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Author Topic: Echolink - PC requirements?  (Read 1354 times)
VA7CPC
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Posts: 2355




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« on: May 01, 2014, 03:59:57 PM »

I wasn't sure where to post this . . .

My club has inherited an Echolink node, with a 2m FM rig (I don't know which one), an Echolink ID, an Echolink interface (I don't know which one), but _not_ the computer running Echolink software.

. . . I am tasked with spec'ing the missing computer.

From looking at the Echolink website, my sense is that:

. . .  _any_ current-generation Windows computer (laptop, desktop, netbook) should have more than enough CPU power, and memory, to run Echolink software as a SysOp (independent RF node), and:

. . . any "better-than-voice-grade" Internet connection will be adequate.  We have both cable-TV-based networks, and high-speed twisted-pair networks, in my town.

So we should be able to buy an inexpensive laptop, maybe a USB-to-serial adapter, install Echolink software, configure it, set the rig up with an antenna, connect the interface as needed, and be on the air.   [Yes, I have done this kind of work, and yes, I know it doesn't go quite as smoothly as I've just described.]

Any ideas (confirming, or poo-pooing) will be welcome.  Thanks --

.            Charles





 
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KB2VUQ
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Posts: 111


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« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2014, 11:06:30 PM »

You don't need much...

I'm running an OLD IBM thinkpad (300mhz processor) with 128megs of ram,
a homemade serial interface for PTT, connected to an Icom IC-2100H and a
Comet antenna at low height. The audio is only 8 bit mono, so don't expect
broadcast quality and you'll be okay. BTW, my internet is DSL, much slower
than cable, but it does work without missing any packets.
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KB3VWG
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Posts: 10




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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2014, 03:24:35 PM »

First, you should determine what interface you have; because it may have a built-in sound card and keyer...or may not.

Also you stated:
My club has inherited an...
Echolink ID

You'll have to get an EchoLink ID for the callsign you're authorized to use.


-KB3VEG
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VA7CPC
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Posts: 2355




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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2014, 07:26:37 PM »

Thanks, everyone.

As usual, I'll need to get my eyes on the gear we have . . .

There are 4 fairly recent laptops available, so _that_ part of the problem is solved.

I'm sure I'll be back with more questions . . .

.   Charles
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K1CJS
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Posts: 5855




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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2014, 08:51:04 AM »

The one thing you shouldn't do is to use a laptop for an echolink station that is going to be a fixed station, up and running 24/7.  Although laptops can be used for such stations, there are distinct advantages to using a desktop unit.  The monitor can be turned off for one thing.  For another, air circulation is superior in most cases, and can be augmented by additional in-case fans in most cases if needed.  Laptops overheat too easily sometimes.

Add to that the ease of adding additional equipment to the computer if needed--something that is almost impossible in case of a laptop unless it's done by adding pcmcia cards or cardbus or usb based equipment.

Of course, it's a matter of personal preference and other matters--if the echolink station is to be a portable station, a laptop would certainly be preferred.
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