DISCUSSING INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS TO CONNECT THE EMERGING VIRTUAL WORLDS WITH THE EXISTING INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY.
WE ARE HERE TO TALK ABOUT BRIDGING THE DIVIDE BETWEEN THE USER AND ALL VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS INCLUDING AMATEUR RADIO
AS BROADBAND ACCESS AND GREATER COMPUTING POWER CONTINUES TO BECOME MORE COMMON PLACE, IT IS EASY TO PREDICT THAT
THE INTERNET WILL CONTINUE ITS TREND TOWARDS RICHER MEDIA / VIRTUAL CONTENT. ALONG WITH THAT THOUGHT, AMATEUR RADIO
BEING THE TECHNICAL OPPORTUNITY TO INCORPORATE ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE FOR ALL THOSE WHO WANT TO LEARN..
THE N0CRD REPEATER AND WEB SITE WILL IN THE FUTURE FOCUS MORE IN THAT DIRECTION.
AT THE TURN OF THE CENTURY (1900) ONE WOULD HAVE OBSERVED THE REPLACEMENT OF HORSE AND BUGGY BY THE GAS POWERED AUTO.
THEN ELECTRICITY CAME ALONG.. TODAY IT IS EVIDENT TO THE N0CRD WORLD..
THAT WE WILL ALL LIVE IN A VIRTUAL WORLD ONE DAY VERY SOON...
ARRL’s Centennial is now over. The candles have been blown out of the birthday cake, and now that the Centennial QSO Party is over, the bands seem awfully quiet in comparison.
The inevitable question that hangs in the air is, “now what?”
Well, at 70 years of age and looking back, I have always been a dreamer and experimenter! Not afraid to walk into an area I am not familiar with. Willing to make big mistakes to learn and apply new found results. Taking a risk to experience the gain of knowledge or rewards that step might bring. I have always been a risk taker and some times failing miserably. But not always! Sometimes the rewards are really fruitful!
An Amateur Radio license is your ticket to experimentation. Experimentation is how you learn! Don’t be afraid of it! However, before you do take a risk, learn all you can and minimize the risk!
Risk taking might be the very trait that has built my strong background in Electronics, Computers and Amateur Radio! Because of this trait I have always been a little ahead of the technology curve, for my age, even before I was ten years old.
My first experiment (a confession) as I recall at the age of ten or eleven. I was listening to a AM broadcast radio science show (about circa 1954) describing how you could make a microphone out of several pencil leads by laying them across two razor blade (sharp edges up) and with the two wire leads (for the audio) coming off the two razor blades. What I didn’t understand at the time was this was audio not 110 volt ac. Not knowing the difference at the time, Of course, when I connected the razors to the 110v outlet… a hole was quickly burned into the carpet! No one in my family or neighborhood understood this process nor appreciated it! Nor did they offer to tell me why this result happened! They did inform me what would happen should I do it again on the new carpet! This failed experiment, for me, started a whole new search for answers, and maybe a vocation!
Yes even in my lifetime professional occupations, the same reasoning (only now educated) would lead to daring and bold moves to learn, experiment and apply. And without getting to deep into resumes, you can be assured that I have traveled the bleeding edge nationally and some internationally, learning, marketing and successfully applying some very new technologies in electronics, communications and software… The bleeding edge is a roller coaster ride you would never forget! Better to stay close to the cutting edge. The thrill keeps leading you back to the beginning of the loop! You will want to discover more and more once you go down this road!
That being said, I have always wondered why amateur radio hasn’t walked into some of those bleeding / cutting edge areas of activity? Don’t get me wrong, I understand and have participated in the Amateur Radio forefront of communication experimentation, including communication in space, weather, GPS, digital and a host of other things. But I don’t see a whole lot of progress in the area of Amateur Radio and (AIML) artificial intelligence! It is a perfect fit!
I do understand that most hams have to work with what manufactures have made available to the market. Operators in general rely on excellent Ham or commercial equipment, and so do I. This is the story that I am challenging concerning “Where do we go?”
