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Author Topic: Disabled, Need Extra Class License Manual Scanned  (Read 1307 times)
KC7YCL
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Posts: 32




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« on: October 18, 2008, 12:02:41 PM »

If you're blind, there's plenty of resources to help a disabled ham get a license upgrade. I'm not blind, so I'm having a hard time and I need help. I have multiple disabilities and the only way I can hope to read a whole book is if it's on my computer screen and I select the text I want to read, and then follow along while my voice software reads each line to me.

Printed books don't work for me because I have whole body nerve pain that flares up when I try to use fine motor skills to hold the book or reach out to turn pages.

Audio formats don't work for me because I have multiple attention problems that make it so I can't focus unless I can follow along with the audio visually.

I simply must have all my books and other lengthy documents in digital format so I can both SEE and HEAR without needing to physically handle the book.

I have voice software, OCR software, and PDF software, so if I have a scanned copy, I can convert to PDF no problem. The problem is getting the scanned copy. I have enough functionality that can usually scan a few pages of my mail that comes each day, but not much more than that without the risk of triggering a massive flare up of pain. For some reason, it's worse when it's cold in the winter.

So, I could theoretically buy the printed book, cut it up, and scan it one page at a time on my cheap scanner, but a whole book is too much for me. It would take me months to do a whole book. I need help.

I have contacted the ARRL. They do not sell digital copies of their extra class license manual. I contacted the author, Ward Silver, and he had many helpful creative suggestions, but he was unable to help me find a digital copy of his book. I contacted HandiHams, but they specialize in audio formats for blind people and they said they could not help me. I tried using the free guides out there that are based on the question pool, but the few I was able to find are either out of date, or they're just copies of the FCC question pool. I want to understand the material, not just memorize it, and the ARRL books are the only ones out there that really focus on understanding in detail, rather than just getting the license.

Is there anyone out there that has or can get a scanned copy of the ARRL Extra Class License Manual? Putting out this call for help is my last resort. If it's absolutely not available, then I'll just decide if I want buckle down and scan it myself. It's got a little over 300 pages, so I could probably get it scanned in less than a year if I stick with it and average at least 1 scanned page per day.

Like many disabled people, I'm poor, so buying a fancy automatic scanner, or paying to have it professionally scanned is not an option for me. I have to sacrifice just to afford the book. I'm hoping somebody out there has already scanned it in.

Note that if I'm successful at this at all, it will be the first time since I became disabled several years ago that I will have read a whole book. I used to be an avid reader. This is going to be a big challenge for me, even with all the pieces in place.
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K0BG
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« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2008, 01:07:01 PM »

Why don't you look at this: http://www.arrl.org/catalog/?item=8735

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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KC7YCL
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Posts: 32




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« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2008, 01:39:46 PM »

I looked into this, and it's interesting, but I use a tiny portable computer to help me with my disabilities everywhere I go. It does not have a CD-ROM drive. I would have to get it in another format, which ARRL also does not provide. Plus, not all software can be read to me like the text of a book can. I'd be in the same situation as before. Oh, and it's more than double the cost of the book. I'm so poor sometimes I don't get enough to eat, so the extra $20 is more than money to me, it's potentially 1 month of food (I have food aid, but I worry about whether it will last).

In all honesty, I think it's retarded (no pun intended) that in the year 2008, with all the technology we have, the publishers still insist that everyone must use and be happy with prehistoric paper technology.

I mentioned that I used to be an avid reader before I started having health problems. I had 400 pounds of books that I had to struggle with every time I moved. Now that I'm disabled, I have to move even more often than before because I don't have an income. I've been dependent on the aid of friends and public services while I wait for social security, which takes years, so I've been moving every few months as circumstances dictate.

I had to dispose of all of my books, not just because I couldn't read them anymore, but also because I simply couldn't move them and had to leave them behind. Same goes for everything else I owned. If I couldn't carry it all, it would have to be left behind next time I moved. All of my possessions fit in a shoulder bag, and I am able to move out quickly when my situation changes.
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KC7YCL
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Posts: 32




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« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2008, 01:45:35 PM »

It looks like Ham University has "no explantion of any theory or any other missed question text. This program amounts to just computerized flash cards." according to eham.net reviews. That's exactly what I DON'T want. I want to understand the material in depth. I'm disabled, but I'm not stupid. The ARRL book is the best way to learn the principles that the FCC exam covers.
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WA4NUN
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Posts: 36




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« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2008, 05:09:21 PM »

I suggest another approach. Try "HamTest ON LINE." There is a free question pool, to give it a try, without having to commit a credit card number or anything else to see if you like it. The subscription is valid for two years at a decent price. Also priced near the ARRL manual that you overate when it comes to passing an exam, or is it that you just want to hammer ARRL, or is it that you want to pass an exam, or is it that you just want to hammer ARRL. You are in a loop dude!!!!!

I think very strongly that anyone who puts in 30 days of hard work with HTOL, should pass easily.

You want to pass a test or be a genius? I suggest passing the test first and be a genius later. Get your priorities and pity parties in the correct order, or have you done that already?

