- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

IRLP = New face of Amateur radio

from Glen Tate VE7SDX on July 24, 2001
View comments about this article!

IRLP = New face of Amateur radio talking Amateur radio into the 21 century?

G'day all, Just a few thoughts on the Internet Radio Linking Project (IRLP)

Will the IRLP attract new young people into Amateur Radio with its ties to the Internet and computers, as we know most all young people are using computers and the "Net".

Will this project bring Amateur Radio back to the status it once enjoyed as being a starting "entry point" of future (Computer-Internet) Engineers / Technicians and will we regain the respect of (the world) by bring new technology to the rest of the world again with our stamp on it.

It is amazing how via IRLP one can have a hand held sitting in your back yard and talk in my case to Perth Australia like you are talking on a phone, ( I live in Chilliwack BC and was using the West Coast Amateurs Radio Associations repeater in Victoria BC)

We all know of the many restrictions and hassles one can have trying to put up a reasonable HF antenna and the associated costs involved plus the unreliability of HF communications due to many reasons and many people want to and expect to talk world wide with Amateur Radio and in steps IRLP again.

Now I am not a "flower Child" but what could this mean to world relations meaning the internet is everywhere (well almost) and the needed equipment cost is a modest one to get connected, it does not even have to be a full time connection.

Here's a thought , Use Amateur Radio via IRLP as a School Social studied project, pick a place in the world possible a poorer country and contact their Amateur Radio Association to contact a school in their country and set up a "Get Connected" project, have you kids class with the help of their local Ham club set up a IRLP node in the target country and even fund raise and buy the needed equipment and have it sent to the host country, (much more interactive and a learning tool then simply plugging in a modem connecting and talking via a ICQ type program! )

Talk about getting two birds with one stone, One you get young people interested in both countries and hopefully interested in a future in communications (Building our ranks) you get a "DX" node set up in a distant country the other possibilities well you can see them...

These are just some of my thoughts, I do not claim to know much about the technical end of IRLP any more that what I have read but I am interested in the possibilities of IRLP and what the may bring to Amateur radio and start a discussion on the topic.

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
YAWN !  
by HFHAM on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
We've talked this one to death already...

What you're talking about is a REPEATER and we all know how popular they are nowadays (not).

Communication via internet hubs (i.e. WIRES) is NOT "amateur radio" (see it says R A D I O not W I R E S).

This has a lot more to do with adding peripherals to the internet than it has to do with amateur radio.

You internet types play your computer games if you like, but don't ruin our hobby with this nonsense.
IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by KB1FLR on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
While I agree that IRLP is an interesting technology, I agree with HFHAM in that it is not really radio. Like the internet, it dumbs down the process of making contacts. One of the reasons amateur radio is so interesting, is that successful contacts are a combination of operator skill, propagation conditions, and serendipity.

While I think that there are areas where Amateur Radio and the internet can be benefit one another, contacting other hams is not one of them. By the way, I do not have anything against the internet. I make my living as a web developer.

73 de KB1FLR
IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by KE4SHC on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
while this is not the way amateur radio started and alot of the Old timers may disagree and really I kind of do too. Though the fact remains we need to do stuff related to computers more to attract really not only young people but older people. Also the old timers may say we don't need alot of these type people in amateur radio, as they do with CBers. I see where it could enhance amateur radio. I mean what's to hurt that it's mostly wired, if you think about it there's no truly wireless radio unless you count the HTs that would be the only true wireless aspect. mobiles, and base station set ups have to have coax to go to the antenna and that's wire so in affect the same difference as a telephone. Though less wire is used. Also there are already internet gateways via packet and such so why shouldn't this be the logical next rung up the ladder? I hope I don't ever see chatrooms and websites be counted for dx contacts, but what is decribed here does initially and maybe at the end point use radios to make the contact. Besides if people are into electronic QSLing (yes I have a card made on eqsl,just in case) why not this? Also if this is a repeater what about the satellites that have uplinks on say 15 and down on 2/440? same thing basically. The biggest problem and places like the ARRL (also a member) and others who push for the majorly outdated techniques to be used (paper QSLs, morse code which most of the military if not all in US no longer used, among other things) and they're not willing to let the technology flow as freely as it does in other areas. Sure I think the 5 wpm as well as higer speed tests should be there but I also think there could be a complete "no-code" option where if you didn't take the code (tests) you wouldn't be allowed on the code/digital only subbands no matter what, but if you took the test(s) you'd be allowed whatever privileges the code test(s) you passed allowed for instance someone may have all the extra class voice privs, but only the Novice/tech+ code privs. I also think with every renewal/change (unless change of name, address etc.) you should have to retake the code test you have passed before, even if it's been 10 years. Of course a test on the rules and regulations might be a nice addition as well to this. Being I've read reports of people using 10 KW amplifiers and heard plenty of obscene language and such myself (points to 3898 and there abouts for example). Sure my radio which at that moment was a Shortwave receiver has/had a on/off button, and I could have reported them as well, but 1 if other people know about it why don't they report them 2 similar to 1 why don't people stop listening and talking about what goes on there and do something about it if they don't like it. Yes I could have and I remembered the dates and calls and all that I could to but as I said before if no one else will that I see anyway why should I?.

While I've digressed somewhat the main point is we in ham radio need to be more open to change than we have been. Another real good example is the tube/solid state area we have radios 20-50+ years old people are still trying to sell to people nowdays maybe younger too. that operate with tubes installed at least somewhat and most of the amplifiers for HF contain tubes still. Come on sure those old radios may be good still but get with the program people we have solid state, Tubes may have cleaner output but cut the bull. It's time to move into the 80's 90's and 21st century not the 10's-70's. Keep those old radios if you can to yourself and if not send them to local landfill. Also we should push for more solid state amps to be marketed. I dream of one day seeing no one advertising tubes for sale either alone or in anything in QST and CQ. If you can't figure out how to operate the new radios right off don't give up keep trying till you figure out how too. We need to keep changing and keeping up with technology down to every last one of us as much as we can, and not have to use old styles and equipment to get what we want. move into the new world of DSP filtering, digital displays, solid state design etc. not crystal/mechanical filters, rotary frequency knobs that have the frequencies on it. No tubes in the finals or in anything at all.
RE: YAWN !  
by INITZERO on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I don't see why you feel the need to dump on an new
form of the hobby.

Does the fly fisherman get this angry and hateful
over the guy who prefers the fancy new Zebco
spinning reel? Does the guy who makes his own jigs
get ticked off by the guy who goes to Wal-Mart and
buys his jigs? Certainly not in my experience.

HFHAM, I think you're jealous. Now that I think
about it, I can't believe how absolutely green with
envy you're coming across.

Let me guess, you're 62 years old (nothing wrong with
that; I hope to be old someday, too), took a code test
in front of a steely-eyed FCC examiner after having
spent months building your own equipment. You are the
One, True Ham<tm>.

And here comes this young whippersnappers. The don't
know morse code and really don't care to learn it.
They are happy with their Tech license and FM. In the
past you could console yourself in that at least they
couldn't talk all the way across the world. You took
solace in that fact. They weren't True Hams because
they were limited to the local repeater.

Then they one-upped you and now you are bitter.

In the spirit of experimentation (remember that?),
they linked one great technology, ham radio, with the
technology of their generation, the internet. They
don't need a beam pushed with 1,500 watts up 170 feet
to talk to Australia from the Americas. They can do
it with an HT running two watts.

Ham radio is about technology, communication and
service. The IRLP link has at least two of those,
technology and communication.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying building your
own 80-meter dipole and working the world with CW.
At the same time, there is nothing wrong with using
the internet to leverage one's goal of talking to
friends and soon-to-be friends around the world.

And, finally, if you are an HFHAM, I don't how this
is going to 'ruin' your hobby. As far as I know,
none of the IRLP links run over HF. You should be
glad that those VHF/UHF yahoos aren't cluttering
your bands with their conversations. The more
traffic run over the internet, the less QRM you
have to worry on HF, right?

Matt (k4mls)
IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by N3RCS on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I would have to agree that IRLP is an important new facet to the hobby. We came into existance to advance the cutting edge of communications, and in our case, radio.

The emotion shown in "HFHAM"'s commentary is rather unnecessary. While I agree that the Internet is taking many people away from the hobby, including to a large part myself, there are several extremely useful things that can be done with IRLP, such as emergency communications.

New technology and techniques are what keeps the hobby
alive. Like it or not, operating CW or SSB on HF gets old. We used to be the cutting edge. No one could send pictures halfway around the world (SSTV) or pull up a telephone link over a radio (autopatch) a couple of years ago.

Be thankful for those people who do continue to develop and experiment, because otherwise you would still be sitting on your tube set trying to get your finals to dip correctly on the band.
IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by KB0MBQ on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Ya gotta love the self-annoited priesthood of the radio hobby.

Consider that the hobby spans the globe and reaches into virtually every nook and cranny of every continent.

Participants in the hobby include some of the planet's poorest children and some of the world's wealthier adults and all points on the spectrum in between.

Motivation for entering and remaining in the hobby may include sincere need for communications, emergency preparedness, "gear-lust", GTA (Gotta Take it Apart) Syndrome, and just plain nostalgia to name a few.

Equipment used in the hobby runs the gamut from high tech gear which would make the Pentagon weep to a run of recycled wire twisted around a toilet paper roll.

Techniques include all manner of skill from moon bounce and satellite communications to morse code.

Into this great diversity barge a few blusterpusses poutin' about their hobby going down the tubes whenever someone gets excited about something "new". The only mode everyone must eventually agree to use and learn is SK (Silent Key); until then stop raining on every parade that doesn't come down your street.

Larry N. Zimmerman
(whose current high-tech interest in radio is crystal)
IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by KF6VSG on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
We have been experimenting with this techonology here in Marin County (north of San Francisco), linking with a transceiver in Moscow Russa. Seems to work just great, and the bay area hams really like clear qsos on their 2-meter commutes with the Russian hams. For more info and free software, go to Anyone interested in setting up a node would be welcome to contact me for help.
RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by KD5MAW on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
That's a great idea and I say go for it! However, it sounds like a solution in search of a problem I don't personally have. Jeez man, I've been dinking around with PCs and the net since this stuff got started and am bored stiff with it. HF communication is unreliable eh? Well guess what, that's half the fun of it. Not knowing what station on the globe I might get to QSO with next time I spin the VFO is exciting stuff. You know, an adventure. When in need of reliable communications, I pick up the phone or log on and take advantage of those billions of tons of infrastructure out there. When I want to have some fun, I turn on the radio.
RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by RobertKoernerExAE7G on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Sounds like it might be FUN. I've always figured that if I didn't like a certain part of playing radio, like RTTY, or AM, or vhf, well, I didn't have to do it. And, just cause I don't like it, doesn't mean other people who do have something wrong with them.

But, I'm one of those bone heads that sat for my first tests in front of one of those FCC people, after driving an hour to get to the test site.

I think this is exciting! Especially when a group of local hams can use this technology to set up an HF club site for hams who live in areas with CCRs restricting outside antennas. Or, individual hams using this technology to set up their own remotely operate HF stations.

Have FUN
Do you Have Problems  
Anonymous post on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
with people hacking into your gateway? This was cussed and discussed on the Packet BBS network last winter (and probably still is, I don't know, I dismantled my packet station out of disgust) and nobody seemed to have an answer. What's the chances of having some ICQ chat folks stumble across the link? Come to think of it, you might be able to recruit them....
IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by KF4BOT on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
As for IRLP, its just not radio. What fun and excitement is there in communicating with someone on the other side of the globe via the Internet? I’ve worked more countries in’s chess rooms than I’ve worked on the HF bands. Big thrill! It means nothing if its on the Internet. It does become a thrill when you make a contact with your radio and your antenna, without help from the reliable Internet. That’s what’s so great about HF contacts – the fact that it is unreliable. With the band constantly changing, going up and down, and you’re able to make a contact in Russia or India; that is the thrill of ham radio. Hey, even the stateside contacts can be a thrill, as the band is never steadily reliable, and is always changing. If all that matters is communication, then why bother with ham radio at all? The Internet is much more reliable. Same thing with cell phones. If all that matters is talking to someone in Australia, you can do that with ICQ, Firetalk, AOL Instant Messenger and others, and have reliable communication. On the Internet, you don’t have to worry about QRM, QRN or QSB. But, I’ll say it again – its just not radio. Linking the Internet to a repeater is not ham radio. Just because you’re making the contact with an HT doesn’t make it ham radio. The 2m/10m links are a different story. Even though you’re using a 2m HT to make the contact, you’re still using 10 meter propagation in that contact. That is radio. If we think that we can appeal to today’s computer and Internet-oriented youth by linking ham radio with the Internet, we’re sadly mistaken. It is not ham radio. All we are doing is watering down and severely compromising our hobby, what it means and what it stands for. If we want to get youth interested in ham radio, we need to get them interested in radio itself, not “adding peripherals to the Internet”, as HFHAM put it. It is one thing to supplement ham radio with the use of computers, such as in PSK31, and other software-aided modes; but it’s another thing to replace a radio contact with an Internet contact, and just attach a repeater and an HT to it. We shouldn’t water down trans-global contacts by providing the Internet as a crutch and linking it to local repeaters.
by HFHAM on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Regarding your rambling...

So I'm 62 years old and passed my license test centuries ago eh ?

