Handiham Radio Club Net Manager Needed

We are currently in the search process for a new net manager. If you are interested in this position, please note the following requirements:
– You must be a current member of both the Handiham Program and the Handiham Radio Club
– You must possess good interpersonal communications skills
– You must demonstrate plenty of both patience and compassion while utilizing leadership skills
If you feel you are a good fit for this position, please email handiham@allina.com with a letter explaining your skills and experience. Your email will be forwarded to the Handiham Radio Club leadership for consideration.

Handiham 54th Anniversary Special Event QSO Party


This Friday, April 30th, the Handiham Program will celebrate its 54th anniversary. That is a pretty special accomplishment for any organization! We will be celebrating with a QSO party sponsored by the Handiham Radio Club, and all currently licensed Handiham Program members and volunteers are welcome and encouraged to participate. The object is to work as many stations as possible during the contest period. Participants may use all amateur bands and modes to make contacts, including digital and VOIP modes. Participants may contact any licensed amateur radio operator for the event. The contest will start at 1900 UTC on April 30th and run through 1900 UTC on May 1st. Logs will be required and may be submitted by mail or email no later than June 1st. The exchange is simply name and state, province, or country, and one point will be given per contact. Please have contacts QSL direct to the Handiham Program. Listen out for CQ Handiham 54!

Photo of Matt, KA0PQW, talking on his HT in front of his cabin at Radio Camp in 2019.

QSL Information:

To receive a special Handiham card, QSL direct to:
Courage Kenny Handiham Program
3915 Golden Valley Road
Mail Route 78446
Golden Valley, MN 55422

Please include the call sign of the station you contacted. Feel free to also QSL direct to the station you worked.

James, KD0AES, SK

It is with great sadness that I report the passing of James, KD0AES. His family reached out to us today to share that he died. James was a life member who loved the Handiham Program and was greatly involved in helping out with the nets. He maintained a positive attitude and felt a sense of purpose in life from helping others. He will be greatly missed.

New Handiham Net Manager

The Handiham Radio Club congratulates Diane Fisher, KK6LOE, on her appointment as Handiham Net Manager. She was appointed during the first radio club meeting on the Zoom platform. We thank her for her willingness to donate her time in service to the Handiham Radio Club and all those who check into the many nets.

Handiham Special Event Station

Sponsored by the Handiham Radio Club

For a special 2020 Handiham QSL card, please QSL direct to:

Courage Kenny Handiham Program
3915 Golden Valley Road
Mail Route 78446
Golden Valley, MN 55422

Please include the call sign of the station you contacted.  Feel free to also QSL direct to the station you worked if desired. 

2020 Handiham Special Event Station

August 7, 5pm CDT (2200 UTC) to August 9, 11pm CDT (August 10, 0400 UTC)


This event provides an opportunity for all Handiham Members to get on the radio, make contacts, and have fun.  This event also allows students who just attended a week of classes in operating skills to practice newly acquired skills.

Suggested information to share if working phone and not on a repeater or Echolink:

CQ CQ CQ Handiham Radio Club special event in honor of the Handiham Program celebrating 53 years of helping people with disabilities participate in the amateur radio hobby. CQ CQ CQ [your call sign]


Signal report, QTH, and your name and call sign.
Advise the contact that there is a special QSL card for this event and instructions are available at Handiham.org.


Include your call sign and QTH and station description
Date / UTC Time / Call sign / band / mode / signal report

Logs are due no later than August 31st

Prize categories:

VHF/UHF (including Echolink and Repeaters)
• All Band Unlimited (VHF/UHF/HF—including Echolink and Repeaters)

Getting Radio Active in the Handiham Radio Club

We are working on getting this site up and active again for the Handiham Radio Club. Stay tuned for Radio Club information and announcements!

As a reminder, your current club leadership team is:

Club President: Linda Reeder, N7HVF

Club Vice President: Tom Behler, KB8TYJ

Club Secretary: John Glass, NU6P

Remembering a friend I made with a radiogram

Today would have been the 55th birthday of Michelle Mendez, a brilliant lawyer, whose career and life ended prematurely a couple years ago, but what is important for me is the way it all started.

