Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Handiham World for 16 November 2011

Welcome to Handiham World.

Pat, wearing headset microphone and making audio recording of AMSAT Journal article.
Image: Here I am recording AMSAT Journal. I find that using a USB headset with boom microphone gives the most consistent audio quality because you can maintain an exact distance between your mouth and the microphone. It is also more comfortable and allows you to use both hands to hold any print material you may be reading from or using as a reference. All recording is done digitally using the open-source software Audacity, which runs on Linux, Windows, and Mac.  For insight into recording digitally, see the "With the Handihams" article in an upcoming issue of Worldradio Online.  The headset pictured here is a Plantronics brand, but I don't have the model number.  It was one recommended for voice dictation by Nuance, the makers of Dragon Naturally Speaking®.

This edition of your weekly e-letter is a little bit early because I must be out of the office all day Wednesday for a meeting. I've noticed that the ARRL Letter sometimes has to shift its schedule around a little bit and occasionally there will be no audio version. Sometimes it is necessary for staff to have days off or take care of other office duties, and recording a newsletter is a specialized job only certain staff can complete.  
Speaking of recording, I recently received my  AMSAT Journal, CQ Magazine, and the December QST. Unfortunately, we have not been able to continue digest articles from CQ for our blind members because of limited staff time, but we do still hope to have some help from a volunteer. Bob, N1BLF, has completed the November WorldRadio digest, but I cannot promise anything from the November CQ, this week at least. I have started recording from the AMSAT Journal and expect to have some audio available by the time we release our audio notification on Friday. Since I must also prepare a new General Class audio lecture from scratch on radio signals in various modes of operation, which can be a complicated topic, it is doubtful that I will be able to tackle QST until the following week.
We are always looking for volunteers who can read for us or assist in the preparation of audio lectures on various operating skills topics and on how to operate particular types of radio equipment. An example of how this is done can be found by listening to the audio lectures done by Matt Arthur, KA0PQW.  Matt has done operating skills lectures on VHF propagation and produced several different audio tutorials on radios.  If you think that you might like to try teaching into a microphone, please consider helping your fellow Handiham members by sharing some of your knowledge about specific radios or about a particular piece of software or some operating technique. If you are sighted and subscribe to amateur radio print publications, please consider becoming a volunteer reader to help out our blind Handiham members.
For Handiham World, I'm...
Patrick Tice
Handiham Manager