Actually you're about 25 years out on the age and I've worked in Information Technology (including the web) for most of my working life. I've also been a ham for just a few years and through hard work and dedication (purposely) passed my 20wpm code test and Amateur Extra exam just before April 15th 2000.

Looks like you got your WIRES crossed there Sherlock !

Yes ham radio is about technology, RADIO technology.

If you want to do this stuff then fine, but WHY BOTHER WITH THE RADIO !? AOL and YAHOO have all the technology you need. You can even hook up to them with your cell phone. What's experimental in that ? Any YAHOO can do that.

On CW I can already talk worldwide with 2 watts without a beam or tower. Why would I need millions of dollars worth of equipment between me and the other guy ?
IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by NB6Z on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I think we can all agree that the internet can not and should not be a replacement for communicating via an amateur radio wave path. When we link via the internet, aren't we actually using the phone companies resources? They use satelites, micro-wave, copper wire and fiber optics... So wouldn't using the internet be basically the same as an auto-patch to the phone line? So why not use the internet as an auto-patch if it serves the purpose? I'm not sure how that will help young kids get interrested in ham radio...

Most of us recognize that the internet is a great tool to enhance our hobby. (I assume you are using it right now...) You are not reading my posting in "real time" and I am probably not even on-line at this time. For me, the internet is an extension of my computer hard drive, filled with data and information on any subject under the sun. I view it more as a data storage/retrieval device than as a communications mode. They way the data packets (or voice) are moved from point A to point B is the business of the phone companies. Guess I am just an old fashion digital HF ham. ;-)
IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by W7DAH on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Dear Glen Tate - VE7SDX,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Personally, I don't know *squat* about "IRLP". So I cannot contribute any thoughts directly related to it. But, now that you've raised the topic, I'm prompted to explore and learn about it, so that I can draw my own conclusions. I, like yourself, am always interested in reading, seeing, and hearing the thoughts, and most especially the more blue-sky types of ideas, expressed about this hobby by it's members. Especially those members who are willing to risk the rath of anonymous responses from those more static thinkers who lack the courage (reads: stones) to sign their own words of reply, or fail to include their callsign / contact information. I enjoyed reading your post, so please don't be discouraged from future postings by any of those lilly-livered whiner-types.

I would appreciate seeing a change at eHam. I'd like to see eHam refuse the inclusion of anonymous commentary. I'm certain that I am not the first, nor last to make such a suggestion, and I am certain that it might require additional administrative overhead for eHam to institute. I simply raise this issue because there is no excuse (including the lame excuse regarding exposure to spam) for not signing anything you really have to say. If it doesn't merit signing and standing behind, do the rest of us a favor and shut those anonymous pie-holes, PLEASE. Anonymous posts are not only boring, but frequently abrasive and ignorant too.

73, Don - W7DAH
RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by W7DAH on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
To: Larry N. Zimmerman - KB0MBQ

AMEN! Well said. Thanks.

Don - W7DAH

RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
Anonymous post on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I'd like to see people stop complaining about anonymous posts. There's more bandwidth wasted on that than anything else. We've all heard it before (ad nauseam).

Although a very few use anonymity to be abusive, a great many more put forth alternative (to the mainstream) views which they otherwise would not (for various reasons).

This makes for lively debate and is to be welcomed in my opinion. After all, if we all agreed, it would be as boring as the K2 reviews (yes, we all know how wonderful it is).
RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by KF4BOT on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
In reply to W7DAH:

Don, eliminated anonymous posts. That was no solution to the caustic bold flames that are posted on that site. The anonymous posters just establish another account to post with, using a "handle" instead of their callsign and go on with their "anonymous" flames. As for spam, the exposure of my e-mail address on this site and has resulted in daily spam trying to sell me porn, bogus business opportunities, debt consolidation loans, ways to lose weight, aphrodisiacs, college diplomas without going to school, ways to dig up informational dirt on anyone, etc, etc, etc................ The bottom line is that eliminating anonymous posts solves nothing.
IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by N6AJR on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
In reply to the comment that a New Tech ham with no code is not a real ham.. that is BS.. and I appologize to all hams for the narrow minded bigots who think their way is the only way.

Welcome to the airwaves, enjoy Ham radio any way you like, be it on 2 meters, or hf or relay through the internet, or eyeball to eyeball with a friend... or slow scan tv, or psk31, or rtty, or any other mode you choose to use. Amatuer radio is about people, not radios.. the FCC sets the rules... if you follow them and pass the test, you are a real ham, no matter what some pencil neck idiot, with a shoe size larger than his IQ has to say...

I love this hobby / vocation / obsession and wish everyone could just mellow out and do what you want to and don't worry about everyone else's idea of having fun....

Did ya notice the guy knocking the use of the internet for radio made his comment about the radio on the internet...DUH.

any how, 73 have fun.. tom N6AJR
RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by G3SEA on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!

In our ever changing world and technology this function is just
an extension of the current cell phone wireless internet.While
obviously not pure ham radio it does allow the many apt dwelling
inactive hams with their attendant antenna restrictions and RFI
problems to participate in worldwide DX using only an HT.
Anything is better than Nothing for these folk and it will INCREASE
the number of INACTIVE hams. I believe there is
a place for this technology and it just might grow exponentially
with the convenience of a just an HT and good audio.For Emergencies
we will always need point to point HF and VHF free of vulnerable
cell sites and repeators.

Aloha all !!! KH6/G3SEA
IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
Anonymous post on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!

Best new idea to come down the pike for simple reliable DX'ng using our
current VHF HT's !!!!!
RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by KL7IPV on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I have read all this and re-read it. I am at a loss for words. I am 61 1/2 years old and really started in the hobby as a freshman in high school. I have always been interested in this hobby and keep upgrading radios because I love the technological changes I've seen. I also have been using computers since 1969. I keep getting new computers because I love the changes I see there too. IRLP? Well, if that will get the kids interested so they will want to know more; what is the problem? We are not a closed hobby. But we will be a DEAD one if we don't figure a way to enthuse and involve youngsters. If you can't see the handwriting on the wall, it may be time to re-examine your involvement in this hobby. ANY way we can get the youngsters interested is a good way if it doesn't injure the hobby or the kids. Loosen up and help. Try IRLP ( I plan on it ) and see what it does BEFORE you condemn it because you don't feel it is REAL radio. The kids are real and that should be our main concern.
RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
Anonymous post on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!

>Did ya notice the guy knocking the use of the
>internet for radio made his comment about the radio
>on the internet...DUH.

Is there supposed to be a point in there that I'm missing ? Did I completely condemn the internet ? I think the "DUH" is with you my friend. If you would care to give a lucid (look it up) explanation as to what you meant (if you've thought of what you meant yet), I'd be happy to hear it.
IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by WO6T on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
THAT IS NOT MY WAY OF HAM RADIO, I have been their,
done that, But you are not talking from station to station, But COMPUTER TO COMPUTER Via internet is fine BUT THAT IS NOT anything now days, I will stay on Amateur Radio, for My HAM QSO'S == Mickey WO6T
RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
Anonymous post on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
>It is amazing how via IRLP one can have a hand held
>sitting in your back yard and talk in my case to
>Perth Australia like you are talking on a phone

Yep ! That just about says it all !
RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by KL7IPV on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
For more info , go here :
What can it hurt to check it out?
IRLP = A new face for Amateur radio  
by N4PK on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
What is interesting is that many of the people who have established IRLP nodes are long-time hams (who long ago passed a morse code test even.) The designer of IRLP, Dave Cameron, VE7LTD designed the interface and wrote software to make this happen. Dave probably did more tinkering and experimenting than many hams have ever done and what he did was use ham ingenuity to come up with something new and different. IRLP is part of ham radio and it is not going away.

Sure repeaters are not every hams "cup of tea" and maybe those of you who are purists shutter at the thought of something that is different. I know some repeater owners who have put as much money into their repeater system as some contesters have put into their super-station. If you want to do nothing different than hams did in 1950 that is fine with me but don't tell me that what I'm doing isn't ham radio when it is.

The spark-gappers said contiuous-wave was the end, then AM was the end, then SSB, FM, digital modes, packet spotting networks, linked repeaters... and now the IRLP. We're trying new things and having fun.

IRLP is a system that has grown from about ten nodes in Canada to over 125 in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia and more and more plaecs! (30 new in the last 8 weeks alone!)

I'm one ham (a contester, repeater owner, digital mode operator, IRLP user and even a guy who operates CW) who is having fun!

IRLP = Almost a cell phone  
by MBOGO on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I'm a fairly new ham and also work in a high-tech company that relies on new web and computer technology.

Now, if some people want to use IRLP, fine and good luck to you -- but the true magic of radio is the propagation of waves through space.

I have much more enjoyment making a low-power contact with someone only a few hundred miles away using CW and a QRP rig than I would making a "DX" contact with assitance through the internet. I see little difference between IRLP and using a cell phone.

RE: IRLP = A new face for Amateur radio  
Anonymous post on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
It has nothing to do with whether or not repeaters are your "cup of tea". Linking repeaters across the world by using phone lines and the internet is not Amateur Rradio. IRLP is as much Amateur Radio as 2 cups joined by a long taut string is a telephone. Fisher Price, move over!
IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by AA4PB on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
"It is amazing how via IRLP one can have a hand held sitting in your back yard and talk in my case to Perth Australia like you are talking on a phone, "

Actually you are talking on a phone. I didn't know talking around the world over phone lines was new technology. I can do the same thing with my $50 cordless phone.

I have nothing against anyone doing doing IRLP if they want to. Personally, I find it more exciting to make DX contacts using 5 watts with no connecting wires in between.
IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by N4PK on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
It is nothing new to use non-amateur frequencies to be the means to link amateur stations together. Repeaters have been linked by commercial microwave, wireline connections, and now the internet. Many contesters that operate in the assisted catagory use packet clusters which are connected by the internet often. The Florida Contest Group operates a telnet DX-Cluster (that most members access through the internet.)

I find operating QRP with my FT-817 just as equally facinating. I've made PSK-31 contacts with 1/2 watt using my FT-817 on battery power. I also find IRLP just as facinating-- especially the chance to engage in interesting conversations with lots of different hams all over the world.

One of the neater things about IRLP is the reflectors where many repeaters can be linked together. Driving down the road (in my car which I also have a HF rig) I can talk in roundtable with people all over. Sure i can do it on HF conditions permitting. But it isn't likely that from my car (or at home on HF for that matter) that I can hold a roundtable with stations in Sydney, Vancouver, Denver, the UK and Atlanta all at once. Sure I can sit in front of my PC and type to other (ICQ, AOL IM, etc.) but I can't do that in my car or out portable on a beach (where recently I heard a station walking at in Santa Monica chatting with a VK2 and a VE3.)

The magic is in the wireless & the ingenuity.

IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by AD7DB on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
As one who's used IRLP, I can say this. It's fun, but it's no substitute for HF DX. Functionally it's no different than linking FM repeaters; it uses the Internet instead of radio linking.

Yet, it still offers those without HF capability or privileges the fun of talking to the other side of the world... to another repeater system.
RE: YAWN !  
Anonymous post on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!


This new mode is just that, a new mode.But if it allows one to work
world DX with a 2m HT then that's GREAT.No fighting Tower and Power
ordinances !!! I'll take a neat rubber ducky antenna over a 200'
monster HF Tower /Antenna ANYTIME ! Maybe it will unlock all those
inactive hams mentioned earlier.It certainly has attracted potential
young new hams in California.

ARRL could devise a whole new DXCC award for wireless / wire
DX contacts ! ( I can hear the old dogs screaming now !!! ). Hey I am
an old dog at 58 but young in mind and willingness to learn new
technologies and ADAPT and ENJOY inevitable CHANGE for the
better !

KISS principle. Some of the simplest modes ( like CW ) and this
IRLP are the most enjoyable !!!

Welcome IRLP !!!
IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by KB9YUR on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
It's interesting to read the comments about 'SSB being OLD' on HF or any other band.
For those that just recently received their license (whatever class), it's probably not old
to them. If IRLP is a new face of Amateur Radio, let the operator decide if its right
for them or not. Isn't Amateur Radio suppose to be FUN with or without help from the
Internet ?!?
RE: YAWN !  
Anonymous post on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
> ARRL could devise a whole new DXCC award
> for wireless / wire DX contacts !

AT&T would be more appropriate as the sponsors :)

There is nothing new in this, nor is it a "mode" (nor is it radio).

It's just a way for the lazy to easily talk to people in faraway places without incurring phone charges. If these people ever do make it to HF, they'll likely be the ones on the "DX net" fishing in stocked ponds.

