Echolink for the iphone - youve got to be kidding me
Posted by g7fek on Sat, 27 Feb 2010 14:38:27 +0000

Yes its true. Now i'm going to have to put up with ......

.... more so called radio hams trying to justify to themselves that this new internet chat application is somehow valid within the context of amateur radio.

RANT WARNING: Please Don't read on if you are of a sensitive nature!

Echolink iphone App

I'm sure that, on occasion, there is a case for accessing your repeater users in your local community remotely when you are away, need to contact someone, and there is absolutely no other gateway or repeater in range, and they re not on Skype and don't have a telephone.

But that's not what's going to happen is it. It will be yet more computer geeks talking about how wonderful it is they can now use their i-phone to talk to other people anywhere in the world, even to other people using an i-phone (Errm, you could do that without the Echolink app boys!!). Of course they'll also talk about the weather, make excessive use of the wrong phonetics and the Q-code and ask repeatedly for yet more of those incessant  audio reports, pretending to themselves that they are on a radio. Yes more of the same utterly boring drivel that we already have had to endure from some computer Echolink users.

Look, lets be blunt, if you haven't got a radio in your hand when you talk to me, you are going to have to have a very good reason for reducing my hobby to "Internet Chat" services -  a good reason for making it even harder for me to justify to Ofcom that I have a right to all these frequencies up to 250GHz - before I will accept any validity of what you are doing within the context of Amateur Radio.

For a few years I have already blocked computer users from accessing my own RF gateway directly. If you want to play "Internet Chat" then please do it via a direct connection or do it on Skype, but please don't talk to me about it - I just don't want to hear you on the system.

I guess I'm suggesting that you leave me and my Amateur Radio buddies to play real radio. you know the things, they have a microphone, speaker just like your computer, but you'll be able to tell them apart because a radio has an aerial socket or built in antenna. It's a little clue for you all. One day you will be able to tell the difference between a computer headset, an iphone AND an amateur radio transceiver - but you are probably not there yet!. Please leave our system free for our real RF users to access with their radios, linking repeaters together, exactly as it was intended. :)

(remember, It's Just my opinion - Of course you don't have to agree with me)

Comment by 'Clinton' on 2 Apr 2011 - comment
“ I can quite understand your viewpoint & for me there is nothing to beat the satisfaction of using my transceivers & making distant contacts over the ether. Hoever I do think there is a place for the likes of echolink & the iPhone app. I am often trapped in hotel rooms away from my radio habit & to be able to access my local repeater & keep in touch with my fellow Amateurs using this alternative method is useful. Granted it's not amateur radio in the truest sense, but it is taking in the underlying concepts of our hobby, communication & innovation. Another point not to be forgotton is that of it's potential in a crisis situation for emergency communication. It should not however be regarded as a replacement for real radio!”

Comment by 'BLOGGER' on 6 Jan 2011 - comment
“There were only computer and iphone users on Ireland server the other day. Where are all the RF users?”

Comment by 'M6???' on 26 Oct 2010 - comment
“I own an iPhone, and a copy of the Echolink app. I think it's fantastic for me, as I work a lot and sometimes it's the only chance to get on air and talk to friends. Of course, at home, I use my trusty Yaesu FT-857! I don't think the echolink app is going to make much of a difference. Regarding the comment from "me myself", I found hamsphere to be a great learning tool more than anything. It helps new amateurs gain a bit of confidence and experience, without worrying about breaking the law. All in all, these things aren't going to kill ham radio. In the end, it will be the internet in general that will do it i'm afraid :( ”

Comment by 'me myself' on 29 Mar 2010 - comment
“Echolink, cq100, eqso, hamsphere - they will eventually kill off the hobby when the government realise we dont use our bands. God only knows why people want to use these "modes" and pretend to be on radios. If you wanted to be a radio ham, surely you wanted to play with radios. am i right?? - hamsphere even has pretend power levels so you can pretend to use qrp over the pretend ionosphere!!.”

