Re: Pactor 4
- --- In BPQ32@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff - WA4ZKO" <wa4zko@...> wrote:
>Thanks Jeff for being open-minded.
> Come on, let's think twice before playing the "boat people" card.
I've been a ham since 1975 and a sailor since 1982. I sold my house to buy my current boat and am most assuredly not rich.
Let me take a minute to describe what I see in the sailing community and then tie it back to BPQ.
Many sailors and cruisers can't be bothered to learn about propagation and use various flavors of satellite phone. Not relevant to this discussion. Many do use the marine bands - given the cost of a radio and SCS modem the annual cost of $250US for a Sailmail account usually isn't a big deal.
Some sailors and cruisers make the effort to get a General-class license and either modify a marine radio for the ham bands or get a small ham radio (the Icom 706MkIIg is all over the place). It would be interesting to know how the rate of upgrades to Extra among the cruising community compares to the total ham population.
Offshore Winlink and Sailmail are used once or twice a day to check e-mail. I don't know anyone who has the patience to poll a hotmail account. Most of us guard our Winlink and/or Sailmail addresses jealously to avoid spam and long HTML-ridden e-mail from clueless friends and family.
You will also find that the cruising/sailing nets on ham radio are much more useful than the ones on the marine frequencies. That is mostly because so many sailors between cruises or retired from the voyaging life have great systems at home and can relay effectively for those of us limited by our space. The Waterway Radio Cruising Net on 7268 at 0745 ET and the Pacific Seafarers Net on 14300 at 0300Z (I think) are good examples.
At anchor anywhere with infrastructure most cruisers use wifi for e-mail, weather, and surfing. The Bullet2HP-based systems have taken the cruising community be storm, and many of us have our own local wifi net to redistribute the signal on board. Cruisers only use Winlink (or Sailmail) at anchor when there aren't alternatives. Why would we?
Compared to EMCOMM proponents sending never-ending "test" messages I think our impact on the bands is pretty light.
I'm a newbie to BPQ -- I came to it in order to get Airmail to use the WINMOR TNC although the WINMOR stuff isn't really ready for prime time in my mind. I haven't gotten very far on BBS/Chat yet. I have space and cabling limitations that make the most restrictive covenants look like a walk in the park *grin* , but I do hope to get a BBS/MM up on 2m that provides a reflector of a sailing BBS (turning phpBB threads into bulletins).
In the meantime I'll save my pennies for a P4/Dragon in the hopes of buying one before I head back to Region 1.
73 es sail fast, dave KO4MI
S/V Auspicious WDC9882