Pathetic !
New face of Amateur radio  
by WB4QNG on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I am sorry but besides being able to do it in your car. I don't see where this is any different than what I am using right now.
As for as emergencies I don't see how this will replace HF. When a diaster strikes the lines go down and the power goes out. This would knock out the internet services too. I think a person would still be better off with an hf rig a generator and a long wire if he is in a remote area.
As for as getting kids involved. I don't see where this would make any difference. I have three "normal" teenage boys. They all have an interest in ham radio until you hand them the book and tell them they have to study. They just don't see the need to study to talk to a bunch of old men. It doesn't matter to them if they are down the street or around the world. My kids and most of their friends are not that computer savy. They use it to meet kids of the oposite sex. If you can tell me where there is a bunch of teenage girls talking on ham radio I believe I will have three more kids studing for their tickets. Things haven't change all that much have they.
I would like to see and it and I would try it. I just hope it doesn't take the place of hf contacts. I can see where it would. If I can take a $100 HT and talk around the world why should I invest in any more equipment and why should I study for a higher ticket. just my thoughts.
73 WB4QNG Terry
RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by VE4JA on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Without going back to Yawn I will put in my 2 cents worth. It just amazes me when something new comes along that there is so much controversy. Some old die hearts just don't want to see change. I think IRLP brings together HAM radio and Computer use very nicely. I have been a Advanced Amateur for years ..did my thing on DX, Traffic manager CW & Phone. Packet, amtor whatever came along over the years and I have enjoyed all of them.
Get with it guys and girls ...times change why can't we in the Amateur fraternity?
cheers Jack
IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by VE3SY on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
IRLP (Internet Radio Linking Project) is a new mode of operation that is bringing a breath of much needed fresh air to the hobby. There are now 137 nodes active around the world and growing in leaps and bounds.

Our clubs membership is soaring at all time records and with the largest group being retired hams who are no longer able to operate HF due to moving into condos etc.

The next largest group are the "kids" They are really getting cranked with IRLP. AND this Ladies and Gentlemen is what it all about. If we do not start reducing the average age of our hobby it will die. Yes I am an HFer as well and could still pass a 12 wpm CW exam but IRLP is the greatest new tool since FM repeaters to draw new members into our hobby

What is IRLP all about? is the Official IRLP web site and have a listen to our Kitchener Ontario node that we are streaming via Live365.

Or if you have WinAmp, Real Player, Windows Media Player etc. you can go plug the following IP:Port into your favourite MP3 player.

Have a listen folks. (note the streaming audio is not typical of an IRLP node as I am using a cheap scanner to pick up the Link feed and encoding at the lowest rate.)

73 and enjoy IRLP
Paul VE3SY
Kitchener, Ontario

RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by WA0JOG on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
IRLP, a new melding of technologies. But, one based on a complex infrastructure that has to be in place before your hand held in Mozambique can talk to mine in Marion County, Arkansas.

Better, I think, is the enhancement of our self-reliant system of ham radio. PSK-31 is an example of something worth all the effort. Weak signals sending near-perfect keyboard copy. What a feat! And a treat!
And, the QSO is between you, who may be anywhere, in a situation when there is no link to the Internet, and me who is somewhere with a phone/computer link.

PSK-31, now, that's a new technology worth effort. It fills the bill when it comes to using some of the spectrum in the public's interest and need and necessity. That's why we are allowed licenses and dedicated spectrum, remember.

73 de Vern, W0JOG
RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by VE6SRV on July 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
It seems to me that some people just don't understand that there are many different facets to amateur radio.

Believe it or not, some people enjoy other facets of the hobby than you do.

If you want to work CW, or chase DX, that's fine by me. Why should my interests dictate your enjoyment of the hobby?

>Ham radio is about technology, communication and
>service. The IRLP link has at least two of those,
>technology and communication.

What is service? Is it providing communication capabilities to others? Providing emergency communications in the event of a disaster?

Well, guess what? IRLP can and has done these things. Right after the Edmonton IRLP node was installed, there was a train derailment/chemical spill in Red Deer. Some of the ARES operators from Red Deer were in Edmonton at a flea market, and IRLP was used to allow them to monitor the situation from over 100 miles away. Support for the evacuation and recovery efforts worked flawlessly.

Not all disasters destroy every single power line, telephone line, road, building, or what have you. There are many types of disasters. There are many ways to use amateur radio in support.

>But you are not talking from station to station, But >COMPUTER TO COMPUTER Via internet

Mickey WO6T, you have obviously never used IRLP, and should reserve your comments to that which you have tried.

Remember, this is amateur radio. There are as many ways to enjoy it as there are amateur radio operators.

Some people actually enjoy communicating via amateur radio. Some people don't find an RST report, and 'QSL via BURO' totally satisfying.

There's more than enough room for everyone to play. Let's all play together nicely.

If it's really a problem, you stay on HF, and I'll stay on the IRLP machines, and we'll never have to deal with each other again.

There truely is no need for conflict!
Did I miss something?  
by N9XGZ on July 25, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I thought you had to be licensed to operate on ham frequencies. Did I miss something here? Anyone with a computer and the address can talk through one of these repeaters, as I understand it.

Are we seeing the introduction of CB rules into our hobby? And how long before one of those teenage boys who are tired of their gameboy and now writing viruses move over to these sites, bringing music, belches, f##ts, and other trash.

If so, welcome to the new home for trailer trash, you local repeater.
RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by VE6WSO on July 25, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
YOU KNOW, i ALWAYS THOUGHT hAM RADIO WAS ABOUT EXPERIMENTATION, AS WELL AS DXing. I for one use IRLP, and in order to access I need my radio, Iguess we should all go back to using a cats whisker, andd a crystal, which by the way wouldn't go too far today! why knock what you've never tried, If you ain't tried it, how can you judge? you can't, because you know not whereof you speak! THERE WILL ALWAYS BE DISSENTERS, JUST LIKE TYHE nO cODE CONTROVERSY, WHICH WAS GOING TO BRING ALL THE cbERS TO hAM RADIO, WELL, GUESS WHAT? IT DID, AND THEY ARE DOING QUITE WELL, OH WELL! ENOUGH FROM THIS OLD MAN!
RE: Did I miss something?  
by KR4YL on July 25, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
The system is very secure. IRLP nodes will not accept connections from systems not registered in the IRLP system. Encyption is used to authenticate the node calling in. You cannot get into an IRLP node from any computer on the internet.

Dave Cameron, VE7LTD who is the IRLP designer, has gone to great lengths to make sure that only users on RF can gain access to other nodes on the network.

It is less likely that an hacker will be able to break into a IRLP node from the internet than somebody stealing a 2 meter HT and transmitting due to the security features which have been implemented.

IRLP has not been haphazardly setup nor is a fly-by-night operation. It has grown from a few nodes in western Canada in summer of 1999 to over 130 nodes now.

The IRLP web pages at explain all this and much more.
IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by G3ZHI on July 25, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
internet repeater linking is set to grow and grow
the future of the project is assured
hams have to think where ham radio will be in 20 years
using a 2m 70cm handheld to work the world with the help of the internet is fun
more repeaters around the world are coming on line daily
have you thought about linking your local repeater?

for more info check my web site

73 ian

IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by KD7LDH on July 25, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by N5NJ on July 25, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I just dialed up the IP address that VE3SY suggested using WinAmp and heard VE3SY(Ontario) and N4PK(Florida) chatting. They were talking about the comments made here. Cool stuff.

I agree that I am not going to toss out my HF stuff, but this certainly seems like a pretty good add-on to what we already have.

To me, this is a terrestrial version of the handheld / satellite vision that many have held for years.

Shamefully, if we don't get all the RFI problems with cheap consumer electronics addressed, this may someday be the only way we can DX.

Stay tuned to for an in-depth, serious look at this technology in an upcoming article by VE3SY.

Bob N5NJ
IRLP = New face of CB radio  
Anonymous post on July 25, 2001 Mail this to a friend!

We could even add some more technology to allow us to radio-control (via the internet) small model boats which could carry our written messages overseas for us. Think of the value to world relations !

How about being able to remotely control a whoopee cushion in Australia VIA THE INTERNET and HT's ... WOW ! The possibilities are endless (and pointless).
IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by K0PCG on July 25, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Good idea. Anything and everything we can do to make our hobby more relevant to today's society and enviroment must be done. To those who are constant naysayers I say: "Lead, follow or get out of the way"

IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by KA0AZS on July 25, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Interesting concept that sounds like it could be fun.

Why do it? Why not. It might get a few more folks interested in the RF side, and therefore getting a few more folks available that know how to use (or at least are familiar with) a radio during emergencies. (And I'm not talking about relying on the internet link during disasters, just increasing the pool of people familiar with RF operations).

For all the folks who don't see the point, so what? If you don't like it, don't do it. No one is forcing you to do it. Let the folks who enjoy it, enjoy it without feeling the need to tear it down. As an example, I have no interest in DXCC or other "wallpaper" activities,don't even bother firing up my HF rig during contest weekends due to the "legal QRM", and have a very limited interest in "traditional" packet. I do enjoy causual contacts on HF, public service/emergency ops, am heavy into APRS and want to get into sattellite one of these days. The hobby has many facets. Enjoy the ones you like and quit ragging on the folks who have other interests.
RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
Anonymous post on July 25, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
We are all just voicing our opinions on what we've read. For those of us who think this is folly (which it is), we won't even come near it. When we're not on the Internet, we're on the radio--the "real" radio, not some phoney radio substitute.
Let's not fight progress!  
by K1YZ on July 25, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I just don't understand why so many in the Amateur Radio community fight progress. Linking 2 or more repeaters around the world leveraging the Internet sounds like a great addition to the many facets of amateur radio.

Does it require significant operator skill to work a Ham in Moscow from a repeater in SF linked over the Internet? Not really. But how much operator skill does it require to work Moscow from SF running 1500 watts into a pair of stacked monobanders at 120' on 20m? About the same I'd say. Oh, and the skill required to erect such a massive station? That requires the knowledge of how to dial a telephone and order the delivery of a HF exciter, HF amp, tower, antennas, etc. Then one more call to install the tower and antennas. Pretty challenging if you ask me!

If the argument is that Amateur Radio must be challenging, perhaps we need to limit power to a couple of watts and antennas to dipoles. Then HF contacts will require some operator skill and knowledge of propagation. Until then, most HF contacts are no more challenging then picking up a telephone and dialing a number.

RE: YAWN !  
by KD6NXI on July 25, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Actually I assumed they all ran on HF because those are the only ones I've encountered. I've wondered if it was even legal to talk to people on ham/internet repeaters since they don't really have a license. The repeaters I've heard ID through cw every so often but you are still just talking to internet people not hams. It's fun but not sure if it is legal or not?
Landline Telegraphy makes a comeback !  
by AA1UY on July 25, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Landline Telegraphy makes a comeback !

Samuel Morse would be proud of you :)
RE: YAWN !  
Anonymous post on July 25, 2001 Mail this to a friend!

I can just see a Big Three Rig of the future where if the DX band is dead
it will just default to IRLP and you can make that sked after all !

IRLP DXCC anyone ?

Get your head out of the sand YAWN !!!!!
RE: Did I miss something?  
by VE7LTD on July 25, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I have been an IRLP user since day 1. I am the designer, programmer, PCB manufacturer, etc etc for the IRLP network.

Quite obviously, many people are making conclusions without even having a clue what IRLP actually is designed to do. Take the time to read through the website, and listen to the digital stream.

Any voice that comes through IRLP comes from another IRLP system, not just some random person on the internet. This is NOT the IPHONE or ILINK systems, this is something totally different. There is no access point into the network from outside sources.

If you would take the time to read WHY I made the IRLP, you might understand a few things before showing ignorance by posting faulty statements here.

There is very strict security to ensure that the voice that comes out your IRLP node is a ham. It is true that it is easier to steal a 2M rig and talk over an repeater than to talk through the internet into an IRLP node. And even if you did get in, the security key you used to do so can be revoked instantly.

IRLP is no different than the ham repeaters and even HF stations that are conencted remotely via the PSTN.

So debate about whether it is ham radio or not, but no matter what is said, IRLP is legal, and it is here to stay. So instead of bashing it, ignore it. Although I think it will be hard to ignore, as it is will become a large part of ham radio as YOU know it soon.

Dave Cameron
IRLP System Designer
by KB0OXD on July 25, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Hi everyone:

I can't believe some of the IGNORANCE being spewed forth in this thread!!1 In fact, it's DISGUSTING!!!

First off HFHAM....Ham radio is about technology PERIOD!! It isn't just limited to "radio" technology.

Secondly, LOOK AROUND YOU EVERYONE!!! Our hobby is DYING!!!! People who were once "old farts" are now SILENT KEYS!!! And just who's replacing them???

No one.

Why??? Because while you're sitting out on your balcony spinning the VFO knob on your HF rig, the rest of the world is RAPIDLY moving on to NEW, BETTER, and **RELIABLE** technologies!!!

NO ONE in this fast paced, hustle-bustle world wants to sit around and try to figure out some technology which (to them1) is ANTIQUATED!!!

I recently once read an article in a local club newsletter which originated from Ham Radio Online and it referred to the fact that the world has gone past the two "old farts" sitting at a table showing off their SPARK GAP tube radios and later went on to say that unless we - as a HOBBY - adapt to and implement NEW TECHNOLOGIES, the HOBBY will be EXTINCT!!!

Nothing could be further from the truth.

I was also told at a HAMFEST by a ham who's a member of FISTS not too long ago that there were plans to propose that unless a ham UPGRADES, they would not be able to renew their license. He also told me he knew that my license would be up soon (which it will be come May 2002) and that I'd see.

I just looked at him and said to myself "And with TODAY'S TECHNOLOGY, that proposal won't even see the light of day when it comes to the FCC seeking comment on the issue" as he left.

I do NOT say that out of IGNORANCE. I say that because I know it's FACT!!! In fact, I believe the ARRL not too long before that (Nov. 2000) PUBLICLY OPPOSED a similar proposal initiated by the QCWA (someone feel free to POLITELY correct me on this).

On top of that, MANY of you HF HAMS are wondering just WHY we "newbies" don't join the "Real Hams" bunch on the HF bands!!! To this I ask when was the last time you heard Newsline?? How 'bout the ARRL Audio News??? How 'bout the last time you ACTUALLY **READ** QST???

