Last night was amazing. I sat out on my front wall and using only a half watt of power from my walkie-talkie, I was talking with a person on the New South Wales district of Australia! How is this possible, you ask? Via the wonders of the internet of course.
The Internet Radio Linking Project is voice over IP (VoIP) for radio. Basically I connect with a local repeater, type in some codes, and my signal is routed anywhere in the world. It pops out on a repeater in Osaka, Japan,... Kailua-Kona,...or even Palmer Station, Antartica! Last night I called a "reflector" in Dallas. A reflector is a computer that can support multiple connections on a conference call. Think of it as a chat room for ham radio. Well you can imagine my surprise when I hear an Australian accent coming out of my radio instead of a Texas one!
He was a nice old chap, who really did call his friend his "mate" and wished me a "g'day and cheerio" (imagine that in your best Aussie accent). It was so cool that a guy using a half watt in Mililani was talking to a guy in Eastern Australia via a Dallas reflector. Wow!
Now I want to show Bryan! There are "youth only" nodes where he can talk with hams his own age from all around the world! I am also told that if he connects with some Japanese repeaters, he will be mobbed my young people wanting to practice their English. I still want to accomplish my goal of speaking to someone in Antartica. What an amazing hobby!
Peace, Love and Cheerio mates!