Amateur Radio Propagation Studies
Science, research, engineering, operating
Instant Messaging in amateur radio
IM is a perfect tool for scheduling dx propagation experiments, exchanging dx information or just chatting with fellow hams
Initially, I was sceptical about Instant Messaging because I am a radio amateur and my interest in internet chat services is actually pretty low (except of the ham radio chatrooms, of course). However, I learnt that the Instant Messaging service is a perfect tool for scheduling dx propagation experiments and for exchanging dx information between individual radio amateurs. It is effective, very fast and very easy-to-use and may clearly assist radio amateurs in various aspects. After having launched this chatroom, I already enjoyed various 'QSOs' with many radio amateurs around the world - I must now admit, I like IM and its special atmosphere.
Because Instant Messaging is available for many years, I am convinced other radio amateurs had the same idea long time before I became aware of this opportunity. On the other hand, there are many radio amateurs having installed the iChat client software on their computers but never used it in ham radio applications.
... using iChat
iChat is the easy-to-use chat client which comes with your Macintosh OS X.
Select the 'Go to Chat...' item and enter the chat name
That's all. See you in the chatroom...
... using AIM
AIM is the 'AOL Instant Messenger' software which is available for Macintosh, Linux and other types of computer systems.
Please refer to the control panel on the left to access the chatroom by using your AIM software.
How does it work?
The 'AOL Instant Messaging (AIM)' service provides this chatroom, i.e. this room operates independent from this webpage. However, AOL allows its users to place a control panel on personal webpages (see the AIM panel on the right) which links to the worldwide AIM network. Note that Instant Messaging is not restricted to chatroom applications. Personal messages between individual users are indeed much more popular in Instant Messaging than chatrooms, i.e. you may talk to your chat buddy directly without using any chatroom. However, to access a fellow radio amateur you need to know his/her so-called 'AIM screen name' (see below). In this chatroom, you may view the screen names of many radio amateurs, I hope.
What type of software is needed?
To access the AIM service, a client software is required, i.e. your internet browser is not needed. Macintosh OS X users may apply the iChat software which is a feature of the Mac OS X. Alternatively, you may use iChat's big brother, i.e. the AIM software which provides even more features, bells and whistles. The AIM software is available for almost any computer system and may be downloaded at http://www.aim.com.
What else is needed?
Before using the iChat or AIM software, you must register your personal 'screen name' at AOL. The screen name is very similiar to your ham radio callsign, i.e. it identifies the user in the worldwide AIM network. Registering your screen name is a matter of a few minutes and it is free! You only need to specify your choosen screen name, a password, an email address (in case AOL needs to resend you the password) and your birthday, i.e. AOL does not ask for any sensitive personal information. Please refer to http://my.screenname.aol.com to view the details.
I wish to join but I don't know how
Joining the Instant Messaging service and this chatroom is a matter of a few minutes:
and you are ready to go. Thus, joining AIM is very simple and ... it is free.