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Reviews Categories | Ham Software - Other than logging | EchoMac Help


Reviews Summary for EchoMac
EchoMac Reviews: 19 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $Freeware
Description: Macintosh client for EchoLink Internet Radio Network.
Product is in production.
More info: http://echomac.sourceforge.net
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WA6FSJ Rating: 4/5 Apr 2, 2015 17:00 Send this review to a friend
Pretty good no-frills for single-user mode  Time owned: more than 12 months
EchoMac is an EchoLink client software for Mac OSX, 10.3.9 and later (up to at least 10.8 per docs). It has been reworked as EchoHAM, which is available from the Mac App Store for 10.7 and later. For those using an earlier OSX, such as myself on Snow Leopard 10.6.8, EchoMAC is the only choice. It would appear that EchoMac is probably not going to get a lot more development, as the last updates to it were in 2010.

EchoMac is essentially a bare-bones, "single-user mode" local client for EchoLink. You can use your Mac's mic and speakers to contact other echolink stations. It does not have "sysop mode" features, and cannot be used to interface to a radio.


Some EchoMac features:

You can configure basic info like name, location, and station information. You can specify up to four echolink servers.
Online, you have basic search of the station list showing Call, Location, Node. A busy-out control to prevent other from initiating a connection to you, an on-screen PTT toggle button (command-Enter can also be used as a toggle). You can connect by clicking an item in the station list, or by entering the call or node number. It has a basic text chat facility.
EchoMac is compatible with the Growl pop-up notification system.


Things EchoMac does NOT have include just about all of the niceties that come with the PC version:

No favorites list, no block list.

You can connect to only one station at a time, there is no option to allow hosting a conference (although you can connect to a conference). So if you are in any sort of QSO, your station will show as busy and cannot take another incoming connection until your QSO is done.

The station list index is sorted by call and cannot be changed (e.g.; no sort by location). There are no options to control types of stations to display, i.e.; -R, -L, users, busy, not busy, etc.

Time-out timers and buffers are not configurable.

PTT is toggle only, there is no option for keyboard "momentary" PTT (press and hold), and there is no option to change the PTT key from command-Enter. Since there also is no menu option for PTT, the OSX Keyboard Shortcuts feature cannot be configured to add another key for PTT.

There is no facility for recording conversation. There is no System Log, no record is made of stations that connect.

The search box is annoying to use in that if you backspace all the way, it de-selects. You must mouse-click the search box again each time you want to start a new search string.


A few work-arounds for some of the shortcomings:

I've found Growl can be used as a poor-man's log of connecting stations, at least such that you can see who might have connected when you stepped away from the computer. Find and install the free Growl software. Configure it's preference "Applications" panel to add EchoMac, then set it's Notification for "Connected" to Stay On Screen "Always". This will keep the pop-ups showing connected call signs up, until you click to dismiss them. Crude but better than nothing.

The search box can be used to crudely select a subset of station index types, by searching -L or -R or *


Summary:

All in all, it's pretty good if very simple, considering that there is no other choice for pre-10.7 users. I'm told my audio is good when using the internal iMac microphone. I occasionally get hiccups and disconnects, but I've no way to tell if the problem on my end, or elsewhere in the network. I've seen freeware that was a LOT worse.
 
WB8NUT Rating: 4/5 Jun 4, 2011 04:52 Send this review to a friend
Easy to set-up, needs some enhancements  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
EchoMac is very simple to install and set-up. Had it running in about two minutes. Needs some enhancements so it is more like the Windows version, but it does what it is supposed to and does it well.
 
WA8SIE Rating: 4/5 Mar 12, 2010 08:52 Send this review to a friend
EchoMac Success  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have had success in using EchoMac. I could not find what it was, I connected to the EchoLink server test and it came back, finally! I then just happen to try connecting with friend who is in FL and it worked rather well. The link was good, for the most part, and he was on dial up. He had connected to a repeater very near my location, and had to drop that link, as it was causing a lot of feedback problems and packet noise. I do have problems connecting with this local repeater myself. Not sure why. //... Joe
 
AE6MI Rating: 4/5 Oct 16, 2009 22:20 Send this review to a friend
Works as advertised - easy to use  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This software took about 30 seconds each for me to install on both my iMac and my MacBook Pro (both running Mac OS X 10.5.8, the last version of Leopard). I tested it out with the usual *ECHOTEST* and everything worked well there. I also tried the links to local repeaters and everything works as advertised.

