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Re: Internet/Satellite link?

On 22-Jun-98 Phillip Cox wrote:
> So, how do we distinguish between what is still Ham Radio, and what is
> not?

   The answer to that is simple - if, as part of a communications system,
you need to use some privilege that is granted by your amateur license,
then it qualifies as ham radio.  Period.

 >That is ground we cover every dayas an evolving hobby. The internet
> has a great role to play in our communications as well. IP connections to
> repeaters in other places around the world sounds like something I would
> like to try. To me, that would be an opportunity to explore another
> culture from the inside. But what would the goal be in overwhelming
> predominantly Russian speaking cosmonaughts in traffic sent as easily as
> e-mail. What would your message be? Would this service then be made
> available to non-hams? How many pieces do they have the time to respond
> to now. 

   Why shouldn't you use all of the resources available to you to build a
communications system?  Why did people move from CW to AM?  Because it
allowed faster, easier communication.  Why did we move from AM to SSB? 
Because it made communications more spectrum and power efficient.  Why
should TCP/IP be used in some aspects of amateur radio?  Because it allows
us to pass massive amounts of information in an error free fashion, among
other things.  Would you rather sit at a mike and read off 300 names while
passing health-and-welfare traffic - and try to do it error free - or would
it be better to type the list into Microsoft Word on your laptop, and
forward it off to dozens of places simultaneously?  

  I once had an extraordinarily amusing conversation once in which an OF
claimed that using an internet wormhole to pass traffic didn't qualify as
"real" amateur radio, even though radio was required at each endpoint,
while making a telephone call at each endpoint, while passing the traffic
over radio, did.  The fact that the same pair of copper wires was used in
the system wasn't important to him.

   Essentially, when someone claims that something "isn't amateur radio",
you have to look at the agenda that they are trying to promote.  In my
experience, it boils down to one of:

   o  The person is afraid of the new technology, and doesn't want to feel
that they are being passed by.  
   o  The person is truly living in the past, and simply cannot fathom that
anything appearing after King Spark could possibly qualify as Amateur Radio.

   o  The person is trying to protect an investment that will be superseded
by the new use of radio; i.e. They bought a 1200bps TNC a decade ago, and
won't allow the use of a higher bandwidth modulation mode on "their"
frequency, because they might have to actually build or purchase some new

   Interestingly enough, I have built about 90% of my equipment - from HF
CW/SSB gear, developing new DSP modems on an Motorola 56002EVM, up through a
56K TCP/IP network here in Rochester.  And yet, in the eyes of an apparently
large proportion of the Amateur Radio population, the person who whips out
a credit card, buys a YaComWood HF rig ( including patch cables, because
they don't own a soldering iron ) is more of a "real" ham, because they
like to spend hours calling "CQ DX CQ DX" on 20M.  Gotta love it.  

- Rich

Rich Mulvey                                         
My return address is my last name, 
   followed by my first initial, @mulveyr.roc.servtech.com        
Amateur Radio: aa2ys@wb2wxq.#wny.ny.usa