Rich Freeman on 16 May 2019 05:36:25 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] PLUG Fusion room or DMR Talkgroup

On Thu, May 16, 2019 at 6:27 AM Jim Fisher <> wrote:
> OK. Let's get back to where this started....getting local like-minded
> folks ON THE AIR.

I thought this was about a place to talk about PLUG/Linux, ideally on
the air?  If you just want to talk on a repeater you can tune into any
of the local repeaters and key up...

> A private talkgroup or whatever is STUPID. NOT ham radio.
> JOIN the Ham community. Don't isolate. Join a club. Go to meetings.

So, I think this was more about the intersection of the PLUG community
and ham community, which isn't the same as the general ham community.
I doubt anybody is going to stop attending PLUG meetings or their
local ham club meetings because they're also participating in this.

The problem with just pointing PLUG members to the directory of local
ham clubs is that they tend to cover different geographies/etc.  There
is likely no repeater which all the PLUG members would all be able to
use conveniently (at least not which would make sense).

The advantage with starting with an online reflector/group/etc is that
it immediately covers both the topic (PLUG members) and geography (the
world).  It can then easily be bridged onto repeaters where this makes
sense, which gets you the OTA access.  In the case of a BM DMR
talkgroup this can be done dynamically by anybody on any BM repeater
or hotspot.

While I get that this might be perceived as isolationist, I think it
has the benefit of covering its niche better.  I mean, we could all
talk about PLUG in some general-purpose IRC channel with 50 million
people on it, but #plug gets used because it is more focused.

I think this is also part of why repeaters/etc are struggling.  They
organize discussion by geography by default, and people prefer to
organize discussion by topic/interest.  If you're interested in PERL
you would probably prefer to talk with somebody who is also interested
in PERL in Germany, over somebody who just doesn't see the point in
writing programs in syntax that resembles line noise who just happens
to live nearby.  (Sorry, Walt, just curious if you've endured my rant
this long...)

And of course there is no reason we can't do both.  Continue to allow
the ham community to expose the Linux community to ham, and also
provide a more focused area.

That said, if we don't think the RF adds a lot of benefit another
option is to just go with an FOSS voice chat protocol (mumble,
whatever), and then you don't need a patent-encumbered radio or FCC
license to use it.  That would literally be voice IRC, but you
couldn't bridge it over RF.

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