So why don't I give it a 5? If you want to run a link station and want to do some of the advanced things like restricting certain callsigns etc., then this is not possible in Echmac because it does not contain all the features of the PC software. However, for the casual user who just want to connect or for the SYSOP who wants to simply provide an interface with few checks, this is a very simple to use program.

I just wish a minor few of the SYSOP specific features of the Windows version were implemented in this Mac version. But the code is available, so I suppose an extension could be made by someone out there?
 
W4SKB Rating: 4/5 May 15, 2009 11:07 Send this review to a friend
Perfect for Travel  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just installed EchoMac on a MacBook Pro that I use while traveling in ministry. This now allows me do a little recreational hamming while on the road.

Thanks guys, PRICELESS ! ! !
 
W5AK Rating: 5/5 Apr 18, 2009 19:18 Send this review to a friend
Work better than the repeater users  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The Echomac software worked great for me in Hong Kong. Unfortunatly, when I tried to check into a SoCal repeater net, some "wonderful" YL, totally stupid, complained "that station in Hong Kong is in here yet again". That was the final time I used EchoMac there. The software is great.... the folks on the other end, not so good.
 
KJ4HGN Rating: 4/5 Apr 18, 2009 14:28 Send this review to a friend
This IS Good - really!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
First, make SURE your router is set-up correctly. If it is not, then it will not work at all. Go HERE:
http://echomac.sourceforge.net/routers.html for router settings.

Second, after you set up, follow the directions included in the documentation.

Third, test your set-up and log into 9999 for testing your set-up. That's pretty much it.

OS: 2001-02 Quicksilver Mac running OS 10.4.11 (Tiger), 733 processor and 640 MB RAM - smoking hot - NOT - but it works with my LinkSys Router.
 
K0JTA Rating: 5/5 Nov 25, 2008 10:43 Send this review to a friend
Works well!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have no troubles with making EchoMac work. I see that there are several who apparently have been having difficulties; My heart goes out to those folks.

I have several friends that are a lot less computer-savy than I install and run EchoMac, and they have had good success also.

Be advised that it does work well. The issues of ports, and so on get us all tangled up a bit, so do not feel that it is only you (if you are having troubles) that is going through a difficult time with EchoMac.

I find that the interface is very "Mac-like," and that it is not as full featured as the ECHOLINK that is available for the Windows world. Bottom line: It WORKS.

The help files for the application (available on line) are really good at explaining the care-and-feeding, so I will not try to duplicate work that is already done, and in a better form than I'd be able to do. Good luck, and do not give up.

-Mike-
 
WB2KQI Rating: 4/5 Jun 27, 2008 14:24 Send this review to a friend
It Works!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I could not get the program to transmit my call for the verification process. I downloaded Echolink on my PC laptop and that transmitted it and got me going. That I could not do this with EchoMac is the reaon for 4/5 instead of 5/5. Once I was verified EchoMac worked like a champ and I was on various repeaters in ten minutes withoutr any problems. The funny thing is, the PC's EchoLink program fails completely and times out -- all on the same wireless network as the Mac and EchoMac. I have no idea why I can connect almost 100% on the Mac and 0% on the PC. Funny, with just a Mac I could not havew been verified. With just PC I could have been verified and had no contacts at all.
 
G0FVX Rating: 1/5 Jan 20, 2008 07:48 Send this review to a friend
Not working for me  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have also spent hours changing settings etc but although I can connect (I can listen on local repeaters) and my audio is transmitted, I cannot hear anything via the Mac speakers.
Echolink on XP/Parallels gives me audio from "echotest" with exactly the same router settings.
I have just downloaded the current version with the same result.
As I can access a repeater by RF I guess I'll stick with that.
Bert B
2G Intel Core 2 Duo
2GB ram
OSX 10.4.11
 
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