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eHam.net Survey

Survey Question
Thanks for voting! Your vote has been included in the results below.

What do you think of iLINK/IRLP ? Is it going to be the "SSB" of the new millenium and provide the hobby with a much needed "shot in the arm", swelling it's ranks and getting more hams active again? (Thanks to Frank KB2CWN for the idea)
  Posted: Feb 18, 2002   (1486 votes, 83 comments) by VK5LA

Survey Results
Yes 18% (272)
No 34% (512)
Perhaps 25% (368)
Especially for antenna restricted hams... 11% (166)
I Hate iLINK... 11% (168)

Survey Comments
2004 Echolink
Welcome 2004, And the knowledge old EHam Survey offers We hams are a curious bunch I must admit .

Posted by KF4VGX on July 9, 2004

Links of all sorts
I just wanted to say that anything that can benefit Amateur radio and increase the number of operators is a good thing! Including all forms of linking networks

WHY?

Throughout history it has been proven that that the greater the population the greater the influence on society and government! (it’s Common Sense) with all that threats amateur radio today such as BPL would you rather have 100 people supporting you to defend against the RAPE of amateur radio? Or would you rather have 100,000 people? The answer is obvious. It is these new found technological advances that draw people of various diversities to amateur radio in whatever form possible in the hope that they will recognize the full potential of ham radio and decide to become a fully licensed operator. It should be the goal of every operator to positively influence people to understand ham radio! To embrace new people new technologies and new ideas that will eventually open more doors of opportunity for all amateur radio operators to benefit from. I dont think it's going to be the new SSB but it will shure help people get there!

Posted by VO1AAC on May 14, 2004

cool
I am currently in South America and I use echolink with a radio at both ends. I don't care if the other person is on a computer as I used to use net2phone and dialpad (even though both have horrible audio). I also have an internet telephone (packet8.net). I can talk to my friends with either. Just the other day I talked with a ham friend on the internet phone to help him get his echolink back up on his repeater. Sure, I talk to him on 15m too but Narrow FM sounds a lot nicer!

To each their own. I keep seeing the older folks tell about how the young folks want everything for free and whine. It appears the older ones are the ones whining and not wanting to embrace new technologies. To each their own.

Jeff N8ZUZ previously an Advanced class VE

Posted by N8ZUZ on February 24, 2004

i-Link/schmi-link
I am an admitted purist when it comes to radio in all forms. For me, ANY actual voice communications between two points that requires a connection to a landline (including phone patching and telephone-linked repeater sites) is NOT "real" radio.

As for the people who squawk about the old-timers and their reluctance to accept SSB and FM modes over CW, well just remember that CW, FM, SSB, and AM are all pure radio modes. I-link is not a "mode". It is a hybrid technology that has good points, but is not "radio". One might as well use the telephone.


Posted by N8YV on March 19, 2002

A Good Thing
I beleive that anything that uses Amateur radio in full or in part is good. We need to continue to be progressive--adapting "our" technology to new ones--to keep our hobby thriving. IRLP and iLink accomplish what I beleive to be our main objective as Amateur Radio Operators: to communicate with one-another within the context of our hobby.

Posted by VE5UO on February 24, 2002

irlp/ilink and amateur radio survey
Hi folks,
I am one of those disabled users one of our hams mentioned here and I love both ILINK and IRLP. They're both amateur radio to me and I will never not use them. For those of you who don't like'um try them, and you'll be hooked, especially if you live in a place where you can't put up hf antennas, or if you're mobiling down the road one day and you can talk to someone in a far away country on your 2 meter/70 cm rig, or if you're on your laptop and you're not in an area where an irlp node is and you can have a qso with a station via your computer. It's all ham radio so get use to it my friends it'll be here forever. Who knows what's coming next. Now I'd like to see the 2 IRLP and ILINK combined into 1 and it will be even better. Of course there are problems but we can work them out. For those of you who use both of these fine parts of our hobby, if you'd like to see that happen for the betterment of both and amateur radio and to encourage even more young people to get involved as they've started to do, I'd like to hear from you. my email address is wd8oep@yahoo.com and for those of you who don't think IRLP and ILINK are ham radio, you many write to me to, but I won't reply back, but you have a write to your opinion and I'm glad you're all hams too.
73,
Trippy wd8oep

