I attended the 80th Findlay Hamfest last weekend. Always a high point in my annual hamfest schedule, this year was another good one with surprisingly good weather. I met a friend there who was up from Cincinnati. While looking in the flea market we happened across an old Cisco multi-line telephone.

Neither of us bought it, but it jogged my memory about something I read a few months ago on the K9ZW blog. Steve had become involved with the Hamshack Hotline project and I mentioned that to my friend from Cincinnati. We got lunch after leaving the hamfest and continued our conversation about the hotline project. There was a lot of cell phone searching over sandwiches to find out more and before heading for home we found compatible phones on eBay and ordered them.

Those arrived this week and after an hour or two of head scratching we had figured out the basics of setting them up and getting them provisioned for use with the network once everything was activated.

Both of us got the phones and network up and working perfectly and we’re able to call each other. It may seem redundant given that we could just as easily used our cell phones, but using the office phones seemed to add some depth to the experience. The network was built for hams only and includes many interesting possibilities.

It’s all VoIP and not really radio, but still seems a useful adjunct to the ham radio experience.

Where I might be reluctant to share my cell number with the general public, I’ve no problem sharing my Hotline number since it’s only accessible to other licensed radio amateurs.

Checkout the links below and if you get involved give me a call sometime. If I’m not available you can leave me a voicemail message and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

My number is 6100001193.