Ken Johnson, K9KDJ

In case you missed some of the information over the past couple of years, Hamshack Hotline is growing—and growing fast.

What is Hamshack Hotline, you ask? Hamshack Hotline serves as a Voice over IP (VoIP) connection providing digital services just for Hams. Yes, our own private PBX. When you sign up, you receive your own number (just like a phone number), and you may dial any other Ham on the system for one-on-one rag chews, join both public and private bridges, log into group chats, and participate in a host of other ways to extend what we hams do best—communicate.

You need a VoIP phone to participate, but cheap is the word. There is no cost for the service (We all love free, right?!?), and you can find phones that work with Hamshack Hotline on eBay for $10.00 – $40.00. I bought one with a color screen for $40.00, and the seller shipped it FedEx for no extra charge. It arrived in 2 days, and I found myself up and running within a day after submitting my name, callsign, home address, MAC address of my phone, and receiving provisioning information. One reboot of the phone, and I could dial up other Hams across the Internet, and other Hams could dial me. The clarity is phenomenal, and it reminds me of other digital modes—clear and without a hiccup. You can even dial into bridges that map to Brandmeister Talk Groups. I want to explore that more soon.

This could serve as a perfect communication tool for EMCOMM. As I spoke with one of the Hams at Hamshack Hotline, he informed me the ARRL will embrace it soon and put an extension right on the desk of W1AW. Its synchronous communications capability lets communication flow just like normal conversations, so moving information in an emergency works even better than in asynchronous modes.

I encourage you to try Hamshack Hotline. I set up 2 local groups: Warrick/Vanderburgh HH PUBLIC (HH#: 1323) where anyone can connect and talk and Warrick/Vanderburgh EMCOMM (HH#: 1322). The latter one is set as a private group with a PIN needed to join. I also set up SW IN SKYWARN (HH#: 1333) open to all; Winlink Users (HH#: 1336) open to all; IN STATEWIDE (HH#: 1341) open to all; TARS MEMBERS: (HH#: 1345) TARS Members only;    S IN, S IL, WKY SEVERE WX (HH#: Waiting for number assignment).

I hope you find this new communications mode as fun as I do. Experimenting and trying new things just lives as part of the Amateur Radio Operator’s DNA. Jump in, and I hope you ring the Hamshack Hotline in my shack soon!

Hamshack Hotline Number: 5809
Hybrid RMS HF Gateway: K9KDJ; RMS VHF Gateway w/VARA FM: K9KDJ-10 (145.090)