It is thought that it was around for some time in the States before the UK had a go at it but it was a major breakthrough for the UK to get the Dinosaurs bones moving in the corridors of power to grant permission. ( Its easier to move Nuclear waste and dump it than to get any decision about Ham radio usage in the UK)Anyway, from that beginning all was not smooth running.The first program to be used was Iphone. This was a commercial server system which was used where a few hams had written programs to adapt its use so that rooms appeared which stations could enter and have contacts similar to room 101english. The problem was that we had no control available as to who came in the room and from time to time the rooms were visited by those who had had brain surgery which had gone wrong.
There were no courtesy tones and it was difficult for the gateway keepers to send station idents from their gateways without chopping up users incoming audio.In 2001 the Iphone server became unstable and again ways around this were devised.After it had settled down a question was put to Dave G4CGB at a club evening at the Hillcrest ARS in Dudley by Paul M0ZPD. “ how is the gateway going then ?”
Dave’s reply was “well, glad you asked because we have no courtesy tones we have no way of putting out idents like a repeater does without chopping users audio , other than that fine we seem to just blunder on, but its great fun”Paul remarked that he would have a go at fixing this and came up with a little bolt on program which did all the missing things. Marvellous !What happened then, you guessed it, 3 weeks later Iphone went belly up and we had nothing for a week or two.
The dedicated gate keepers battled on and several other programs were tried. TEAMSOUND, ROGER WILCO and a few others were tried but were all lacking in some way.In the mean time Paul M0ZPD was busy writing the first version of eQso. It took several versions to get it perfected. The main problem for months was it consumed resources and after an hour your pc locked up and died. The server fell over every hour and in those days users had to be glued to their Pc’s to keep the software going. But it was all worth it hearing all the Dx stations coming in on 2 metres.
Sanity returned to the hobby of VIOP gateway linking towards the end of 2001 when the software versions became stable and from then on Paul has provide us with more control for admins and much better overall views of the system with easier movement from room to room.Up until the early 2002 a good old boy G7WZL John was providing the server on his broadband connection but as new users came along this took up his bandwidth and we went through a spell of lots of packet lost , and I mean lots of packet loss.Then the yanks arrived. Johnny K5JD in Richmond Texas saw we were in need of assistance and has dedicated the spare capacity on his office system since around early in 2002. What a difference it made. Fantastic, clear audio with hardly any breaks and a pleasure to listen to. We owe a lot to the Yanks one way or another. We owe our thanks to Johnny for his provision and trust and hope his system remains available to us to use for many years in the future. Thankyou Johnny from all who use the server.
There are many others who have indeed spent many hours behind the scenes from the beginning up until now writing programs, preparing help files, monitoring the rooms (Admins) for none conforming audio noises.Eqso is not a program which runs itself, it has to be carefully monitored and groomed by those who enjoy its provision and agree to help in its function.Thankyou lads for your support.And of course, the users who have had to get used to a new way of communicating with different protocols need a mention here.Well, that’s it, we await a new version which we hope will give us better movement around the rooms using DTMF tones. Paul is working on it right now so stay tuned for the next version coming your way soon.