Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Handiham World for 24 November 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Pat, WA0TDA, holding microphone, superimposed on screenshot of W0EQO Internet remote control interface

Don't forget that the Handiham Internet remote base stations are available for members to use throughout the upcoming holiday week.

The Handiham office will be closed Thursday, November 25, and Friday, November 26 for an extended Thanksgiving holiday. We will reopen on Monday, November 29. Wednesday, November 24 we close early.

Even though this is a holiday week, the Handiham nets will go on as usual at their regularly-scheduled times. If a net control station is not available, we will have a roundtable conversation on the frequency. Sometimes I think that there is even more amateur radio activity on holidays, simply because those folks who might ordinarily be at work will instead have an opportunity to head for the ham shack and get on the air. Of course if you have guests at your home, you need to be polite and see to their needs first. Hey, maybe they would like to see your radio equipment and learn about amateur radio!

Earlier this week I spoke with a Handiham member who was asking if we still have a 20 m net. Well, the 20 m net is listed on many websites as still being active, but it has really fallen out of use during the lengthy sunspot minimum. Now that we are coming into a period of higher solar activity, we will start the 20 m net again. The net time is Monday morning at 9:30 AM United States Central Standard Time. Our net always stands down if the Salvation Army Net is on the frequency. The 20 m frequency is 14.265 MHz. Please join us on Monday morning and let's see if there is interest in continuing this net or if we should take a look at a different time and frequency. To summarize:

Things to remember about the Handiham 20 meter net:

We meet on 14.265 MHz SSB Net time is Monday at 9:30 AM Central Standard Time Net control station needed; volunteers welcome! Everyone is welcome – you don't need to be Handiham Radio Club member. We always stand down for the Salvation Army Net if they happen to be on the frequency.

I have to admit that I am not all that thrilled with a Monday morning net on 20 m. The band is probably not going to be open to the West Coast all that well, and in the early days when the net time and frequency was originally chosen, it was truly the bad old days for people with disabilities and they were usually stuck at home during the day without jobs. Today is different and many people with disabilities, including Handiham members, have regular employment and are thus not available for a daytime net. Nonetheless, we will soldier on and try the daytime net again and see what happens. In the for-what-it's-worth department, the daytime EchoLink net does actually offer the possibility of people to check in via computer from their place of employment, hopefully during break time! So I do think that we have daytime activity covered pretty well. It is still the evening 75 m net that needs testing, and we will begin doing that tonight at 8 PM, just one half hour after the Wednesday evening EchoLink net begins. That will give the EchoLink net control station a chance to announce that the 75 m net will be starting at 8 PM United States Central Standard Time. Let's plan to be on 3.715 MHz, plus or minus QRM. I do need to remind you that this frequency is in the Advanced Class portion of the 75 m band. You must have at least an Advanced Class license to transmit on 3.715 MHz, although anyone, licensed or not, is free to listen on that frequency. As we go ahead and develop this net, we can always change the times and frequencies if that should prove necessary. If there is no net control station available at any given net time, we can just have a friendly roundtable on the frequency. Please feel free to use the Internet remote base stations to check in or to listen, especially if skip conditions for your part of the country (or world) do not favor 75 m. Remember that the EchoLink feature is available for listening.

I'm not going to make any promises about when I will be able to participate in nets this week, although I'm certainly going to try to get on the air as much as I can. We are going to have a house full of guests that will include extended family, and my son Will, KC0LJL, is driving back home from university with three Japanese exchange students who will stay with us over the extended Thanksgiving holiday. You can bet that it's going to be pretty busy around my QTH, but you never know when you might be able to introduce a new person to amateur radio, especially if they can get on the air and talk to someone from their home country!

So, from the staff, volunteers, members, and supporters of the Handihams, we wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, and we hope to hear you on the air!

Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Handiham System Manager

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Handiham World for 17 November 2010

Dr. Tom Linde, KZ0T, Silent Key

Dr. Tom Linde, KZ0T, laughs at a joke while volunteering at Handiham Radio Camp in California.

