Radio Club membership 2020
In order to support the worldwide amateur radio community during the COVID-19 virus pandemic, BATC is offering free use of the BATC Video Streaming Service and chat facility, which can be viewed using a standard browser on any device including mobiles and tablets, to any radio club or group of radio amateurs .
By using this facility, clubs will be able to hold virtual meetings with HD video and audio streaming and a membership chat window for real time feedback and discussion. To enable this, we are offering free 1 year "cyber membership" to any radio club or group of radio amateurs.
To see an example of a typical Radio Club channel see https://batc.org.uk/live/m0hba
During the 1 year membership, the club will also receive a free electronic copy of our quarterly magazine CQ-TV and access to the members' shop to purchase project components.
Please note that the BATC shop cannot accept bulk orders from clubs. However we will be able to supply one set of components to clubs for prototypes of club projects. We would then expect your club members to join the BATC in their own right to purchase components for their own use.
How does my club apply?
- To apply for the free membership, go to this page on the BATC website https://batc.org.uk/join-the-batc/ and select the country where your club is located.
- Select 1 year cyber membership (3rd item).
- Press "add to basket" at the bottom of the page.
- Press "view basket" at the top of the page.
- Enter "radioclub2020" in the coupon code box and the total amount due will reduce to zero.
- Now press "proceed to checkout"
- Enter your details - we suggest the name and address of the chair or secretary of your organisation
- Enter your club callsign - this will be used to identify your channel. If you don't have one, use a member's callsign.
- Finally, make sure you enter the name and details of your radio club in the order notes field - if this is not entered we will have to email you and confirm these details before the account is authorised.
- Press checkout
Congratulations, your club is now a member of the BATC.
Note due to a problem on the site at the moment you may now see an error message. If you do, don't panic! If your registration was successful you will receive an confirmation email and you will be able to access the BATC website using the top navigation bar.
Setting up my membership
In order to set up your membership and get the information needed to stream to your own video channel, you will need to be logged in to the BATC web site, then click on the membership tab on the top navigation bar.
- Click on account dashboard on the left hand menu. Here you can update information on your club membership and change your password.
- Scroll down and you will see "Stream details"
- Note down the "stream output URL" and add the information in the grey box above it - you should now have an address in the form of "https://batc.org.uk/live/gb3xyz".
This is the address to give to your members to view your club's live video channel. If you enter this URL in to your browser you will go to your own streaming channel.
- "Stream title" is the RTMP URL you need to stream in to your video channel and should not be made available to anyone other than those who are going to set up the streaming for your club.
The full RTMP URL is generated by combining the text above the grey box replacing "streamname" with your own stream name plus the stream key in the greyed out box. The URL should look like "rtmp://rtmp.batc.org.uk/live/GB3XYZ-abcdef"
- When you are ready to stream tick "stream listed". This will add your stream to the list of stations on this list: https://batc.org.uk/live/ Note until you actually start streaming it will be listed in the offline members stream tab.
- Tick "Guest Chat Log In" to enable your club members who are not BATC members to use the chat facility next to your streaming video window.
- Unless you are doing real time off air streaming and delay is critical, tick HTML5 - this will avoid users having to have flash player installed on their PC but does have a 20 second delay.
This text box allows you to enter HTML or text which will appear below your video window. It can be used to describe your club or give a list of events / club meeting programmes etc.
You are now set up to stream your first club virtual meeting!
How to use the video streaming channel
One person will need to be chosen to send out the streaming to all your members and they will need to run a streaming program on their PC or MAC - see below.
The video streaming can be used to send presentations, live talks or relay remote speakers to all your club members - our servers will support 100's of simultaneous users and your members will be able to interact and ask questions using the chat facility alongside the video window.
Several presenters have made it known they will be willing to give presentations over the internet and these could be streamed over your channel.
Using the chat window
As long as you ticked "Guest chat log in", your members will be able to send chat messages without logging in to the BATC web site. However, they will need to choose a chat nick name to identify themselves on the chat. This name is remembered for future sessions and is set up as follows:
At the beginning of the chat box line type /nick then leave one space, then type your callsign or name and hit enter or return.
In order to stream content for your members to watch you will need a PC, MAC or other device such as a Raspberry Pi running streaming software capable of generating an RTMP stream. The BATC server uses the same input format as YouTube Live and Twitch streaming services.
- Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder (Direct Download from BATC) - Free (deprecated) - Windows only
A basic setup could be just a PC running adobe media encoder and a video capture card with a camcorder - this would allow you to have a single camera for a live presentation.
- VMIX (Website) - Licensed, free 60 day trial for the SD version which doesn't expire - Windows only
- OBS (Website) - Free - Windows, Mac, Linux
Using either Vmix or OBS will give you a full video production studio! With these programs you can take inputs from cameras, PC desktops, Skype, Powerpoint and remote sources and mix them together to produce a professional stream.
For guides on configuring these programs with BATC Streaming, click here: https://wiki.batc.org.uk/Configuring_your_channel#Stream_input_URL
The BATC Raspberry Pi based Portsdown system has a streaming capabilty - see https://wiki.batc.org.uk/Streaming_to_batc.tv_with_Raspberry_Pi
Recording the Streamed Program using Windows 10
The streamed program can be recorded on a Windows 10 computer with ffmpeg installed, simply by creating a batch file with a line of the following format and then saving it:
C:\ffmpeg\bin\ffmpeg -i rtmp://batc.org.uk/live/<stream_name> -c:v copy -c:a copy -f mp4 C:\recording_name.mp4
- You will need to substitute "C:\ffmpeg\bin\ffmpeg" with the path and filename of your ffmpeg installation. The example is the default location.
- The stream name is the same as is displayed in last few characters of the browser address bar when viewing the stream in a browser. It is typically the callsign of the streaming station in lower case. It is not the same as the Stream Title displayed on the stream index.
- You can amend the recording_name to be any valid path and filename.
Simply double click the batch file in Windows Explorer to start the recording, and type Q to finish it. The recording will typically occupy 4.2 MB per minute, so make sure that you have plenty of space.
To install ffmpeg on your PC, download the latest build from here: https://ffmpeg.zeranoe.com/builds/ Use the release build (currently 4.2.2), 32-bit, static. Unzip the downloaded file and move the files to a folder called ffmpeg on your C:\ drive so that it has the folders bin, docs, licenses and presets inside it.