20170618 - New Amateurs - Putting Yourself Out There

Post date: Jun 16, 2017 11:46:22 PM

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.

New Amateurs