio Camp, and we did another really important thing that we have been working on for months. We hired a new administrative assistant! I want to introduce Melissa to everyone. While she is not currently a ham, she is interested in learning about the hobby, and I am sure our members will be happy to share their knowledge. Please join me in welcoming her to the Handiham Program. You can reach her at 612-775-2291 or handiham@allina.com. The best times to reach her by phone are Mondays through Thursdays between 9am and 12pm Central time in the US. Melissa is also looking forward to meeting everyone in person at Radio Camp in September!

We have some sad news to report. Long-time Handiham volunteer John Hoenshell, N0BFJ, is a silent key, and members Marshall Levett, KI5YIA, and Charles Dickens, N6EYD, are also silent keys. Our thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones during this difficult time.

If you live in Minnesota and are attending the Midwinter Madness Hamfest on Saturday, please stop by the Handiham booth to say hi. If you are planning to attend Dayton Hamvention in May, we will have a booth there as well. We would love to visit with you for an eyeball QSO!

The 2024 Radio Camp is coming up fast. September will be here before we know it! If you have not received stage one of the application (the scholarship offer) and you want to attend camp this year, please contact us so we can get that sent to you. The second stage will be going out soon to everyone who has returned their first stage of the application. We have some great classes and activities planned for Radio Camp including a lot more hands-on radio time! The instructors are planning for classes, and Jerry, W0UH, has been writing new music to entertain us during camp.

Jerry, W0UH, our net manager, would like to invite you to check into the Handiham Radio Club net. We have great net control stations who faithfully keep the net running smoothly and provide interesting topics each day. The Handiham Radio Club sponsors daily nets at 11:00 am Central time and on Wednesdays at 7:00 pm Central time on the Handiham Conference Server. Please join us as often as you can! It’s a fun time to get together with other hams throughout the world and enjoy some good conversation.

We are in the second semester of the Advanced Morse Code Class, and our students are preparing for their final on air test to earn their class certificate. The advanced code class is two semesters with a long break between semesters, and we only offer it every couple years. For this class, you should have regular access to an HF station with Morse code capability. To become fluent in any language, including Morse code, students will need to get on the air to practice as part of the class.

If Morse code sounds like something you want to learn, we will have a virtual beginner class starting in September of 2024. This class is designed for Handiham Program members who are new to Morse code and will teach all the characters along with prosigns. At the end of the one semester class, students should be able to copy Morse code at five words per minute. If you want to join this class, send an email to Handiham@allina.com so we can add you to the list for an application.

The two-semester virtual General Class License Class just finished week 22. This class is in the same format as the two-semester Technician Class we finished last April with interactive Zoom classes along with class recordings and handouts sent via email to students each week. The last two weeks of class will be practice tests as we help students get ready to schedule their exams.

Next September, we will start a virtual two-semester Extra Class License Class using the new question pool that will take effect on July 1, 2024. If you want to be a part of this class, please send an email to Handiham@allina.com to be added to the list for an application. This class will run for 30 weeks due to the large amount of material we have to cover. The class includes interactive Zoom classes along with class recordings and handouts sent via email to students each week.

The Handiham Radio Club is getting radio active! Jerry, W0UH, our Handiham Radio Club president will hold the next monthly meeting on Sunday, April 7th at 3:00pm Central Time. The Zoom link will go out to the radio club Groups.io list. If you have not yet joined the Handiham Radio Club, all current members of the Handiham Program are eligible to join at no additional cost. Just send an email to handiham@allina.com to let us know you want to be put on the email list for the club. Staying on that list allows you to keep up with everything that is happening in the club.


Melissa and Lucinda AB8WF

Handiham 57th Anniversary Announcement

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a sought-after contact and to be on the receiving end of a pileup? Well, your chance to have this experience will be coming soon!

On Friday, April 26 through Sunday, April 28, the Handiham Program will celebrate its 57th anniversary. We will be celebrating with a QSO party sponsored by the Handiham Radio Club, and all currently licensed Handiham Program members are welcome and encouraged to participate.

The object is to work as many stations as possible during the 48-hour operating period. We also will use this opportunity to promote and give more details about the Handiham Program and the Handiham Radio Club for those who are interested. Participants may use all amateur bands and modes to make contacts, including digital and VOIP modes.

The QSO party will start at 1900 UTC on Friday and run through 1900 UTC on Sunday. Logs will be required and may be submitted by mail or email no later than June 1, 2024. The exchange is simply name and state, province, or country. One point will be given per contact.

Call CQ Handiham 57, and grab those contacts, or listen for stations calling CQ Handiham 57, and give them a contact! Most of all, get on the air and have fun!

