Handiham World for September 14, 2020
Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of September 14, 2020
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…
The Handiham Program is pleased to announce the winner of our 2020 Morse Code Class early registration drawing. To accomplish this important task, Pemdy enlisted the help of Diego, a fearless feline who was happy to assist.
Diego took his duties seriously as he chose the winner.
And the winner is Darren Tomblin! Congratulations to you, and your Morse code key and oscillator will be going out in the mail later this week.
Thanks to the success of the 2020 Virtual Get on the Air class, we are already working on plans for the next Get on the Air session, likely in January of 2021. If you want to be placed on the list to receive an application, please contact Pemdy.
The Handiham World E-letter list along with Handiham Notify and the Handiham Radio Club lists are moving to Groups.io. Please keep watching for invitations to all the new lists. Invitations have gone out to everyone on the old Handiham E-letter list. If you haven’t received one, please contact Pemdy for assistance. Once you are subscribed to the new list at Groups.io, you will be unsubscribed from the old list. All you have to do to subscribe is reply and send when you receive the invitation. You don’t have to type anything additional in the email to be subscribed to the new lists. Please note, while Handiham World is available to everyone, only current members of the Handiham Program are eligible to join Handiham Notify and the Handiham Radio Club lists. We are enjoying the improved accessibility with Groups.io.
The new Handiham Radio Club email list is the place where members can ask questions and share their experiences with amateur radio and assistive technology. We have so many talented and highly experienced members in the Handiham Radio Club, making this an invaluable resource for information. If you are a Handiham Program member and would like to join the Handiham Radio Club email list, please send an email to Pemdy.
Due to the spread of COVID-19, we are not working from the office right now. We are still able to check our phone messages and return phone calls, and mail will be picked up as often as possible. Of course, the best way to get in touch with us during this time 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 9) has more information about properly tuning signals on the HF bands along with some information on transceiver tools that will improve your listening. 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 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@....
In the E-Letter, there is an article about navigating the Zoom platform, another article about the latest Hurricane Watch Net activation, and the final part of a new interview with another of the participants from the recent virtual Get on the Air class. 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@... or by calling me at 612-775-2290.
News in Assistive Technology
Virtual Instruction: Zoom Video Conferencing Platform
With the increased use of Zoom for virtual learning, meetings, and even social interactions, it is important to understand how to access all the tools offered on the platform. To help people learn the keyboard shortcuts and navigate the program, Perkins created a helpful post and video. You can check out the website at: https://www.perkinselearning.org/technology/blog/virtual-instruction-zoom-video-conferencing-platform
You can watch the video at: https://youtu.be/uwWuTH9_khQ
From the Mailbag
Hi Lucinda and all,
Recently, there was an article in the ARRL Letter about a proposal from the FCC to institute a fee for licenses and renewals. While I would hate to see a $50.00 fee to have my license, I certainly feel the hobby is worth it.
I do feel for sure, however, that there should be a fee for vanity call signs. If you want to pick your own call, then you can pay for it. Not that long ago there was a fee for vanity calls.
It should be pointed out that many years ago, there was a fee from the FCC
If I were the ARRL, here is how I would handle this. I would tell the FCC, if we pay your $50.00 fee, in return no more frequencies can be taken away from the amateur radio service. Further, if they do take more frequencies, then the fee must be lowered. Now, I know the FCC won’t go for such an idea, but it’s a good place to start.
I also feel you need to ask yourself what is the hobby worth to you. Maybe for some it isn’t worth the $50.00 every ten years. But I think for most of us, we can come up with the $50.00 to have our licenses. I should point out that it does cost the FCC money to process all of this stuff. I can also tell you that I have spent a lot more than $50.00 in the past few months just to keep my station on the air. I think we have a problem with too many people wanting everything for free.
I hope this letter finds everyone well and hope to hear you on the air.
Thanks and 73,
Interview of the Week
This week, we get to hear more from Austin, KA3TTT. Austin was one of the participants in our recent virtual Get on the Air class and has found ways to keep active in the hobby, even though he lives in an apartment. Please join us for the final part of his interview.
LM: So, I understand that you’re into Morse code. Why don’t you say a little about that.
AS: Yeah. As I said, when I was a kid, I had that Morse code chart, and the iambic keyer intrigued me. There was just something about it that always appealed to me. Now, being QRP, it’s especially appealing because you get more bang for your buck, so to speak. You get more miles per watt. I heard somewhere that a 5 watt CW signal is equivalent to a 100 watt SSB signal. But I’ve had more success on CW. I do pretty much all my work on HF on CW.
AS: And I’ve been having a lot of fun with a straight key, which came as a surprise to me. I thought I’d be doing all my work with an electronic key. But the SKCC, Straight Key Century Club, are very popular. I hear them a lot on the bands. And I thought, what is this SKCC thing. There must be something to it if I keep hearing all these people into it, so I got a straight key. And I’ve really been enjoying that also. I have both hooked up. A very nice ham made me a cable, so I can have a straight key and an electronic keyer hooked up to my KX3.
LM: Very nice.
AS: So, I can pick whatever I want. I’ve been really enjoying doing a lot of CW. I’m really glad I got back into it. When I got back into the hobby, I was around 15 words per minute, or so, and I was like, yes, I’m still over that hump. There’s that hump around 8 words per minute or so.