It started when we were both in high school, and I had a radiogram to deliver. That’s a simple, voluntary job hams do. Mostly, you get the job done, and life goes on; This was different, though, because Michelle was so engaging. This happened back in ’79 or ’80, but hard to forget because it was simply so much fun!

Since I would have my own birthday a few days later, I asked Michelle if I could call her an older woman, and she said “Well, you can’t change it.”

I still deliver radiograms, though the process is not quite as easy now. Back younder, when you called someone, they actually answered the phone. The number was always correct, and it always worked.

There have been some received too late, because I know the recipient went SK (ham speak for dying) ages ago, but sad and reflective as those experiences are, they are also an opportunity to recall better times, when the news was better.

I will try to meet the nts of today with the same willingness to help make a day a little brighter if I can, because that is what a radiogram can still do!

Some new hot keys

I recently became authorised to transmit on the ZL2KS remote in Blenheim, New Zealand.

There are some interesting reasons why I requested to use this particular remote. First, it is in the same geographic district as the station I previously used here, ZL2TZE.

It became necessary for me to find a new remote because Phil ZL2TZE went SK, unfortunately, earlier this year.

Additionally, ZL2KS is solar powered.

This posed a problem, because the station is designed to conserve power by automatically powering off the TS590 when the user disconnects.

There isn’t a way to cause the power button to be activated so the user must perform this manually using a mouse. The button is visible on the screen, but not that it is visible by screen reader software.

First, I considered using Jaws scripts to accomplish this, because I primarily use Jaws, but I am not very capable of writing Jaws scripts. Few that are not licensed hams, but equally, very few licensed hams are also capable Jaws scripters.

This caused me to reject Jaws scripting as a reasonable approach.

Even though the approach I chose to take does require sighted help to address, I chose this route because ultimately, it will eventually benefit more users than myself, including those that use Jaws.

The solution I am eploying is called auto hot key, which has some similarities with Jaws scripts, though these are slight.

Auto hot key is a tool my local friend Ben Crowl is very familiar with this, so I requested he join the project.

First, we reated a hot key for accessing the radio’s power button.

Second, we created a hot key to allow me to adjust the CW speed slider, because CW is my primary mode, and because the developers of the RCFORB client don’t provide a keyboard shortcut for this either.

This works well, though this functionality is not entirely as straight forward as the power switch toggle, it is very good, because when I issue the command, it prompts me for the speed I wish to go to. The but is that numerous tests we did determined that the new speed I selected was not entirely guaranteed, I was always within about 1 wpm from what I entered on the keyboard. Therefore, I should be close enough to where I wanted to be that should pose no difficulty for the receiving operator to copy.

Finally, we created a hot key to toggle the VOX switch on the rig, again, because neither is this visible to a screen reader nor is it addressed by keyboard shortcut by the RCFORB developer.

I would like to thank Ben Crowl for his help with making this possible, and also acknowledge the assistance of Grant Simpson ZL2BK, who monitored our progress on line.

We chose to do this work using my Toshiba Windows ten laptop machine, largely because my desktop has no monitor, which would clearly disadvantage the sighted help.

New Zealand may be the first country to put braille on the map in 2017

When time marches across the world, it mostly begins the journey in New Zealand, because only Samoa is ahead of New Zealand by an hour.

Therefore, it is a great privilege for me to make braille real on the bands this year, to celebrate the 208th anniversary of the birth of Louis Braille, in France in 1809.

That is why I will be using the secondary callsign of ZL208BRL on the bands beginning appropriately on the 20th anniversary of the birth of Braille which occurs on 4 January, 2017.

These days, I do most of my New Zealand operating /ZL2 from ZL2TZE in Blenheim, but plan to have the call on the air as /W0 and /W8 when using remotes in Minnesota and Ohio respectively.

I know that many agencies may find interesting ways to publicise the event, but this is my personal desire to make a dot of difference.

Many believe Braille is dead, but while it largely hasn’t quite kept up with all the modern technology, I believe it is still very much relevant in the lives of people for whom it is a native reading and writing method.