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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways

ian abel (G3ZHI) on August 9, 2004
View comments about this article!


Working the world on VHF and UHF FM - using internet gateways

Ian Abel G3ZHI g3zhi@hotmail.com

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Would you like to keep in touch with your hams friends all over the world any time of the day or night?

Moved into a retirement home where HF equipment and antennas are not allowed?

Have you had to take down your tower and beam because you can no longer maintain them?

Then why not use an internet gate way to keep in touch with hams friends around the UK and the World.

Internet gateways operate on VHF and UHF simplex channels and repeaters using FM. The quality of the audio is mostly excellent and because you are using the internet and not radio there are no problems with propagation. You can just dial up your friends whenever you wish.

Background

For nearly 10 years radio amateurs have been experimenting by connecting their VHF and UHF FM radios to the internet.

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In the year 2000 after a personal request from Ian G3ZHI David Hendon G8DPQ who was the Chief Executive of the Radiocommunications Agency gave his personal permission for internet gateways to licensed in the UK.

Now there are around 4,000 ham radio internet gateways all over the world many available 24 hours a day.

Operating an internet gateway

Using an internet gateway is very easy.

There are 3 main gateway systems in use Echolink eQSO and IRLP

With Echolink and IRLP it is possible using a hand held radio with DTMF or a DTMF MIC on a base station to individually call a station via the gateway.

So for example on IRLP if you wanted to call a ham in Sydney Australia using your hand held you would press the PTT and press the DTMF key numbers 6 0 0 0 then release and listen.

You would hear a voice announcement telling you that the link was connected. You would then talk and carry on a QSO normally as you would if you were working a local station. When you have finished you press the PTT and the press DTMF 7 and then 3 which closes the link.

You will then hear another voice announcement informing you the link has been closed.

You should always listen first on a gateway frequency to see if it is in use. You can also send a `0' to see if it connected to anywhere.

Recently a local ham from Doncaster Kevin G8JJR visited Perth for 8 weeks and he was able to keep in touch with his friends back home in South Yorkshire by calling from there every day using his hand held working the local repeater which is connected to the IRLP network.

Echolink and eQSO can also be used from a PC computer providing the computer has a soundcard with MIC and speakers attached.

IRLP can only be used using a radio.

If you are on the internet you can see the live status pages showing which nodes are connected on all the three systems.

Much more information is available on the web sites.

Here are some examples of the information shown .

IRLP Node Status current as of 07/9/2004 06:25:05 GMT

Network Summary

1384 - Total Nodes 86 - In Use 805 - Idle 58 - Offline

Antarctica 2

Antigua 1 Australia 71

Barbados 2 Belgium 1

Bermuda 1 Botswana 1

Canada 236 Cayman 1

Chile 1 China 1

Denmark 1 Dominica 2 1

Ecuador 1 England 57

France 1 Germany 6

Grenada 1 IRELAND 1

India 1 Jamaica 1

Japan 11 Korea, Republic of 1

Mexico 7 Netherlands 4

Netherlands Antilles 2 New Zealand 11

Norway 3 Puerto Rico 1

Saint Kitts & Nevis 1 Scotland 5

South Africa 5 Spain 1

Sweden 15 Trinidad 1 1

Trinidad and Tobago 3 USA 917

Sample IRLP Node codes and locations :

Length of current node status.