LM: Some people say around 10 to 12 words per minute.
AS: Yeah, 10 to 12 words per minute, that’s what it is. So, I was glad that I was still over that when I got back into the hobby. But, you know, I’ve just been doing a lot of listening and practicing, getting my CW back up. It’s a really fun mode, and I encourage people to get into it. It used to be required, and it’s not anymore. But it’s still a blast because you can very easily generate a signal and get on the air with CW. And when you’re low power, it’s the way to go.
LM: Yeah. It gives you a lot more options for what you can do if you’re able to do Morse code.
AS: There’s something relaxing about it. And I heard from somebody who did some research about it that it activates the same centers in the brain as learning a language.
AS: So, it has the same effect as learning another language. It’s stimulating, and it’s relaxing, and it’s fun. CW is great!
LM: Well, we sure enjoyed having you at the virtual Get on the Air event and loved your input in classes.
AS: Oh, thanks! Oh, that’s another thing. I use Linux, and that’s another thing that makes my station unique, so I tried to pitch in with some Linux solutions. Because Linux is free, the price is right. I feel like it’s this accessibility secret. It used to be a lot more arcane, but it’s not that hard to get into now. I would encourage people to check out Linux. If you’re coming from Windows, I would check out Ubuntu or something like that.
AS: If you have an old machine, Linux is a great option for resurrecting an old machine. If you have an old computer sitting around that can’t run the latest version of Windows, in other words, if it’s more than four years old, put Linux on it. Bring it back to life. Put it to use. I’m doing everything from Linux. I’m doing Logbook of the World, I’m doing QRZ, I’m doing all my logging. I’m doing all that in Linux.
LM: That just gives people more options.
AS: Yeah, exactly. It absolutely does. I think they go together really well. I wish we’d see more Linux support in ham radio. The two go together like peanut butter and jelly, I think. They both have that open source, DIY kind of spirit. I’d like to see more Linux support.
AS: I think we will now that Raspberry Pi computers are becoming more popular.
LM: Yes. I think Raspberry Pi has been a good thing for the hobby.
AS: Yes, it has. That ClearNode is a Raspberry Pi device. Yeah, it’s very exciting to be back. And being into computers and having that experience, the Linux and programming experience, it’s really fun to be back in the hobby.
LM: Well, it was really nice talking to you today.
AS: Thanks, Lucinda.
LM: I appreciate you taking the time to do it. We’re just kind of wetting people’s appetite for future events.
AS: I’m so glad. I had hoped and assumed that you would continue doing these in the future, you know, no matter what the future holds. We’re seeing that trend in general, and that’s great. You know, do it all.
LM: Yes, because, when we can, we’re going to bring back in-person Radio Camp.
AS: You could even do some hybrid kind of things.
LM: And this gives us the opportunity to do things more often. You can only do so many in-person events. This gives us the opportunity to do more things more often and keep adding things.
AS: Yes. This was fantastic. I’m already looking forward to the next one.
LM: And one of the things we realized, and that’s going to be kicking off in September, is having the Handiham Radio Club get back to more regular activity by having them meet on Zoom.
AS: Oh. Yeah. I was a little confused about that. I think I’m a member of it, but I was little confused about all that.
LM: So, in order to get into the Handiham Radio Club, you have to be a member of the Handiham Program; but you’re not required to join the club if you join the Program.
AS: So, is that the special event? Is it the Radio Club that does the special events and stuff like that?
LM: Yes, that’s how it works. And what we’re working on is having the club do the Elmering for Handiham members, having the radio club take over more of that. With the new club email list, members will be able to get on and ask their own questions, basically freeing Pemdy and I up so we can plan more activities and yet still allow people to get the support and ham radio help they need that way.
AS: So, that frees you up to do more of the administrative stuff. That’s great! I would like to see some more special events, even though I didn’t get to work anyone. I was trying for a few hours! I didn’t get any takers, and of course, the Worked all Europe DX contest was going on, so I just got clobbered.
LM: Well, that happens.
AS: With QRP, that’s how it goes. When you’re going up against a 1500 watt contest station, forget it.
LM: Yeah, there isn’t a lot you can do there.
AS: But I hope we can do some more special events because I’d like to have some fun with the radio club with Elmering and special events. It sounds like something I’d be interested in for sure.
LM: And Elmering gives radio club members a way to give back and help other people. Well, thank you so much!
AS: And I’ll see you on the Handiham AllStar node.
LM: Yes, and when you do, write it up, and we’ll put it in the E-letter because I’m sure there are others who would be interested in doing it too. Sometimes people need to see that someone else has done it, and then they’ll get on and do it too. Well, have a good night.
AS: You too. 73.
Stay tuned for a new interview airing next week.
Ham Radio in the News
Attention Turns to Hurricane Sally after Hurricane Paulette Hits Bermuda
The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) is staying busy monitoring multiple storms. While continuing to collect reports from Hurricane Paulette which made landfall on Monday in Bermuda, they are also gearing up for Hurricane Sally, expected to make landfall on Tuesday, impacting Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The net is looking for weather data, storm surge, and damage reports. To learn more, go to: http://www.arrl.org/news/attention-turns-to-tropical-storm-sally-after-hurricane-paulette-hits-bermuda
A Dip in the Pool