Over the past couple months I have been trying to participate in the Monday morning net run by the SDF Amateur Radio Club from SDF.org. It has been pretty hard for me to catch up with any of the local amateur radio clubs. There is no local club associated with the American Radio Relay League in Ashtabula County but it must be remembered that land-wise Ashtabula County is fairly large in terms of land area.

For reference, the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations has a dry land area of 1,033.81 square miles. Ashtabula County has a dry land area of 702 square miles. Ashtabula County is 68% the size of the state of Rhode Island in terms of land area even though population-wise Ashtabula County has 9.23% of Rhode Island's equivalent population. Did I hear mooing off in the distance somewhere? For British readers, it is not only safe to say I'm not just in a fairly isolated area but that it may resemble Ambridge a bit too much.

Now, the beautiful part about the SDF Amateur Radio Club net is that it takes place via the venerable EchoLink system. The package known as qtel allows for access to the repeater-linking network from your Ubuntu desktop. Unlike normal times, the Wikipedia page about EchoLink actually provides a fairly nice write-up for the non-specialist.

Now, there is a relatively old article on the American Radio Relay League's website about Ubuntu. If you look at the Ubuntu Wiki, there is talk about Ubuntu Hams having their own net but the last time that page was edited was 2012. While there is talk of an IRC channel, a quick look at irclogs.ubuntu.com shows that it does not look like the log bot has been in the channel this month. E-mail to the Launchpad Team's mailing list hosted on Launchpad itself is a bit sporadic.

I have been a bit MIA myself due to work pressures. That does not mean I am unwilling to act as the Net Control Station if there is a group willing to hold a net on EchoLink perhaps. It would be a good way to get hams from across the Ubuntu realms to have some fellowship with each other.

For now, I am going to make a modest proposal. If anybody is interested in such an Ubuntu net could you please check in on the SDF ARC net on June 17 at 0000 UTC? To hear what the most recent net sounded like, you can listen to the recorded archive of that net's audio in MP3 format. Just check in on June 17th at 0000 UTC and please stick around until after the net ends. We can talk about possibilities after the SDF net ends. All you need to do is be registered to use EchoLink and have appropriate software to connect to the appropriate conference.

I will cause notice of this blog post to be made to the Launchpad Team's mailing list.

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A Modest Ham-Related Proposal by Stephen Michael Kellat is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.