Today was cold and frosty. I was sitting downstairs in the warm browing through my newly-arrived January 2013 RadCom. In the shack my K3 was listening for beacons, my K2 was being a Robust Packet APRS gateway on 30m and my TM-D710 was being the local VHF APRS gateway whilst the other side of this dual band radio was running my Echolink node and logged in to the IRELAND conference (Echolink’s equivalent of D-Star’s reflectors.)
The Baofeng UV-3R+ on the table burst into life and I heard Wu, BG6RRN making a call. No-one replied to him so I called back. And so I found myself having a chat about Chinese radio equipment with a Chinese radio amateur using a Chinese handheld!
Wu spoke pretty good English – better than my Chinese anyway! He asked what I thought about Chinese radio equipment and I replied as diplomatically as possible that I liked it because it was cheap but the quality control could sometimes be better. Wu was familiar with the UV-3R+ I was using to link into my Echolink node and said that they were very popular in China as well.
Wu told me that he has had an Icom IC-7000 transceiver for a month but had so far not made any European contacts. He has never tried PSK31 so I encouraged him to try it. I hope I’ll hear him on the HF bands one day. Today’s chat may not have been a proper radio QSO but I do enjoy the opportunities Echolink provides to talk with hams with whom I would not otherwise make contact.