Internet Archive Seeks Material for Library of Amateur Radio and Communications
78 comments·October 5, 2022
This is a mammoth task but an important one. I wonder if there's a way to collaborate with existing collections of historical Amateur radio data, such as the famous "QSL Collection" from Vienna: https://www.dokufunk.org/index.php?lang=EN
I think they have more material than probably anyone else in the world, but much of it is "offline" (partly digitized but not web accessible).
Another huge collection of historic QSL cards, bios of deceased radio amateurs and other stuff: http://hamgallery.com/
Amatuer radio seems full of little software tools to do calculations that are closed source. I hope the authors can be encouraged to publish source, or it will die with them.
Not just closed source but a completely black box, like the ROS and Pactor 4 digimodes. (To be fair, the latter is a commercial product so the blame is on ham radio operators, not the company who designed it.)
> Pactor 4 digimodes.
I've always been curious as to how they "got away" with being proprietary: encryption isn't allowed on amateur bands, but given its black box nature, the codec (?) might as well be a cipher.
Has anyone reverse engineered it? It is possible to create a third-party implementation, either in hardware or SDR?
In many cases it already has.
Maybe they want it that way? Why do you always need access to someone else's work. Many of them build these apps to fund their hobbies or put a little food on the table.
amateur radio service means a radiocommunication service in which radio apparatus are used for the purpose of self-training, intercommunication or technical investigation by individuals who are interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and *without pecuniary interest;* (service de radioamateur)
So … you just wouldn’t be able to talk about the tools you build and charge money for… on the hobby you built them for?
Seems kind of ironic. And, imho - missing the point of the hobby.
Not an amateur radio guy myself but from what I understand it's supposed to be a strictly non-commercial undertaking which means it's a bit churlish to keep your code closed-source.
Many of these tools are free to download, nothing to do with putting food on the table. When the old man that wrote them dies the tools are lost.
They are in luck, then, because hams are famous for never throwing anything out, ask me how I know.
Does it have to be strictly historical radio content? I have a radio app I used to showcase some of my compositions but I'm not sure it'd qualify.
It should be related to amateur radio, so if it is about broadcast radio probably not.
Outstanding context, thank you!
This is a wonderful partnership to learn about. I hope that Internet Archive is successful here.
Onno W. Purbo hosted his own Amateur Radio personal wiki . He's also uploaded his talks on Youtube .
On a given day I'm moving tens of thousands of items around to make them easier to find. I'm sure I'll get to your section sooner or later.
Are you involved with IA? I'm actually really interested in what your day to day looks like, could you share more?
Jason's day-to-day is pretty well covered in his Twitter account: https://twitter.com/textfiles
A lot of the time the metadata accuracy is up to the original uploader. IA's upload system doesn't magically fill in all the metadata details for an item.
Also doesn't allow other to update metadata or even submit for review.
Wikidata has a property for Internet Archive ID, so it wouldn't be conceptually hard to construct a parallel metadata store there, but it would involve hundreds of millions of triples so it's definitely "hard" in other senses.
While I also wish the Archive to be more precise - e.g. in the "Author" and in the "Year of publication" fields -,
I suggest that you check their RSS feeds to see how staggeringly high the rate of uploads is. That uploading is "frenetic" (in a good way of course) reveals where the focus is. For re-assessing and fixing the records a parallel team would probably be needed.
I would gladly help towards that: I never checked but maybe one can volunteer.
I agree. I had wondered how successful and easy it would be to create a "front end" site that does a better job of searching, organizing archive.org.
I don’t know how common it is for hams to collect these but my father has thousands, so I’ll try to get him to send what he has your way
Before internet the physical cards ware the proof that you had had that contact. They ware needed for awards in in many countries to even advance from your license class upwards.
In Finland one had to have 300 confirmed (paper QSL card received) contacts with morse code before you could even attempt the tests for higher license classes that allowed voice and data. Thankfully now abolished, along with the mandatory morse code requirement.
a collab between IA and the ARRL would be ideal! but i feel the two institutions may not see eye to eye.