Please tell any contacts that they can obtain a commemorative Handiham special anniversary event QSL card by qsling direct to the Handiham Program. See the www.handiham.net or the www.handiham.org web site for more details.

Handiham World Update for December 21, 2023

2023 has been another active year for the Handiham Program. As the year opened, we were busy preparing for our first in-person Radio Camp since 2019. Additionally, students were working on the second semester of the virtual Technician Class covering the new question pool that took effect in July of 2022. February brought even more winter weather here in Minnesota as we launched another intermediate level Morse code class.

In March, we started holding regular monthly virtual meetings of the Handiham Radio Club via Zoom and worked on adopting a new constitution and bylaws. Soon, Jerry, W0UH, was elected as the new President of the Handiham Radio Club, giving Linda, N7HVF, a well-deserved break after her long term since the election at Radio Camp in 2019. In March, we also said goodbye to Pemdy, who had been our administrative assistant since 2018. Pemdy was with the Handiham Program for almost five years, and we are grateful for her support during that time.

In April, we wrapped up our first 24 week, two-semester Technician class, and Kevin Lukens got his license just a few weeks later. Kevin, KC3WDG, has enjoyed getting on the air both with his HT and using Echolink, and he is now studying for his General.

In May, we announced the arrival of LaToya, our new administrative assistant who had started in April. As we prepared to head off to Dayton Hamvention, we also wrapped up the intermediate Morse code class with a live QSO during class. It was exciting to see the results from the semester!

Dayton Hamvention was different this year in that we had great weather! For those of you who frequent Dayton Hamvention, you know that often we get exciting weather during that event. It was great to catch up with members who stopped by the booth including Mark Jenal, N2MJT, who shared that he had passed his General exam and was now preparing for his Extra (which he passed in September). Mark had been part of our virtual General class in fall 2021 and the Extra Class in winter/spring 2022. During Hamvention, we found time to talk with people from Kenwood to learn more about the upcoming TH-D75, another blind accessible radio. We also visited the ARDC booth to express our gratitude for their support of the Handiham Program.

In July, we got the sad news that Ron Milliman, K8HSY, was a silent key. Ron had been with the Handiham Program for many years, and he most recently had taught a series of classes on homemade antennas for our 55th anniversary celebration week. He is missed by all.

In August, we got the sad news that Bob Zeida, N1BLF, was also a silent key. Bob had read for the Handiham Program for many years in addition to recording books for the blind and visually impaired. We wish his family well as they grieve his loss.

Over the summer months, we were busy getting the final plans together for our first hotel-based Radio Camp. Before we knew it, September was here, and campers were flying in from all over the US plus one camper who came all the way from Munich, Germany. One comment that we heard from campers and volunteers alike was how much everyone enjoyed spending time with each other. During camp, we had classes that covered everything from weather spotting for the visually impaired to antenna theory and construction. Every camper stated they want to return next year! We also got to hold an in-person and virtual Handiham Radio Club meeting during camp, which was really special.

Sadly, in early September, we said goodbye to LaToya. In the short time that she was with us, she made a positive impact on many members. We then started the process of finding another administrative assistant which is ongoing.

In late September, we began our first virtual advanced level Morse code class. While our initial goal was 20 words per minute, we realized we needed to advance that goal to 25 as the students were rapidly progressing. It is an exciting “problem” to have! We kept students busy in December with a series of QSOs about Kris, KR1NGL, and his struggle as he tests new equipment for the busy night ahead. This is a two-semester class that wrapped up this week, and the second semester starts in mid-February.

In late September, we also started our first two-semester virtual General Class license class using the new question pool that took effect in July. The students have been faithful in attending the weekly classes and studying so they can be ready for their General exam when class wraps up in early April of 2024.

In October, we started working on getting the contracts ready for the 2024 Radio Camp. While it seems like it is far away, we are realizing how fast it is coming! We are making plans to improve the camp experience based on everything we learned from this year’s camper and volunteer feedback.

November was busy with camp plans, Morse code classes, and General classes, which brings us to December. Another year went by so fast but with many exciting things happening as the Handiham Program continues to grow and evolve. I want to say a special thank you to our many members who faithfully help other members, honoring the tradition of elmers in the ham radio hobby. I came up through the Handiham Program as a member and later a volunteer. Now I am privileged to be the one running the Program, and I can’t wait to see what the future brings!

The Handiham Program will be closed for the annual holiday break and will reopen on January 8th. I look forward to connecting with you after the break! Also, remember to attend the next Handiham Radio Club meeting on January 7th at 3pm Central Time.

I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Lucinda AB8WF