Node Callsign City Prov./St. Country NodeFreq CTCSS

3540 W6DXX Palm Springs CA USA 445.6400 131.80

3257 WA7DG Reno NV USA 147.3000

3160 WA6RQD Oceanside CA USA 446.8600 0.00

3150 WA6RQD Oceanside CA USA 449.3200 141.30

3900 K6MF San Jose CA USA 1286.4500 123.00 23:39

3671 K6SA Saratoga CA USA 146.6550 114.8 23:39

4865 KG4ZXK Portsmouth VA USA 145.6000 0.00

8310 KB5KZS Bartlesville OK USA 145.7000 88.50

8274 XE3NO Oaxaca Oaxaca Mexico 146.8800 103.5

2380 VE6RJO Calgary AB Canada 147.5100 100.00

8710 KD5KTB Enid OK USA 146.5550 97.40

7240 KB2CDY Payson AZ USA 146.4200 100.00

4490 WB2CIK West Hills NY USA 447.9500 114.80

4870 W1HHO Mid Coast ME USA 449.1250 82.50

6000 VK2RBM Sydney NSW Australia 147.0500 0.00

5450 GB3PZ Manchester England 430.9000 82.5

5400 GB3PZ Manchester - England 430.9000 82.50

4300 N3APP Erie PA USA 147.2700 141.30

Sample list of echolink nodes and locations

4Z4IZ-R HAIFA R-12 Rpt. 169676

4Z7CCF-L Tel-Aviv 432.675Mhz

7K1FHJ-L ohshima 432.34 128671

7K1NAQ-L Bunkyo,Tokyo 1294.82MHz 22778

DL9GRB-R Link to DB0DBR 159122

DM0ZAA-L Duesseldorf 144.975 MHz 136397

DM0ZBB-L Boeblingen (BB) 430.025 6877

DO0SMZ-R Mainz 439.2125 MHz 100823

DO0ZB-L Berlin 144.975 pse CQ 8222

DO0ZFG-L DO @ 144.975 Mhz 154965

DO1GUM-L Freiburg, Black Forest 129169

DO1HEN-R D B ΓΏ S Y - HAMBURG 153627

DO1JOH-L GER JN49MD 145,575 151037

DS5CLX-L deagu 145.540 (1) 21440

DV1LWQ-L In Conference *MAKILING* 130919

E20ZGH-L In Conference *TACLUB* 177730

EA1RCW-L FOZ 172581

EA3RCB-R Palamos 145.300 113456

EA4TD-L In Conference *ESPANA* 82308

EA5RCI-L In Conference *ESPANA* 97451

EB2CTZ-L In Conference *ESPANA* 153942

EB2FGI-L In Conference *ESPANA* 115083

EB4CKB-L In Conference *ESPANA* 24853

EB8BCG-L Tenerife 145.550 MHz (1) 56868

EB8CHG-L lanzarote pls cq 128358

F5POE-L Forges les B 91 144.525 76584

F6CDD-L Toulouse 145.250 100889

G0OPD-L South Hampshire 1515

G0WYG-L Bromley Kent,UK 434.475 3275

G3SNA-L Greenfield Lancs 2586

G3ZHI-L Maltby South Yorks 99045

G4IPE-L Louth, UK www.g4ipe.com 37980

G4LCH-L Solihull UK 136330

G6CKK-L Rochester Kent 145.2 (1) 93069

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Echolink is in 200 countries and has been downloaded by 200,000 hams

Sample list of UK internet gateway frequencies and location

G4NJI

434.5250

Rotherham

IO93ij

6/3/2001 09:00

G0FSM

51.9300

Rugeley

IO92br

4/2/2003 17:44

G0JJO

430.0375

Rugeley

IO92as

18/6/2003 17:10

G0NWE

51.9400

Runcorn

IO83pi

4/2/2003 17:44

G0NWE

430.0125

Runcorn

IO83pi

4/2/2003 17:45

G0LGJ

434.5250

Scarning, Dereham

JO02lq

7/10/2003 12:14

G4YPV

430.0125

Selby

IO93lr

7/6/2003 19:27

If you don't have access to the internet at home there is free access at your local library where you can download and print the list of gateways and station numbers.

Helpful library staff will show you how to use the internet if you have not used it before.

If you want to set-up an RF gateway you need an NOV from Ofcom. You must hold an intermediate or advanced licence to do this.

If you have any questions please contact me g3zhi@hotmail.com

01709 799911 Mobile 0783 338 0578

More information can be found at

Ian Abel G3ZHI

52 Hollytree Ave

Maltby

Rotherham

Yorkshire

S66 8DY

G4NJI IRLP 5200 Echolink 135909

Rotherham simplex 145.2875mhz

GB3XN IRLP 5708 Echolink 153126

Langold 430.925 Mhz

Tel: 01709 799911

Mobile 0783 338 0578

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Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by N1MNX on August 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I presently have Echolink tied to the 442.900 repeater in Pepperell, Massachusetts.USA
After a few audio issues it is working great.
I and other local hams have working both, hams on PC's and on HT's.
I know some hams think it's not radio, but if it helps the hobby and gets more hams involved,whats the harm?
Finanical issues, Just like we all consider a multiband and multimode radios to save money ,space or whatever the reason, some hams would have to make a choice on a radio or a computer.
I would like to thank all the people who came up with all the gateways.
Echolink node 88008
N1MNX
 
Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by KG4RUL on August 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
IRLP, how can I describe thee? Let me count the ways:

Cell Phone
Telephone
VOIP
Two tin cans with a string between
Chat Room

No RF - Ain't Radio!

