GB3KDs Zello gateway was mentioned at the AGM, to which someone retorted that “it’s not real radio!”. True, but it must have some good points because it is packed with radio amateurs! You can access it with the Zello app on a smartphone, or with one of these so-called”network radios”, of which there are mobile and handie talkie versions. They work via WiFi or 3g/4g so you can use them equally well at home or on the move.
The audio is really good compared to echolink (some echolink stations sound good, but many sound awful). The zello protocol is also better than echolink – no messing around with UDP port numbers, and you can have multiple devices logged in at the same time. The protocol reconnects automatically if the signal drops temporarily, and no part of the message is lost.
You can have one to one connections just like echolink, or you can join channels which are like radio channels with lots of people listening. The “gb3kd repeater” channel is one such channel. There are only a few repeaters online so far but that is likely to change. The point of the Zello gateway is that it bridges the RF world and the hidden world of network radio. It means you can keep in touch with your RF friends who are in range of gb3kd, no matter where you roam. It’s just another tool in the communication toolbox. Providing one end of the QSO is using RF, it is still radio.