You need to learn the difference between asking for help and behaving like a leech on a segment of society which you have done. You have presented yourself as wanting a handout and not a helping hand. So far you have been argumentative with the world from the get go  with all suggestions. You defy every ham I have ever known with a physical challenge by bragging about it, and I have known plenty. 45 years as a ham should say enough from my end on that subject.

Next time you have an issue you need help with try...

I need help with.....xxxxxx

The difficulty I am having is that XXXXXXXX

I have heard nothing from your diatribe other than gimme, gimme, the world owes me. You want somebody to send you copyright material for your test, and then when you fail the test, you turn them in for copyright infringement......scuze me I have to go puke now.



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AA4PB
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Posts: 12980




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« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2008, 05:09:59 PM »

I wonder if you talked with the "right" person at ARRL. While they don't have a digital copy of the manual for sale as a product, surely it went to the printing house in some kind of digital format. I wonder if someone at ARRL has an archived copy of that put away somewhere that they could send to you. I know that their QST articles all get converted to pdf for review before being sent to the printer.

I wonder if part of the reason that many books are not released in electronic form is because the electronic form is too easy to copy and pass around in violation of the copyright laws. They may think that an electronic form would cut down on their sales.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2008, 05:19:25 PM »

Try sending an e-mail to Joel Kleinman at n1bke@arrl.net and explain exactly what your problem is and why you need an electronic copy. Joel is the managing editor of QST and I would think that he would know if an electronic copy exists and what it would take to get it converted to pdf so you could use it.
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KD4LLA
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Posts: 463




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« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2008, 05:50:29 PM »

Is there someone who could read the manual to you?  I am sure there is a high school nearby that has a student that needs practice reading.  My question now is how are you going to afford a radio, power supply and antenna when it seems you cannot/do not want to purchase a book?

Mike
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N2IK
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Posts: 220




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« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2008, 06:12:24 PM »

try these folks, Courage Handi-Hams:

http://www.handiham.org/

Assisting handicapped hams is what they do.

73 de Walt N2IK
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KC7YCL
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Posts: 32




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« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2008, 06:25:49 PM »

I'll send Joe Kleinman an email and see what he says, but I'm not optimistic about getting a copy. I asked about getting QST in digital form, and they said I'd have to go to the Library of Congress to get audio versions if I am blind. They kept insisting on that, even after I carefully explained several times that I'm not blind, haha.

The author of the book told me that he saw the digital copy before it went to press, but the VERY strong vibe I get from everyone is that they don't want to let the digital copy out for any reason whatsoever because it might save a dedicated copyright violator a few minutes of scan time on a common $200 auto-feed scanner from office depot. It seems to be lost on people that if someone wants to distribute a bootleg copy of an esoteric FCC licensing guide, it's super easy to do it without any help from anybody, as as they're not a person like me who really needs it due to disability.

I'm not a dedicated copyright violator, and I can barely scan my own mail let alone a book. I have a legitimate need for a digital copy, but in the eyes of most publishers, it's better for several whole categories of legitimate needs to go unfilled if it will serve to slightly inconvenience the bootleggers and delay their bootlegging by a few more minutes.

I already have a copy of the question pool I could memorize, but I can't learn that way. I can't focus on rote memorization at all, but I can perform a calculation if I know an equation.

WA4NUN:

I checked out HamTest Online. It could work, but it's even more expensive at $50. I just don't have that much money, no matter how good it is. On top of that, I don't have internet access. I have to have other people get online and post messages for me once I write them up. However, practice tests are always handy, once I'm ready for them.

Sorry if I come across as dismissive, but remember this is my last resort. I've already hashed through this problem thoroughly, and I NEED A DIGITAL COPY OF THE BOOK. Nothing else works as well, or is as within reach. They're my disabilities, I know how to handle them best, and I know what might work and what definitely won't. I used the ARRL books for Technician and General. I also had the W5YI books. The W5YI books will get the license, but they don't have the depth that the ARRL books have.

Naturally, I resent prejudiced insinuations that I'm a lazy freeloader, but that comes with the territory once a person becomes disabled. I didn't choose it, and I'm sure if you ever get hit by a truck or something, you'll get to see what it's like. It's no fun at all.

If you read my post again more carefully, you'll see that I asked for help getting the book scanned. I didn't say I expected a "handout" copy. I have saved enough money to buy the book, it's about $18 from amazon.com, I just need help getting it scanned. It'll have to be cut up and destroyed before it can be scanned in an ordinary scanner. As a matter of fact, I asked HandiHams if they could scan it for me once I bought the book, and they said that the ARRL would revoke their permission to produce audio copies for blind hams if they did.

I don't want to pass the test, or hammer the ARRL. I want to learn the material, prove I can still learn by passing the test, apply for a disability scholarship, finish my engineering degree at college, and become employed instead of a social security bum my whole life. It's more than a license to me, it's valuable training in dealing with my disabilities and compensating for them so I won't have to constantly fend off personal attacks by misunderstanding people who think I'm a leech because I need help to do what you can do on your own.
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N3OX
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« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2008, 07:01:19 PM »

"I'm not a dedicated copyright violator, and I can barely scan my own mail let alone a book. I have a legitimate need for a digital copy, but in the eyes of most publishers, it's better for several whole categories of legitimate needs to go unfilled if it will serve to slightly inconvenience the bootleggers and delay their bootlegging by a few more minutes.
"

I think it might not be copyright violation, not that it's going to shut up idiots who want to call you a freeloader...