In fact, I wonder when was the last time FCC Special Legal Advisor for Amateur Radio Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, went to bed at a REASONABLE hour WITHOUT getting complaints about some "HAM" on the WEST COAST talking on the HF bands just as if he were on the infamous K6NUT repeater????

When you factor all these components in, u will realize just WHY many of us Technician class HAMS are still on the 2 meter band and just EXACTLY **WHY** IRLP exists IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!!

Does it detract from the incentive to upgrade?? YES!!! But NOT for the reasons some of you might think!!! It's NOT that I don't WANT to upgrade becauise I **DO**!!! However, with all the potty mouths on 20, 75 & 80 meters, WHY should I even bother???

True, there ARE "Local Lids" on 2 meters. But they usually don't stick around very long.

I'll post more on the TECHNICAL side of IRLP in my next post (to EDUCATE you. Not insult you!).

73's for now my friends....

Patrick Cook, KB0OXD
KB0OXD CyberShack Webmaster
Denver, Colorado
RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by KB0OXD on July 25, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Hi everyone:

Now for the EDUCATION part...

as a user of the local IRLP node here in Denver, I can personally tell you a few things which I **KNOW** about IRLP.

1). Unlike its predecessor, RPTRLink, NO ONE accesses IRLP via a computer (not even the Node or Reflector Owner).

2). There are LINK RADIOS in place to interface the local node with the local repeater, which, in some locales, have DIFFERENT callsigns. In other words, one person is the REPEATER trustee while another person is the trustee of the local IRLP node (such is the the case here in Denver if you look at a repeater directory). The Node Owners use these radios (sometimes) to communicate with others on the IRLP system (however this is usually for testing purposes only).

3). The IRLP is a **HIGHLY** SECURED system!! The system was designed with SECURITY in mind. IRLP wouldn't be where it is today if this were not the case.

4). The ONLY "public access" (as in non-IRLP and non-ham) audio which is received from IRLP nodes is that which is received by scanners or through the VE3RBM rebroadcast on Live365 which can be accessed from

Now, to address the issue of "wires"...

Yes, the IRLP uses "wires" to get the signal around the world, but then too, so does your HF rig and antenna. They need a COAX CABLE (that's a wire) connected at both ends for it to work properly.

The IRLP is NO DIFFERENT than your typical HF setup in this regard. It just uses THE INTERNET. That's the ONLY difference. In fact, SOME people use WIRES for HF antennas.

And if ya still need convincing, I was once told by another ham in email that "Internet Radio and Ham Radio shall NEVER cross!". Well....I suppose it's probably a good thing he's out of range of the local repeater where our local IRLP node is at 'cause I've got NEWS for him...... :-)

In conclusion....I feel I can sit here IN ALL ERNESTNESS and say that I'm PROUD to be user of our local node here in Denver and will continue to (just as proudly!) sport a link to IRLP on my website. :-)

If anyone from IRLP is reading this and notices something missing or in error, please feel free to post a reasponse and correct me.

In the meangtime....73's for now my friends!! :-)

Patrick Cook, KB0OXD
KB0OXD CyberShack Webmaster
Denver, Colorado
RE: Ham radio must move on.  
by VK3JED on July 25, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
As an IRLP node operator, I have seen the changes in the local ham radio scene since our node went on air about a month ago. All of a sudden, the bands are full of people talking (I counted no fewer than 4 repeaters simultaneously active on my way into work this morning, and that was rare, not long ago). People are talking about the node, and what IRLP means, and there have been many hams who haven't been heard in _decades_ appearing on the system. And people say that's "bad"?

For me, there is the technical challenge of making it work (though that's made a lot easier by David Cameron's excellent support), and tweaking the system to do what we want/need. The potential for JOTA/emergency/public service/publicity can't be overlooked as well, and in a large, sparsely populated country like ours, we are now able to link hams in major centres.

Is it "ham radio" Well, yes. There is a radio involved at both ends. As David himself has pointed out, the only way onto IRLP is via a registered node, which happens to have a radio attached to it. Is it legal? Most definitely is in many countries. And IRLP is flexible enough to be adapted to the requirements of many different countries (Just been tweaking the ident on our node).

As for whether it's going to detract from HF, no, I don't believe so. HF is a different ball game that appeals in a different way. I occasionally fire up the HF box and work a bit of DX on SSB or PSK-31, or play SSTV with interstate hams on 30 and 20m. Given that I have some severe antenna limitations, IRLP also promises to enhance my HF experience by allowing me to setup liasons to check if the path I want to try is useable. Oh, and did I mention that I also work ham satellites?

I'm also heavily involved in the Linux community, and have been for years. There, with the right promotion, I see the potential to attract young, keen tinkerers to our hobby. From this new breed of ham could come some of the digital breakthroughs we're looking for on radio. Imagine the potential that the presence of many IT aware hams will have? Those that we already have have made lasting changes to our hobby.

Like or not, IRLP if here to stay, it is a facet of ham radio as well. If you like IRLP, well and good, join in the fun :). If you don't, find something else you do like, and have a nice day. If you are going to offer critical comment on IRLP, at least learn something about it. The thing that made me setup a node was nothing less than the experience of using an already established node. Then I was sold on the idea. :-)
RE: Ham radio must move on.  
by KD7HZO on July 25, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I think the whole point of ham radio is the "magic" of working a far off country or someone in the U.S. that is talking on their mobile or portable setup. As hams, I feel that we need to stress the fun and adventure aspect of the hobby. I cant even describe the feeling I get when ive busted through a pileup with my 100 watts or when my cq gets answered by one of the "rare ones". I know we all have had that experience at one time or another. I dont see how we can that feeling of expectation and anticipation by dialing up
our browsers and calling cq.
There is also a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment when you have contacted a dx station with
modest equipment and antennas. Alot of dxers use older rigs and dont have towers or amplifiers.It takes
effort and patience to do alot of things in ham radio but its the investment of time,money,and work that makes it worthwhile when you finally acheive dxcc or whatever it was that you were working toward.
Finally ,I think ham radio is big enough for internet technology but hope it is not the future of our wonderful hobby. Ham radio teaches us things about electronics and our atmosphere that computers will never be able to. Computer internet technology should be recognized as a mode but shouldnt be counted for awards. Hopefully it will die on its own after the "newness" of it wears off.
See you on ssb and cw-73
Anonymous post on July 25, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
> Patrick Cook, KB0OXD
> KB0OXD CyberShack Webmaster
> Denver, Colorado

Ooooohhh how very special and important you must be (Har Har). Tip: Switch to decaff :)
Anonymous post on July 25, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
This may well be "fun" but it's not amateur radio, it's AOL Chat with an HT for a microphone.

I just cannot believe the comments on here of those who imagine that in some way it is amateur radio. For example, quite a few of those who support IRLP have said something like "radios use wire antennas and feed-lines so they're the same as IRLP" ... What planet are you people on ? Do you know *anything* at all about radio ?

Yes, it may become popular (CB did for a while) but not amongst true radio amateurs. That said however, many have been allowed into the hobby/service through the dumbing-down of the entry requirements (as evidenced by many of the comments here). These people are not technically minded ("pick up a pizza on the way home honey") and it will likely appeal to those types.

I for one would much rather see the hobby/service die than see it degenerate into this. Like someone else said "two tin cans and a length of taught string"...
IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by NW8T on July 25, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Yes we are losing hams. Computers and the use of the Internet, especially when all one does is learn how to push a button and magically they can talk to someone across the pond. Too simple, we are dumbing down America.
At least teaching someone the skills you needed to become a ham in the first place, like: building a rig, learning code, learning electronics, stringing an antenna, learning good procedure on the air is where all the fun is.
It is not a dying art, at least it won't be if we do the right thing and teach new hams the technology.
Logging onto a computer does not take much intelligence and all the work is done for you.
Whereas firing up a rig, tuning the antenna you built, keying the code you learned is putting some skills to work. These are a combination of skills you can be proud of and worth teaching to the next young interested ham.
We should get busy and start teaching what we know and expand the pool of hams to continue these precious skills.
IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
Anonymous post on July 26, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Hmm.. Interesting enough, a lot of comments here looks suspiciously familiar. Let's see: CAPITALIZATION, 500kW smiles :))))))))))))) One thing is still missing though - d00dZ tA1K, but lets wait till tomorrow.

And this is what they call The Future of Ham Radio? I'm struggling...

Grow up, kids. If you cannot play by existing rules, go ahead and invent a new ones. But please do not call this a Ham Radio, there's nothing in it about "Radio".
Challenge? What's challenging about dialing a number? IRLP for emergency communications? Are you kidding?? Call your AT&T cable provider when there will be a flood of fire and the power will go down. Worldwide communications? Tell this people in countries where 56K dialup costs $3/hour.

And as a side note... I'm 31, but would think twice about calling older hams OF. Believe it or not, but they kept this great hobby alive. Would you mind to give them some credit for this?
Anonymous post on July 26, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
"I can't believe some of the IGNORANCE being spewed forth in this thread!!1 In fact, it's DISGUSTING!!!"

Most of us are not speaking from ignorance. There was only one person that mistakingly thought that strays from the internet could access a ham repeater through IRLP.

"First off HFHAM....Ham radio is about technology PERIOD!! It isn't just limited to "radio" technology."

Since when? Is ham radio about the Internet? Is ham radio about PC's? Is ham radio about CD's and DVD's?

Is ham radio about laser technology or nuclear technology? GET OUTTA HERE!!

"while you're sitting out on your balcony spinning the VFO knob on your HF rig, the rest of the world is RAPIDLY moving on to NEW, BETTER, and **RELIABLE** technologies!!!"

Very true. They are all flocking to the Internet instead of radio. This is the very reason why we should try to get them back to radio, not further into the Internet with a false sense of radio thru IRLP.

"NO ONE in this fast paced, hustle-bustle world wants to sit around and try to figure out some technology which (to them1) is ANTIQUATED!!!"

This is no reason to replace real radio with your imitation radio and counterfeit DX.

"On top of that, MANY of you HF HAMS are wondering just WHY we "newbies" don't join the "Real Hams" bunch on the HF bands!!! To this I ask when was the last time you heard Newsline?? How 'bout the ARRL Audio News??? How 'bout the last time you ACTUALLY **READ** QST???"

The ARRL is using the Internet as a tool to augment the ham radio hobby through its Real Audio broadcasts. It doesn't seek to replace radio with the Internet.

"In fact, I wonder when was the last time FCC Special Legal Advisor for Amateur Radio Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, went to bed at a REASONABLE hour WITHOUT getting complaints about some "HAM" on the WEST COAST talking on the HF bands just as if he were on the infamous K6NUT repeater????"

Yes, there are idiots on the HF bands, just as there are idiots on the repeaters. I'm sure that your cutsy IRLP isn't exempt from idiots either.

"When you factor all these components in, u will realize just WHY many of us Technician class HAMS are still on the 2 meter band and just EXACTLY **WHY** IRLP exists IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!!"

Technicians are still on the 2 meter band because they either didn't get around to upgrading yet, or just don't want to learn the code. Some may also have no desire to do any DXing, and are content just to ragchew with their locals. IRLP will just serve to take away any incentive to upgrade, as it will provide a false sense of DXing through telephone lines and the Internet.

"Does it detract from the incentive to upgrade?? YES!!! But NOT for the reasons some of you might think!!! It's NOT that I don't WANT to upgrade becauise I **DO**!!! However, with all the potty mouths on 20, 75 & 80 meters, WHY should I even bother???"

Like I stated earlier, there are idiots on all the bands. Why bother with ham radio at all, if you want to avoid the idiots? The scum is filthier on the Internet, than it is even on CB!

"The IRLP is NO DIFFERENT than your typical HF setup in this regard. It just uses THE INTERNET. That's the ONLY difference. In fact, SOME people use WIRES for HF antennas."

This is the most warped thinking I've ever heard to justify your Internet-driven imitation radio! How can you compare coax and a wire antenna to a phone line and the Internet!

The only chance I have to "test drive" your contraption is to listen on my Real Player, which I have done at There are no repeaters in my area that have been polluted by your nodes. Like I said, I have listened to IRLP. I heard a couple of Canadians, an Australian and two Americans. I can't imagine holding a QSO with an Australian on a 2 meter repeater. To me, it is no different than talking to him on Paltalk on the Internet. It cheapens DX to the nth degree. there is no fun in that! It is not the least bit rewarding. However, holding a QSO with the same Australian on HF using 100 watts, or even better, QRP is a thrilling experience; even if the QSO lasts for only a few minutes before the signal fades. Like I said, IRLP cheapens DX to the nth degree. With this false DX, I can see many a Technician not wanting to upgrade, because he can work the Aussie on 2! This is not Amateur Radio. It will cheapen our fine hobby, and in the long run undermine it far worse than the old farts going SK!
Anonymous post on July 26, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
If this IRLP crap is the future of ham radio, it looks like I'm going to hold a fire sale on eBay and get out of the hobby. I can't see using the Internet to make contacts that used to be made with a real radio and a real antenna. Calling IRLP Amateur Radio is like calling the so-called "Internet Radio" broadcast radio. Just like Internet Radio glitches due to "net congestion" and rebuffers, so will IRLP. You can take your IRLP and flush it down the toilet. It is not Amateur Radio!
RE: Did I miss something?  
by KF4BOT on July 26, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
To the developer of IRLP:

We hams don't want it because it isn't radio. Why not look to the commercial market? They use repeaters too. I'm sure that the railroads, airlines and utilities can make good use of this. Sell it to the commercial interests and leave the hams alone.
IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
Anonymous post on July 26, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I'd rather pay $170 for a reliable, platform-independent (not "Linux-only") solution which would allow me to use internet and work CW on my home rig when I'm bored at work :)

BTW, under what licensing schema IRLP software is distributed? If it is derived from SpeekFreely, I guess it should be GPL. I couldn't find "download" link on though. If it's not under GPL or some kind of other open source license, the rest of us may never be able to see the sources. But then, when (if) IRLP will gain some real popularity, who can guarantee that everyone accessing IRLP link won't be required to pay a fee or buy a service subscription? Been there, seen that.
Speak for yourself  
Anonymous post on July 26, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
KF4BOT: "We hams?" Feel free to speak for yourself but you have some nerve to say "we hams." Even if I agreed with you I'd still be ticked off at your arrogant attitude. You don't speak for me. Maybe others don't mind you speaking for them - but I do.

