More cool stuff

Josh Peterson - KK7QAS
Echolink Node: 201067
HH: 6100002512

HamShack Hotline

HamShack Hotline (HH) is a dedicated VoIP communication network for amateur radio enthusiasts. It offers a private, secure platform for ham radio operators to connect, share information, and collaborate on projects. HH utilizes specialized VoIP technology to create a global community of amateur radio users. It is free to use for amateurs, all you need is a supported VoIP phone. I personally have and recommend the Cisco SPA525G2. These are great phones and can typically be found for very cheap now a days. I won't be covering HH setup, as it's very straight forward (just get your phone and open a ticket from their site), but I'm happy to help if needed.

The main focus of this section is to cover connecting your HH / VoIP phone to the PTSN (Public Switched Telephone Network) so that you can make and receive calls to/from any number...
There are a few important things to note, which I will do my best to cover here:

  1. You must have a phone that supports multiple lines. The 525 has 5 lines so it will work great.
  2. I recommed you wait to do this until after you have HH provisioning all taken care of. Your line doesn't have to be active, but have your SIP config in place.
  3. There are many services you can use to accomplish the connection to the PTSN. The easiest and cheapest is probably - A local number will cost you ~ $0.75 / month to reserve, and calls are ~ $0.50 / hour.
    You can use my referral link here to get a free $10 credit - You will need to deposit at least $15+ to receive.
  4. One last great thing about is the ease of use. It is very simple to get set up, and they give you SIP credentials, which are important. HH will give you a SIP url that will automatically configure the HH line on your phone. If the service you use for PTSN also gives a provisioning link instead of credentials, HH data will be overwritten.
Complete Cisco 525G2 setup tutorial coming soon
>> 525 Setup Page


GMRS offers a unique and accessible way to communicate, distinct from amateur (HAM) radio licenses. Here are some key points about GMRS:

For more detailed information about GMRS, its capabilities, and how to obtain a license, click here. GMRS provides a practical and user-friendly option for those needing a reliable communication service without the complexities of a HAM radio license.

SDRs (Software Defined Radios)

Software-Defined Radio (SDR) represents a revolutionary shift in the field of radio communications. Unlike traditional radios, where hardware components such as mixers, filters, amplifiers, modulators/demodulators, and detectors are implemented physically, SDRs accomplish these functions through software. This innovative approach allows for enhanced versatility and adaptability, as changes in functionality can often be made with software updates rather than hardware modifications. SDRs are capable of receiving and transmitting a wide range of frequencies, making them invaluable in various applications, from amateur radio to commercial and military communications. They provide a platform for radio enthusiasts and professionals to experiment with digital communications, explore a broad spectrum of frequencies, and even develop new protocols. The flexibility and cost-effectiveness of SDRs have significantly contributed to their growing popularity in the world of wireless communications, opening the door to advanced communication systems and fostering a deeper understanding of radio science.

To put it simply SDRs like the RTL SDR dongle or Airspy can be a cheap way to start listening to the RF signals around you. I recommend doing a bit of further research on YouTube as there are several different videos covering their countless fields of application far better than I can. Whether you want to listen to VHF/UHF, Airband, setup trunked scanning (requires two dongles a bit of rabbit hole delving but i've done it so message for help), or what have you. If you need to receive RF within the range of the dongle you can probably do it.

Some SDRs I recommend