Near-Fest Forum

The Next One - NEAR-Fest XXXII - October 14 & 15, 2022 => NEAR-Fest XXXII - October 14 & 15 2022 => Topic started by: W1RC on February 13, 2022, 05:09:21 AM

Title: Hamshack Hotline - A Great New Use for Old IP Telephones
Post by: W1RC on February 13, 2022, 05:09:21 AM
Hold on to your hat....... something new and wonderful is coming right at you.  And all you need to enjoy it is an Internet router that has Ethernet ports, an Internet IP telephone and an Amateur Radio license.  This is because there are many RF links or ?bridges? where you can actually get on the air and transmit from various locations.

First of all, what is it?  HAMSHACK HOTLINE is the brainchild of my friend John Rogers, K1WIZ.  Along with a core group of like-minded volunteers they have created this incredible world-wide VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) network exclusively for amateur radio operators.  This network uses ?repurposed? Internet telephone equipment to talk to other HH members anywhere in the world for free.  Just punch in their HH extension number and talk.  But there is more......a lot more.

Here is an excellent ?third party? review of Hamshack Review:

The official web site is

The FAQ is here:

The technical stuff is at

There is also a Hamshack Hotline Facebook group:

My comments:  As a licensed ?old school? radio amateur for over fifty years my initial reaction was ?it?s not real ham radio?.   And it isn?t if you look at amateur radio in the traditional sense.  However if you open your bandpass a bit and try to understand that ham radio today is not only about RADIO; it?s all about COMMUNICATION which means getting a message through to other people using any means possible by utilizing our technical skills and ingenuity.  Like the radio Hamshack Hotline is simply another way of doing it.  And, no antennas are needed.



MisterMike, W1RC
Hamshack Hotline extension 12237
Title: Hamshack Hotline For Dummies
Post by: W1RC on February 13, 2022, 06:31:25 AM
Hamshack Hotline for Dummies.

1.  You need an Internet connect that uses a ROUTER.  Most likely if you have WiFi the router supplied by your ISP (Internet Service Provided).  The router usually has four or more Ethernet ports and this is where you will connect the IP telephone (see #2) using a piece of CAT5 Ethernet cable.

2. You need an IP (Internet Protocol) telephone.  Only certain models are approved for use on HH and the list is on their web site.  The most common readily available IP phones are made by CISCO (no relation to The Cisco Kid).  The basic three line entry level model is the SPA-303 and the SPA-504 which are pretty much the same only the 504 has five line capability which you probably don?t need.  For more information on phones see the next article.

3. Your FCC-issued amateur radio license, Technician class or higher. 

4.  Once you have these three things you need to go to the Hamshack Hotline and create an account.

Create new account.

5.  Once your account has been activated go to the Help Desk

and open a new user activation ticket.  You will provide your name, callsign, location, email address and the information on the data plate on the bottom of the phone.  Photograph your data tag and attach it to your ticket.  In due course you will receive an email giving you your extension number and a password.  Do not lose this information.  This usually happens pretty quickly but if it isn?t fast enough for you please remember that all this is done by VOLUNTEERS who have jobs, family and lives so be patient.

6.  Connect your phone to your router with an Ethernet network cable.  Power up the phone,

7.  Get the phone?s IP address.

8.  You are almost there.  You now need to activate or ?provision? your phone.  Go to 

Look on the left side of the page near the bottom for the provisioning guides.  Select your model and click on it.


9. Edit the line and change the x.x.x.x to the phone?s actual IP address.

10. Copy and paste the edited line into your web browser?s address window and hit ENTER. 

11. Wait for the provisioning to take place.  Your phone will reboot.  Pick up the receiver.  Yiu will hear a dial tone. 

Test the connection by dialing *43 for the echo test line.

Don'tcha just love it?


Title: Guide to IP Phones
Post by: W1RC on February 13, 2022, 07:33:47 AM
There are a number of Internet phones out there but it is best to use one that is supported.  HH recommends CISCO SPA303,SPA504 and the SPA525G2 which is my personal choice although it costs more. 

Always ask the seller if the phone is UNLOCKED and if it isn?t don?t buy it.

FeeBay is the best place to buy one. The basic models are cheap.  You can get them as low as $30 shipped if you are lucky.  A new SPA-525G2 will run up to a C Note.  The phones don?t usually come with the 5 Volt DC power supply because many business routers have PoE (Power over Ethernet) available for these devices.  However your home router will probably not have PoE and you will then need the 5Volt DC supply. The pin is positive and should provide 5V at 2A.

Here is the manual for the SPA-525G2 phone which is my recommendation.

Have fun.