It seems very exciting to me to watch and participate in the development of I-Phone, Android, Google, Internet, search engines and space technology. Amateur Radio has made it possible over the years to grow with and use all these technologies.
Now, Software Defined Radio (SDR) is going to challenge every thing we are accustomed to understanding and using in our hobby. Not just in how we access, tune and handle.. It is going to change how we actually use the radio for communication.
You see SDR is software, the programming of the computer using code languages. The code / software will control everything. Yes, even the spoken word, response or action.
On the local Kansas City 6 meter repeater we have just activated, which is controlled by a” computer, every detail of the legality for Ham use (less the observation of who is using it) is pretty well covered and complied with the software controlling. It knows when to ID, time out, announce messages, insert a beep tone. And yes, soon I hope, it will hold a conversation with you. It is the latest risk I am employing to learn exactly how to make the result a pleasant and useful one for all Amateur Radio operators that use this repeater.
It is far beyond a pipe dream. Anyone with a little bit of experience in the Electronics, Computers and Amateur Radio area could do this! It is not a fully developed field, but sufficiently enough we should have these Amateur Radio auto bots active abundantly in our community repeaters in the next ten years.
The conversation from the repeater A.I.M.L. controller being communication concerning Ham Radio, Emergency Services, weather, math, radio principals, formulas and just about anything (non commercial) you can derive out of the Amateur Radio Handbook or other “on line” or storage device sources. .
How will it do this? If the Amateur radio Hand Book (or any other Amateur Radio Source) can be reduced to a data form, locally or streaming in from afar, to a central (repeater controller). The central controlling computer could
1. Search for interpretation of the speech request or command (Speech Recognition available in most Microsoft windows,7 +) reference ( ttp://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/set-speech-recognition#1TC=windows-7)
2. Search for the correct response via all allowed resources (think Google search or use the A.I.M.L. data sets search system. (See more at A.L.I.C.E. http://www.alicebot.org/aiml.html )
3. Then the same computer controller could be equipped with Text to Speech software for responding to questions you are asking via your Amateur Radio Handheld. The same response could do it with a human derived personality voice (Reference.. http://sheepridge.pandorabots.com/pandora/talk?botid=fef38cb4de345ab1&skin=iframe-voice )
In Amateur Radio Television (A5) you could even see an animated character talking to you responding with your answers (or requesting more clarification). And what about streaming video over the wide bands we haven’t used much yet. Think about smart phones, video and data. Our 900 MGHZ and up might allow for some real experimentation in this area! Equipment seems to be everywhere. All we have to do is learn how to convert and use!
In the digital mode, guess what, all the above information could be presented. The whole process is already a digital state. Where do you want to go? What do you want to learn? How do you want to interact with your hobby, profession or skill set?
Perhaps what we as Amateur Radio Operators, experimenters and entrepreneurs should be doing as Elmer’s, clubs and organizations, is target in where we want to be. Knowing where we want to be will allow us to target our learning, teaching, experimenting and goal setting.
This is the future of Amateur Radio and the future is available now. Who wants to get aboard.
November 2014 KC 6 Meter Repeater Update
The one thing I like about the Amateur Radio Hobby is that there is no deadline on any given project one might take on. Therefor allowing for the sharing, study, experimentation and building of projects to your liking! As one amateur put it.. "it is like the making of fine wine!" slow but sure.
With a J Pole near the water tower location, and as a fixed, tuned, receive antenna in Independence MO, we are getting good reports from some of the higher elevations in Independence. But most in that area are not equipped with a tuned 6 meter Ant. A receive node will be placed in that area when we get the basic power and central location solved.
With these limitations and the current Transmitter height and power, The 6 meter repeater is not doing so well in the KC metro wide area coverage.
Just a quick update.. KC 6 meter repeater project...October 2014... KC 6 meter / Metro update
Well... 6 meters may not be dead after all! It is good that others are pursuing this band! The new 53.55 / 224.880 repeaters in Warrensburg is a good start.. and will encourage more use of the band.
Fun for the winter! And making amateur Radio come alive with current technology!
The 10 Meter repeater Cross Link has been nixed due to concerns of possible improper license issues.