Mega-station for rent - by the hour, from where you sit now.

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W3MMM, Feb 10, 2013.

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  1. W3MMM

    W3MMM Ham Member QRZ Page

    There's a lot to this and it is well thought out. To sum it up - you have a radio 'head', the faceplate to a radio. Via the internet, you control the real station, making HF contacts and controlling all aspects of the station from wherever you are. You get the right to do this for a combination of an annual fee plus an hour charge for access.

    It'll be interesting to see how it does 'under fire' with, say, 7 different people reserving different time slots in one day. I suspect that by and large, it'll work fine most of the time.

    I think this capability is one that will be key to the future of ham radio (which will be different from the past) and that local clubs should consider modest versions of this for club members, at a price of course, especially near rural areas. I've talked about this in other threads; WW2DX actually made it happen and in spades. Kudos and I hope he does well with this.

    Now, let the "that's not ham radio, that's against Part 97, where's the fun" complaining begin...

    (note - the title says "mega station" - it is actually multiple mega stations, with more coming.)
  2. N0WYO

    N0WYO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think it'll be interesting to see who they get to pay $5,000 per year to use this service! ;)
  3. W3MMM

    W3MMM Ham Member QRZ Page

    They'll get takers. I'm considering. My gut tells me that a more modest station at a more modest price will be where the 'sweet spot' exists.
  4. K1VSK

    K1VSK Ham Member QRZ Page

    The ultimate solution - buy your DXCC totals and awards. Savor the accomplishment!
  5. M6RIK

    M6RIK Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is actually a great idea and I would be happy to use this or a similar service.

    However the pricing puts this way way way way way way way way out of what i would be willing to spend on such a service.

    Good luck.
  6. KC0W

    KC0W Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Three decently equipped stations but all located in (ho hum) NY state.

    Some nut should construct a TRUE "mega station" (their words) in some place like............Ohhhhhhhhhhhh............ND.

    Tom KC├śW
  7. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think charging fellow hams to use an amateur station is wacky.

    Then, I always thought "private" repeaters who charge members to use a repeater system was similarly wacky, and that's been going on for decades.

    Dave WA6TWF here in So. Cal. had a "Super System" on the air for years, with a very large HF station and a 90' Sky Needle with stacked HF beams located in Orange County, accessible for use by hams using UHF-FM rigs; so, you could drive around with a 440 MHz hand held and work DX on 20m using a kilowatt and a beam at 90 feet, and have frequency and rotator control and all that jazz -- 25 years ago. This is not a new idea, although more modern software and hardware interfaces have made it easier, and available via the internet instead of UHF.

    We had a system in central NJ a very long time ago (like 1977), K2ASG, who had a 90' tower with a triband quad on it and a kilowatt remote controlled station accessible via his 2m FM repeater which was at the same site. We used touch tones to "dial up and down the band," and also to turn the rotator, turn the amp on and off, etc. That was 35 years ago, verifying this is really a very old idea.:p And there was "no charge" for that, at all. It was open to anyone who could access it.

    The whole idea is cool, but charging for it isn't.
  8. W3MMM

    W3MMM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Why not?

    I don't own a classic car. Should my only access to such cars be either
    a) I buy one, or
    b) I know someone willing to loan me one for free?

    Why can't there be a middle ground, where I can enjoy someone else's car for an agreed fee?

    The examples you gave - obviously, someone paid for the gear and spent time to set it up. They were kind enough to open it to any licensed ham it seems. That's great but why not find a way to share the cost? It might help with upkeep and improvements.

    How about another hybrid, one that's used for some of the Carribean contest stations, where 6 guys chip in to set up the station. Is it wrong that they do that (it is more a condo model than a timeshare) and should they not rent the station when it isn't in use?

    What's compelling to me is that this is "The Cloud" colliding head on with ham radio. The compelling thing about "the cloud" in IT isn't so much technological, rather it is a different billing model where users pay by consumption rather than by the cost of the gear. The cloud owner takes significant risk but the upside on that risk can be fairly large as the equipment is 'monetized' in a maximum way. It is taking a cab vs. owning a car - both have their place and both can make sense in the right circumstances.
  9. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I don't know.

    But one thing I do know is "the cloud" isn't being used by anyone serious about data protection, such as my several dozen customers who do television and motion picture production; they are very concerned about asset security.

    Of course, they are also very concerned about I/Os and bandwidth, and unless you can upload and download 2K-4K uncompressed video in real time (several hundred to a few thousand MB/s), the cloud won't serve their purpose because there's too much latency.

    So, they're not using it.

    Maybe one day...
  10. K7MH

    K7MH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'd sure rather spend one a years worth of the dues they are charging on going to a Caribbean contest station for as long as I can on that amount of money even if it was only a few days and not a contest weekend.

    Check back with them in a few months and see how many "contributors" they have.
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