Dennis / KG4RUL
 
RE: Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by KC0OAC on August 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
IRLP requires at least a 2 meter DTMF capable radio.... and it is lots of fun to talk to people in England on an HT. Oh yes, and it is the most impressive mode to non hams.

If you don't like it don't use it. I personally don't use Echolink on a computer, but if you like it, go for it!

Have fun,

KC0OAC
 
Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by AJ3U on August 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Oh boy. Here we go again...

Ian, thank you very much for the nice writeup. You will likely get a lot of negative posts regarding this, but remember that the silent majority appreciates your efforts.

73!

A.J.
 
RE: Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by WW0H on August 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I think it is another great way to use amateur radio, enjoy our hobby, and be able to share it with others. I wish I had the time and the finances to do everything amateur radio lets us do: satelites, slow scan, digital, etc. As it is, I have a basic station and try to get on the air 2 or 3 times a week. This would make it possible for me to be active from my office. Thanks for the information.

For the naysayers - To say it "ain't radio" doesn't help. Be constructive, or be quiet. Negativism doesn't attract any newcomers to the hobby. Build up amateur radio, I believe some well-known organization has said.

John - WW0H
 
Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by KC0NYK on August 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Personally, I don't see the 'it ain't radio' argument. I can access the system via my 2 meter/440 rig or I can use the computer in my shack.

In any case, it allows me to talk with other hams, it has been a GOD send during several bad storm situations since our local SKYWARN/ARES Team use the medium linked to our local repeaters during emergencies. That coupled with several gateways provide a very handy communications system.

I agree with the guy who said, 'If you don't like it, don't use it'. Interestingly a couple of years ago at a Field Day event we had a system set up for demo. I was running the system when a guy came up bad mouthing EchoLink and VoIP in general. I spent a few minutes showing him how it worked and lo and behold, a new user was born.

As far as I am concerned, if it helps people stay in the hobby, it is a good thing. As for the code guys, they have cw.com to play with as well.
 
RE: Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by N6AJR on August 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I don't find it useful, but I don't care if you use it... Cards are not eligible for any awards if worked over the internet. I do have a problem when using a repeater and some one pulls up the likk in the middle of several other conversations...
 
Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by K1KID on August 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Finally, a use for eQSLs! ......Just kidding ;-)
 
RE: Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by K9JDK on August 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Ian,

Wonderful summary, many thanks. Got me interested.

Great merge of 2 technologies imo.

Dave...
 
RE: Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by K4RAF on August 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
This is like "cable ham radio"???

NetMeeting is of far more utility, since you don't need to ID while listening on a computer & it isn't narrowed down to just hams.

I can talk to anyone!
 
Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by G3SEA on August 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!

EchoLink is a wonderful and very economical system for Ham expats to communicate back to their home states or countries.The EchoLink laptop capability is a plus over IRLP for those in HF restricted circumstances listed above.

In addition,using a laptop or PC allows one to bypass all local repeaters thue avoiding tying them up with
distant groups and conferences.

The system also allows more meaningful conversations :)

 
Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by G3SEA on August 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!

EchoLink is a wonderful and very economical system for Ham expats to communicate back to their home states or countries.The EchoLink laptop capability is a plus over IRLP for those in HF restricted circumstances listed above.

In addition,using a laptop or PC allows one to bypass all local repeaters thus avoiding tying them up with
distant groups and conferences.

The system also allows more meaningful conversations :)

 
Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by BILDER on August 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I am a new ham (call KL1RO) and have been using IRLP and Echolink to chat with folks in far off locations.

I must say that it is a great tool and should not be bashed. I have gotten some good elmer advice and wisdom from hams via IRLP. I dont have much money and a 2M HT is all I have and will probably be all I can afford for some time. The ability to talk over distance via IRLP with just a HT is fantastic.

Can you do this over the internet through regular chat rooms and such? Yes you can. But there you have to deal with folks who like to swear every other word and other not so nice things. IRLP falls under the FCC rules since it goes out over the air, so talking can be done without fear of my kids listening to an R rated broadcast. It is hard to find that in internet chat rooms these days.

I am working on my code and hope to get my General by years end. So dont worry, IRLP will not prevent new hams from working on higher class tickets.
 
