Hamshack Hotline is a private VoIP telephone voice network for Amateur Radio. This could be a very valuable tool for emergency communications to take some of the load off of radio networks. Setup was extremely easy all that was needed was a supported device which at this time are only Cisco VoIP phones. I purchased my Cisco SPA504G from eBay for $35 free shipping. Please make sure the phone you order is UNLOCKED!!! This is very important.
Setup was super simple i followed the instructions and started a support ticket with my phones MAC address, connected my phone to my network via Ethernet and noted it's local IPv4 address. Once i received the response from HamshackHotline.com i plugged the IP address into the URL in the instructions and BAM!! the phone reset and my callsign and number showed up on the phones display!
I know some hams have a thermonuclear meltdown when talk of using the internet for emergency communications comes up! My opinion on the matter is having as many forms of communications as possible is key in an emergency. The likelihood of the the internet being down everywhere is very low now days and this system could help reduce the load on radio networks in time of emergency. Amateur radio and the internet will become more and more intertwined as time goes on just as freezers and light bulbs become connected to the internet.
As ARES EC for Crawford County, KS i plan on getting these phones for all of my AECs and as many members as we can. The one BIG thing that is missing from Hamshack Hotline in my opinion is mobile access to the system. Mobile access could be mobile SIP app or even a bridge number you can call a public number and enter a PIN to access the system. A similar system Government Emergency Telecommunication System (GETS) does just that. You have a GETS card with a PIN number that you can call it will give your phone priority over others for emergency communications. People with GETS access could even use GETS to call a bridge number for access to HamshackHotline in an emergency!
The ultimate selling factor for me for Hamshack Hotline the fun / cool factor of having this cool IP phone on your desk in the hamshack! It's cost less then taking the family out to dinner in the $20-40 range! Operating the Hamshack Hotline network requires money so please support them if you want to use this system just a few dollars per year per user is all that's needed!
Other ARES members received phones and got them setup so far the system just works. I went through and setup voicemail and in the message i put my Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) number so people could call me if they need me outside of the shack.
By Morgan Bailey NJ8M
On March 25th at 9am we will hold our first ever VIRTUAL meeting online. We will use the ZOOM product to connect and you can do so through just a phone call for audio only, an app on your phone or tablet, a laptop or desktop PC. There is a password required that we will not publish that here for security reasons, but if you email the club email address (find it on KØSEK QRZ page) or ask a member and we will send it to you.
We will do a trial/test run Wednesday the 22nd at 9 in the morning for the coffee roundtable. So we can all practice this new process. The TEST meeting on the 22nd will have a different ID and login info so stay tuned and watch your emails for those details! Future meeting updates on the topics and the agenda will be emailed out to the group on Friday the 24th.
Meeting ID: 291 556 953
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
From: Southeast Kansas Amateur Radio Club Officers
Tyler Costantini KBØPQP President
Matt Laidler KØVLL VE Testing Coordinator
To: Members and Friends of the SEKARC
Re: Coronavirus Precaution Plan
As you probably know on March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus a global pandemic. After consulting with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment the officers of the SEKARC have decided that some immediate steps should be taken. Especially since this virus is especially dangerous to the elderly in our population and a large number of members are in that category. We have decided it would be best to cancel the weekly Coffee QSO until at least until the end of March. We have also cancelled the March 28th SEKARC meeting and VE Session. Another announcement will be made later this month regarding the April activities.
When Matt called the ARRL about cancelling our March testing and updating their website for VE testing, they mentioned that all they have done the last few days was cancel VE sessions so we are not alone in our concern. Hopefully in a couple of weeks the threat decreases enough and we can all resume our regular activities but we will send another update as information and/or decisions should change.
In the meanwhile, we are proposing a new net/roundtable on Wednesday mornings at 9am. Let’s call it the Coffee NET. Informal radio gathering for anyone with a license to talk. We can still carry on MOST of the conversations we have at Harry’s. So everyone be cautious, safe and reach out to those that may need a hello.