Ham-Radio at the Debian Linuxtag Booth? [long]

From: Michael Holzt (kju@fqdn.org)
Date: Thu May 23 2002 - 14:54:46 CEST

First a kind hello to this list. After the debian-events-de list was
removed i never turned arround to subscribe to this list, but now i
finally did.

As some of you might have noted, after a pause last year, i'm once
again in the boat for helping at the debian booth at the linuxtag
event. I made this decision kind of late, but however i'm with the

I made some thoughts about what i could contribute to the booth.
Here is my offer:

This is a sort of a followup to a inquiry made by Joey which i can't
find anymore in my inbox. Basically he asked if someone is interested
to held a speech about linux usage in ham radio at the Linuxtag. While
i do not feel comfortable with making such a larger scale presentation
i thought it would be a nice idea to demonstrate ham-radio and the usage
of debian for it at our booth.

I already asked Joey if it would be possible to get an antenna up to the
roof, but this seems to be some kind of problem as the booth is in the
middle of the building. Maybe it is possible to run a cable from their
streight up to the roof, but this needs to be checked first.

But even without an antenna on the roof some demonstration could be
possible. On one of our latest meetings of our ham radio club we used
PSK31 a digital modulation which works with very weak signals to make
contacts (so called QSOs) with a transmitting power of only 5W (yes,
five!) on a temporary telescope antenna inside of a building. We
reached for example moscow and the ukraine.

As PSK31 is a completely digital operation mode and uses a computer
this is something every interested person will be able to follow
and understand. And i think it is kind of thrilling to see how you
can transmit from a small transceiver on the table on a really tiny
antenna with nearly no power over thousands of kilometres.

I don't own a transceiver for this operation mode, but i probably
can lend one from another person from our ham radio club. The only
problem here is, that i'm still waiting for my short wave license,
which i will hopefully get before Linuxtag.

There are other operation modes which can be demonstrated as well,
e.g. radio teletype, slowscan television (transmission of color
still images) etc. etc. Even without the appropiate license i could
demonstrate the reception of such signals.

If i could get an antenna onto the roof i could demonstrate so
called packet radio as well, this data transmission over the air,
even tcp/ip if you like.

On a side node: There is currently an effort in the progress to make
a special debian distribution (bootable from the CD) for ham radio
usage. This could be mentioned as well.

I think ham radio is still an exciting hobby if presented properly.
The new possibilities with computers and digital modulation of
signals are thrilling. I think a presentation of ham radio usage
with debian linux would be a good addition to the booth.

As far as i know debian has a strong ham radio background as well.
I thought it was even started for ham radio reasons, but i don't
know the complete story.

I only would need a little space to setup my computer and my
transceiver(s), nothing more than a normal space on a desk.



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