Thursday, 15 May 2014

Guide to using IRLP and Echolink on VE3YRC

After a long cold winter John VA3JI has at last been able to climb his tower and complete the installation of the VE3YRC IRLP/Echolink node at his house and it is working well. It is simple to use and the following guide will take through through the steps of looking up your destination repeater or operator and connecting it to the VE3YRC repeater.

IRLP - The Internet Radio Linking Project

The operator accesses an IRLP "Node" by using DTMF (touch-tone) tones sent by radio. First, look up the node number that you want to contact. A list of current nodes can be found on the IRLP web site.

Once you have decided which node to call, listen to the repeater (VE3YRC on 147.225+, PL Tone 103.5) to ensure that it is clear and ask if the repeater is in use. Announce the node that you are about to call and then enter the node number (i.e. hold the microphone PTT down and then use the keypad to enter the 4 digit number)

For example to connect to VE3RPL in Parry Sound DTMF 2480f it will reply "Connected to VE3RPL"

NOTE: If your node is already connected to another node or reflector, the repeater will announce that "your node is currently connected to [ID of the connection]") In this case ask if anyone is still using the connection before dropping it with the off code 73

Once connected and after hearing the confirming voice ID, wait at least 5 seconds before transmitting as the following conditions may occur:

  • The link may be in use, and your command may have occurred between transmissions.
  • If the voice ID of your node is longer than the voice ID of their node, the connection will not be made until the ID is fully played.
  • Their computer may be slower and take longer to process the connection than yours.

Press and hold the PTT for a second and then announce your presence and your intention, such as you are calling someone specifically or just looking for a chat with another amateur in that city.

If no response is heard, announce your call and your intent to drop the link and then enter the OFF code 73. Please do not transmit DTMF commands without first giving your call-sign. Not only is this courteous it may be required by law in one of the countries that might be connected to the reflector.

Some nodes are configured so you cannot connect to them if that repeater is active. In this case you will receive the message "The node you are calling is being used locally" If you receive this message wait 5 or 10 minutes and then try again. If you stay connected to a node and there is no activity on your repeater for 4 minutes, the connection is automatically terminated with a spoken disconnect message on both nodes.

If unsure that local node is working you can perform a audio loopback check. Node 9992 will reply "IRLP reflector 9992 active". Cancel with 73

Don't forget if you require any more detailed information visit the official IRLP web site.

EchoLink Operation

The EchoLink system is similar in many ways to IRLP and the same operating etiquette needs to used. The main variation is that you can not only connect to remote repeater but also to another amateur's computer system. Like IRLP, you access EchoLink using DTMF tones using a node number that you can look up on the EchoLink homepage.

Entering Node Numbers

To enter a node number (for the Connect or Query by Node commands), enter the 4, 5, or 6-digit node number. If the specified node is not among the stations currently logged on, EchoLink will say "Not Found".


These examples assume that the default DTMF codes are configured on the local repeater, as they are with VE3YRC

To connect to node number 9999 (the echo test reflector) enter: #9999

EchoLink responds with: "Connecting to conference E-C-H-O-T-E-S-T" followed by: "Connected", because 9999 is the node number of conference server "*Echotest*".

For example to connect to VE3RAK enter: #2068

EchoLink responds with: "Connected to VE3RAK" (if the node is not busy)

To disconnect use 73 like with IRLP

******Note: Because we are using an ECHOIRLP combination only one of Echolink or IRLP can be used at one time ******

Please support your local repeaters VE3YRA, VE3YRC and VE3YRK by becoming a member of the York Region Amateur Radio Club!

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