Being keen to embrace the new, I thought that it was time to seek out those folk who have been beavering away connecting radios to the internet. You may know that there are several receivers around the world that can be accessed via the internet, but I wanted to try communicating for real.
What is it?
It's simple enough. With your standard multimedia PC you can download suitable software to enable you to connect to other amateurs around the world. They have linked repeaters and and other devices into the internet so that, for example, I can call CQ on a 2 metre repeater in California or in New Zealand. Its well worth a try, even if you don't think that it's real radio.
How to do it?
Take a trip to G7WFM's site and follow his instructions. You will need to download the I-phone software and then log into the Ham Radio chat room. BTW while I am writing this I'm chatting to K3BEQ in the USA.
Some I-phone set-up tips
There are a number of private amateur radio chat rooms. These are:
To access them, select the Chatroom menu on the I-phone Global Online Directory and use the New/Private selection to type in these private room names. They are CaSe SenSiTive!
Above is a typical screen showing users, repeaters etc etc.
Below are some of the set-up options that I use.
The system allows one-to-one conversations. Multiway conversations are possible via the conference chat rooms on G7WFM's web site.
Making a Contact
Once you have the Private Rooms entered, you will see lists of users. To contact someone, just double click on their name and a call will be set up. It really is that easy!
How much does it cost?
Nothing, beyond your normal internet connection. Mine, with Freeserve, costs £10 per month for unlimited use.
Don't panic. I knew nothing about this yesterday. It's really quite easy. Have a go!