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  Topic: Where is all the ham activity (18 replies)
#11     Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:33 pm
KB3NPH
Spring Run, PA
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 52
Subject:


VE3EFC wrote:
Hi Stan,
Your comments were very inciteful and a I agree with all you say. I have been thinking, if the free trial was just one month, people might tend to buy it while its still new and exciting. The payment would act as incentive to keep using it. The goal is to have as many people using as possible. We might actually have more active users under a 1 month free trial than under the current 3 month. I am not sure though... something to think about.

73, Doug

.


I agree with both Stan and Doug. I too have kind of fallen into this group that has just set CQ-100 aside and since upgrading to General in September, spend more time on HF, enjoying the many different modes that I learned to use here on CQ-100. I have tried to promote the use of CQ-100 to a lot of my HF contacts. A couple are now trying it and so far enjoy using it.

A small group of CQ-100 users started a PSK/Digital net on 14.070 sometime last spring. When we first started we would have anywhere from 10 to 15 check-ins a week. We Ted (KD9XH), Issi (KC5PTX), Dave (N4LCC), and myself spent a lot of time here trying to help others get set up to use the digital modes here on CQ-100. Now, I hear some of the same people that started out here on HF, and never hear them on CQ-100.

Many hams I have talked to on HF say that CQ-100 is not REAL HAM RADIO..... In fact, I was on a net on 2-meters talking about a great DX QSO I had with a German station here on CQ-100. Another ham came back to me and said "THAT IS NOT DX". My next question to him was "WHAT IS REAL DX"... he replied "TALKING TO PEOPLE A GREAT DISTANCE AWAY FROM YOU." I just said, "Well, I rest my case.. Germany is a great distance from me, and I talked to a ham in Gernamy...so, I must have been working a DX station.".... He was quiet after that.

Sure this is VOIP, not RF, but it serves the same purpose. Allows LICENSED AMATEUR operators to communicate, and that is what Ham radio is all about, COMMUNICATIONS. Doesn't matter if it is via RF, VOIP, or any other type of communications, it is still part of amateur radio.

Doug may be right, maybe even a 15 day trial period like most computer software. Maybe just a flat-rate, one time charge to buy the software, although that wouldn't make for steady cash-flow to support the servers.

Who knows the answer. All I do know is that I will continue supporting the PSK/DIGITAL net on 14.070 and I will continue to try to promote CQ-100 to my RF friends, and hopefully things will pick up.

Now, for one negative issue I have with CQ-100. Over the time I have used CQ-100, there have been many good suggestions to improve the program. Doug had mentioned about putting a log into CQ-100. I feel this isn't really a great addition because there are so many FREE logging programs out there that anyone can use. I feel that time would be better spent with additions like a way to send files and pictures built in. That way, when you are in a QSO and someone needs help setting up something to work with CQ-100, things can be immediately transfered back and forth, without having to drop out of CQ-100 load a mail program and send info, then come back to CQ-100. This might help generate more interest rather than being able to LOG the QSOs.

Whatcha think Doug?

73s to all

Tim (KB3NPH)
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#12     Wed Jan 09, 2008 11:25 am
VE3EFC
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 724
Subject:

Hi Tim. Thanks for your comments.

I agree with those who say VOIP is not real radio. Qsonet lacks the challenge and "MAGIC" of sending a beam into the sky from my antenna around the world.

However, Qsonet does allow hams to keep in touch and discuss the hobby. I feel especially good when I hear the old-timers and others who are not able to run HF for various reasons, keeping in touch with old friends, and making new friends. The "rag-chewing" I hear on Qsonet is a refreshing change to the robotic "59-73" contacts I hear for DX and contests on the air.

I am working on some ideas for sharing of real HF rigs over Qsonet or something similar (remote control of hardware over the internet). This idea would preserve the magic of real HF radio. A few people have come up with ways to integrate Qsonet with real radio.

I feel a little guilty about having the logging half done and the Com port switching half done etc. I handle about 100 emails a day for support on Qsonet and this takes a lot of time. I am a little scared that any small new "add-ons" may grow these support demands.

I find the picture sharing on CQPhone is lots of fun and would like to add it to CQ100. However, someone told me there are lots of ways to share pictures now days, so why waste my time making this add-on. Thanks for you encouragement to pursue this idea.

73, Doug
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#13     Sun Jan 20, 2008 1:47 pm
KB3NPH
Spring Run, PA
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 52
Subject:


VE3EFC wrote:
Hi Tim. Thanks for your comments.