Dr. Tom Linde, KZ0T, long time Handiham member and volunteer, became a silent key on Monday 15 November 2010 at 1:30 AM. Tom died peacefully in his sleep at home with family members at his side.

As you might expect, Tom and I met each other through amateur radio. I'm not sure when Tom was first licensed, but his accomplishments in amateur radio were pretty amazing and included working all states on 6 meters, something I haven't done and many of us will never do in our entire amateur radio careers. Yet Tom, whose speech was compromised by his disability, managed to train himself to speak the necessary amateur radio jargon and call signs clearly so that he could accomplish this feat. He made use of Morse code and always enjoyed the competitive and also the social aspects of amateur radio. When I started with the Handiham staff at Courage Center in 1992, it wasn't long before Sister Alverna O'Laughlin, WA0SGJ, told me about "Dr. Tom". He had been in Handihams since the late 1970s, and had made a name for himself on the amateur radio bands.

When I first met Dr. Tom, I had to listen up when he spoke. His CP made it difficult for him to form the words clearly, but he was never offended if I asked him to repeat something or say it in a different way so that I would understand. His accomplishments outside amateur radio included earning his PhD in psychology and having a full working life as a professional psychologist. Family was always important to Tom, and he raised his family in the heartland of Iowa with his wife Ann, who preceded him in death nine years ago.

I quickly learned from Tom that he was interested in helping others through the Handiham program. As a volunteer, he assisted at our radio camp sessions, teaching in operating skills so that he could share his experience with other Handiham members who had disabilities. He was also pretty darned good at inspiring those Handiham members who had trouble dealing with their disabilities. After all, as a psychologist he had heard every excuse in the book why the glass was half empty instead of half full, and he knew better from his own life experience. It was hard to complain that you couldn't do something when Dr. Tom showed you by example that it could indeed be done and that even a severe disability would not stop you from reaching your goals.

Dr. Tom taught at a number of radio camps in both California and Minnesota. He joined the Stillwater Amateur Radio Association where he made many friends, and was active on the air, even trying new things like wheelchair mobile HF operation.

One of the most interesting things I have ever seen was not actually part of amateur radio at all. It was when Dr. Tom conducted the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra. Lyle Koehler, K0LR, built a robotic conducting system so that the members of the orchestra could see and follow flashing lights as Dr. Tom directed them. Tom was truly a renaissance man who loved music and art and would frequently catch you off guard with his wry and cerebral sense of humor. He published a book about his life that will carry on inspiring others to overcome their disabilities and accomplish their goals. "I Am Not What I Am: A Psychologist's Memoir: Notes On Controlling and Managing Personal Misfortune" is available through in print and in spoken word audio from the Handiham system for our blind members. The ISBN-13 designation is: 978-1420867633. I strongly recommend this inspiring book.

His son Peter, N0EDI, in a touching tribute, remembers his father in his 80 years of life as all of these things:

A Son,
A Brother,
A Husband,
A Father,
A Grandfather,
A Student,
An Extra Class Ham Radio Operator,
A Ph.D. Psychologist,
A Published Author,
An Artist,
A Music Lover,
A Guest Conductor of the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra,
A Traveler,
A Teacher,
A man who pushed the boundaries of CP farther than anyone thought possible,
Ultimately, he was My Dad, without whom I would not be the person I am today.

Memorial services are currently being planned for Rapid City, SD and Sheboygan, WI. Tom, a generous spirit giving even in death, requested that his body be donated to help medical science. There will be a headstone in Knoxville, IA, next to his Wife (Ann) and youngest son (Matt), who preceded him in death.

We will miss the kind wisdom and positive outlook that KZ0T brought to Handihams and to the airwaves. I count myself privileged to have been his friend.

Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Handiham System Manager

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Handiham World for 10 November 2010

Welcome once again to my humble QTH:


Avery visits Handiham HQ in October & uses the station.

