Echolink Conference and Repeaters
Sponsored by Steve, W8IZ
Note: The Echolink conference was
abandoned in March of 2015 due to
inactivity. I am leaving these pages up to
provide some ideas for others who might want
to support such a conference.
W8IZ-R is still on Echolink!!!
Echolink provides licensed Amateur Radio operators with the ability to link their stations over the Internet using voice over IP technology. Echolink is a program you run on your computer. It enables you to connect to and talk with other radio amateurs. You don't need a radio as you can use a microphone and headset to emulate a radio. Alternatively, and much more amateur-like, you can connect your computer to a radio that acts as a link. You can then wander around your house or your city and should someone call you, you can respond through the radio to the other station. Another method is to link your computer to a repeater. Each person on the repeater can then share in the conversation. You can link to users, links, and repeaters from your computer. You can also link to conferences. Conferences are designed to allow people with similar interests to participate in a roundtable discussion. This is what the *PUBSAFTY* conference is--a conference server that allows a roundtable discussion. Echolink is free and can be found at www.echolink.org. The program is easy to set up. The major problem is getting any firewall you might have to pass the necessary data. You have to open the appropriate ports.
*PUBSAFTY * -- An conference for active
and retired public safety officers
(and those who would like to talk to them)
Instead of my location, I put in "CQ any cops!" in my location information that shows on the available stations. I began chatting with the many cops who are licensed amateur radio operators. The conference was envisioned as a central meeting place for discussion and ragchewing.
Phase One -- No Longer Used
The conference began on a retired Toshiba Tecra 780DVD laptop. It has 198 meg of memory and sports an 8 g disk. A conference server cannot run on the same IP address as the home station. My daughter Megan, WB8IKO, was kind enough to allow me to locate the server at her apartment.
The laptop lives behind her dining room table in a milk crate. It is suspended on string above a fan that blows continuously to keep it cool. The fan is suspended just above the bottom of the crate. It worked great for a number of months before the laptop failed.
I am not convinced that a laptop is the best choice for a computer on 24/7.
Phase Two -- Hosted by Jim, W2COP
Jim, W2COP (www.qrz.com/w2cop), graciously agreed to
host the conference. Jim has a great Internet connection and the
thing can carry just about an unlimited load.
The WB8IKO-R Repeater Link Station
WB8IKO-R was originally designed around the old laptop (above). The laptop failed and it appeared that the laptop might not be the proper foundation for such a station. A very cheap refurbished PC and monitor was found and interfaced to a Yaesu FT-727 handheld. This was the link the 145.29 North Coast Amateur Radio Club repeater into Echolink.
As the club members really did not want activity, or at least non-local
activity, the node was abandoned.
CQ CQ CQ - Please stop by and say hello!
Email to firstname.lastname@example.org