RE: Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by K7UND on August 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
For those that say "It aint radio" think again. I personally own and operate an IRLP node and the ONLY and I repeat ONLY way I access my node is with either my Yaesu VX5-R or my rig in the truck. There is no other way to use the IRLP node to my knowledge. Now, with Echolink you can use the software to chat. BUT BEWARE, you may be coming out of a repeater near you! And if you don't call that radio then I don't know what is! I am always frustrated with you HF guys that won't accept alternative ways to communicate DX. Not all of us either have a General ticket or the property or money to errect a huge BEAM.

Nuff said!

Chris
 
Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by ON4MGY on August 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I just worked great DX with QRP and an indoor antenna.
Just talked to FT5X, ZD9 and ZK2 with my Cell Phone. (2Watts)
Is this hamradio??
I don't think so!
Why are people thinking Echolink is hamradio? It has nothing to do with hamradio!! It may be fun for some people, but pse don't call that radio!! It's just nothing more than having an internet-chat with voice instead of typing messages. No radio if you ask me.
Just my opinion

ON4MGY Nic
 
Response to ON4MGY  
by G3SEA on August 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!

If EchoLink has nothing to do with Ham Radio then what are those strange devices that EchoLinkers are talking
from and into ? ( HT's and Repeaters ) :) Hams are Hams whether using HF or VHF/UHF :)

Think of EchoLink as an extension of your average VHF/UHF repeater Network interconnected to similar repeaters across the World.What a wonderful concept ! :)

If you think Echolink is used by a FEW people then I suggest you check out the Traffic stats on this ever expanding system.

There is room for all modes/systems ( yes even from a laptop at one end ) in our fun hobby :)
 
RE: Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by K7UND on August 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
You really should read this article closer before you shout your idea of wisdom from the rooftop. First off, I do not use Echolink, I use the IRLP setup which has no computer software interface. So YES IRLP is Ham Radio with the internet in between. The only way I can access my node is via a 2m or 70cm Ham radio. I will argue ALL damn day that a 2m or 70cm radio IS ham radio.

Secondly, if you all would have read his great write-up he explains the difference between the various VoIP systems.(That's "voice over IP" for those of you that are to quick to respond before you know what your talking about).

Oh, and by the way, some of us don't have time to wait for a perfect window to open to work QRP for dxing. I have a wife and kids that I also have to balance my time with so things like IRLP work great to communicate with my fellow ham friends I have met accross the country. Oh, and I will argue that a cell phone isn't ham radio!

Chris
 
Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by AC7KZ on August 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
If you want to use it, that's ok. It's another part of the many things you can do with ham radio.

What's annoying is when someone leaves a repeater linked permanantly. I removed that repeater frequency from my radio.
 
Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by WB2GOF on August 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
And CW isn't REAL RADIO; only Spark is!!!
 
Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by K0CBA on August 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I tried it a time or two and found it semi interesting. At least it has one advantage over the everyday chat rooms; everyone there is a ham (or supposed to be). Anyway, after moving on to some other interests, I wanted to re load it to use it to contact a traveling friend in the southwest. Because of some security issues, it will not let me connect to the system. I read all the happy crap I would need to change on XP to allow my computer to connect. NUTTS I say, if it can't handle reasonable computer security measures I guess I'll just have to stay locked out;......probably no great loss to anyone, one way or another.
 
Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by KC0ARF on August 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Hello,

I am the administrator for IRLP 5590 (Milwaukee 145.13 repeater) and IRLP 4772 (Green Bay, 442.80 Simplex). I have used Echolink, and prefer IRLP. These forms of communications involve radio, regardless if some of the gang feels that they are not. Heck, even 2m and 70cm fan dipoles work with the environment. They may not blow as much air as some of your HF gifted lengths, but a nice 2m fan will cool me down during the summer.

These nodes are supported via Redhat Linux, and they do more than just link over the internet. They pull up ARRL Audio News, Amateur Radio Newsline, and are programmed to support APRS and Packet Radio through the serial ports. They will support web browsing and email from a TNC, and if I do a couple other little configuration steps, they can even relay to a packet backbone, all over packet / ham radio.

And they are secure. No Windows virus will knock IRLP off the air.

And what do hams love to do? Meet for a Swapfest / Convention. The IRLP people have for the last 3 years met in Las Vegas for an annual meeting. I had the pleasure of joining them this year (2004), and met some outstanding people!

And no, you will not find anyone getting credit for contests and such over these modes. But, in the case of IRLP, you will find weekly swapnets, hurricane and other severe weather nets, and even some special nets. Earlier this year, when Mars was on closest approach to Earth, an IRLP reflector sponsored an Astronomy net for the event.

