20170618 - New Amateurs - Putting Yourself Out There

posted Jun 16, 2017, 4:46 PM by News Team
New Amateurs
So, you’ve passed your Amateur Radio assessment, received your callsign allocation from the WIA, and are now waiting for the ACMA to issue your licence. So… what now?
Last week when I was putting the story together regarding JOTA 1992 – I realised how far we have come with technology – the stuff that sits a little left of centre in our hobby.
What am I talking about – the internet.
Sure – some of us are using the internet for IRLP, EchoLink, AllStar, WebSDR, DMR… the list goes on. We tend to use these technologies as an extension of RF – allowing us to use short-range communications to listen and occasionally – talk around the world. But what else…?
Once you have your callsign, there are a bunch of sites and applications you can register with, to extend your new identity, should you choose, for others across the world to see.
…not to mention a never-ending list of Google Groups.
These websites are generally FREE to register, and most will ask for proof of qualification or radio licence.
Some offer the ability to donate funding – whilst others are funded by commercial sponsors.
Something you will find, like most things in amateur radio – they are staffed by a crowd of volunteers – all keen radio amateurs.
Your callsign, although short, is also pretty unique – so some people even register their own internet domain name and go on to build a website to share their love of the hobby – their journey and their ideas with fellow amateurs.
You can share as much, or little information as you like. Often you need to be a registered member to be able to access this information – but when it comes to your personal information on these sites – your privacy is in your hands.
Once your licence is issued – there is also a current publicly listed database provided by the ACMA – often referred to as RADCOM.
So… what’s the point.
It would not be abnormal to walk into a shack and find a PC running with a number of these sites up – to help provide context and information about you to the amateur on the other end of the QSO. If you can’t remember what a QSO is, there’s a site for that too.
There are many times when I’ve been on the second or third over – and from the questions being asked it is obvious the voice on the other end has already checked their computer log for previous QSOs, something you’d struggle to do with a paper log – and they also have some of my details up in another window.
Some of these sites link to each other – and to “the cluster”, where radio signals are being spotted around the world – to let you know who is getting out – and help you gauge propagation. They’re a great set of tools, and extend aspects of our hobby possibly further than you can imagine.
Working portable or SOTA – well… many of these site have worked their way into the mobility app  space, with a light version you can take on the road.
If you think this suits you – then sign up.
Look for this story on VK6.net – with links to all the sites mentioned included.