Posted by WD8OEP on February 23, 2002

I tried iLINK.....
Since my last posting, I downloaded iLINK and have been using it for the past three evenings. It is a great way to use the computer and still meet other hams all over the world. On iLINK I have talked to Sweden, Australia, England and some US hams. I don't feel that the mode will replace my radio. I also used my HF radio to talk to (in the past week) Finland, Poland, Italy, Illinois, and others. I see the iLINK as a great way for hams in areas that have restrictive CC&Rs to still enjoy our hobby. Why would ANYONE want to restrict their joy? I talked to three hams and they were 72, 82 and 68 years old. They told me they enjoyed iLINK because they couldn't put up antennas nor could they climb towers to do antenna work anymore. iLINK allows them to still maintain contact whith a hobby they all love. So, if you haven't tried iLINK, please don't tell others how it will hurt our hobby. Think instead of how it is helping people in our hobby. I love what the internet has done for millions of people and now what is doing for us. I don't see it killing our hobby, only extending our hobby's use for those we would have lost due to restrictions, being infirmed or age. Those hams deserve the right to continue the hobby thru any means we can legally put in place for them. iLINK acomplishes that nicely.
73
Frank
KL7IPV

Posted by KL7IPV on February 23, 2002

All modes are different, like people?
Amateur radio is a great HOBBIE. And it will continue to be, we are all different.

12300 hams are ENJOYING i-link! Thats all that matters?

To all who are unsure, drop into an i-link conference and take a look at the procedure used, by amateur radio operators using their computer (nice description hehe!) to mobiles on their HT.

Seriously, I have only had 3 reports of abuse, and this was stopped right away. This was from a licensed amateur! We have abuse on our local RF repeaters, but dont stop using them, maybee we should close them all down - just in case.


With ilink we have the controls in place to stop abuse of the system, but they are underused at present!!, I think the fear of the problem is FAR greater than the 'problem'.

73 all and enjoy...
WWW.AACNET.NET


Posted by M0CSH on February 23, 2002

Try before you cry
Well, after reading most of these postings, I have come to the conclusion that very few of you actually tried ILink. If you did you would all know how it actually works. It is very similar to IRLP in the respect that you can do radio to radio communications. However ILink adds the ability to do computer to radio or computer to computer communications. Basically this is just IRLP on steroids.
I can understand why some do not care for it, but that is fine. Don't use it. The ones who like it will use it and enjoy it. But don't criticize something you don't really know much about or even really tried.
A fine example of ILink is, a fellow ham installed a link board to his base radio on a simplex 2 meter frequency. He went uptown to have a cup of coffee. While there he had a nice conversation with a station in England over his hand held radio on simplex. Yep all the way to England. Many of you say so what you can grab 17 or 20 meters and do that anyway. Well for him it is great, see he is tone deaf and in no way will ever pass a code exam. I have seen him with more thrill and happiness for the hobby since ILink has come along. He now QSO's around the world and loves it.
Whether you love it or hate it, it is something that will be around for a long time. Either ILink or some other flavor.
So don't really knock it until you have given it a chance first hand.
By the way I am ordering an ILink board to connect to my station as well. I really enjoy it.

Posted by W9RYN on February 23, 2002

I LINK HT to HT

KC2IVL comments appears to be in error if what I have read
and been advised by WB2REM is correct.

I LINK connections can be via 2m HT / Internet / 2m HT if
the appropriate interface cards are in place.

From the responses to I LINK it seems to be a far
more simpler and therefore popular choice than IRLP

Whatever mode one should not forget that it is especially
attractive for those who cannot use HF at home.

Posted by G3SEA on February 22, 2002

IRLP/ILINK
ILINK is somewhat more secure than has been depicted here. Each user has an individual password that is required. I do agree that it appears that the current system can be penetrated by someone purporting to be a validly licensed ham, but there is a good looking mechanism in place to deal with that, and I do not know the details of their verification procedures (it does not appear to be automated). I have not yet observed any problems or anything at all suspicious, so I do not intend to lose any sleep over it.

ILINK conforms to everything mentioned in regulation 97.213 cited earlier. That specific regulation does apply to radios that you control through the system. Ilink has the required timers, and provides for the required station ID, which can be turned off when not needed.

ILINK was developed in England, IRLP in Canada, and I'm sure both are completely OK in their native countries. I think they both can be here, too.

I do intend to evaluate IRLP - that was my original goal when I got into this thing - but I've had less than great luck with Linux lately, and didn't have a PC to dedicate to it. Now, however, I have one I can use to play, so I intend to. I will probably let our club members decide which one we should have, or perhaps we should have both.