If you don't want to join us, then fine, that is your call. While I don't see IRLP and friends taking over ham radio, they are a nice touch, and an effective tool. That is why we are all here.

Christian KC0ARF
 
Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by HF2PWA on August 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Thank you for your most excellent well designed primer.

Yes there are those that will take a pot shot at you.
However look at all the effort this OM put in.

I have often wished to have a special eithernet cable, next to the old SO-239.

Have a circuit similar to what is used in diversity RX's. So if I am working someone in the noise, the rig would switch over to the specialised ham radio gateways.

It could be an optional QSB DSP circuit with the hardline backup! You could select exactly what level you want the phone line to enhance the copy.

It would work great on CW. SSB you could just go full
phoneline. Of course ANY award would be put into question! :(

I have noodled around with the ham radio IRC's. Yes, it is no accomplishment to work JA via internet.

Thanks again for your detailed diagrams too.

73 Brad

Of course many will say that is a stupid idea too.
 
Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by KB2HSH on August 10, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
While it has a niche, it seems rather futile to call it radio. You might as well just CALL the "foreign" station on the telephone...since all you are REALLY doing is adding another step to voice transmission.

Cute project...but toss up an antenna, and call it RADIO.

HSH
 
Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by LC2LCT on August 10, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
A nice article from G3ZHI.

I'm not sure what those anti InternetGateways are screaming about.

People are using PacketClusters via Telnet is this radio ?? Why not turn the VFO and find the frequencies??

PacketClusters via air is proper radio, but we need internetgateways to distribute this over the "sea" and then its retransmitted on VHF/UHF again. I know there are some HF gateways sending packetcluster info to an VHF/UHF link.

Digimode is this proper radio?? People use digimode to bypass bad conditions to get an qso.

When this doesnt work then maybe CW is going through the air??

But what if you are on a trip without your HF, without proper place to mount an antenna?

What if HF for "local" traffic is not working, and the repeater you can reach doesnt get to the HAM you want to talk with??

What if you are on holiday with a handie 2m/70cm and want to listening to the local QST or talk to a friend to arrange something for you??

Echolink/IRLP is then a nice ting to utilize.

Those anti everything and CW only people, are you telling us that you only use a telephone contacting your friends and not calling the mobilephone when they not are home?? Can you really say that you are waiting for them to get home before you can talk with them??

Maybe you only talk to HAMs on HF ??

It's not propper "phone calling" i hear you say.

I'm running an Echolink on the 70cm. It's the only way to generate traffic for a band we are going to loose if not utilized.

And the 2m is crowded with so called anti VHF/UHF when there is a bad condition on HF and talking the repeater dry with comments on "not a propper condition"

BTW: the first CW transmition was if i'm not wrong sendt via a LINE and not by "propper" radio.

LC2LCT aka
LA3QMA

Kai
 
RE: Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by N2OBY on August 10, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Chris,

I'm a VHF/UHF guy (Technician license) and I'm in the camp that says this is NOT ham radio. Sure the technology's cool, but amateur radio is about two (or more) stations communicating directly via radio waves. The fact that you are accessing the internet via radio is irelevent.

This was a great tutorial on the technology, and I can appreciate how folks might gravitate towards it to work some easy "DX". but that's just it - It's NOT DX when you simply punch numbers into your DTMF dialer and specify the node.

As a technician I work DX as well as I can while studying for my upgrade. I've passed the theory and am (reluctantly) busting my chops to get the code down so that I can work HF for real DX excitement.

NO, you DON'T need a monster beam. Spend an evening reading any of the fine antenna books published by the ARRL, and you'll find that with literally just a few dollars worth of wire and/or aluminum stock (all readily available), you can build something that will allow you to expand your limits over the air.

The technologies described above are basically phone patches with a euphemistic label. It's not for me, I won't tell you not to have fun with it, but DON'T call it amateur radio...

Ken N2OBY
 
RE: Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by KC8VWM on August 10, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
My concern about using this method of communication relates to the idea that you may in some circumsatances be transmitting illegally.

The author suggests many links to enable a U.S. ham to communicate with many different countries.

Here's a thought to ponder for further consideration and discussion of this matter:

....From the FCC website-

"Third Party Communications

Section 97.115 of the Commission's Rules, 47 C.F.R. §97.115, authorizes an amateur station regulated by the FCC to transmit a message from its control operator (first party) to another amateur station control operator (second party) on behalf of another person (third party). No amateur station, however, shall transmit messages for a third party to any station within the jurisdiction of any foreign government whose administration has not made arrangements with the United States to allow amateur stations to be used for transmitting international communications on behalf of third parties.

