Sunday, 18 October 2009

Radio Rallies/Real Radio


I went to a local radio rally today, run by the Blackwood Amateur Radio society, the rally took place in the village of Crosskeys around 30miles from my home. The rally seemed to be quite well attended and its always nice to meet up with old friends and put a face to people I have spoken to over the air but never met. Myself  I came away with a 2010 RSGB callbook In which I find my details are wrong!(despite the fact that I notified Ofcom last year!) and some PL259 plugs, not much, but then again there isn't a great deal I need at the moment. I did keep and eye on the bring and buy stall there but didn't see much of interest to me there.There always seems to be less equipment on bring and buy sales these days. I wonder is that because people are increasingly using Ebay and other internet sites to sell their gear?

There has been quite a bit of debate lately on some of the radio blogs I follow about the program CQ100. This is basically an internet chat program for use by licensed amateurs. In that respect its not unlike Echolink or EQSO. In the case of cq100 however most users are operating PCs and the program has a visual interface that resembles a radio and you are able to pick the "frequency" or "band" you wish to use. Of course its not radio at all and it doesn't matter which "frequency" you tune on the CQ100 "radio" you are just chatting via the internet.
What I haven't heard mention of on the blogs I have read is that there is another program called "Hamsphere". Unlike CQ100 Hamsphere is more of a simulator and tries to mimic HF conditions with noise, interference and fading. Listening to Hamsphere the "signals" sound more like SSB too. More details can be found here .
Is it radio? Of course not! It could be fun for some maybe and its undoubtedly a very clever program. Myself I will stick to my PSK and SSB signals from my HF radios, with a bit of broadcast band listening. Thats what keeps me happy but each to their own.

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