In the category of "I had no idea, and just heard about this the other day".

Main website

HelpDesk Ticket website

From their website...

About Hamshack Hotline

Hamshack Hotline (HH) is a FREE dedicated VoIP telecom service for the Ham Radio community. Typically, phones are established in personal hamshacks, EOCs, Clubs & club members, ARES, and other Ham related areas and functions. It is not the intention of HH to replace traffic carried over the radio in an emergency or other tactical operation, but rather to augment it, by offloading managerial tactical operations and providing a full-duplex path for such communications when spectrum is occupied, conditions diminished, or otherwise unavailable. HH also supports FAXing of information (with appropriate equipment) which allows tactical offices to share documents & data between tactical locations. In a non-tactical use, HH is an effective resource for off-air troubleshooting when you need to coordinate a troubleshoot of a radio circuit off-air and between multiple SMEs. In addition to all this, conference bridges on the HH network allow large groups of Hams to coordinate & meet in real-time anywhere in the world.

Getting on board HH is easy! Just acquire a supported SIP capable phone (our network prefers to register hardware phones first), and open a ticket once you have your phone. If you have one of the phones on HH Supported Endpoints 1-7-19, then also include a picture of the Phone’s MAC address for super easy provisioning. Before joining HH, please read and understand our HH Covenant If you have any questions, our FAQ’s in the knowledge base area on our help desk may help, if not – feel free to open a ticket on our help desk.

Ham Shack Hotline now has regional linked servers covering North Americas, Europe, and Asia Pacific regions. Areas not served by their own regional servers can still be hooked into the network.

So to summarize

Pick up a used SIP compatible Cisco VoIP office style desktop handset off eBay or elsewhere, your cost should be $20 - $100 max. They maintain a list of the exact models you need to search for.

Submit a ticket to register your phone on their network. They'll send you a registration confirmation and a unique private phone extension in the system.

Follow their model by model published instructions to activate your phone over the Internet with your personal extension.

You may need to make a couple of port forwarding rules in your home router to facilitate the flow of voice data in and out of your home network.

Boom your done. You now have a working phone and a personal extension in the global Ham Shack Hotline network.

Call other extensions around the world (Ham to Ham only). Chat, organize, troubleshoot, etc.

Features include;

  • Global toll-free calling from extension to extension within this closed system.
  • All Amateur volunteer admins and staff running the system around the world.
  • Bridge rooms all over the world for group calls
  • Voicemail
  • Speed dials
  • DND, Do not disturb on/off
  • Blacklist extensions on/off
  • Wake up calls
  • Echo test
  • System clock
  • Web-based searchable global address book 

NOTE - This is not an open phone network for local or long-distance calling over traditional phone networks to traditional numbers. This is a closed Amateur Radio network only. 

Currently, there are only a few Western Canadian HH extensions activated. My activation is in process with the HHUS North American team. Overall in Canada, there are 39 extensions activated, globally there are over 2000 and growing daily.

Check it out


Update 8/29/2020

I'm all hooked up. I have my extension and handset deployed at home in the shack.

I setup my personal greeting and voicemail as well. I even geeked out and replaced the phone's ringtone with 'CQ CQ CQ' in CW. 

There are officially 40 Canadian operators on HamShack Hotline as of now.