Topband: receiving beacon - What is "Skype"?

Eric Scace K3NA eric at
Wed Mar 1 07:43:21 EST 2006

I received a good question about the receiving beacon 
system: "What is 'Skype'?"

Skype is a software tool for making the equivalent of 
telephone calls over the Internet between two computer users 
who have Skype software installed on their computer.  The 
service and software are free and available at:

Transmitted audio originates from the mic input on the 
computer soundcard, and received audio is delivered to the 
line output.

Additionally Skype service provides:
    -- video calls between Skype users (free).
    -- on-line chat and on-line file transfer between Skype 
users (free).
    -- for a tiny fee (about $0.02/minute to almost 
everywhere in the industrial world), a Skype user on a 
computer can call any normal telephone/cell phone.
    -- other fee-based services allow a Skype user to 
receive phone calls from the conventional telephone network 
(picking his phone number from any place he wants a 'local 
number'), and for voicemail.

Skype software is configured for the receiving beacon as 
    -- The Orion receiver line output signal is connected to 
the soundcard mic input.
    -- The soundcard mic level is adjusted for about 80% use 
of the A/D converter in the soundcard, but static crashes 
may take it a bit higher.
    -- The Skype software is configured to automatically 
answer an incoming call.
    -- At present, the Skype software is configured to allow 
calls from any Skpe user.

I hope this helps clarify the situation.

    -- Eric K3NA

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