For use during OCRA Club meetings and nets, a capability similar to the ham radio telephone patch was developed by OCRA club member Dan KR4UB. When available to serve as control operator, this capability is offered especially to those not having the required ham radio equipment to hear the radio net, and for a limited number of check-ins to the net from Zoom. Two methods are described below for you to participate in an OCRA radio net from Zoom.
Here are a few general housekeeping bits of information:
- If you have an amateur radio station set up to participate in OCRA Nets, please use it. However if you don’t, please feel free to connect using Zoom. To do so, you need to familiarize yourself with the Zoom / Radio Net procedures below.
- Those on Zoom expecting to check in to an OCRA radio net must follow all FCC regulations, especially identifying with your callsign.
- Due to the increased number of participants, please keep your transmissions short, unless net control directs a specific request to you for more in depth information on an agenda topic.
- For monthly club membership meetings, the net and video conference audio will be recorded to assist the club secretary in writing the minutes of the meeting, and then erased.
Preparing your Computer/Device for Zoom Conference Use
Use of the “Zoom Client for Meetings” application at the download link below is recommended. This application reduces the processor loading on your device, your internet bandwidth consumption, and provides better audio quality for everyone in the conference as compared to using a browser application to join the Zoom conference.
- If you don’t have “Zoom Client for Meetings” installed, Click the Zoom Download Center to install the application.
- Test your audio/video device setup before joining the conference by using the following tests provided by Zoom:
- Familiarize yourself with the Zoom controls and, if using the conference to radio net audio bridge, the “Push to Talk” (over the radio net) methods below..
The email you received with the URL link to this page contains the Zoom ID and Password Information to log into Zoom.
You can join the Zoom conference and just listen to the radio net in progress or, use one of two methods described below to check in and participate in the radio net from the Zoom Conference.
Method 1. – Visual Cues to the Control Operator to key PTT on your behalf to participate in the Radio Net
Method 2. – Using the Remote PTT Control Web Application for Zoom to Net Radio Transmissions)
Click here for the PTT Remote Control Access
The above link will take you to the PTT Remote Control web page developed and provided by OCRA club member Mark, KR3AM.
If you have an access account you will go directly to the PTT Control page after signing in. If you don’t have an access account, the sign up process will begin, appearing as shown below.
Sample sign up & 2 factor authentication window
- Chose your user login ID name
- Enter your email address required for two factor authentication
- Chose your password meeting the requirements shown as you type the password.
- Follow he steps to complete the 2 factor authentication
- The Push-To_Talk screen will be visible after completing 2 factor authentication. Add your call sign and first name to the “Your Identify” block and click the “Update” button.
- PTT Remote control status will indicate “Test:” or “Live:”.
- “Test:” mode permits a user to operate the PTT keying relay in test mode with no radio transmitter connected. You can test your access anytime before the net.
- “Live:” mode means the control operator KR4UB, has enabled the Remote Control radio PTT transmit capability.
- When transmit mode is activated using any of the 3 methods shown, a timeout counter will begin a count down. If you wish to continue transmitting beyond the timeout period, click transmit again.
Follow these steps to key the Remote PTT!
- Un-Mute your Microphone in the Zoom Window, a bit ahead of your turn to speak.
- Click the PTT Control window to make it the active window on your computer.
- Activate transmit to speak; speak when the transmit timer starts; return PTT to Receive State.
Be sure to keep the Push-to-Talk window the active window on your computer
Clicking on any other open window on your screen will make the PTT window in-active.
Use any of the 3 methods provided.