I think that all of us do have a computer in our house and do use it in our Ham Radio activities. Keeping the log, playing around with digital modes, organizing QSLs and other things are all relegated to our personal computer. The most used operating system is Windows but, Macintosh receives widespread use too. Are there any Ham Radio programmes for the operating system developed by Apple? The internet can always be useful. Specifically, I found a website by NI5V and maintained by Lee WW2DX. The site can be reached at : http://machamradio.com/ . Lee helps the Mac Ham Radio users find the right programmes to be run on their Mac systems. Here follows a brief interview with Lee:
Hi Lee, well, first of all please tell us something about you and your ham radio experience.
I have been licensed since 1987 at the age of 13. At that time I was QRV from Maine and had very fond memories being on the air from there. I was very active on all bands from 160m-432mhz. I was QRT for about 10 years between 1995 and 2005, busy with building a career and family. When I became active back in 2005 I really jumped back in with both barrels blazing. I became really interested in radio-sport contesting and DXing. I have since built an SO2R station with a pair of K3′s and 80′ Rohn45, stacked yagis with a 2 element 40m monobander. I have also started a Tower and Antenna business (www.hudsonvalleytowers.com) with my business partner and well known contester W2RE. I have always loved Mac computers and UNIX operating systems, specifically BSD flavors. I am interested in all kinds of technology and specifically integrating it into ham radio.
The original idea started with Steve Muncy NI5V in 2003. Steve ran the site for about 5 years until career demanded more time than he could devote to the site. Steve offered it to the community and as far as I know, no one has offered to take it. Final word came that it was going to be shutdown for good and I then inquired about taking it over. Since I took it over I also have a hard time finding the time to support the site. I realized that in order for it to be successful, the community would need to be involved. I switched the site from a traditional static website to a WordPress CMS engine. Since then I think the feedback has been fantastic. I am always looking for people to help with the site.
How is the MacHamRadio web-site organised? Which software categories does it cover?
Anything that has something to do with the Mac and radio we try to post about it. Every aspect of the hobby is covered from logging to SDR applications. We also have a section in iOS apps for the iPhone/ipad. There are many other categories on the site under the “Software” link.
If someone finds “new” Mac programmes useful for our activity can he spot them out in your web-site? Does Macintosh still lack some specific ham radio programmes? g>
Users can also submit links to software they find on the web and I can add them to the categories list. At the bottom of the “Software” page there is a tool to submit websites to be added to the list. Any link submitted gets moderated before going public to confirm all the information.
There are a few things I would like to see on the Mac. I still use a windows pc in the shack to run two ham radio applications, PowerSDR-IF/Stage and N1MM for SO2R contesting. I have played around with the few available SDR applications but they are still very early in the development cycle and lack rig control. If I am not running SO2R during a contest I use DL2RUM’s RUMped contest software which is a very nice contest logger on the mac. As for everything else, I believe we have it covered, really nice Logging tools and utilities.
What do you think about technology and Ham Radio? Are, in your opinion, internet and computers friends or foes of amateur radio?
I think without technology we would be bored. The hobby was built and continues to grow on technology. If we didn’t embrace technology the hobby would become stagnant and we would really start to see the hobby dissolve. It’s the internet, computers and technology that help promote the hobby and expand the opportunities to experiment and develop new ideas that would otherwise have never been discovered. We have a very unique opportunity as ham operators to explore, experiment and share our ideas to be creative and I think that is the most important part of the hobby.
Thank you very much Lee for the time you dedicated to us and we all hope your project will continue growing. Your website is a very important reference for Mac Ham-Radio users from all over the world.