The following countries have made the necessary arrangements with the United States to permit an amateur station regulated by the FCC to exchange messages for a third party with amateur stations in: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Federal Islamic Republic of Comoros, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, The Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Israel, Jamaica, Jordan, Liberia, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Mexico, Federated States of Micronesia, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, St. Christopher and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, United Kingdom (special event stations with call sign prefix GB followed by a number other than 3), Uruguay, and Venezuela. The United Nations also has arrangements with the United States to permit an amateur station regulated by the FCC to exchange messages for a third party with amateur stations 4U1ITU in Geneva, Switzerland, and 4U1VIC in Vienna, Austria.

No amateur station regulated by the FCC shall transmit messages for a third party to any amateur station located within the jurisdiction of any foreign government not listed above. This prohibition does not apply to a message for any third party who is eligible to be the control operator of the station."

Your thoughts how this may be interpreted and how it relates to IRLP communications?

73

Charles - KC8VWM
 
RE: Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by KC8VWM on August 10, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Part 2 of this question.

Is communicating over gateway links using the internet as the transport medium considered to be the very same in the eyes of the FCC as communicating using regular Amateur station equipment?

In other words, is your computer considered to be a part 95 or part 15 device?


Charles - KC8VWM
 
Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by AL2I on August 10, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for a great article Ian. I definately want to implement a linked system from where I work on the North Slope of Alaska with a repeater near my home in Wasilla. This is a great application of both Ham Radio and the Internet.
 
Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by PHINEAS on August 10, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Great article

When I can talk to a station in another country on 20 meters for an hour and a half with out a pileup, running only the power in my radio, then I will bash Echolink. Or better yet, when I can go on 80 meters and ragchew without some old geezer stompin down with as much power as he can put out just because he thinks it is his freq, then I will bash echolink.

I will tell you old geezers what. Leave your happy behinds down in the deep with your gear and contests, and when I want to play that game, we will be on the same page.

When I am on business, in a hotel room, and want to talk to my friends back home on my favorite link, or actually learn about a different cultures other that 559 I will use echolink.

For the record, CW is a totally different Convo. I am talking about voice. This means I don't need to hear about how you can talk around the world with a chrystal radio, chicken wire, and a coat hanger. I wish more of my friends would use it. Until then, TGFE

Phineas
K0KMA
 
Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by N3AIU on August 10, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Hello Ian,

Many thanks for the nice post. I've never gotten a complete overview of EchoLink until now (I think that there was one in QST, but it wasn't as good as yours).

I'm all in favor of hams developing and using new technology, and I must admit that EchoLink sounds pretty cool. But, I really enjoy mucking through the QRM and QRN on 40m CW to snag new DX in my uniquely masochistic way. I just don't think that working DX on EchoLink would be as much of a challenge or as much fun.

Things have certainly changed since the days of "iron men and wooden radios".

73, Nick N3AIU
 
RE: Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by N3EVL on August 10, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"...I'm a VHF/UHF guy (Technician license) and I'm in the camp that says this is NOT ham radio..."

I find this kind of response very curious. I don't think anyone really is saying that this new technology IS ham radio. Nobody is suggesting that it be a replacement - it's simply a new and different way to communicate that to some degree integrates nicely with our existing hobby's infrastructure. The comment above seems to be promoting the attitude that since it is not (traditional) ham radio, it should not have a part in our hobby or a role to play and to do otherwise somehow puts you on the fringes of the hobby. Why can't it just be what it is - another way for hams to communicate with hams when the need or desire presents itself.

I've used Echolink a few times and quite enjoyed accessing repeaters from home (where I only have an HF station). As others have said, one of its great strengths is the convenience to hook into repeaters in communities where you used to live or have friends - I was able to have a great QSO with an old friend in 3-land from the Boston area while he was mobile on 2m.

The bottom line is I had fun with it, it has great potential in emergency situations, and having used it, I still enjoy every moment on the none-internet variety of ham radio just as much as before. It's just one more facet of this multi-faceted hobby.

73, Pete
 
RE: Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by KB1KIX on August 11, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Good article - though you will have the code/no code debates with an article of this nature.

I, for one, have nothing wrong with echolink and the like. It's still the user and how he use this tool.