But this might be useful information:

from http://www.bookshare.org/web/SupportFAQ.html#16

------

"In general, it would be illegal to share or distribute copyrighted works of literature. However, there is a special provision in U.S. copyright law that explicitly gives qualified nonprofit companies such as Benetech the ability to distribute copyrighted materials in a specialized format for use by the disabled. Section 17 U.S.C. § 121 of the copyright law states in part:

"... it is not an infringement of copyright for an authorized entity to reproduce or to distribute copies ... of a previously published, nondramatic literary work if such copies ... are reproduced or distributed in specialized formats exclusively for use by blind or other persons with disabilities."

-------

I feel like if you got the bookshare.org people in touch with the ARRL on this matter, it might be the best of both worlds.  I would hope the ARRL would be receptive to providing a copy of the license manual to www.bookshare.org.  It might help out quite a few people with a similar disability.

It might not solve your problem entirely if you're desperately financially strapped, just because  there's a $50 annual fee for bookshare.  I don't know anything about this organization; I just found it today.. maybe it has enough material to be worthwhile for you in other ways though?  If they have at least couple dozen books you want access to for pleasure reading or that you might need for further education?  

Another option might be to get an audio copy from Handi-Hams and run it through some open-source speech-to-text software.  I'd imagine that voice recognition works pretty well with a carefully read audio book.  It's sort of a bizarre reverse-engineering, but might work ;-)  

73,
Dan
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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
KC7YCL
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Posts: 32




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« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2008, 07:59:11 PM »

That's fantastic information. Thank you so much! I'm going straight to handihams with it. They said they were worried about copyright infringement if they scanned the book for me, but I guess they didn't know that there is an exemption for them under copyright law. Now, it looks like it may be possible for me to get the license manual! I'm so excited about this, thanks again. I'll post an update to let you know how it goes.
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N3OX
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« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2008, 09:11:58 PM »

Just a point I thought of as you contact people...

There might be a little uphill battle regarding the requirement of "specialized formats."  PDF isn't.  I don't know if you can use the format bookshare mentions,  DAISY/NISO.  

It may be that Handi-Hams is already familiar with this bit of the U.S. code and is concerned about that clause.

Here's the actual thing, straight from the horse's mouth:

http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#121

Good luck es 73,
Dan
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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
W5DWH
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Posts: 43




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« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2008, 02:08:18 PM »

"I had to dispose of all of my books, not just because I couldn't read them anymore, but also because I simply couldn't move them and had to leave them behind. Same goes for everything else I owned. If I couldn't carry it all, it would have to be left behind next time I moved. All of my possessions fit in a shoulder bag, and I am able to move out quickly when my situation changes".

The problem with your post is that you come across like you are trying to get something for nothing. You seem to be wanting someone to make you a copy of the ARRL book. That is illegal.
 Every time someone offers you an option, you turn it down. If you are broke enough that $20 makes a difference as to whether you eat or not, WHO CARES ABOUT HAM RADIO! Worry about taking care of yourself. Besides you are already a general, it's not like you don't have a license at all.

If I didn't have enough to eat or a place to sleep I would be selling my equipment as fast as I could.


As far as the ARRL Study Guide goes - it may be better than the Gordon West book but it is not a substitution for a real education. It is impossible to understand electronics from DC Circuits to Communications in 300 pages. To learn electronics in a community college takes two years as well as around 5000 pages of text to cover the material. With your disabilities (as described by you) it would be impossible for you to get anything more than just a very basic understanding of electronics from the ARRL book. You nor nearly anyone else would not even get enough theory to pass the final exam for DC and AC Circuits courses.
Do like everyone else - memorize the questions, pass the exam and then worry about learning the material.
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KC7YCL
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« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2008, 04:44:02 PM »

I'm not going to live forever. I can't keep waiting for things to get better, because they won't. I want to do a few of the things I always wanted to do while I still can. Bad things happen all the time, but right now I'm safe and I can study. I may not be able to tomorrow, or next week, or next month.

I really don't know what else to say. You just can't understand. Imagine climbing a mountain. Now sit at the top in the snow and don't move,eat, or sleep for 4 days. Try not to lose too many fingers and toes. Now climb back down. Now go back up and do it again, and climb back down again. If you can survive that, you'll be expected to do it again, and again, and again. If you don't survive, well, it doesn't matter because nobody expected you would in the first place. That's what a day in my life is like. You accuse me of trying to get something for nothing. If you do all that climbing as I suggest, with nothing to show for it but the passage of just one more day, then you can talk to me about "something for nothing".

Anyway, forget it, I'm going to just try to scan it myself. I can't believe some people are so unable to understand. It seems those are the ones with the most advice too.
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