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The future of ham radio whether we want to accept it or not is VOIP.  Many advancements in ham radio lately consists of VOIP technology including Echolink, Allstar, DMR, DSTAR,  System Fusion and so many other options, but today I want to talk about Hamshack Hotline.  There are other providers but this was the first one to come on scene.  Hams Over IP and Amateur Wire are other options but Hamshack Hotline is probably the most popular at this time since its what started it.

What is Hamshack Hotline?

Hamshack Hotline uses the internet and VOIP phones to network together and be able to call other HH users, connect to reflectors, and there are audio only lines.  Here is a link to the phone book on the Hamshack Hotline Page.  You can also use softphone apps which are apps that are on your computer or phone to access Hamshack Hotline.

Why Use Hamshack Hotline?

Hamshack Hotline is just another mode of communication for operators.  It can be used in EOCs, for ARES, off air troubleshooting, and clubs. Conference rooms allow large groups of hams to coordinate and meet in real time.  If you have the right equipment, faxing is also available.

How do I get Hamshack Hotline?

Getting on Hamshack Hotline was pretty easy for me.  I purchased a compatible phone from eBay for $20 and received it in just a few days.  I went to the Hamshack Hotline website and opened a ticket.  Within a few hours i had an extension and the instructions for provisioning my phone.  There is an extensive knowledge base, they call it a wiki, and other ways to ask for help including a Discord server.  I was able to open a ticket to get the information I needed to add my extension to the softphone app as well.  The team is real responsive when you need help or information. The Discord server has been extremely helpful.

What do I need to get Hamshack Hotline?

First you will need a callsign.  Then you need a compatible phone. Here is a list of supported phones at the time of this writing:

CISCO: WIP-310, SPA-112, SPA-122, SPA-232D, SPA-303, SPA-504, SPA-508, SPA-509, SPA-514, SPA-525G(2), SPA-941, SPA-942, SPA-962, SPA- 2102c 232D & 302D go together, that's the Cisco DECT cordless phone.


Polycom VVX 201, VVX 410, VVX 411

When you open a ticket you will be asked for the MAC address of the phone you are wanting to use. This is typically listed on the phone itself or within the software of the phone. It's best to reset your phone back to factory settings before provisioning.  It's also crucial that the phone is unlocked so when you purchase it online make sure the seller states that the phone is unlocked, some companies lock their phones so they can't be connected through other VOIP providers.

Last Thoughts

Thats about it for Hamshack Hotline, you can read a lot more information on their website. My extension is 6100001449 and I use the East Coast Reflector most of all, it's available on HH and Hams Over IP. It's not as busy as America Link but there is enough traffic for testing features and audio.  


Hamshack Hotline Hamshack Hotline Wiki

Hams Over IP Hams Over IP Wiki

Amateur Wire Amateur Wire Knowledge Base