CQ100 Virtual Ham Radio
In support of the
Waterway Radio & Cruising Club
Have you ever missed listening to the WRCC when you are off the boat and without your ham radio gear, e.g., in the hospital, at an internet café for breakfast, visiting kids, parents, etc. I have the solution in a software program called CQ100 located at QSONET.COM. This is a fairly new program and is headed toward 10,000 subscribers as I write this. You must be a licensed ham (of any class) even though the virtual RF spectrum is High Frequency. This is Voice Over the Internet Protocol (VOIP) with no access to transmit over RF (as you can with Echolink).
So if it's "virtual", how do you tune in the WRCC? Someone has to provide the streaming audio into the CQ100 from an actual transceiver copying the WRCC on 7.268 MHz. And for now that's me; I have done it for a few days now and have received excellent reviews from my small band of "Beta" WRCC members. Of course, you will experience the good/bad aspects of my propagation from Tampa, Florida. A thought that will occur is if you are (for example) located in Annapolis, MD and cannot hear the Bahamas; just turn on your CQ100 coming out of Tampa and, voila, there is your "electronic" southern relay. Neat, Huh!
If you have an interest in CQ100; go to QSONet.com. Note: I have no affiliation with the Cormac Corporation. This program is for hams ONLY and you will need to send a copy of your license for proof. Send by digital image (scan, digital photo); DO NOT FAX. The registration process, if done right, takes a nominal 15 minutes to return your certification which allows you to download the program for a 90-day trial; if you like it---it's only $32/year.
The program uses virtual 14.200 MHz as a calling frequency; you WILL be talking worldwide. Now, specifically for the WRCC morning net, I am broadcasting the Net on virtual 7.268 MHz. Starting at 0700 ET, I will have a beacon up on 7.268 MHz announcing the forthcoming Net broadcast; you will start hearing some ham activity about 0730; the "official" net starts at 0745 Eastern Time. A virtual WRCC calling frequency can be "UP 10" at 7.278 as the beacon will capture the net frequency. When the net starts, just QSY down to 7.268 MHz for LISTEN ONLY. I think this is good for WRCC/non-WRCC hams to be aware that general QSO's will not be on the Net frequency from about 7 - 9 am.
NONE OF THIS IS MEANT TO REPLACE THE LIVE NET ON THE RADIO; it just supplements it to fill in propagation holes and allows the "RF-Challenged" to keep up with WRCC doings.
Terry Palmer, K1LCH