Comment by 'BLOGGER' on 28 Feb 2010 - comment
“Hello M0???. It is good to know I will have at least 2 other “real” Amateurs to converse with using RF when the hobby finally goes down the pan! I can not wait for the day when EchoLink Sysops realise that by allowing access via computer and applications like iPhone they are diluting Amateur Radio and adding a further nail to the coffin. Radio is a fun hobby and I realise that different Amateurs will have different asperations as to how they achieve their fun. The sad thing to me is hearing so many new licensees using EchoLink via computer terminal (and now iPhone) believing it to be part of Amateur Radio. Perhaps these newcomers can not be blamed for this when they hear experienced Amateurs using the system this way. Because it is currently flavour of the month, I find myself being constantly ear-bashed listening to iPhone users drooling to each other and almost wetting themselves whilst discussing how good it is they can make iPhone to iPhone contact - and PAYING for the privilege - through EchoLink. I actually took up my licence for the privilege of transmitting on the airwaves, and the freedom that allows. After all the pioneeering work carried out by Marconi and his contemporaries to allow wireless operation (and, yes I know the EchoLink system is – presently – a hybrid of wired and RF), it seems that Amateurs are hell bent on returning to a complete wired system and/or using non-Amateur RF! Any five year old child can do what Amateurs are doing, without a licence, on their own networking systems, so there is no incentive to take up the Amateur Radio hobby. That’s where our problems lie, and the reason Amateur Radio will finally die if the rot is not stopped. ”

Comment by 'M0???' on 27 Feb 2010 - comment
“Blogger is probably right but I don't think the iphone app will make too much difference. The damage is already done. There'll be a few hundred downloads but the few of us that are "real" radio users are not likely to be tempted away if they don't use computers already. For a start, the vast majority of us probably don't own an iphone and people like me, not obsessed by gadgetry, want a phone to be a phone - nothing more. It's more of an attitude problem. The complete disregard that the hobby is radio. There are already internet chat applications so you can do that anywhere without a radio license, so why bugger up our hobby with the hobby of chatting just over a computer. In the hobby of "radio" we should find "radio" solutions to "radio" problems. We had packet radio once. If it wasn't for lazy people only willing to buy a cheap baycom modem and giving up the moment the internet came along, we would now have a useful high speed radio based IP network. Imagine that, Internet linking would have ended up being >1MB/s "Voice over packet radio" by now and entirely radio based. After all GPRS advanced to 3G, but, alas, we have no network anymore and the hobby of radio has diminished to just purchasing whatever Icom or Yaesu want to sell us, or downloading the latest bit of "virtual radio" software. Once upon a time, necessity was the mother of invention - not simply "because we can".”

Comment by 'BLOGGER' on 27 Feb 2010 - comment
“It's great to have another tool in the Amateur arsenal and to be able, for instance, to access an EchoLinked Repeater and make contact with other Amateurs when an RF pathway is unavailable, but my fear is that more than a few will take up the iPhone route in favour of RF. I am a frequent RF-only user of IRLP and EchoLink, keeping in touch with friends and gossip worldwide and setting up HF skeds, but I am saddened at the way increasing numbers of Amateurs are turning to computers to make their contacts on EchoLink, despite many actually admitting on air that they have an accessible Repeater or RF Link nearby! I can't help feeling this iPhone fiasco is the final nail in the Amateur coffin. Judging by the numbers of so-called Amateurs I now hear accessing EchoLink Gateways and Servers by computer, it's possible that Amateurs will be tempted to take the easy route and purchase an iPhone rather than RF gear. What a state to get in. Amateur Radio has finally become just a tool and no longer a hobby, and it plays right into the hands of the authorities who would just love to get their hands on the disused Amateur Radio Spectrum.On a differnt tack, would you believe I actually heard an Amateur on HF this week (3.720MHz) extolling the virtues of using Skype for QSO! I could go on, but that would possibly make my point laborious. And as for D-Star - don't start me off, please!*”