Ham radio affords the capability to experiment. Just another fine example of someone experimenting, trying out new things and of course that seems to lead to getting blasted for having the nerve to be unconventional!

Its this type of thinking that leads us into oblivion. Communication has changed, from wired telegraphy, to wired voice, wireless (aka radio) telgraphy to wireless voice, wired data to wireless data...

Is it so far fetched to imagine us moving to digital voice in the future? I don't think so. Even our fanciest repeater systems are using ancient technology (FM pre-dates WWII.) SSB is just AM with the carrier supressed (AM goes back to further.)

I like most of you have probably had people ask us when they find out we're hams... "You mean people still do that? Why? Don't you have a cell phone and internet? Whats the point!?"

The point is that ham radio is as much a social experience as it is a technical one. Does anyone only go to a hamfest to look at what the vendors have on the tables? (Maybe if you don't have any friends, and with some of your attitudes that could be the case!)

I still see none of you blasting the fact that there have been internet gateways and tunneling used in packet for years (I suppose many of you don't have a clue what is anyway.) Its probably also because its not new anymore - but when it was new it was described as vile -- blasphemy! How dare you transport DX spots via RF means!!

So here we are again being told "that isn't right", "its a folly" and "poluting local repeaters."

Its always been this way. The new concept, the new idea is always discarded by some as rubbish. Some people are uncomfortable with anything that is different because they choose to live life with blinders on and are happy in their "tidy little box."

Innovators have always been sneered at.

Oh yea, how silly of me I forgot that if it isn't my way, its the highway.

RE: Speak for yourself  
by KF4BOT on July 26, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Isn't it something how you hide behind your skirt of anonymity! Why don't you post your caustic BS with your callsign, chicken? Or are you even a ham? Maybe you are one of those illegal freebanders. I agree with those who call it cheap DX. I have nothing against digital communication, as long as it is radio. The crap that you promote is not radio. If I want to have reliable communication around the globe, I'll use IPhone, Paltalk or AOL Instant Messenger, in other words, the Internet itself without an HT to disguise it as ham radio. You can have all the "fun" with your cheap DX on 2 meters. Maybe you are the one who is making all the profits from this computer toy! Get out of my face, you poor excuse for a ham wannabe! DON'T EVEN ADDRESS ME UNLESS YOU ARE MAN ENOUGH TO DO SO WITH YOUR CALLSIGN!
RE: Speak for yourself  
by KR4YL on July 26, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
You don't seem to have any problem with the other anonymous people who are on your side but when someone from the other side of the discusion goes anonymous they aren't worth your time.

Because that anonymous poster has an opposing viewpoint you think they are an "illegal freebander" or not even a ham.

You can't have it both ways and looks like the last line from that poster's message fits pretty well from your reply.

RE: Speak for yourself  
by KF4BOT on July 26, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Anyone who takes pot shots and launches attacks at someone who is out in the open from their anonymous lair is nothing but a coward. Terrorists do that. If you want to address me in a strong critical manner, at least come out in the open with your callsign. Most people wouldn't dare post the same caustic statements with their callsign as they would anonymously. By the way, KR4YL aka N4PK are you the anonymous poster that we are both referring to? Even Hamas takes credit for their dirty deeds.

By the way, why should I have a problem with anonymous posters who aren't attacking me? It has nothing to do with which side of the fence an anonymous poster is on. This particular one was attacking me personally in a bold and caustic manner. I just shot back in a like manner. Just remember that it doesn't matter how intense an argument becomes, as long as it is done in a civil manner. I don't feel that my anonymous critic was being civil with me. I very strongly feel that if you are going to confront someone directly, don't hide. Most of the anonymous posters weren't confronting anyone personally and directly.

Getting back to the subject at hand, no matter what anyone does to sugar-coat this repeater communication by Internet, it still isn't radio. It is as much radio as a cell phone is. Like I said, sell it to the commercial interests. All they are interested in is communication, not radio for hobby. Hams do radio for hobby. Yes, we experiment with new technology, but the technology must be radio. PSK31 is radio. IRLP is not.
IRLP = No face of Amateur radio  
by KF4BOT on July 26, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Some people seem to want to call everything radio. Is a cell phone a radio? In a way it is because it is using radio waves for communication. But is it really a radio? No. A cell phone is a device that uses radio waves for portability to communicate via landlines. Is a beeper a radio? In a sense it is, but like the cell phone, also communicates (data) over landlines. Landline telephone uses satellite communication, in which case it is not really a landline. Does that make telephone radio? Of course not. By the same logic, we can say that the Internet is also radio because it uses satellites for communication. Its time we called a spade a spade. IRLP is not radio. All it does is link up ham repeaters via the Internet. Quite the same thing can be done with telephone lines, which is also not radio. IRLP is definitely communication, but it is not radio. I, like everyone who posts to uses the Internet for communication. I use e-mail, instant messenger, Paltalk and these bulletin boards for communication. Its the Internet. Its not radio. When I use my radios, I want to make a legitimate contact, whether it is across town on a repeater or across the world on HF. I could never see making a cheap contact across the pond on a 2m HT.
IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by VE6BGM on July 26, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Well, this article certainly illustrates what the real problem with amateur radio is today. On one hand we have the High And Mighty OF hams that think the sunrises and shines on CW. It used to shine on outdoor bathrooms too! I thought this "better than thou" attitude went out with the outdoor bathroom. Then we have the other hams that are trying to experiment with modern technology including the Internet. Well, the computer and Internet are here to stay. But I have great doubts about Amateur radio.

No wonder we are at risk of loosing our radio spectrums. No wonder we can not attract significant new blood into the HOBBY.

Come on people, we all have DIFFERENT interests. If we don't like CW, we DON'T have to use it. Similarly we DON'T have to use IRLP if we don't want to. We don't have to use HF if we don't want to, and we don't have to use VHF if we don't want to, etc., etc.

But lets not run down innovation, experimentation in this HOBBY, etc. If one cannot afford all the equipment [even QRP cost money] but can only afford a $100 HT [if that is all that theycan afford, and yes, there are a number of amateurs that cannot afford much these days] what is the problem? And yes, computers are here to stay. I would like to know how many of these OFs still do not have computers. I would hazard a guess that this is a very small portion indeed.

This is a HOBBY, not a JOB. Let's all have fun with whatever interests an individual. Our radios all have ON/OFF buttons, knobs to tune different frequencies. Thus, we are free to do a number of things with the radios if we do not like a particular frequency. However, this CLASS division will not help bring new people into this HOBBY. But the more I hear from the OFs the more I feel that is exactly what they want. Since they won't be here very long, why do they care what happens after they are gone.


What is radio?  
by N4PK on July 26, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Mark: No that post was not mine. I don't read the message you are refering to as a personal attack though.

According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition:

Radio - The wireless transmission through space of electromagnetic waves in the approximate frequency range from 10 kilohertz to 300,000 megahertz.

a. An apparatus used to transmit radio signals; a transmitter.

b. An apparatus used to receive radio signals; a receiver.

c. A complex of equipment capable of transmitting and receiving radio signals.

A cell phone is a radio, a beeper is a radio, a garage door opener is a radio.

Do you mean that its not ham radio? I just see it as another facet to ham radio. Some early repeaters were split-site and the transmitter and receiver were connected by wireline. Several large repeater systems out west (and one large one in the midwest) use commercial microwave/other links that are not on amateur frequencies.

I've made HF contacts (lots and lots of them, almost 900 in the 10 meter contest last December alone) and haven't abandoned that part of ham radio for IRLP. I don't consider any of that a challenge anymore. I've worked probably 200 countries, and every state. I worked probably 30 states on 6m SSB (and several countries with just a vertical at 20 feet.)

I enjoy chatting with my local buddies on repeaters or simplex. Now I can also chat with far-away friends when I want to and not have to wait until we can find a HF path that exists. I don't have to be at home either. When the bands are lousy (and as you know, in Florida in the summer the HF bands are full of QRN) you can still catch up with friends and make new friends.

It has been said, what we are doing does not take away in one bit from any other aspect of ham radio.

Bob, N5NJ makes a great point about RFI/EMI concerns. Deed restrictions, covenants and tower ordances are keeping many from playing with the parts of ham radio that they would like to be active on but what we're doing allows these folks to continue being active. Sure there is stealth antennas, low power, mobile operating but not everyone can do any or all of that for one reason or another.

Compared to some of the folks I talk to on IRLP I'm a fairly new ham (8 1/2 years with 7 1/2 of that being a General class or higher.) I can't say I've tried every part of ham radio but in many cases "I've been there, and done that." (Look me up at QRZ if you want to know more.)

Its been nice in the late evening or early morning when no one is on any of the several dozen repeaters (and I have 6m, 2m, 70cm, and 23cm in my car ontop of HF -- including a mobile 75 antenna which I rarely use because 75m is not a good mobile band- and I only get about 15 khz of 2:1 SWR) and be able to find someone to talk to while I drive home. Maybe its a VK3 driving at in the early afternoon or a KH6 in afternoon drivetime but I'm using an amateur frequency. (Last time I checked when I transmit on the input of our IRLP node repeater on 449.500 I'm operating a frequency in the amateur service.)

As for emergencies, think outside of the box is the operative word. Yes after a direct hurricane strike, or major earthquake wireline communication will fail as will power, water service. Not all emergencies are this way. With the proliferation of wireless internet services it isn't outside of the realm of possibility that a portable node could be setup which would allow better communication.

A friend of mine was involved with the ham radio communications for the crash of TWA Flight 800 off of Long Island. The media on site alone brought the local cell and PCS network to its knees. But how about the ability to be able to have a repeater or simplex channel that uses IRLP (VOIP) to allow the site to be connected to places beyond wide coverage repeater cover or to help when HF conditions are lousy. When we serve the public through our work with agencies like the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and state and local emergency management they don't care how we get the message through -- they care that we get the message through.

Ham Radio in the US permits us to do things no other radio service can do. We are frequency and mode agile. We can and do serve the public.

Think outside the box!

73 - Paul (N4PK ex KR4YL and KD4VMD)

RE: IRLP = No face of Amateur radio  
by KF4BOT on July 26, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
At almost 47 years of age, I would hardly consider myself an "OF". I don't even use CW, even though I had to pass the code test for my General. What I am against is using the Internet to water down and cheapen our fine radio hobby. What you accomplish with IRLP can be done between a group of hams using Paltalk on the Internet. I don't want to hear the excuse that many amateurs cannot afford much these days. If you knew my financial condition, you would wonder how I am able to acquire ham equipment. All my ham equipment is old used stuff acquired on eBay with money that I obtained by selling off other junk of mine. In case you didn't know, it is cheaper to get on 10 meters than it is to get on 2. With an SSB CB acquired on eBay for about $50 (US) and a ham's electronic know-how, that CB can be modified for QRP use across the entire 10 meter band. You can run it off a 3A power supply and string a dipole from some old zip cord. How's that for getting on 10m for less than $100 (US)! All IRLP is going to do is lure computer people with little or no knowledge of radio into our hobby, with no incentive to upgrade and do some real DXing, due to the fact that they can make some cheap Internet-assisted DX contacts. Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against computers or the Internet. I more than love computers and the Internet. However, to me, they are two separate interests. Radio is radio and Internet is Internet. As for all you said about the OF's, what about the post from 13 year old KD7LDH? How many lives do you think your IRLP will save? HF saved the life of Willem van Tuyl last year. HF ham radio was the only communication going in and out of besieged Sarajevo during the Bosnian war.
RE: What is radio?  
by KF4BOT on July 26, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Paul - NP4K,

Thank you for your reply and detailed explanation. You do make some valid points. Aside from the ham hobby, I can see the value communication wise. However, ham radio is more than just communication. It is radio communication over the air without the aid of wires or the Internet. Although you have not abandoned HF for IRLP, don't you see how an easy 2 meter DX contact can remove incentive from Tech class licensees to upgrade? I also believe it will draw the wrong kinds of people into ham radio, namely those with little or no real interest in radio itself, just the Internet. As for victims of CC & R's, I am one such person. A visit to my web site at will tell you what I use for an antenna on HF. A true ham needs to be resourceful and able to overcome antenna restrictions. If I was unable to have anything at home, I'd do all my hamming from the car, but I wouldn't give up HF. As for the way that I took the anonymous post, the written word is alot different from the spoken word. You can't read the tone of someone's voice or the expression on his face in print. Therefore, the written word can be taken differently by different people. Unless the anonymous attacker reveals himself and clarifies his statement, I have no reason to believe that I was mistaken in how I took his statement. I, like everyone else on this forum am voicing my opinion. What any of us have to say is not going to change or alter anything. If this is the direction ham radio is going in, nothing that I say or do is going to change anything. It doesn't mean that I have to like it. All that we all can do is just do our own thing and enjoy this hobby, as we want to. But, I don't want any part of something that I consider to be counterfeit radio. Paul, I have no bone to pick with you. Fact is, once I build my 40 & 80 meter antenna, I'd like to have a ragchew with you on the low bands.