Posted by WF0H on February 22, 2002

Update
In an earlier post, and without really understanding IRLP, I asked "Why?"

Well, I went to a regional ham club meeting last night as a guest, and heard a great presentation by a ham who has connected his 440 repeater to an IRLP node. He is really committed to this, as evidenced by his paying for a DSL link to the Web as well as other expenses, and not charging or asking for donations from his local users. His presentation was great, and I now understand IRLP much better than before.

Now that I actually know what IRLP is about, I must again ask, "Why?"

Posted by K3AN on February 22, 2002

Update
In an earlier post, and without really understanding IRLP, I asked "Why?"

Well, I went to a regional ham club meeting last night as a guest, and heard a great presentation by a ham who has connected his 440 repeater to an IRLP node. He is really committed to this, as evidenced by his paying for a DSL link to the Web as well as other expenses, and not charging or asking for donations from his local users. His presentation was great, and I now understand IRLP much better than before.

Now that I actually know what IRLP is about, I must again ask, "Why?"

Posted by K3AN on February 22, 2002

IRLP vs iLink
Seems to me like these 2 systems are almost the same, yet complete opposites at the same time.




Using IRLP, you talk into a radio to a repeater, where the audio is digitized, then sent over the internet where it is undigitized and retransmitted by another repeater. The person listening on the other end is doing the same thing.




Using iLink, you talk into a computer, where the audio is digitized, sent over the internet, received by another repeater, then converted back to a radio signal.




At first glance, the two systems seem the same, but there is a big difference. Using IRLP, there is radio to radio contact, the communications start and end at a radio microphone/speaker. The only thing that has changed from "real" radio is the fact that at some point the audio signals were sent over the internet. The whole idea is no diferent than using two repeaters that are connected by a telephone line.




Using iLink, one of the parties in the QSO is using a computer, and only a computer, no radios involved.




FWIW, I like IRLP, but dislike iLink, one of the main reasons is that using IRLP, I am not limited to the slow internet connection that I have at home, one of the other reasons is that iLink currently only runs on Windows, and I am not a regular Windows user, as I prefer Linux & Macs.


Posted by KC2IVL on February 22, 2002

ILink vs IRLP
I voted against ILINK...BUT I AM an IRLP supporter...this poll was
poorly worded and needed to separate the two systems..

ILINK has major security problems....promotes PC to radio connections
(NOT legal in some cases!)...IRLP is a TRUE Radio to RADIO
link....it merely replaces analog phone lines or twisted pairs
with VoIP......something that is the next digital move in voice
communications....

While ILink may have been first, it is not the best...and its security is
poor at best...ANYONE could fake a callsign and get on the air
via ILINK...NOT EVERYONE with a PC will buy a radio to bootleg
on the air...so the chances of an illegal operator from the Net
on ham radio is 100x more greater with ILink than a bootlegger with
a stolen (or even NOT stolen) radio.....This violated Part 97.213
and I quote from that part:
"
(a) There is a radio or wireline control link between the control
point and the station sufficient for the control operator to perform
his/her duties. If radio, the control link must use an auxiliary
station. A control link using a fiber optic cable or another
telecommunication service is considered wireline.
(b) Provisions are incorporated to limit transmission by the station
to a period of no more than 3 minutes in the event of malfunction in the
control link.
(c) The station is protected against making, willfully or
negligently, unauthorized transmissions.
(d) A photocopy of the station license and a label with the name,
address, and telephone number of the station licensee and at least one
designated control operator is posted in a conspicuous place at the
station location."

Look at paragraph (c)!! Thats is where ILINK falls short...IRLP
does not! it is only Radio connected nodes...and works much
better...no extra tones, etc down the path....(why would you
want that anyway? Just the local CT or ID is enough!)...

Besides the 29.6 FM rmt on the Net which uses ILINK is
probably violating almost all of 97.213 above....I bet NO control op
is monitoring the station during use nor are users validated...

ILINK is not the way ham radio should be going....This is
Ham RADIO not Ham Computer or CB!

My $.02

Chris
WB5ITT
Texas Repeater Systems (TRS) president
IRLP user and soon node owner.
Repeater owner/trustee since 1975

Posted by WB5ITT on February 22, 2002

Real Problem
I almost decided not to post my nickel's worth of two cents, but I can't resist.

