As we break out of July and into August, I wanted to talk about a few subjects.
First, we are just over 30 days before our next WAR membership meeting. It is being held in Eau Claire again, and I encourage everyone who can attend to do so. It will be on Saturday, August 31st promptly at 10:00 AM, so registration will begin at 9:30 AM. Josh posted earlier this month on the specifics, and more details are on both our website and Facebook page.
Next, I drove down to Indianapolis this month to attend the Indiana Repeater Council membership meeting, and had a great time. The meeting was held at the same time as the annual Indianapolis Hamfest, so not only did I get to visit with the IRC, but also got to look around at all the ham radio gear for sale (held firm – didn’t pull out the credit card) and attended many of the forums. One in particular was very good. It spoke of the growing technology of hotspots – something many of you have probably heard of, and perhaps even own one.
On a personal level, while I appreciate the manufacturers helping forge new technologies for ham radio operators to use, I’ve always felt that it was more about branding. C4FM (Fusion) can only talk to other C4FM users, specialized (and therefore more expensive) radios, etc. Thankfully, some of that is changing. With the new set of hotspots, digital technologies can be different, yet still talk to each other. Someone on Fusion can join the same “chat room” as someone running D-Star, or P25, and that chat room trans codes the conversation to each specific user’s technology. Still a lot of work to do, but personally I’d rather have a hobby where everyone can talk to each other versus only people using one manufacturer.
Also, this month WAR also sponsored another conference call with the adjacent states. Indiana is looking at a web-based coordination database, and part of the reason I went to Indianapolis was to see a demo of what they are working on. Illinois is also working on an alternative to Radio Mobile (terrain modeling based on various repeater parameters) that is open source and runs on Linux. I look forward to hearing from our neighbors on how they have been progressing.
Lastly, I want to remind everyone that volunteers are still needed. If you have some time to spare, and are interested in what this organization does, talk to any of our Board of Directors.
Again, I look forward to seeing all of you at your membership meeting in August.
Until next time, 73 de Dean KB7QDI