Quote:
I agree with those who say VOIP is not real radio. Qsonet lacks the challenge and "MAGIC" of sending a beam into the sky from my antenna around the world.


Although we may not be sending a beam into the sky from an antenna, there too is "MAGIC" with CQ-100. I know it has allowed me to make friends and contacts in places where I might have never been able to reach with RF.


Quote:
However, Qsonet does allow hams to keep in touch and discuss the hobby. I feel especially good when I hear the old-timers and others who are not able to run HF for various reasons, keeping in touch with old friends, and making new friends. The "rag-chewing" I hear on Qsonet is a refreshing change to the robotic "59-73" contacts I hear for DX and contests on the air.


A prime example of this is a net that runs on 3.855 on CQ-100. The Awful Awful Ugly Net #2, a spin-off net of the AAU net on the same frequency on HF.


Quote:
I am working on some ideas for sharing of real HF rigs over Qsonet or something similar (remote control of hardware over the internet). This idea would preserve the magic of real HF radio. A few people have come up with ways to integrate Qsonet with real radio.


The sharing of CQ-100 and RF has already been done for you. I have done this many times with the use of the RigBlaster hardware. Allows me to connect my computer sound card thru the RigBlaster to my HF rig. I can let people from CQ-100 actually call CQ and make contacts from my rig. Why build it into CQ-100? It just makes for a larger program and the possibility for more bugs? It could cause problems from the standpoint of license class and frequency allocations, since it wouldn't FORCE the control operator to be at the rig.


Quote:
I feel a little guilty about having the logging half done and the Com port switching half done etc. I handle about 100 emails a day for support on Qsonet and this takes a lot of time. I am a little scared that any small new "add-ons" may grow these support demands.


I would bet that the majority of the people using CQ-100 never log a QSO. If they do there are many very small logging programs available where they can copy and paste the info from CQ-100's QRZ link to their logging software. Now, if it would be possible to download the QRZ info directly to a log in CQ-100 (just as DX LAB Suite logbook does) that would be a nice feature to save typing in or copying the info.


Quote:
I find the picture sharing on CQPhone is lots of fun and would like to add it to CQ100. However, someone told me there are lots of ways to share pictures now days, so why waste my time making this add-on. Thanks for you encouragement to pursue this idea.

73, Doug

Quote:


Personally, I feel any additions to CQ-100 should come in the form of things that are found in modern HF radios. Direct built-in support for different modes, such as PSK, RTTY, and CW would be great upgrades to the program. This would save an operator from having to have 5 or 6 or more programs running in the background to send and decode these modes. A press of a button on CQ-100 screen, and BINGO, the operator is in that mode. Let CQ-100 do the switching of the sound card settings and change from Mic to Stereo Mix, or what ever, automatically without the operator having to go into his sound card and make the switch. Even if the separate parms one time in a config file.

Being able to immediately send a file, including a JPG or other graphic file, to a QSO contact would also be a great addition. I don't know how many times I have tried to help someone set up his CQ-100 to use digital modes and could not make him understand what he should do, where as, being able to send a screen-shot, a text file, or even a config file, immediately without having to pull up more programs on the screen, would have been a great help.

I think most CQ-100 users would agree on these additions directly in the program rather than the things a log book or being able to use RF links directly from CQ-100.

Even without these features, CQ-100 is a very good program and you have done a great job with it. Keep up the great work, Doug.

73s
Tim (KB3NPH)
__________________
#14     Sat Jan 26, 2008 3:39 pm
WB5UDI
Parker, CO USA
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 11
Subject:

Well, QSONet states my subscription will expire in 1 hour.

I've thought about it, and have decided not to re-subscribe....using my $32 elsewhere.

I have to be honest with myself and realize that, as I stated in a post above, that I haven't been on CQ100 for months now........

But I HAVE enjoyed this past year, and when it was good...it was very, very good!

Take care all.....73's......Stan WB5UDI
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#15     Sun Feb 24, 2008 11:17 am
N8RGO
Mansfield, Ohio
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 25
Subject:

Well as stated before I am very new to all of this so all of this talk about doing digital on here and packet and SSTV and the list goes on is greek to me. I did not know you could do any of this on here and of course do not know even how to do it on here.

While there are many good suggestions I guess it would be hard to nail any of them down to what will work or what will keep people interested in CQ100. I guess you could say I am a sucker for all of these cool looking radio interfaces and ways to talk to distant stations like I do on echolink. So there is a chance I will proberly sign up for my first year's subscription after my trial period is up.