For starters, I thought iLink was Sony's protocol for linking two Playstation 2s together for multi-console game battles. After reading all these posts, I feel like I have a good understanding of IRLP/ILINK for amateur radio.

Now, maybe you all may have guessed my age because I mentioned the Sony Playstation 2. Yes, I'm 22 and have been a Technician-licensed amateur for five years. The real problem that's going to kill amateur radio is only being made worse by this new mode of communication: expense.

When I bought my first radio, a Radio Shack HTX-202, I used money I received from a settlement in a personal injury civil suit to make the purchase. I was 17 years old! $300 bucks for an antenna, radio, speaker/mike, and taxes was a lot of crispy cash. There is NO way I would have been able to responsibly buy an HF rig while saving the rest of the money for college.

I would assert that the real problem that's killing amateur radio for young people is the expense. I paid $80 bucks for a new PCS phone in July. That's $150 less than my first 2 meter HT, based on a 20 year old design.

Now, I ask, what in the world are you thinking when you buy a $1500 computer and call into it on a $300 radio to talk over the internet? This mode isn't going to solve anything. It's just a fancy trick to imploy the whiz-bangness of anything Internet to sell more radios. Buy a seven dollar headset and you can do the same thing.

Now, all of this is in my humble opinion, but all I know is that I have younger friends who are lucky to have a job, much less expendable income to buy ANY amateur radio. They don't even want to take the time to get a license because they can't even afford a decent starter radio! They don't even talk on CB because we all know that's trash, they do other stuff like paintball, carpentry, or music!

There is no reason to keep selling these radios at such ungodly prices. IRLP/ILINK is a trick to get people to at least keep buying HT's while making them think they can do real amateur communications.

Funny how Intel can design a processor with the power of a mainframe and sell it for $400, yet Icom can't seem to get an HT under $50.

Fix the prices, fix the image, and fix the attitude towards new people, and maybe our spectrum won't be auctioned off in fifteen years. We're on the brink, people. Listen up.

Posted by AD0AC on February 22, 2002

IRLP and iLINK are more than a linking system.
I've read through most the comments on the board here, and some of them are quite amazing. Some people speak as though the world is coming to an end, others just deride the new linking systems as "boring" or just another "telephone". However, this sort of thought misses the point.

IRLP, at least, makes use of radio for all contacts. There are no PC based end users. IRLP has proven to capture the imagination of the younger generation, and surprise, surprise, some of these younger people are talking about taking the code test and getting on HF. Now that's got to be the best thing ham radio has seen in years! I do have reservations about iLINK, admittedly. People seem to gravitate towards the headset operation (where's the radio?), and from my experience, the "security" isn't there yet. IRLP, OTOH, addresses both of these issues. It is RF access only, and nodes use cryptographic techniques to authenticate each other, making it more secure than any existing wormhole technology. The use of Linux for IRLP is a moot point, IMHO. Only the node owners need to know Linux, and that exercise in itself is a worthwhile learning experience.

As for SSB being "the mode", well, personally, I feel SSB is old hat, and the exploration of new digital voice modes is long overdue. Perhaps IRLP will encourage programming types to tinker, and as a byproduct of improving the efficiency of IRLP, they may discover the next generation of HF modes. Still, just as Morse Code has its unique features (simplicity being the hallmark of CW), SSB will survive and find its niche, even if digital modes dominate the HF bands of the future.

I do agree with some of the comments that IRLP is not DX. It isn't. it's a system to link distant radio sites, and a platform for building radio oriented applications. IRLP only becomes DX when someone from outside a node's normal coverage area manages to get in (and I have seen a bit of IRLP DX - up to 300 miles from station a node on RF only has to be DX!). As for me, I enjoy IRLP, I enjoy satellites and I enjoy HF, when my limited setup and band conditions permit me to work something interesting. And I also enjoy VHF DX when the opportunity arises - it is true there is a special buzz that comes when you can work repeaters 300 miles away using nothing but a 1/2 watt HT and a temperature inversion (no IRLP or other wizardry).

IRLP is a tool. Use it for positive benefits, whether that be organising satellite QSOs, HF skeds or spreading the message that ham radio is fun and there's something for everyone.

Let's use these new techniques to the benefit of ham radio. The hobby has just become a whole lot more diverse.

Posted by VK3JED on February 21, 2002

We need a new survey.

