SUGGESTED ECHOLINK PROCEEDURES

 

The best source of info on Echolink (EL) is at www.echolink.org  This will give you a good basic understanding of what EL is and what you can do with it. You can download the free software and then have your ham license confirmed by their procedures. Please go to the website and learn about EL before trying to use it through our repeater.

 

There are two ways you can use EL. One is with a home computer and broadband internet connection.

 

There are a couple of things that have to be done to your computer before it will work with EL. One is port  forwarding and the other is setting up a static IP address. All this info is available at www.portforward.com   There are detailed instructions on how to access your router to do the port forwarding and also how to set up the static IP address based on your operating system. If you have problems doing this, there are several club members who can help you with it-Mike KT4AN, JOe W4ERL, Trip KT4WO and I will be glad to assist.

 

Once you have become familiar with how EL works, downloaded the software, got your license confirmed, received your node number from EL, forwarded your router ports and set up your static IP address (sounds complicated, but should take about 30-45 minutes) you are ready to connect with several thousand repeaters and individual stations around the world. I do recommend that you use a headset with your computer rather than using any built-in mic. Also, be sure to check your audio using the EL Test Server. This records your audio and plays it back to you so that you can adjust your audio settings if you need to.

 

The second way to access EL is through the club repeater and it doesn’t require anything other than a 2M radio with a TouchTone/DTMF pad. You’ll have to know the node number of the station that you want to connect to. You can get this either from that station or by using the EL software and searching by callsign or city. The node number is a four, five or six digit number. For example, the node number for the KD4ADL-R repeater in Charlotte is 8092. To link our repeater with that repeater, you would:

 

1-Key up and say something like, “This is WB4GUD on EchoLink.” Then, let the repeater ID and drop so that the ID doesn’t cause a problem. Then, TouchTone in the node number 8092 and let the repeater drop. You should hear something like, “Connecting to KD4ADL Repeater…KD4ADL Repeater connected.”

 

2-At that point, you have linked the two repeaters and you should ID again and announce that you are monitoring  or call a specific station, just like you would with any repeater.  Keep in mind, you are tying up two repeaters and YOUR CONVERSATIONS SHOULD BE BRIEF. Not everyone wants to hear about your fishing trip or your butterfly collection.

 

3-Be sure to allow three or four seconds after the other station stops transmitting before you transmit. There is a delay in the system and this will prevent the other station from missing the start of your transmission. I usually let our repeater drop and then wait a couple of more seconds before transmitting.

 

4-After you finish your BRIEF conversation, close out by saying, “WB4GUD clear EchoLink” and press the # key to drop the link.

 

5-Be mindful of the time difference if you connect to a repeater in another time zone or country. Early evening here is late evening in England for example. The control operator monitoring the distant repeater might not appreciate being awakened. This is doubly true if you connect through our repeater in the middle of the night. The control operator here might not be amused.

 

EchoLink is a great addition to the ham community. The ability to link repeaters during times of emergency alone makes it worthwhile to have and to know how to use properly.

 

If you have any questions, please contact me on the repeater, via email or by phone.

 

Howard

WB4GUD

hlestes@earthlink.net

828-421-4586

 

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