Friday, September 07, 2012

Reinventing Ham Radio? - Pogue

"You might think that we’ve exhausted every variation on electronic communication — text, audio, video — but you’d be wrong. A new one is quietly winning over millions of gadget fans. They’re free apps with names like Voxer, HeyTell and Zello, and they really do mess with the rules of the game."  -- David Pogue, New York Times
It's Ham Radio (e.g., D-Star) without the license.  Seriously,  Amateur Radio may need to lose some of its exclusive focus on FCC-licensed communications, to bring in a little new energy.


Bill WA6OHP said...

The computer communications are fine if that is something you enjoy but lets remember that ham radio has no infrastructure thus we can communicate in emergency situations when no one else can.

Martin AA6E said...

If you ask typical users, they'll probably say they're using their cell phone as a handy-talky. They don't think of it as a computer thing at all.

It's true that a ham radio HT is less dependent on infrastructure, but they do mostly depend on repeaters, which are not always going to be working in bad conditions.

James said...

This post talks about adapting a Mesh-Potato which is a wifi routing box that can Mesh with other similar nodes in the area to increase the operating range of the box. It also talks about letting other people in the area use voip apps on their smartphones to call out over this potentially portable, fault-tolerant infrastructure.

There's several wifi routers you can buy from China right now that can have DD-WRT or OpenWRT installed and meshed together also. I bought a couple of TP-LINK TR703N routers at $25/each. These things can run off of a USB port, so you know it uses next to no power.

A company called Doodle Labs brought out a 440mhz wifi card.
It can be set to use a 5mhz or 10mhz bandwidth signal in the 420-450mhz band. The cards are expensive as you would expect for such a niche product, $150-200 each.

The benefit of all of the wifi stuff is the ability to send data and tx/rx fast enough to give the illusion of full duplex on one band. That's something that is outright impossible with any other technology in Ham Radio and I'd love to be proven wrong.