Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Handiham World for 25 November 2009

Welcome to Handiham World!

Handiham Headquarters will be closed for the United States Thanksgiving holiday

Cornucopia showing bountiful harvest of fruit and a handheld radio

Handiham Headquarters will be closed for the United States Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday and Friday, November 26-27, 2009. An audio lecture notification will be sent out early, on Wednesday instead of Friday.

By the way, what do you have to be thankful for? Here is my list of ham radio stuff, in no particular order:

I am thankful for...

  • Antennas that stay up & keep working through the entire Minnesota winter. (You haven't experienced real cold until you've handled aluminum tubing or scaled a tower in January up here on the frozen tundra.)
  • ARRL. I couldn't get along without my address and monthly QST, but I can also rest easy knowing that the League is our advocate on so many fronts.
  • The way most ham radio gear keeps working year after year, reliably delivering good service, when consumer-grade electronics have long since given up the ghost.
  • Repeater owners who welcome activity on their machines.
  • Echolink, IRLP, and WIRES.
  • The Internet and all of the ham radio applications it makes possible.
  • Hams who design circuits or write software for the rest of us.
  • Elmers who help newbies and oldbies (Is that a real word?)
  • Solar cycle 24. Better late than never.
  • Nets. I love the way we can stay connected in our "virtual communities" on the air.
  • Our Handiham members, be they regular members, supporters, or volunteers. Talk about communities - they are the best!
  • Radio clubs. Sometimes you need to just meet other hams face to face.
  • The manufacturers and dealers who work so hard to make amateur radio technology available to us.
  • People who step up to the plate to teach ham radio classes. They are responsible for keeping amateur radio healthy by training new operators.
  • Anyone who funds, plans, or goes on a DXpedition. What these folks do for amateur radio really pushes the limits, and if you don't believe me, take a look at some of the DXpedition videos.
  • Volunteer examiners and their VECs. Having had to travel long distances to take most of my exams at FCC offices, I really appreciate the volunteers who offer convenient, friendly, local exam sessions, giving freely of their own time and talent to help others become hams for the first time or to step up the ladder to General or Extra.
  • Contest planners, QSL managers, people who serve on committees, hamfest organizers, authors, publishers, and all of the others who work behind the scenes to enrich our radio experiences.
  • DSP. Good grief, how could we stand all of that noise we used to endure before ClearSpeech speakers and the digital signal processing now standard in every transceiver?
  • Anyone brave and patient enough to be a net control station.
  • My understanding family, including my XYL, Susie, who encourages me to "get on the air" or "give that guy a call" when we hear someone calling on a repeater as we travel in the car, my son Will, KC0LJL, who writes software for me, and my dog Jasper, who keeps me company in the ham shack.
  • And all of my ham radio friends! Without real people, ham radio would just be a bunch of stuff. Now, don't get me wrong; I like all of the equipment and gadgetry, but what really makes ham radio special for me is... YOU!

For Handiham World, I'm...

Patrick Tice, , wishing all of our readers and listeners a wonderful holiday week and a happy Thanksgiving.