Echolink: A love-hate relationship

I love VoIP as long as it is not related to HAM radio. For that very reason I don’t care about D-star much. Interesting technology, sure, but there’s something ugly about it – and it’s not only the puffed-up rig prices which make me dig my heels into the sand. All the wires I need end in the back of my garden and, old fashioned as I am, I think that’s the way it should be.

Yet I do use Echolink occasionally, mostly to keep in touch with people who are either out of range, or with old friends who can’t have antennas anymore. Contrary to newer systems like TeamSpeak, only licensed operators are allowed to use it. Here are a few cool places I found.

Coffee Shop?
If the Dutch hear the word ‘Coffee Shop’, there’s a good chance their first thought is something related to drugs. Not so in the USA, fortunately. I found the KB4SVP-L node aka ‘Our Coffee Shop’ while scanning all the available USA-based links and repeaters, and decided to check it out. This hangout is managed by Richard KB4SVP. Most regulars still have rigs and antennas, which make it possible to schedule a real QSO now and then. Come often enough and you become a member. Don’t show up for a while, and you will be decaffeinated. LOL! Website: http://www.our-coffee-shop.webs.com/

KQ2H via Echolink
We were spoiled lately with great conditions on 10 meters. Only 25 Watts or so proved to be enough to access KQ2H on 29.620 MHz, but the sun went into a quiet state lately. Too bad, as we all made a lot of friends there. Fortunately there’s W2FLA-R on Echolink, which is linked into the KQ2H repeater system. Great!

Reflecting vs Connecting
Should I be less negative about the Internet? Probably. Will I change my mind in the foreseeable future? Probably not. I like radio waves, not data packets. I love reflecting, not connecting. Sorry folks. Call me what you want, a dinosaur, a fossil – I’ll take it as a compliment!

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