A variety of "voice over IP," or VOIP, systems are currently available for amateur radio use. Most VOIP systems can be accessed either via RF links which connect repeaters or simplex frequencies to the VOIP system over the internet. This allows users of one amateur repeater to talk to other hams on a distant frequency or simplex frequency. In general, a link radio is used to funnel analog audio from the RF frequency to a PC soundcard, which digitizes the audio. The VOIP system system then routes the digitized audio to the internet where it is sent to either another gateway node or to a server/reflector which redistributes the audio.
One of first such VOIP systems is the Internet Repeater LInking Project, or IRLP. IRLP is a LInux-based system created by a group of dedicated Candadian amateurs to provide a linking system which is fully compliant with the radio regulations of Canada as well as Great Britain and Australia. The IRLP system is currently growing at about 50 new gateways per month and is projected to have over 1,000 nodes worldwide by January, 2003.
A VOIP system based on Microsoft Windows software was launched in May, 2001, by Graeme, MØCSH. The VOIP system, called I-link, allows ham radio users to link repeaters across the world from either a computer connected to the internet or from a radio using DTMF tones. In 2002, K1RFD created an enhanced, more user friendly version of the repeater linking software called Echolink. The Echolink software provides many new features when compared to I-link, and now has its own servers. Over 40,000 Echolink user and gateway identification numbers have been issued to date.
Steve, WØSTV, has set up a Echolink gateway node on the RARC 146.625/146.025 repeater located in downtown Rochester on the Mayo Clinic building. The W0STV-R Echolink gateway station consists of a computer connected to the internet and a interface board connected to a 2 meter radio. The gateway computer is able to connect audio from the internet to the repeater input and the repeater output audio to the internet.
The following is a brief description of how to access the Echolink gateway node on the 146.625/146.025 repeater. For specific questions on operation on the WØSTV-R gateway node, contact Steve, WØSTV.
The Echolink node on the 146.625/246/025 repeater can be accessed from a 2 meter radio tuned to the repeater frequency. The station identification code for the WØSTV-R node is 420993. (To find the identification codes for other stations, see the site http://www.echolinkmap.org. The site provides the ability to locate Echolink nodes using a clickable map.
The Echolink gateway will respond to the following commands using DTMF tones from the radio. The following is a list of the basic commands and functions necessary to use a Echolink node. For a complete list of all commands, see Echolink Help.
To establish a Echolink connection, perform the following steps:
Perform the following the access a Echolink station or repeater from your computer.
Last update: February 18, 2013