Podcasts For Amateur Radio?

podcast1

With the ever increasing numbers of iPhone and iPod units out on the street, people “like myself” have begun to take a greater interest in creating and listening to Podcasts, the “new broadcasting format”.

Apple sold a record 22.7 million iPods and 4.3 million iPhones during the Q4 of 2008.  Rather stunning numbers I’d say. I read somewhere that iPod devices now account for 24% of Apple’s revenue.

From the Website “Digital Strategy – Government of New Zealand”:

Podcasting, a portmanteau (a word created or made from parts of other words) of Apple’s “iPod” and “broadcasting”, is a method of publishing files to the Internet, allowing users to subscribe to a ‘feed’ and receive new files automatically by subscription, usually at no cost.”

The Apple iphone

Traveling Around:

So in my travels around the Internet, I ran into a Ham Radio site where the owner actually has the time and equipment for making and distributing his own Podcasts. Meet the Practical Amateur Radio Podcast.

Enter KD0BIK:

The site is owned and operated by Jerry (kd0bik) and Jerry has recently produced his 15th Podcast. Podcast #15 discusses the importance of emergency preparedness. Past topics include upgrading your license class, the origins of the QSL card and multi-part Podcasts about operating Amateur Radio equipment.

Jerry’s Website also included a number of links to other interesting Amateur Radio Podcast sites. For those that are interested, I expanded the Podcast links on the right sidebar for your listening pleasure.

Comments and Discussions:

Do you listen to Podcasts of any kind?

Do you regularly download Podcasts related to Ham Radio?

What is your opinion of Podcasts in general?

Do you …. eQSL?

eQSL – A New Discovery

The folks over at eQSL.cc contacted our ehamstore.com via email the other day.  eASL.cc wants to become a part of the ehamstore.com banner exchange program.  I had never heard of eQSL.cc but became  curious about it and wanted to see what they had to offer. As it turns out, their site does include additional features beyond their electronic QSL.

From The eQSL.cc ‘About Us’  Page

“eQSL.cc is the first and only global electronic QSL card exchange for amateur radio operators and SWLs. It is designed to be the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way to exchange QSO confirmations, eliminating the cost and time that regular QSL cards have required for the past half century.”

Basic Membership

Once you go through the free sign up process and get your basic membership established,  the next step is to update your profile. The information in your profile is used to fill out your  eQSL cards as they are created. Other than the customary QSL information, it can be extended to include a couple of lines of personal comments, grid square,  ITU,  10-10 and a few more locators.

eQSL Cards

As a basic member there are limited QSL card designs to choose from. Here’s a sample that I threw together in a few seconds to see what the outcome would be.

ke2yk's eQSL

Paid Memberships

As you may have already guessed, the more elaborate designs require a paid membership. But think about it for a second. Sure it may cost you a few bucks for the membership but think of the money you will save over using the traditional QSL process! With a paid membership you can also upload custom graphics to include on your eQSL.

Acceptance By Organizations

Many organizations and DXexpedition groups around the world accept eQSL cards as a legitimate way of exchanging contacts. You can see the extensive list of accepting organizations here.

DXCC And The ARRL

As you may have already anticipated, the exception to the rule is the ARRL. For those who are DXCC chasers and are locked into the ARRL’s archaic way of exchanging QSLs, you can read more about the efforts put forward by the eQSL folks and their frustrations with the ARRL.

Additional eQSL Features

Additional features of eQSL.cc include awards, printing your eQSLs for delivery on paper and the usual forums and chat rooms associated with most interactive Web sites today.

Have you used eQSL.cc? If so what is your opinion of the service?
If not, why not sign up and look over its features and decide for yourself.