73 from Mark KF4BOT
IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by N1YLN on July 27, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
If you can control the transciver via your computer and you are actually in COMPLETE control of the radio via the net, then in my opinion it is "REAL" amateur radio. Think of the internet as just a very long mic cable :-) It might give the ham who lives in an apartment or doesn't have much disposable income to get on the air..

RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
Anonymous post on July 27, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
N1YLN says "It might give the ham who lives in an apartment or doesn't have much disposable income to get on the air.. "

I live in a town-house (absolutely no outside antennas and no attic space) and I regularly work into Europe, Russia, South America etc with a $95 Ten Tec QRP kit radio and an indoor loaded whip/counterpoise setup.

Who needs this "fake" DX ... not me, I'm having too much fun doing it for real !
IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by W4SKB on July 27, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Forget the naysayers and JUST DO IT ! ! !
I've been a licensed amatuer radio operator since 1963 and am still active.
If ham radio stayed the same as it was back when I started we would all still be using tubes and AM.
Have fun, do something different, and don't listen to the OLD FARTS....

73 de W4SKB
by HFHAM on July 27, 2001 Mail this to a friend!

W4KSB shares his wisdom with us and states "JUST DO IT AND DON'T LISTEN TO OLD FARTS". I would suggest that you just *did*.
by HFHAM on July 27, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
It was actually W4SKB (not W4KSB) who shared the "wisdom" with us.
RE: Don't listen to the old farts  
by KF4BOT on July 27, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Stephen - W4SKB, why do you believe that only the "old farts" are against IRLP? I am against it, yet I am 7 years younger than you. A 13 year old ham also indicated that he is against it. I wish that everyone would get off the age kick and stop stereotyping those who are against IRLP. Once again, I will state that I have nothing agasinst new technologies. PSK31 and MFSK16 are fine examples of how computers can be used in harmony with ham radio to advance our hobby. However, all IRLP gives us is Internet assisted counterfeit DX.
IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by WF0H on July 27, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I think we need to lower the animosities here a bit.

Anyone contending that IRLP is somehow equivalent or superior to HF is misinformed, at best.

Anyone contending that using the Internet to link repeaters or VHF simplex frequencies is NOT a part of amateur radio is likewise misinformed. On the contrary, repeater linking is probably the best use I've seen for the Internet.

IRLP is just a way to link VHF users. I know that many HF hams cannot understand those who enjoy VHF. We like being different, and want to at least appear that we are making innovation. Talking via FM voice with a 100mW HT to far-distant stations can be almost as magical as doing it on HF. I've done HF and VHF for 36 years, and I like them both - I just want to see more activity in both places!

According to their website, IRLP looks like a major advance over the older RepeaterLink technology, with which I was familiar.

Previously, an FCC Field Office had issued an opinion that automatic operation via RepeaterLink was not legal without a control operator present. In the US, I think we might also need to be a little concerned about compliance with Third Party Agreement rules, as the non-U.S. stations might be viewed as third parties being retransmitted over the air, similar to phone patches. I don't know how FCC would call that one, since the transmissions did originate via radio, but it's usually safest to assume the most restrictive possible interpretation.

I won't ask them if you won't. And, please don't. I believe Great Britain has amended its amateur rules to specifically allow this kind of operation - we may need to pursue that here, too, and most likely will have to. Other than those potential 'gotchas', I think IRLP sounds like a wonderful addition to amateur radio. Its developers are to be congratulated.
IRLP = Cordless Telephone  
Anonymous post on July 27, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I may be wrong, but this sounds exactly like a cordless telephone to me. Why would one have to pass a license examination to operate a cordless telephone ?
RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by KF4BOT on July 27, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
To WF0H:
"I know that many HF hams cannot understand those who enjoy VHF"

Although this statement may be true of some, it is not true of me. I have to admit that I prefer HF over VHF, but I do both. The repeaters are important for making local contacts, and yes, the repeaters extend the range beyond what you can do on simplex. Contacts made with the aid of Tropospheric Ducting can be quite rewarding. One of the most rewarding experiences on 2 meters for me was working a station from the Bahamas on one of my local repeaters. I am in the Miami area. What made this contact even better was the fact that I was newly-licensed at the time. What is so great about ham radio is that we have all these different bands all throughout the radio spectrum, each with its own propagation characteristics. Soon we may get a new 60 meter band. It shouldn't be too difficult to modify existing equipment to operate just one meg up from the high end of 75m.
RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by KB2GCC on July 27, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I support what VE7SDX is proposing. There are systems like this already up and running.

So, sorry to all you naysayers that don't want to see it done...but it's already *been* done! As a matter of fact, I know a former ABC Radio Networks engineer who did remote linking of ham radios (via leased telco lines) in the 1960's! And its also been done by satellite! So there!

I am sick and tired of negative people. I think they are nothing but sour grapes. Your attitude is detrimental to ham radio (and probably the world in general).

If you don't like the don't have to participate!
RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
Anonymous post on July 27, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
KB2GCC won't be able to participate either. He's only a Novice. LOL
RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by N4PK on July 27, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
There are IRLP nodes on 1.35m and 23cm on frequencies which Novices can operate on. No different than a linked system that includes a 10 meter repeater - and as long as your transmitter is operating within frequencies authorized for your class of license there isn't a problem.
RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
Anonymous post on July 27, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
HF doesnt have to be expensive either. You can get used gear inexpensively just takes a little
EFFORT and time to track down what you are looking for. But if you were generals or extras youd know that. I dont see why people become hams if all they want to do is play on the computer.
KF4bot is a savvy and smart ham.
Amateur Radio & The Internet, it's nothing new  
by KB8POA on July 27, 2001 Mail this to a friend!

Well I see things this way… What I do with my license isn't anyone's business, and what you do with your license isn't my business. I don't see why people are so upset about this. Mostly "anonymous" people it seems.

For me it's really no different than what we've been doing on packet for the past 11 years or so. Packet gateways have been linking together radio networks for quite a while now. But no one really ever complained about it. Before the internet really took off a few years back, our amateur radio "convers" chat system was very popular! Heck, it was the reason a lot of people got into packet. And it IS radio! Just because the internet is involved doesn't mean it's not radio.

For me that's how it feels… Sure I can chat on IRC or something online, but it's not the same. It's not radio! But in the case of convers, there is radio. And I feel the same way about IRLP, I don't think there's anything wrong with linking repeaters via the net. It's just something new to play with, and we would have been doing it years ago, but it's only now that we're able to get cheap high speed internet access.

And as for security… Just because it uses the internet does not mean it's insecure. I can tell you for a fact that our packet systems that have been online for years now are very secure. And from what I've seen, IRLP is even more secure!! I don't think we have to worry about "internet pirate hackers" gaining access to repeaters connected to the net.

Another example of radio connected to the internet is APRS. There are tons of APRS to Internet gateways all over the world. They pass APRS traffic to the internet server network and also from the net back out to RF. This has been going on for a few years now too.

So I think everyone who's complaining about Amateur Radio and the Internet is a little bit too late. It's been going on for at least 11 years, and at the rate things are going, I don't think it's going to end anytime soon.

Also, I know that I would love to have an IRLP system in my area! I think it would be a wonderful addition to the hobby here, especially since so many repeaters seem to be so quiet. Perhaps it's what we need to bring things back to life.

So that's my two cents… Feel free to send me hate mail if you don't like what I have to say. hihi

73 de Walt, kb8poa…
RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by W7DAH on July 28, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Hi Mark,

I'd be willing to bet that the majority of your spam issues originate from having a web-site. The only reason I discount the spam issue entirely, as an excuse for anonymous posting, is that like everyone online, I've been swamped by spam in the past too. More recently I have found it to be a reasonably trival matter to defeat spam. One interesting anti-spam tool that I kindda enjoy is found at:

I do see your point on folks switching accounts, but I gotta think that those who bother to switch accounts, strictly to facilitate their anonymous postings, have gotta be an extremely tiny minority. The lunatic fringe, I hope! ;)

eBay has some interesting approaches to anonymous accounts too. I guess the bottomline solution, for me, is to take the approach of never bothering to read a post from an anonymous poster, at all. I mean hey, they wanna remain anonymous, right? So, I'd be doin' 'em a favor to never read their tripe! ;)

Don - W7DAH
RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by W7DAH on July 28, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
In reply to anonymous:

>I'd like to see people stop complaining about anonymous posts.

You're likely to be disappointed then. ;)

>There's more bandwidth wasted on that than anything else. We've all heard it before (ad nauseam).

You ASSume to be speaking for "We've all" now? I kindda doubt it.

>Although a very few use anonymity to be abusive, a great many more put forth alternative (to the mainstream) views which they otherwise would not (for various reasons).

Name ONE of those various reasons then. I suspect you didn't initially list any coz there aren't any.

>This makes for lively debate and is to be welcomed in my opinion.

What "makes for lively debate"??? How the heck does posting anonymously facilitate "lively debate" anymore than posting and applying your true identity?

>After all, if we all agreed, it would be
as boring as the K2 reviews (yes, we all know how wonderful it is).

Huh? What the heck does everyone agreeing or disagreeing have to do with posting anonymously? You posted anonymous and I felt no inhibitions about signing my disagreement with ya ... so what's your point, again?

Anyway, thanks for once again reinforcing the point that the majority of boring commentary is spewed forth from anonymous posters.

73, Don - W7DAH

RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by K4RLB on July 28, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
N6AJR-----Thanks for a comment that makes much more sense than any I have read (on these posts) so far. I am 60 years young, passed my Tech test back a few months ago. I'm one of those people who for years "procrastinated" about getting my "HAM LICENSE"-----now, I find (through comment posts like some here) that "I'm NOT REALLY A HAM" , because I ONLY have my Technician no-code license. Isn't THAT the FIRST STEP in the licensing process????? Also, I have found that at 60 years young, my memory retention isn't what it used to be. Besides, "momma" won't allow me to spend ALL MY HONEY-DO time studying for my code test. I may just have to be a "PRETEND TO BE HAM" and HIDE my FCC issued piece of paper , that doesn't mean anything , anyway , if a REAL HAM (General or Extra Class) should happen to GRACE MY SHACK, WITH THEIR PRESENSE!!!!!

W7 DUH !  
Anonymous post on July 28, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
To 73 Don W7DAH (or was it W7 DUH !?). Why do you bother ? Nobody cares except other "retentive" types like yourself. I hope you feel better now anyway (LOL),

73, Anonymous (we're everywhere Don)
RE: W7 DUH !  
by W7DAH on July 28, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Reply to anonymous:

>To 73 Don W7DAH (or was it W7 DUH !?). Why do you >bother ? Nobody cares except other "retentive" types >like yourself. I hope you feel better now anyway >(LOL),
>73, Anonymous (we're everywhere Don)

Thanks ... thanks for reinforcing everything I said, LMAO {grin}! And thanks too for the well wishes; I DO feel better whenever I stir up and aggravate morons like yourself.

73, Don - W7DAH
RE: W7 DUH !  
Anonymous post on July 28, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I'm sure you do Don... I'm sure you do... Be sure to tell that to your therapist next week :) Oh and while you're there... see if he can help you to get a life...

Have a nice day (*)
RE: IRLP = Imbecilic, Retarded, Lame & Pesty  
Anonymous post on July 30, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Nuff said in the "subject"
IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by VA3FCM on July 30, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Wow! Mention something like IRLP or the death-rattle of CW as a testing element and the wackos come out of the woodwork like earwigs. I had an idea recently which would take the notion of IRLP one step further. In many instances hams who would like to participate in HF ops can't due to antenna restrictions. At the same time the US FCC has a position that they would like to see amateurs more involved in the development of software defined radio. I am thinking of distributed HF radios which would use the internet as a conduit. The software defined "front end" would exist on a user's computer. The "HF server" (radio, antenna system, etc.) would exist at a location where antenna restrictions would not be an issue. Users would buy their memberships (at less cost than setting up a comparable station) and would utilize the equipment on a cost-shared, time-shared basis. High speed lines would be essential. Licensing matters would be dealt with at the time the member signed up. Security would be assured through software.

IRLP has proven that the requisite stability and security are already available. What would be required would be the will to make it happen.

Cheers and 73,

Charles VA3FCM in S/W Ontario.
RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur internet hobbyist  
by AA1UY on July 30, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Okay, so anyone who doesn't agree with VA3FCM is a "wacko" according to him.

