What do you get when you combine the thrill of amateur radio with the power of the internet? You get ham radio online!
The world of amateur radio is a global community with members from every country and culture.l
It’s an industry that has been around for almost as long as electricity, with people using it to talk all over the globe, way before the internet and cell phones came along.
In the modern-day environment, everyday communication is pretty much ruled by the internet. However, it is possible to connect ham radios to wireless networks.
Giving people from all around the world the ability to listen in without needing to have access to a ham radio setup of their own.
Also how – if you’re an amateur radio operator, you can connect your ham radio to the internet!
How to listen to ham radio on your computer
There are hundreds of websites online that give you the ability to listen to ham radio online through your computer. To do this they use 2 types of technology “SDR” and “RX” which can be accessed from your computer using the following software.
WebSDR is popular software using SDR technology to allow users to all tune in independently, it’s free, runs well on Windows and under Linux.
WebSDR receivers are available all over the world, many of them run by local ham radio clubs. To connect with WebSDR, all you have to do is configure your favorite internet browser or SDR receiver application (software) like the HRD Logbook.
It’s a free, open-source software that allows you to listen in on amateur radio conversations from anywhere around the world. Using this service is as simple as visiting their website and typing in your location.
Similar to WebSDR, OpenWebRX is another free, open-source software package for Linux software. It gives you the ability to remotely operate SDR HF receivers over the internet.
Is there an app to listen to Ham radio on my phone
Yes, there are various Apps available, we recommend trying the Echolink App. Available for both IPhone an Android phones, it’s a free service that allows you to connect your device to the Echolink system, giving you the ability to listen in real-time.
To use this app on Android: go here .
For iOS: go here.
Do I need a license to listen to ham radio online?
No, you do not need a license to listen in. This is a great way to get started in the hobby without needing to invest money.
It’s important to note that you cannot transmit on ham radio without a licence.
How to connect your ham radio to a computer
Connecting a ham radio to a computer is as simple as connecting an external USB speaker. A ham radio connected to a PC can be used for packet data, texting, telephone calls, CW (Morse code), even softmodem programming.
To connect your ham radio to a computer you will need a few things: a computer, ham radio hardware with a USB output (preferably), an antenna connection on the back of your PC, and appropriate software to control/configure it.
PC interfaces can be used to connect a ham radio to the internet. There are several online sites for listening to ham radio broadcasts. These broadcast sites have a variety of quality levels, so you can find something with a higher quality level if you have better bandwidth or want the best possible quality of sound.
A common modern-day solution is as follows:
* install a virtual serial port driver, such as [PuTTY](putty.exe)
* put your radio in data mode and output the audio to its microphone (“data”) socket using an appropriate cable (often supplied with the radio). This should be done by setting the radio’s “data” switch appropriately. You will need to know which mode your radio is configured for (USB, LSB, etc.).
* set the serial port parameters to 19200bps and “no flow control” in PuTTY.
Connecting a ham radio to an Android device requires hardware that converts USB-to-“something” or Bluetooth connectivity. You will need appropriate software on both ends.
Ham radio internet gateways and repeaters
A ham radio internet gateway is a system that allows for voice, packet, or other data signals to be routed over the Internet.
These are often connected in some way directly back to local amateur repeaters allowing much greater range than simple on-air FM communications. It’s important to note that not all gateways support digital modes such as packet and PSK31.
To connect local ham radio repeaters over the internet you will need a gateway between your computer and the repeater, without it GSM/Internet gateways are useless.
A GSM/Internet gateway is a device that enables the connection of a standard FM/D-Star transceiver to remote Amateur Radio stations and repeaters over Internet Protocol networks, such as the public Internet or commercial cellular data services.
There are many types of gateways, the most common is an IP radio which allows you to directly connect your computer (via USB) or wireless router. To do this all you have to do is configure your PC’s settings with the correct information and enable Internet connection sharing on any other network devices (routers/modems).
Analog repeaters are typically used for FM communications, these allow you to talk locally over a wider range. To connect your ham radio to an analog repeater all you have to do is configure the settings on your PC and enable Internet connection sharing as mentioned above.
There are many types of repeaters, the most common is an analog (FM) repeater. These are used for local FM communications and can be connected digitally using GSM devices or software like DStarRepeater.
With the right equipment and a little technical know-how, you can tap into this fascinating hobby. We’ve provided some information on how to connect your ham radio up to the internet so you can listen online and for the more experienced radio operator, how to connect your local repeater to the internet.