Last year I was lucky enough to meet a fellow ham with an OK2 call from the Czech Republic. He actually had a job to do in my small city so we were able to meet when he was here. Another ham friend of mine was able to take him to ARRL HQ and give him a run at W1AW.

When he returned home - we were both able to see that he made it home alright via echolink. Now, I was on an HT in Hartford, CT. Another friend of mine was in Glastonbury, CT. Our friend was walking down the streets of Prague with his HT - seems like radio enough for us? Neither one of us were on a computer per se, but the technology allowed us to stay in touch.

Like anything else, it has its uses and there will be naysayers.

If it aint for ya, then shut up and move on about it and stop the whining!!!

Jonathan
 
RE: Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by N2OBY on August 11, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
<<"...I'm a VHF/UHF guy (Technician license) and I'm in the camp that says this is NOT ham radio..."

I find this kind of response very curious. I don't think anyone really is saying that this new technology IS ham radio. Nobody is suggesting that it be a replacement - it's simply a new and different way to communicate that to some degree integrates nicely with our existing hobby's infrastructure. The comment above seems to be promoting the attitude that since it is not (traditional) ham radio, it should not have a part in our hobby or a role to play and to do otherwise somehow puts you on the fringes of the hobby. Why can't it just be what it is - another way for hams to communicate with hams when the need or desire presents itself. >>

Pete,

If you've indeed read most of the previous comments, it's obvious that proponents of this hybrid communications system are indeed saying that this is ham radio. I'm not saying it doesn't integrate technologies, but it's NOT amateur radio communication.

Regarding your comment "Why can't it just be what it is - another way for hams to communicate with hams when the need or desire presents itself." - I use the landline telephone, cell phones and email quite often to communicate with hams when the need or desire presents itself, but I don't then refer to it as amateur radio. By your definition this exchange between us could be considered ham radio.

Anyone who read my previous comments would see that I don't have a problem with others using it, but I won't and don't agree with it. This is a forum for sharing ideas and opinions. This is mine, but I'm not shoving it down anyone's throat. Unlike Jonathan KB1KIX, I'm not being nasty and telling anyone to shut up. Neither am I whining. I also complimented G3ZHI on his presentation.

Amateur radio communication travels through the air, NOT the internet.

-Ken N2OBY
 
- Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways -  
by KC8VWM on August 11, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
>> Amateur radio communication travels through the air, NOT the internet.

-Ken N2OBY <<


Ken & Others,

The problem with this logic is in the fact that first, your voice travels over the internet, and then second your voice travels over the airwaves on an open radio frequency somewhere.

Therefore, I would ask - is your ham shack computer then considered to be Amateur Radio transmitting equipment?

If so,... is your computer a part 15 or part 95 device?


73

Charles - KC8VWM
 
RE: Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by N3EVL on August 11, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Ken,

Thanks for the response. I guess I do agree that this form of communication falls outside the 'normal' definition of what ham radio communcication is, especially in the case of Echolink in the pc-to-pc flavour.

However, the point I was trying to make (perhaps badly) was that it really doesn't matter whether it is or isn't ham radio - I just think of it as a handy tool that expands the total ham radio experience - I've no intention of exchanging QSLs or counting these types of contacts for awards etc. It's just another tool at my disposal like checking on the DX on DX Summit or even using eham.net

73, Pete
 
RE: Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by KF4VGV on August 11, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I feel the same about all of the internet connections to ham radio as N2OBY. I consider echolink, "just one huge partyline" using phone patch technologies that have been available for years. I can't see how anybody can be thrilled about making contacts using this mean of communication. I know that the ARRL does not recognize it during field day communications. I wonder why? Maybe its the same reason they don't count phone patch contacts. I'm not saying echolink or IRLP doesn't serve a purpose. I suppose its a cheap way to "call" back home when vacationing to say hello to the people that you wanted to get away from the start! LOL. I sure many can say thats its great for emergency communications. I'm sure it can be used to assist when the internet is up and running and power is available. But what happens when all the lines are down and no power is available? Sure, if you can afford a satellite, that may be some help? I don't know about that either. A rain shower or even a dense cloud cover can keep you off line from the internet. To me...old fashion RF....to others, different strokes for different folks.
 
RE: Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by KF4VGX on August 12, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KF4VGV on August 11, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I feel the same about all of the internet connections to ham radio as N2OBY. I consider echolink, "just one huge partyline" using phone patch technologies that have been available for years. I can't see how anybody can be thrilled about making contacts using this mean of communication. I know that the ARRL does not recognize it during field day communications.