To many of my friends, retirement means being more active than ever and being involved in more things than while they were in the work force. Some of my other friends just sit around all day with nothing to do except watch TV, listen to the radio, or read. For me it has been a little of both. I am hunting for another job just for something to do to keep active with people on a more daily basis. Also, I have been meeting with several of the people I went to high school and grade school with so very long ago. We are planning a 70 year, weeklong, Birthday Bash because we will all turn 70 at the same time, plus or minus a couple months. Many will be flying in from all over the world. Once a month we have a lunch for those who happen to be in town at that time.

Because of my interest in Amateur Radio Since 1956, when I first became licensed, I have never been lacking any friends and have always had something to keep my interest. There is always new technology to keep up with. In fact, I have attended several local ham radio events and do a considerable amount of listening both on and off the ham bands. I also check out many of the ham radio web sites to see what is new and what various clubs are doing. Of course I have been checking out the Handiham web pages too. I have been out to the new offices and visited with Pat and Nancy a few times too. Pat & I have worked on a couple Handiham projects as well.

Which brings me to this: Although my rigs consist of a Yaesu FT-100 & VX7R , a Kenwood TS-50 with the automatic antenna tuner, an Icom IC-T7H HT, I also have and use a couple of HT scanners , a Bearcat R4020 and a Radio Shack Pro-96, which I use to listen to many things both on and off the ham bands. They scan pretty fast so I do not miss very much and I catch most of the VHF/UHF nets and things going on. Many times I am listening to the Handiham net on the scanner and go to jump in only to notice that there is no push to talk switch on the scanner.

One subject of interest to me is the question of a 75/80 meter Handiham net and where on the band to have it.

My suggestion was, half kidding, to have a slow speed Handiham CW net on 75 meters.

How about it? What do you think?

I would volunteer to be ONE of the net controls if we have some others that would help.

I know, I know... The requirement for CW has been dropped. But here is the funny thing about that. More and more people are learning the code just for the fun of it. And, some people cheat using computers to translate the code so they don't even need to know it. If you think about it, there is plenty of room in the CW part of the band for a net and the range would be greater using CW than on SSB so people from outer areas would have a better chance of checking in.

And, Yes! I know Handihams has a Slow Speed CW net on 7112 Friday Mornings. However Paul, the net control, is on the East Coast and as many times as I have tried to check in from Minnesota no one has heard me. Another slow speed Handiham CW net for those of us on "THIS" side of the Appalachian Mountains might be what is needed.

What do you think? Please send your ideas , suggestions, wishes to be a volunteer CW net control, etc. to Pat at and he will pass on the information to me.

So, until next time...

73 es DX de K0HLA Avery

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Handiham World for 03 November 2010

Welcome to Handiham World!

In this edition:

  • Still waiting for frequencies!

  • Plain text frequency chart updated

  • Split Rock on the air event

  • Dip in the pool

  • Operating skills: How to use beacons

  • November events released

  • Live ham radio broadcast from starts this morning!

  • Remote base progress report

  • Video feed of Mars Rover being outfitted

  • Phone number for this podcast - call & listen if you don't have access to a computer.

  • This week at HQ

No feedback as to frequency for new 75 meter net

FT-718 rig

Hello, anyone out there? I'm still waiting for your feedback on frequencies you have listened on during the continuing search for a place to park our new 75 meter net. If you could get back to me with your suggestions for a clear frequency anywhere in the Extra, Advanced, or General portions of the band, I would really appreciate it. Our first choice would be a clear General frequency if possible, but if one is not available in the evening, which is when we will have the net, then we will go with an Advanced or Extra frequency. The 75 meter band DX window will not be used. It is 3.790-3.800 MHz. The AM calling frequency of 3.885 MHz is also reserved as is the SSTV frequency 3.845 MHz.

Please e-mail me this week with your frequency and time suggestions, frequency reports, and other suggestions about the net.


Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Handiham Manager