“Things On The Air”, Really?
I couldn’t believe my eyes when an article from K0NR came across my feed about a new On The Air thing. Up until this point, I could see each of them meaning something and potentially being fun. Things like:
- Parks On The Air
- Islands On The Air
- Summits On The Air
- NASA On The Air
- Walmart Parking Lots On The Air
The last one just started about a month or so ago I believe and is used for working Satellite. Like I said above, these things have a specific meaning on what you are going to be talking to and about, but this latest one just really blows my mind.
Things On The Air
My first thought about seeing this article was, “OK, An article about all the different On The Air programs, could be worth the read.” As I began reading it, I knew that that thought was totally wrong and it was a new On The Air program.
Things On The Air was created by The Sundance Mountain Radio Association (Palmer Lake, CO) and was announced on May 25, 2018. The program is based on the Maiden Head Grid Square system that covers all of the Earth. In each grid square, can be a very large amount of “Things”, so they started with a 15 DIGIT identification number for each registered Thing.
Now, these Things are not just a specific thing like all the other On The Air programs. These Things can be a parking lot, a tree, someone’s house, a park, or anything else that you can think of.
My only question about this program is:
All the other On The Air programs have a reason behind them or at the very least and general theme. For Summits On The Air, you are chasing/activating a summit. For Parks On The Air, you are chasing/activating a park. NASA On The Air, you are chasing something that has to do with NASA.
With Things On The Air, what are you chasing/activating? Anything and Everything! So what exactly is the point?
When I am making a contact with a Things On The Air station, what exactly is the drive? For that matter, everyone could register their Home QTH and give anybody that they talk to their TOTA information. Easy points!
I mentioned earlier that the program goes off the Maidenhead Grid Squares and then a 15 DIGIT identification number. So when you make an exchange with someone on the air, you have to give your call sign, your grid square, the 15 digit identification number of where you are operating and probably a signal report.
Now, I’m sorry, but I really don’t want to give an exchange that I am going to have to give a 21 character exchange! Also, I would rather work a contest/event/program that has some kind of direction to it, rather than just anywhere someone wants to register.
What do yall think about this program? Please leave a comment below and let me know.
Until next time…
73 de Curtis, K5CLM
Creator and Owner of Everything Ham Radio
Owner of 2xC Products at 2xcproducts.com