He is obviously just trying to stir things up and is not worthy of reply in my opinion.
RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur internet hobbyist  
Anonymous post on July 30, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Oh no! Another time-sharing project! Why not just rent time-sharing cabins in the mountains, complete with ham radio, 300 foot tower and 500 element beam! Another scheme to make money! Why is it that some folks are just hell-bent on taking the "radio" out of ham radio, and computerizing everything? WE don't want your internet ham radio and we don't want your time-shared crap either! I like how VA3FCM put it. You have to be a "member"!!! Like I said, another scheme to make money.
RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur internet hobbyist  
by VA3FCM on July 30, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Then why did you reply?
RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur internet hobbyist  
by VA3FCM on July 30, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Why do you think I would wish to make money from my suggestion? I am amazed by the utter intolerance some people have of the views of others. Anyhow, you would be well advised to speak for yourself. I do not know who the "we" are you purport to be speaking for.
IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by N9CYS on July 30, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
blah, blah, blah.

I'm going to play radio!
IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by WB8PUF on July 30, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Ham radio is about experimenting, operating, and enjoying the company of other hams.

The BIG problem in Amateur Radio has been and will continue to be the fact that too many hams treat the hobby like a religion! Every little sect feels they are the "one and only true believers" and everyone else are wrong.

Technology evolves because someone experimented and tried something different. With all the appliance operators out there who can't even replace a blown fuse, it is refreshing when someone has a vision and is willing to put the effort into making it a reality.

IRLP is little more than the marriage of existing technologies but together in a fashion that serves the need of a few. The digital link (aka Internet) used as the transport media by the technology can be easily be replaced by amateur digital communication links in the future if the packet radio and satellite experimenters among us would build the necessary infrastructure.

IRLP is no different than phone patches that were common on the HF bands is years past and still used with less frequency today because of improved commerical telecommunications.

I just hope that someday in the future some Amateur Radio operator who wants cold beer and warm pizza at a remote field day site can develop the technology to transport them over amateur radio...but someone will say it violates FCC rules if the beer is not home brewed.
IRLP = Cell phone  
Anonymous post on July 31, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
The technology to order a cold beer and a pizza at a remote field day site is already here. It's called the cell phone (no license required) and is exactly the same as IRLP.

Phone patches were about having a convenient way to make a phone call from your car, any contacts made thereby were considered phone calls, *not* amateur radio QSOs i.e. did you ever hear of anyone going for Worked All States via phone patch ? No, because it's ridiculous.

IRLP is not amateur radio but may provide enjoyment for those whose primary (make that *only*) aim in the hobby is to talk. This is much more akin to FRS or CB, should not have a license requirement and therefore should not be a part of the amateur radio service.
Anonymous post on July 31, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
>IRLP is no different than phone patches that were common on the HF bands is years past and still used >with less frequency today because of improved commerical telecommunications.

You are entirely correct. The monumental difference is that the HF phone patches were not a permanent ongoing connection as IRLP is. Even the autopatch on a repeater is not permanently connected. It is pulled up, connected, used for a very limited time, and then disconnected. If a repeater's sole function was to provide a means of making a phone call, I would hesitate to classify that as Amateur Radio also. Amateur radio is about two-way amateur "radio" communication over the air by means of antennas, not landlines. What the proponents of IRLP seeks to do is set up a permanent repeater link, which will make DX contacts more simple than dialing a foreign country on your cell phone. This repeater link will be done with the internet. All that have said that IRLP is not Amateur Radio are correct. They are setting up internet links and calling it radio. It is as much radio as a carrier pigeon with a note tied to its leg flying through the air. In a way, the carrier pegeon is more radio than a stupid computer phone line. At least the pegeon is using the air, which is something that radio waves also do. I don't know about you, but I am imagining how things will be down the road, into the future. Right now, IRLP is experimental. In the future, it could become the norm on VHF and UHF, causing VHF and UHF to cease to exist as we know it today. VHF and UHF would most likely become the preferred method of making foreign contacts, and no longer be used for local communication. It would also make HF obsolete. With every ham making their DX contacts on 2 meter repeaters and no-one on HF anymore, the commercial interests would get their way and take our bands from us. No-one will need to upgrade beyond Technician anymore. Fifty years from now, when all the OF's are gone, Amateur Radio will consist of a bunch of CBers who upgraded to Technician and no more. The FCC will be able to discontinue everything but Technician and go to a no-code one-license system. This is how IRLP proponents want to change the face of ham radio.
RE: IRLP = Cell phone  
Anonymous post on July 31, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
<IRLP is not amateur radio but may provide enjoyment for those whose primary (make that *only*) aim in the hobby is to talk. This is much more akin to FRS or CB, should not have a license requirement and therefore should not be a part of the amateur radio service.>

You are absolutely right! IRLP should be on GMRS or MURS, not on Ham. One would not need a license to talk to a far-away place on a repeater, and it certainly could not be considered skip. But, I think CBers would reject it because they want to make radio contacts, not telephone calls. CBers, no matter how raunchy they are do get a kick out of skip contacts.

IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by KB9WXE on July 31, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Only one comment to make on this:
As a newly licenced ham (1 yr.) I find IRLP intersting, however, I will not respond to a contact using IRLP. I don't do this to be vindictive my reason is much simplier than that. I do not want to make long distance contacts like that, I'm afraid that if I start using IRLP I will become spoiled and lose the desire to upgrade my tech ticket. I want to earn the right to make DX contacts.

Anonymous post on July 31, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
KB9WXE, you said a mouthful! Sometimes it takes a newbie to set the seasoned hams straight. Here's one ham who fears becoming addicted to a cut-corners method of fake ham radio. It is like many have said during this whole debate, and like I say; IRLP will only serve to undermine and dilute something wonderful, such as Amateur Radio. With IRLP, maybe we can have some contesting. A joint award can be given by AT&T and AOL for the internet/cellular Worked All Countries Award using AOL Instant Message and your HT. CQ Landline anyone? The next time somebody asks me what Amateur Radio is all about, I'll tell them that its a lot like using your cell phone. You can use this handheld to "reach out and touch someone" in Europe or Asia. The only difference between this and a cell phone is that you need to take a test and get a license to do this! Get off your nodes and do some real DXing--with a radio and an antenna.
Anonymous post on July 31, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Earn the right to work DX? Been there, done that.

I seem to remember 40 years ago when someone suggested a device that retransmit signals that it was going to be the end of ham radio.

(Whats the device? A repeater.)

I haven't heard any desire for awards, or contests.

None of you have been blasting the use of wired (and non-amateur based) links for packet radio -- why not? Its the same idea.

I don't give a rat's ass if someone doesn't want to partake in a particular aspect of ham radio.

Hopefully newer hams are not turned off by such negative attitudes. Its not the attraction of easy DX that will keep people from upgrading. Some of your, the nay-sayers, attitudes are more than enough to put the brakes on someones desire to upgrade.

This is the same thing that once called a Novice, then now Technician class licensees not real hams!

By the nasty message some of you leave here, I am not sure I'd want to talk to you anyway -- no one is going to change your minds.

Thought they say life is easier when you walk around with blinders on.

Anonymous post on July 31, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
KB9WXE - So have you actually listened to the K9WZ node just up the road from you in Plymouth, IN? 147.285+ (131.8 Hz tone.)

Can't be more than 15-20 miles way.

RE: IRLP = The End of Ham Radio  
Anonymous post on July 31, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
You don't give a rat's what? What, were you raised in a barn? Do you use that kind of language on the nodes? You wouldn't want the folks from down under to hear you using that kind of language? Would you? After all, what would they think of us Americans? Or are you Canadian? With gutter language like that, I'm not sure I would want to talk to you either.
by KB9WXE on July 31, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Absolutely, I'm on the Redeye net roster. I check in when I can.
by KB9WXE on July 31, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Oh and one more thing...
Yes, I am aware aware of the K9WZ IRLP to Hawaii and the Porter county links in Valparaiso as well and I do listen, I just don't feel I should participate in conversation until I earn it. Are you on the K9WZ? Post your call if so and when I come home on the weekends I'd be happy to throw out a CQ.
IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by MBOGO on July 31, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
The problem many have with IRLP, I think, is that it's yet another step in the end of the romantic era of radio.

Twenty years ago I was on a ship in the middle of the north Atlantic and I'd listen to the BBC on shortwave - the only evidence that civilisation existed beyond the thousands of miles of water around me. The fading and other atmospheric effects on the signal were part of the experience. Until recently, I could still hear the BBC on shortwave in the comfort of my own home and the feeling was the same. Listening to the BBC over the internet is something altogether quite different and not worth the bother.

It used to be that DX meant something. Perhaps that QSL card from VK-land brought back pleasant memories of the contact and all that you had to achieve beforehand to get it. Even without IRLP trivializing DX, it's very hard for many people today to understand why someone would cherish a DX contact - "oh, that card is for talking to someone in Australia? Why not just call them on the phone or send email?".

Well, as the song goes, que' sera, sera. I doubt however, that HF will fall victim to commercial interests. Haven't they been interested mostly in the VHF and UHF part of the spectrum? What would threaten HF (at least for me, as I'm a QRP CW operator) would be expansion of the phone segments with no corresponding "code only" segment.

RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
Anonymous post on July 31, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
MBOGO is right on--- radio just isn't romantic anymore. It isn't mystical and we're way past the period where it is anything new.

Radio just doesn't have the same draw as it did in the past.

We keep doing ham radio it because we all get something out of it. That something could be a particular challenge (working "X" number of countries, making "Y" number of contacts in a contes, using an antenna, an accessory or even a radio built. It could be a social gathering (on the air-regardless of band or mode, a meeting, a hamfest or just a "coffee-break.")

We're way past the honeymoon.

That doesn't mean we cannot enjoy our little bit of ham radio as much as we want. And if each of our own "ham radio" doesn't meet the standards or expectations of another it does not matter.

So... see you on the air - and that includes both groups in this discussions!

Its more.....  
Anonymous post on July 31, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
No I am not on the K9WZ but any IRLP node is the same in functionality.

Sure you can link up to repeaters (4 different ones) in Hawaii.

You can also link up with repeaters in relatively close places like Dixon, IL; Lima, OH; Grand Haven, MI; etc.

So what is the allure of talking to a KH7 (or VK, a VY1 etc.) via IRLP? Well it provides the ability to actually hold a QSO with instead of a hoard calling in wanting that Hawaii QSL getting you nothing more than "your 59, thanks for the contact, QRZ?) I have several friends who either live in Hawaii or have lived in Hawaii and they lament that they can't get a normal HF QSO usually.

Well now they can have a normal QSO.

Most IRLP users do operate HF and are involved in every other area of ham radio.

Some hams have no desire to operate HF, thus they see no reason to take a code test to upgrade. IRLP doesn't change that.

I agree with the above poster (who maybe said it in not so polite terms.)


Its less...  
Anonymous post on August 1, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I was looking at the ARRL book "From Spark to Space" yesterday. To see the ground-breaking technical brilliance of those early guys... and to see it end up as this...

A sad reflection on the state of those participating in the hobby nowadays.

My kids toy walkie-talkies are nearer to amateur radio than IRLP is. Like someone said, Ham Radio for dummies (for dummies).
Anonymous post on August 1, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
The art of being a pioneer has moved from the basement or garage to the research labs of universities and large corporations being watched by high paying executives and lawyers.

So to compare the work of these early radio pioneers to what most anything in ham radio today is just plain silly.

Calling people you don't even know dummies is pretty rude.

RE: Ugh  
Anonymous post on August 1, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
This comment re. large corporations controlling innovation is just symptomatic of the dumbing-down of America (and elsewhere). Striving for excellence is now ridiculed and stupidity something to be embraced.
RE: Ugh  
Anonymous post on August 1, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
<<So to compare the work of these early radio pioneers to what most anything in ham radio today is just plain silly>>

Your reply speaks volumes for *your* view of what amateur radio is today. The sad thing is that for the most part, you are correct. The hobby/service has turned (for many) from being a technical and educational avocation, to being just another way to yak yak yak to some other half-wit.

These days, many "hams" knowledge and study of propagation for example consists of "some days I can get out and other days I can't... Oh well, I can always try again tomorrow". Not to worry, with IRLP there'll be no propagation, just "interruption of service".

That said however, a few amateurs are still, yes even today, innovating in the field of wireless communications and in many other fields, so the picture is not quite so bleak as you paint it.

As regards "dummies", if the cap fits ...
RE: Ugh  
by W7STA on August 1, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I think it is a bad implementation of a good idea. As long as the internet is used only as an adjunct to wireless communications. The IRLP project uses open software which has specific license requirements for anyone that uses and modifies it. Sadly, as of several months ago, the author of IRLP was violating the open software license of the original authors. I've even written several emails asking for clarification on this but as yet never heard back. This is why I say it is a bad implementation. HAM is all about experimentation and experimentation results should be shared openly to further the progress of such.
RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by VA3FCM on August 2, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
BBC can still be heard late evenings at 21.120 LSB. The beam into Africa and Asia and with a sufficiently sensitive receiver can be heard.

73 va3fcm
IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by WF0H on August 2, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Today, at lunchtime, 146.82 repeaters from three or four states were rolling into SE Minnesota due to a big weather front and air inversion just to our south.

I heard several QSO's, mostly one at a time, but at least there was some activity. One local popped up for a short QSO with me. I worked hams in Iowa and Wisconsin 250-300 miles away in different directions.

This is the most non-organized net activity that I've heard on .82 for a long time. It was a real pleasure!

Now, if the truth be known, I'd rather see all of the techs out there go buy SSB radios and make 144.200-300 sound like 20 meters in the evening. Many years ago, there was an effort to create SSB 'linear translators', in essence SSB repeaters. One of the 145 Mhz. repeater slots is supposed to be reserved for these linear translator machines. One such machine in SE Minn could provide easy weak-signal communications from Chicago to about Eastern Nebraska.

