Network Radio

Some years ago I bought a network radio.

The one I bought looked like a VHF handheld complete with PTT and antenna. In fact it was an Android phone using the internet as the main link.

I used mine with Echolink so I could talk with people via distant repeaters. At the time solar conditions were poor and I thought it would be well used.

The main issue was a lack of repeater activity. I can see the attraction if you are unable to put up antennas (e.g. in a care home),, but to me it was not "real radio". If you just want a chat maybe network radios are fine. Being able to speak with locals on handhelds on the other side of the planet is fun!

Other forms of network radio are CQ100 and Hamsphere. These simulate amateur radio whereas Echolink actually uses amateur radio.

UPDATE AUG 9TH 2018: Well, I have an Inrico T320 and it is fun. OK, it uses the internet for the first hop (either Wi-Fi or 3/4G), but having other Android apps like email is a real bonus. Being able to work through distant repeaters is fun. As a transceiver it "feels" like a 2m or 70cm handheld.

UPDATE SEPT 20th 2019: My network radio hardly gets used. I am quite surprised, but I find Echolink QSOs strangely unsatisfying. I prefer "real" radio. This surprised me.

UPDATE April 18th 2022. I cannot remember when I last used mine. I remember finding repeaters very quiet.