Coming at you right here over the wires is a story about a group of amateur radio operators (or “hams”) down in the southern part of the United States. These gentlemen work as a team on weekends and evenings to share information and chat re: radio stuffs, and have been doing so as a cohesive group for years. Now, for this group, being spread out over distance and committing only their free time to radio activity (that is, activity relating to radio; not ionizing particles), it’s not always easy to share findings and meet in person; radio waves may carry their voices for miles, but what about graphics or files on their computers’ hard drives? When The Bell Ringers have got images to share, software to demonstrate, or problems to solve, they turn to Acrobat.com for screen sharing and virtual meetings. Let’s dive in and take a look at what it is they do.
Screen-sharing for software demonstrations
For this group, one of the primary uses of Acrobat.com and its web conferencing application, ConnectNow, is to share data and graphics on the subject of radio equipment and radiation, as displayed in specialized software. John (call sign WA5MLF) can share his screen while running this software and show the whole group the fruit of his labor. Says John,
“A major virtue of conducting a group demo via ConnectNow was for the group members to request and see in real time the results of changing various antenna parameters. Also, I could rotate the 3D view of antenna radiation pattern around any of 3 axes while the participants enjoyed many different views of the pattern. Participants could see the program’s various pull-down menus and data entry windows in use for constructing or modifying an antenna model.”
Obviously, these amateurs aren’t so amateurish; what the heck is an antenna parameter?! While we may not all understand the nuances of radio waves and associated software, it’s easy to understand that these guys are using Acrobat.com to show images and processes from one computer to users spread out across many.
Remote screen control
The gang also uses Acrobat.com’s remote control feature to help a group member solve a software problem; even when they’re not in the same space, they can use this feature to request control of the computer of whoever’s sharing his screen at the time. Says John, “We have tested the ability to remotely control another member’s computer desktop and see that this can be a very helpful function. … The exercise of these control functions seemed to have very good performance (i.e. low latency).” He can “control [a] transceiver via Ham Radio Deluxe software” using Acrobat.com and his own mouse and keyboard, eliminating the need to waste time and gasoline driving over to the other participant’s house to solve the problem in person.
Face time across distances
As these guys chat across the radio waves, they can also turn on their web cams to see each other face to face—and to meet one another’s canine companions. Even with three people at a time using their webcams, “the performance with multiple participants appears to be very good.”
Many thanks to all you Bell Ringers for sharing your story here on the Acrobat.com blog! Happy hamming.