06/13/2020 at 12:55 PM #2415Kristian KielhofnerParticipant
I’ll try to keep this as short as I can but I think it’s actually a pretty funny story.
My name is Kristian Kielhofner and I live in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. All I’ve ever done my entire life is play with computers and (sometimes) radios. Anyway, this week I was working on a project with receive-only Software Defined Radios and I needed to test something. Then I remembered I had some GMRS/FRS transceivers in a box somewhere… So I dug out my collection of four ANCIENT Icom IC-F21GMs. From what I could remember I haven’t seen these things in at least 15 years… To my surprise they fired right up and I got to testing my SDR project with one transmitting on FRS because I was sure my GMRS license was long expired.
Then I remembered they had a “scan” function and for kicks I set it on one of them. Next thing I knew the squelch broke and some dude was talking about the “Hodag repeater”! I know just enough about Wisconsin to have heard about the mythical Hodag creature that’s rumored to live in the Rhinelander “north woods”. I kind of vaguely remember programming and working a repeater back in the day with these Icoms but I knew that Rhinelander was definitely out of range for UHF GMRS action…
So like any civilized person I took to Google and found out about you folks. Then I dug into the details a bit and saw you’re using Asterisk with app_rpt to link repeaters all across the Midwest. I’m pretty sure I read somewhere you’re even using Raspberry Pis for the purpose? Now it totally makes sense but more importantly – my worlds are colliding!
I’ve essentially built my entire career on Asterisk and embedded Linux devices. I went to the first Asterisk conference (Astricon) in Atlanta in 2004 and started a company around it. I’ll leave it at that for now because I’m already five paragraphs deep.
So… When I was 18 years old in 2002 and still living with my parents I got a GMRS license. Then I got busy with Asterisk and what-not, moved to Florida, and definitely didn’t bother to renew my license by 2007. So 13 years after the expiration I’m WPUY513 only in spirit.
I’ve been listening to the action the past few days and have been itching to key up the mic but my license is long-expired so I definitely won’t. Naturally that led me to the FCC ULS and -somehow- I actually got logged in with my FRN. It’s legit hilarious seeing my childhood home address and my parents land line telephone number as the contact info.
Anyway, I’d love to hop on to a repeater if I were legal even if it means buying new gear. That said I still need to figure out this licensing problem. The FCC tells me I need a waiver of some sort because renewing a 13 year expired license is definitely against the “rules”. So I’m kind of in a weird spot… Do I dare get involved in the FCC bureaucracy to try to renew this and keep my 18 year old old call sign or do I just apply for a new license? Any thoughts?06/13/2020 at 6:27 PM #2460Joe WilsonParticipant
I would personally just apply for a new, but maybe worth the nostalgic value to go through the trouble.06/13/2020 at 8:22 PM #2461Jay RachauParticipant
Welcome to the Midwest group. If you want to get on the repeaters as soon as possible I would just apply for a new license.06/14/2020 at 9:22 AM #2462Corey BeckerKeymaster
Apply for a new license, I know several that tried to revive an old one and it always ends in a denial. We would love to hear yea, so get that new tag and get on the air!06/16/2020 at 5:02 PM #2506Ryan MaytonKeymaster
Its to bad Vanity calls are not available in GMRS, could have been an easy fix. Seems like they could make an easy buck offering it.
Anyhow Kristian, welcome! Myself I would just get a new license, get some late model radio gear and get out here and have fun.
Not to mention having someone in the group with your Asterisk background would be great.06/16/2020 at 6:53 PM #2508Kristian KielhofnerParticipant
Ok, thanks for the advice everyone! I’ll apply for a new license. Really too bad I won’t be able to get my old call sign somehow.06/21/2020 at 11:53 AM #2514Morris TaiblesonParticipant
The best part of new license is that it is $70 for 10 years. And even better is that it covers your whole family. Wife, kids grandparents, inlaws, aunts, uncles………the only exception is that it does not cover cousins……..(don’t ask me why. That is just the way it is.)
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