FediHams is a digital voice interconnection with support for multiple ham radio networks, put together by Michael DK1MI to support amateur radio use and experimentation for the Mastodon network.
For more info about FediHams and instructions on how to join, see its home page at https://fedihams.net . For details about Mastodon.radio - one participant in a federated set of servers sometimes known as the Fediverse - see https://mastodon.radio .
The network as it's currently constructed allows use by amateurs coming in on the Echolink, Allstar, Yaesu System Fusion, and Peanut networks, as well as to two different DMR networks (Brandmeister and TGIF). All of these nets require proof of amateur status to join. Not all of them require a purpose built hardware radio to connect; in particular, Echolink and Peanut were both tested with apps running on my Android mobile phone.
I connected to the FediHams network with three different configurations - Echolink (via phone), Peanut (via phone), and DMR (Brandmeister DMR via a DMR radio and my MMDVM gateway).
For Echolink, the configuration was easy because I already had the software running on my phone to support connections to the regular Sunday night net run by the University of Michigan Amateur Radio Club. Use node DK1MI-L (963110) and you'll be added to FediHams. Please note, the Echolink use of Internet protocols doesn't always play nicely with modern firewalls, and I nearly always have to turn off wifi and connect through the data plan on my phone; your results may vary. If you don't already have Echolink installed, after you download it you'll need to validate your license via instructions at https://www.echolink.org/validation/ .
For Peanut, you'll want to download a client from the home base of David PA7LIM at https://www.pa7lim.nl/peanut/ and send in your proof of license via provided instructions. The software is provided for Windows (not tested) and Android. Once that is all set (it took a day for me), you can configure the app to connect to the channel of your choice and away you go. Please note that channel listings are provided via a drop-down menu keyed by country, and the YSF-FEDI channel is listed under the DE (Germany) menu. The user interface is a simple push-to-talk, and I found the sound quality quite pleasant especially because I could use a good headset on my phone.
I'm using the Brandmeister DMR network on my MMDVM hotspot, and a Radioddity GD-77 HT. Program your HT to connect to TG 2630002, and then check the Brandmeister network info page at https://brandmeister.network/?page=lh&DestinationID=2630002 to see your traffic. On my MMDVM hotspot status page, the connection shows up as TG DK1MI. MMDVM will start monitoring FediHams once your first transmission goes through. If you want to always have traffic to FediHams key up your radio, you'll need to connect to the Brandmeister "Self Care" page for your hotspot and add 2630002 as a static talkgroup.
My first test on FediHams was to use Echolink and DMR to both connect to the network at the same time and to talk to myself. Sound quality was fine, and the delay in transmission was about 4-5 seconds. (Delays come from the distance of the Internet connection from Ann Arbor to SW Germany, but also from delays associated with voice transcoding.) I even had a pretty respectable echo loop set up as the phone and the radio listened to each other.
More fun of course is an actual QSO with an actual person on the other end of the line. Michael DK1MI and I had a few nice conversations on 2022-10-11 - one part "how do I sound" of course, and also a discussion of how the network is put together and some hopes for future use. DK1MI has a blog at http://qrz.is which has details on a number of projects (hardware and software) with a ham radio theme.
This is my second go at getting a useful repeater configuration for use with Mastodon.radio. You can see my notes on the first try at https://vielmetti.typepad.com/w8emv/2020/07/feditalk-qso-dmr-brandmeister-tg-23514-with-m0yng.html where Christopher M0YNG and I both made a connection through a Brandmeister DMR TG. My hope is that the new FediHams setup will work with connections from a variety of networks and will also help discover new connections.
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