But as stated in another post/thread I would like to see if possible even more cooler interfaces like something resembling the high dollar Icoms, Kenwoods, and Yaesus, stuff like more bells and whistles, spectrum scopes ect. I like how cool looking the interface is on the winradio software.

I was just thinking the other day now that I have this and proberly will be talking to more hams over time I would like to start keeping a log of who all I have talked to. Was thinking of a phyisical log book in front of my computer but a online logbook built into the CQ100 would be very cool and the suggestion of being able to transfer the person you are just talking to right into the log is very very good, please do this one.

I realize that it is possible that maybe not that many people will ever use CQ100 but I sincerely hope that you never take it down due to the lack of people using it. If it means not doing a whole lot more with it because not many people are supporting it, then I could live with that just so it stays up.

Since I am new as mentioned and hearing about all these things you can do on here like digital, SSTV, packet and who knows what all, could you please put out a user guide detailing all you can do on here and explain in as much detail as possible how you go about doing each of these things, that would be a great help to me and others just coming into this new type of radio. And in case you are wondering my thoughts on more viritual reality meter bands yes I would like to see 2 meters, 440 and 6 meters, added either into the exsisting CQ100 as an all mode radio or a seperate 2 meter, 440, and 6 meter.
Sincerely
Larry Roop N8RGO
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#16     Tue Feb 26, 2008 4:42 pm
N9SJA
Lafayette, IN USA
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 5
Subject: I just joined...

I just paid my $32 and joined CQ100 for one year. If there was an option, I would have gladly done a two year for $64 or maybe even a 3 year option.

I really like CQ100. The software is very well written, the concept is sound, and the fact that it is only available to licensed hams means that it is taken more seriously and that there is no "chat roomers" causing problems.

For the folks that pick apart CQ100, you need to put this in perspective. It is NOT acually ham radio. But there are hams on CQ100, so you still get to talk to actual hams. I know it lacks a bit of the challenge of tuning in distant stations and working through QRM and QRN, but that is also a good thing. So it depends on your point of view...

In the past 3 months, I have met really great people on CQ100, got to experiment with digital modes, and even chatted with folks far away in other countries. This is a great place to learn about HF, especially for Tech class hams that hold very little HF privs.

I will of course be upgrading my ticket, still playing with HF/VHF/UHF, but I will also be a regular on CQ100.

73s! de N9SJA Nick
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#17     Sun Mar 09, 2008 8:53 pm
VE3MOX
Sault Ste Marie Ont.Can
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 8
Subject: Re = Sending pictures and files

Picasa 2 and hello free programs you can send a hundred or more pictures one or a whole file in a few minutes .It is a free program.perfect sending and you can see what your friend is looking at and any explenation can be given right there.IT IS A FANTASTIC WAY TO SEND PICTURES>Plus no noise .Picasa 2 ==Hello try it Gus ve3mox
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#18     Mon Mar 10, 2008 12:05 am
VE6TJL
EDMONTON AB
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 10
Subject: Activity

Time of day a big factor, also the Echolink factor may be kicking in here. People log on and jsut sit and listen to dead air, I don't quite get that. That said I like the program and intend to resign for a second year. I am excited about the idea of a contest I read about on the Yahoo group. Now that would be fun to do.

The only suggestion I have is create different subscription levels. 3 6 12 month that sort of thing. A year for some is a tad much, personally I like it and would pay for a two year subscription. Heck if I had a wad i would pay for a lifetime subscription.

Just some ideas.

Cliff VE6TJL
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#19     Mon Mar 10, 2008 2:43 am
KB3NPH
Spring Run, PA
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 52
Subject: Re: Activity


VE6TJL wrote:
Time of day a big factor, also the Echolink factor may be kicking in here. People log on and jsut sit and listen to dead air, I don't quite get that. That said I like the program and intend to resign for a second year. I am excited about the idea of a contest I read about on the Yahoo group. Now that would be fun to do.

The only suggestion I have is create different subscription levels. 3 6 12 month that sort of thing. A year for some is a tad much, personally I like it and would pay for a two year subscription. Heck if I had a wad i would pay for a lifetime subscription.

Just some ideas.

Cliff VE6TJL


Hi Clif,
Glad you like the idea of the contest. Be sure you watch here in the Digital Mode and CW forum for more info about the contest. I will be posting there as soon as I get all the details set up. You can also get info by signing into the PSK/Digital Net, on Saturday Mornings, at 0900 EDT (1300 UTC) on CQ-100 frequency 14.070. You can also watch for the beacon to be operating on 14.075, or E-mail me. My info is on QRZ.com

73s
Tim (KB3NPH)
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