What e-mail lists cover amateur radio?
Mailing lists work by having a centrally maintained list of subscribers who will receive all emails sent to the nominated email address for the list. Such lists are sometimes also called reflectors.
How do lists work? You send your email to the list address, where it is reissued as an email to all the current subscribers. You don't need to know the email addresses of all the subscribers. You deal with the list management system via emails, sending it a request to join (or subscribe to) the list, then you receive instructions from the list management system on how to confirm your email address is valid. After confirming your email address you will usually receive an email from the list software advising you how to send TO the list and how to leave the list if you decide to "unsubscribe".
E-mail lists have become very popular for amateurs interested in specific interests within amateur radio. Mailing lists set up by Australian amateurs cover topics as diverse as microwaves, repeaters, low power, low frequencies, amateur radio direction finding, VHF and more. One-way mailing lists (where the list moderator only can post) are also extensively used for sending amateur news bulletins (eg QNEWS or APC News).
Because most people check their e-mail more frequently than look at a newsgroup, they allow more rapid distribution of information than newsgroups. Their limited membership (sometimes controlled by a moderator) tends to mean that the discussion is of a higher quality than on some newsgroups. They are much quicker to set up than a newsgroup, so can be established at short notice to discuss a matter of current interest (eg a new piece of equipment). Subscribing to mailing lists is free.
There are many radio-related mailing lists hosted by Yahoo, where they are known as Groups. You can go to the Groups home page and search for groups by name or keyword. You will find groups focussing on every brand of radio and in some cases focussing on one specific radio, such as the IC703 or the FT817. There are groups discussing portable and mobile operation and some groups discuss operating portable radios on HF bands, while actually walking around either in the city or up in the hills (search for HFPACK or HFPACKCW).
You will also find many other mailing lists hosted privately.
Suggestion: Keep the email from the list software that tells you how to unsubscribe. This is important if you decide you don't want to stay a list member, or you need to change your subscribed email address. It is worth keeping postings from the more experienced list members as they can be a valuable resource for reference purposes.
Here are details of two relevant mailing lists.
WIA news mailing list
This mailing list allows you to receive text versions of the weekly news broadcast. To subscribe you only need to enter your email address into a web form at the wia website.
VK-VHF mailing list or "reflector"
This mailing list is run by Hugh Blemings VK2YYZ, who took over the administration of the list in March 2008.
The list is open to anyone interested in exchanging information or news, making skeds, asking questions or requesting help on any topic related to VHF/UHF long distance amateur communications. The majority of list subscribers use SSB and CW on 6m and 2m, with many also having stations capable of operating on the 420-450 MHz, 1.2 GHz bands and higher.
To join the list go to the following address https://ozlabs.org/mailman/listinfo/vk-vhf and follow the instructions there.
You will receive an email advising how to validate your list membership. Follow the instructions.