Does anyone know if there are still any translators on the air (other than in the satellites)?

For whatever reasons, few techs seem to be interested in SSB (at least not the beginners).

Also, the art of conversation is suffering a lot. I think that newcomers and a lot of long time hams need to have a place where they can get comfortable with the idea of ragchewing. Yeah, talking on the radio should not be your only interest, but I think it's a lot healthier for the hobby than NEVER talking on the thing.

Ideally, VHF ragchewing should take place on simplex frequencies when possible. However, I think that roundtable QSO's involving several stations and QSO's that would not be possible on simplex should generally be tolerated.

IRLP, landlines, radio links, or two tin cans and waxed string - if it increases the opportunity to have a QSO on VHF I'm all for it. I mentioned some legal concerns of mine earlier - third party questions about QSO's with foreign hams in countries that do not have 3rd party agreements with the US (most countries do not), and the need for a control operator to be present. I think these problems can be overcome.

Now, some people want nice quiet repeaters. I definitely do not think that all or most repeaters in a given area should be linked this way. I think there needs to be a repeater that people can monitor for quick calls. Ideally, it should not be PL access controlled so that transients can easily make calls.

Here, we have 4 repeaters, 3 on two meters and 1 on UHF. I monitor the UHF machine much of the time and have had about 2 QSO's on it in the last 5 years. The Two meter machines have little unplanned activity except for the SKYWARN machine. It is hard to scare up a QSO, sometimes even during the morning commute hours. This is in a small (100K) city with a larger-than-average percentage of ham residents.

We need to be worried about losing ham frequencies, but I think that we would have a much harder time defending our two meter band than we would 20 meters.

Two meters now has about the same level of activity that 220 had before we lost it.

HF has been revitalized by QRP CW and PSK31. VHF needs something to get people to turn their old radios back on, too.

I'm helping my son study for his Tech test. We're trying to do it 'the right way' - that is, by actually learning the material with a little hands-on, etc..
Even if he just memorized all the questions and answers, this test is an order of magnitude harder than the Novice test I took in 1965. It's very comparable to the General I took in 1966, with elements of the Advanced test I took years later.
This is no slam-dunk, and those of you who contend it is are miguided. Tech are more than earning their priveleges.

I hope when he passes that he can actually find someone to talk to. I don't think there's much chance of getting him to study for his General during the school year - he has trouble handling all the homework he gets now.

IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by HFHAMSUCKS on August 5, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
HFHAM is the reason this hobby is dying. I love the hobby but that kind of garbage is what kills a new ham from wanting to get his ticket.

Keep being ignorant HF HAM.. Im sure you could not even configure a linux machine to run IRLP anyay so keep living in the dark ages.

How on earth will we keep kids intersted or for that matter anyone when they can walk down to bellsouth and pick up a cell phone that can call anywhere from anywhere.

IRLP is how. NOW... HF HAM GO troll the no code boards on the net and leave this one alone.
RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
Anonymous post on August 5, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
OH I Guess if you dont know CODE your LAZY huh? Screw you people I just shredded my ticket screw this hobby of angry old men.
RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by WB2YIP on August 6, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Hey, if I want tubes and I am willing to pay for them, it is no business of yours!
RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by W3GEO on August 6, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
If ham radio is indeed dying it is because people don't see the "magic" in radio anymore. When I first got on the internet in the early 90s I thought it was magic also, however as it got more and more commercialized the magic element was lost and it is no more than a glorified television (and broadband does not work near as well as a television) and a place to find information and purchase things.

It is true that chatrooms let you communicate all over the world with no more work than booting up and logging on. It seems about as pedestrian as a telephone. I recently tried some the the digital modes for the first time and they reminded me more of a chatroom than anything else. although probably more effecient than standard SSB, AM or CW, there was magic there for me. I experienced much the same thing when I first starting using 2 meter FM through repeaters in the late 60s... a somewhat more effecient means of communications but not much different than the local taxi service at the time. If all I could use was FM repeater communication, there would not be much point in having a license.

That being said, IRLP may be seen as the "new Magic" especially by younger people although I do not know many young people who feel that anything to do with the internet is magic.

Maybe my "magic" is not valid anymore but I still get a kick of hooking a rig to a battery, throwing up a wire over a tree at a campsite and communicating with someone 1,000 or even 10,000 miles away either on SSB or CW. No intervening commercial linking infrastructure is needed, just a battery, a rig, a key, and some wire.
I could do the same thing with my cell phone, but what kind of fun is that?

George (Getting to be an old dinosaur)

RE: YAWN !  
by IM4GAY on August 7, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
This is not a mode, this is yet another example of the great dumbing down of America.

Thanks ARRL, you have done so much for them who do not want to earn anything. WTG!
RE: YAWN !  
Anonymous post on August 7, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Sure, lets blame the ARRL... they are responsble for crappy propogation on HF, the demise of AO-13 a few years ago, and the FCC giving away 11m to a bunch of steenkin' CBers.

Yea.. sure.
RE: YAWN !  
by KA6FJR on August 7, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
To each his own on using the Internet to extend communications. For me the challenge and excitement of Ham radio is relying on the skills of fellow hams and their volunteer work. When I speak on the linked repeater network of the association I belong to, I can extend from talking 100 miles or so on local repeaters to a distance of 400-500 miles. This system was built and fiananced entirely by hams. When I operate HF I have the radio, my power supply, and my antenna and an identical set at the other end of the contact. If I use the internet for anything I'm relying on the largest item of infrastructure ever built and maintained by man. Millions of people are responsible for its design, constuction, and maintenance. I just pay a fee to join and then a push some buttons to communicate. That's fine, it certainly has served to increase communications, and it was exciting at first, but it is just a tool, and I don't feel accomplishment and skill use when I operate it. I didn't have to learn much of anything in the process. I just bought an applicance, paid a fee, and plugged in a phone line after calling the phone company for a second line. Is it reliable? Since I've been on the net since 1995 the whole west coast portion of the net has been brought down or slowed considerablly when a backhoe operator cut a line in Santa Monica, CA and another time in the SF Bay area. Although the communications network has been designed with redundancies and is subject to few problems, during a disaster it crashes, cell phones go down, even 2M/440 machines go down. When all else fails HF is the only means of getting through. Why have so many emergency agencies invested in having HF equipment? Because they know it is the last means of communications which will work in a disaster. Look at the flooding in Guatamala or Ecuador a few years back. HF served a large part in handling the disaster. How long can I keep my computer going in a power outage using my backup batteries (large Marine deep cycle with a constant maintenance charge on it all the time)? Not long in comparison with the HF rig and the 2M/440 rigs at my station. Our local repeaters have backup power sources with automatic propane fueled generators. Even if you power up your computer, will the phone lines be up? Will the local switch keep functioning efficiently in light of the sudden increase in phone and computer traffic? I live at 8,000 feet in a small town and when we get 6+ feet of snow in a few days, lots of things stop working well, but HF gets through. The Internet is like the power grid, it is a large centralized system. People are saying progress is to rely more and more on these large centralized systems. Here in Calif. there is quite a movement developing of people and industries getting off the grid and relying on it less. To me Ham radio is similar in that we rely less on the communications infrastructure and that is much of the fun.
IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by KJ6ETL on August 9, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Antenna restrictions:

For many of us its hard to put op a decent HF antenna.
Would be nice to use this technology to make a (club) station availlable for its members in order to work HF.
IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by ZL2AUB on August 10, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by KG4FMQ on August 10, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Hello All. I think that this new Technology is Wonderful. I do not know that much about IRLP. I am a General and I live in a Suburb of Atlanta, GA. The Atlanta Radio Club (ARC) Has a Repeater in Downtown Atlanta that is on top of the Bank Of America building, which is the TALLEST building in the South East! 2,500 FT above Sea Level. They use IRLP with LINUX Operating System. I have heard various VE stations time, and time again. I think that this is a BREAK-THROUGH and will POSSIBLY SPARK interest in the new-comers, to get their HF License. KUDOS for this IRLP WONDER!!!
RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by VK2TTA on August 28, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Firstly, let me say that I find it really disappointing when all the vocal old HF fogeys get emotional about IRLP, ILink and the Internet killing "their" hobby. Most of these people have forgotten what it feels like to help a new young budding amateur make their first long-distance contact. Most have also forgotten how to be nice to a "newbie" that doesn't yet know all of the protocol.

Please - Let's all remember that most of us were all confused-little-newbies with limited licenses once too.

IRLP has helped my group of friends (yes I have some) become interested in the hobby in a way that was impossible with HF! This one facet of the game might actually entice a few new people to study and sit for their Novice or Full Call licenses (SHOCK HORROR!)

Could SOME interest be better than NO interest? I think so!

With all of the wide open spaces here in Sydney, Australia, most of us have the choice to breach council regulations to get our HF fill (as I have) or use IRLP or Ilink to make new DX friends on-air.

IRLP will never be a replacement to making that elusive HF 160M contact - It will also never excuse us from dumping the hobbyist aspect of HAM electronics. But if HAMs don't start accepting new technology like IRLP as a valid addition to the hobby in order to attract new interest, it will shortly be impossible to buy a decent HF rig from the likes of Yaesu or Kenwood / Icom as these companies simply won't be selling them anymore through lack of interest!

It's funny how easy it is for people that don't know what they are talking about to rubbish an idea. I noticed someone on this list rubbishing repeaters?? You've evidently not listened to the incredible repeater revival that has taken place in Australia as a result of IRLP and ILink - let alone ever gone outdoors with an HT.

In summary - Let's foster internet technologies into the hobby for the excitement and interest they can bring. But let's remember the roots of the hobby and encourage the new starters to diversify and explore all the good concepts within Amateur Radio once they're firmly hooked!

All the best and keep keying!
IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by VK4CCV on May 4, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I can't believe how much negative press you have gotten out of this post.

For god sake - the people who are so anti IRLP or anything that hasn't got a key attached need to pull their heads out of the rear ends and smell the roses.

The year is 2002 and there are and always will be new technoligies around to experiment with.

Basically - sit back and think back 24 months about what little activety there was on VHF repeaters, be it from 6 Meters and up.

There was a great fear of spectrum taken off us for our in-activety.

Now turn on you VHF sets on and have a listen.... "What ?!?!? It's in the bottom of the draw.....", typical !!!!
RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by AB0TJ on May 21, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
If you don't like IRLP then you don't have to use the repeater!!!!
RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by N7TRZ on February 15, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Well, we've heard from several of the usual knee-jerks here. IRLP isn't a mode, it's a tool. Same as phone patching was on HF. It's not radio, it's a way to connect two geographically isolated radios that normally would not be able to pass traffic to their respective coverage areas. What the heck is so threatening about this?
Seems to me if HF was so much better and "cleaner" to listen to, you'd see more of it on IRLP. I have connected to IRLP for days on end and not heard any hack-ins. For that matter, a "hack-in" couldn't possibly be as bad as what I've heard on HF sideband at times. All I've heard on IRLP is a lot of people fortunate to talk a bit farther than usual. Rather like satellite, only it doesn't fall out of orbit, does it? The more I read about the history of ham radio, the more I realize it really is in constant state of change. Technology drives it. I sure do not remember all this bleating and whining when they wanted to put ham radio translaters in orbit. I won't tear up my ticket due to those stuck in the past, but I'm sure glad I can turn 75 meters off.
RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by SWL-6780 on March 21, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
To all users:

My name is Aaron and I live in BC, Canada. I am studying to get my basic license and will be joining my local amateur radio club.

I am only fourteen years old and grew up with the internet. It is one of my main hobbies. But now I am getting a new hobby. Amateur radio.

Sure I think it is cool being able to talk radio-to-radio and the cool radios themselves. But I live in a little apartment in the downtown core of my city and I can not all of a sudden erect a attenna on my roof (I don't even have my own roof, it belongs to the owner) and I can not even build one. Also I have a low budget and am saving up to get the radio equipment I can.

But I kind of depend on connecting the radio to the internet to talk to the other side of the world. I will use the radio without the internet too but I want to be able to talk to the other side and unless I cough up a lot of money fast, I won't be able to do that and I might get bored of this facinating hobby. Because if you have not noticed, the equipment is NOT cheap!

I admire the way the people older then me use their radio's to talk all over the place and keep the traditions but I also admire the people who are developing software such as eQSO and others that allow me and many others to expand out capablilities in the short run.

So please don't wreck this for the rest of us.

(SWL-6780) Aaron Patton
Age 14 (almost 15)
BC, Canada
RE: IRLP = New face of Amateur radio  
by FRANKM12 on April 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Excellent objective comments. I had a nice QSO with an Austrailian Ham on a local repeater that handles Echolink. The gentleman was older, wiser person who couldn't deal with the requirements of an antenna where he was located. Echolink allowed him to keep his connection with Ham going. I think that's wonderful, because otherwise he'd have to quit the field. So here's one example of a person who'd have to quit if it were not for repeaters and the new wizardry connected with them.

As far as DX is concerned, I would consider a 300 miles QSO on VHF to be DX. That's the nice thing about this field: Everything is truly relative. Except for the ossified, where everything that is new is bad.

Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to discussions on this article.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

Other Opinion Articles
A Place for Young Hams:
Our Own Methods are Stifling Technology
WAS, One Net, One Frequency, 100 Watts