I wonder why? Maybe its the same reason they don't count phone patch contacts. I'm not saying echolink or IRLP doesn't serve a purpose. I suppose its a cheap way to "call" back home when vacationing to say hello to the people that you wanted to get away from the start! LOL. I sure many can say thats its great for emergency communications. I'm sure it can be used to assist when the internet is up and running and power is available. But what happens when all the lines are down and no power is available? Sure, if you can afford a satellite, that may be some help? I don't know about that either. A rain shower or even a dense cloud cover can keep you off line from the internet. To me...old fashion RF....to others, different strokes for different folks.


................................................
Foe the local EC's who like to change words around to where it states , what they want it to state.

Noone wants an award here , There wanting to have a conversation with another Ham Radio operator. A human being just like you ! It has been used at a few
field day events Not for contacts but for the pleasure of communications .


Also its being used Right now ! For emergency use !

http://www.voipwx.net/


See above link,

Also listen to my 146.865 Repeater Right now ! You only live about 10 miles from me .

You hear the Advanced Skywarn Net control operator giving information on the Hurricanes in the Gulf .


and let me tell you that they do a Heck of a job as you see there are Repeaters and links and computers involved in learning and sharing a Hobby to help increase public and Ham awareness to these advancing Storms. A EC Now ! from any where Can now take charge as Net Control share responsibilities.

Its educational and very helpful as a Early Alert system.


If our power gos out we will either go where the powers at and re-setup. Or other links and Repeaters that are out of the effected area will be able to pick up mobile stations for reports.

According to Ripoll, the new VOIPWX Net http://www.voipwx.net/, which combines IRLP and EchoLink has been a tremendous asset. "This has opened up a whole new resource of stations, VHF/UHF/Mobile/Techs, that we would have not heard of on HF," he said.

 
Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by G3ZHI on August 13, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
thanks for the kind comments on the article

it is there for any ham club to use in their magazine

internet linking has been around for 10 years
so i do not think of it as new

it is very useful for helping hams communicate
24 x7 from any location anywhere in the world there is a link

hams talking computer to computer using echolink is also all part of hams communicating

that is important and thats what it all about

as for the internet going down

you could say the same about a radio or dont they break down?

if anyone wants more information with echolink irlp or eqso please just give me a call on any of the nodes i monitor

i say always keep your options open
you never know when an internet gateway might come in useful to keep in touch with someone



73 Ian G3ZHI

http://www.qsl.net/g3zhi - many ham radio links
http://www.ukirlp.co.uk

G4NJI IRLP 5200 Echolink 135909
Rotherham simplex 145.2875mhz

GB3XN IRLP 5708 Echolink 153126
Langold 430.925 Mhz

Ian Abel G3ZHI
52 Hollytree Ave
Maltby
Rotherham
Yorkshire
S66 8DY

Tel: 01709 799911
Mobile 0783 338 0578




 
Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by G3SEA on August 13, 2004 Mail this to a friend!

Last night I monitored the VOIPWX and EchoLink WX Conference activities centered on the Hurricane approaching Florida.

These EchoLink/IRLP systems are a valuable resource for emergency communications.VHF/UHF simplex pick up in the immediate disatesr area if the internet is down.

One of the NC's was in Melbourne, Australia for redundancy.

These Hybrid Internet systems should be embraced for their contributions to the hobby.
 
RE: Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by KC8VWM on August 14, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I am not so sure if the question should be related to the idea if Echolink is a "valid" method of communication or not. I am more concerned with it's effeciveness during emergency comms.

Who has statistics?

Charles - KC8VWM


 
Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by AL2I on August 15, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Well, on the strength of this article, I finally got off of my dead rear and designed an IRLP node for our club station (KL7NSK) on the North Slope of Alaska. It is designated to be turned on by Sept 13 at the latest.

The art of the Elmer is alive and well in our hobby, as I went from abject ignorance to confidence in 2 days, my every question was answered and I received more offers of help than I could use from hams across the State of Alaska. What a great experience!

Special thanks to G3ZHI for this great overview. I always can learn much more quickly when an expert can start me off with a clear overview, i.e., "The Big Picture".

73,
Dave McGraw/al2i
 
RE: Using Ham Radio Internet Gateways  
by N9LYA on September 10, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I use Echolink... What the heck..
But what ever happened to linking Repeaters by RF...??
Be it 440 2 6 or 10 meters...
73 Jerry N9LYA

 
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