Amateur Radio knows

Tonight I checked into a ham radio net and someone mentioned the Outernet article in this months QST magazine. My ears perked up, so I mentioned I had a receiving station here at my location. I briefly described this technology and found a bit of interest. Especially in sending APRS co-ordinates through a satellite. Anyway, I think the Outernet will have ready made customers in the ham community. $99 is almost nothing for many hams who buy a hand-held radio for much more!


Outernet really has nothing to offer amateur radio. Not sure why there is a continuous drive to somehow co-opt Outernet to route boring ham traffic that most hams care not about and the carriage thereof will not provide any tangible gains for Outernet.

de K5TED

Any article describing Outernet is a good article. I have written 2 for The Spectrum Monitor already. Syed has to get media exposure, and right now technical magazines are a good first step since it is us techies who are “first adopters”.

However, for him to achieve his ultimate goal of a one-way worldwide information transport medium, he needs more media coverage on the non technical side - - which is exactly your point, Ted.

I’ve thought about how to get him on Sixty Minutes or the Evening News, and to do that Outernet has got to get their terminals out into the world delivering news, weather and information content. Branson and Musk have no trouble getting coverage of their global internet ideas - - but to date have delivered zilch.

Outernet doesn’t have to go to Africa to do this. There are plenty of places in North America that can benefit from a reliable terminal such as the Magnet High School in Sika, Alaska. We all sure hope the Dreamcatcher will do that job. Ken


That may be true, but Outernet re-sparked my interest in Amateur Radio after being inactive for over 20 years. I got my old FT736R going again, built a SimpleSat rotor controller to replace my old Kansas City Tracker, replaced my old TNC’s with a SignaLink USB Sound Card unit and have been making contacts via ISS and PSAT recently. I’m glad my old rotor and antennas still worked after all the years. That is quite a spark for an old guy who last communicated with the MIR space Station and used other BBS’s talking to researchers in Antarctica and other far away locations unreachable by any other means back then. This was all we had before the ISS! If I remember correctly there were only about 600 of us active on the digital satellites back then. I actually talked to astronaut Shannon Lucid on the MIR in the old days.

My neighbors have always thought I was weird! I realize it’s nothing to most today, as you can pull a cell phone out of your pocket and talk to anyone, anywhere in the world.

So say what you want about Outernet, I’m glad I got involved. I had a young elementary school science teacher friend here the other day. He was impressed when I made a contact through the ISS and then showed him the messages via satellite on Outernet!

Tom, KK4XZ


Umm… despite all the changes you made to your station, none of them had anything to do with sending APRS to Outernet.

Great that some tangential technology somehow kicked you into activity, but let’s be realistic. Outernet has NOTHING to offer ham radio or vice versa. More importantly, Ham Radio will do nothing but impede the evolution of Outernet from hobby sat info to mainstream source. The “makers” of today are all about bucking the trend/requirement of official “licensing”. There is no instance ever of ham radio involvement in any technology after FM being beneficial to the evolution of such. Ham radio is self serving hobby fixation tech. Nothing wrong with that. It is what it is. Case in point… Relate a current technology that was pioneered by Ham Radio, with timeline, and relate how it is present today, and would not be here absent of Ham Radio involvement.

I must have missed that article, do you know what month issue that was in.

June 2017 QST page 70. it’s a short article but it got me interested.

Hey, I used to do all of that too back then :slight_smile: Back in Australia
I helped set up the old Packet (tcp/ip & “rose”) network in Oz
I also chatted with poor Sergi on 2mts when he was “stuck” on Mir after the collapse of the USSR. We used to arrange short phone patches for him too so he could talk to family & friends

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Hi Ted,
I disagree somewhat with your “no relevance” view.
The scenario I see is simple.
HF radio can be used by remote locations to request a page, be it for student in a school project, or general interest etc.


  1. I can repeatedly send a simple unproto packet (APRS) via HF (There are a number of methods , simple AX-25 or PSKmail etc. etc. )
  2. then once that message is “seen” by someone connected to a gateway…
  3. it will end up being listed in the “messages” section of Outernet. and (hopefully) the outernet system can decode the request and add the page to the carousel (like the twitter request)

The same method would work on VHF/UHF via satellite too.

Yes there may be other methods of getting the request to outernet, but that is one channel that shows that hams are not irrelevant to the working system.

That is the reason I have been “beaconing” from HF for ages , but ONLY IRSS messages have been ending up in the messages list for a few Months now, which I see as a boo- boo :slight_smile: When it was working I managed to get at least ONE message though to “OUTNET” each day, which seem like a good enough result to me from HF during the low Sunspot cycle.

Just my 2c worth

This brings me a bit off topic but brilliant presentation of Ward Silver, N0AX at TAPR DCC 2015, Chicago
"Ham Radio 2.0 – The Big Pivot"


OH GEeez…
I feel old … I remember sitting waiting for the solar report on WWV on 10Mhz :frowning:
I agree with a LOT of what he says, but what he is missing ( IMHO) is the problem of using propriety stuf, and b eing dependant upon corporations.
Also i NEVER rely upon the continued use of the internet ever!. 99% of the stuff I do is working out what I can do if the power/internet/cellphones are all down… ( It happens!)

It is a mistake to set thing up so that if the DNS server somewhere else has broken …

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Yepp, outage always happen, funny that however people know it that’s the last thing they want to invest…(just after they trapped into a situation like that)