Posted by KC9AZL on February 21, 2002

Novelty
As far as I can tell and have heard on the air, this is nothing more than a novelty implementing the internet. Its another facet that will probably run its course like the packet radio phenomena of the 1980's.


I have an IRLP repeater near where I live and it is nice to talk to the VK's on a two meter HT but beyond that I don't see any hard permanent need for it. I can't see it replacing local emergency communications.

Also there is a componant I find a bit disturbing. Seems like there is some vocal anti-Microsoft sentiment voiced by those who are touting LINUX as the server software of choice. If I were to establish an IRLP repeater it appears I would have to then learn how to implement LINUX on its own machine to make it fly. As far as I am concerned this just makes things a bit more confusing and increases the investment. Sure it may be a learning experience for tweakers and software oriented hams, more power to them. As for internet linking etc., some will prefer it over everything else. To each their own. Its their money.


As for me, I am a purist and prefer my RF to be RF and not beams of light traversing the 7 continents via thousands of miles of fibre optic cable. I can do that now with NetMeeting and that includes video. I like static and with IRLP it takes from me the sense of remoteness that is appealing. Its not "True" ham radio to me when operating becomes a variation of a phone patch. Besides its another step away from needing a ham radio license.


I don't see it appreciably affecting the hobby pro or con. There will be some regulatory issues raised and that will promote more confusion and if anything, will abort interest. Like I said, it will run its course and not replace things as we know them.

Posted by K2ANE on February 21, 2002

ILINK/IRLP
The charm of it is in the ability to have a mobile to mobile ragchew via ILINK with G hams while on my way to work - a feat that I've never accomplished in nearly 40 years of HF mobiling.

The challenge is in keeping your gateway on the air - I'm finding out that it isn't as easy as it looks. I'm learning much more about the Windows operating system and various hardware than I ever wanted to. Maybe Linux would be a better idea, but it seems to lose major functions every time the power drops. I hear Windows Me and XP work the same way, so maybe it's a wash.

Yes, it's not HF radio, and it's not a substitute for it, either. But, I think it tends to increase interest in DXing.

Don't worry, if you read the article in QST carefully enough, you will see that ARRL is already working to impose restrictions on it. They contend that because it is a 'link' it must be controlled on 222.15 or above. Since I am not exercising primary control over any link transmitters, I can't see how that rule applies - this is basically a digital autopatch - but you can see that no effort is being spared to interpret the rules as narrowly as possible.

As for bootleggers, so far that has not been a problem. If someone suspects that a user does not belong, they can lock him out of the system until he is re-evaulated. Anybody can buy a rig at Radio Shack, too.

I think ILINK is an enhancement to the hobby. I hope it continues to grow, even if we are forced to move it to UHF. Maybe this will finally be the 'killer app' that makes 222 and 450 as popular as two meters.

Posted by WF0H on February 21, 2002

IRLP links radios !
IRLP is not here to replace peoples precious HF bands. IRLP is an excellent way to call your mate across the world and setup a HF sked. Only retired people seem to have all the time in the world scanning HF bands...sorry we're not all retired. Use IRLP to setup the sked and move to HF....IRLP in VK is utilised to co-ordinate satellite passes and to discuss the pass after the satellite has passed. IRLP has been used to broadcast ISS contacts with schools... how else would I hear this in VK ???

Remember IRLP links radios. IRLP MAXIMISES radio content when connecting to the INTERNET. IRLP can guarantee 100% that the remote node is a hamradio node ! IRLP prides itself that there is no PC HEADSET to Radio connection. We want you to use a RADIO to access the network. Whats the fun of talking on your radio to someone that is connected to a PC with a headset ??

You hate Linux, just put more money in Bill Gates's pocket and why do you hate Linux so much ?? Because it is an experimenters operating system ?? Becasue it has full kernel support for soundcard modems ?? Because you can tailor it to your needs ?? Because it runs 95% of AMPRNET TCP/IP nodes ??? I'd love to see win2k run an AX.25 gateway..........NOT !


Posted by VK2YX on February 21, 2002

The Sorry State of Ham Radio
The comments regarding I-Link and IRLP evidence the sorry state of Ham Radio. The last time I read the federal statute authorizing Ham Radio it was based upon the premise that the service was to further the art and science of electronic communication. It didn't say anything about HF, SSB, AM, CW. I-Link or IRLP.

I've been an active Ham since 1958 and have done everything there is to do in Ham Radio, but I have never seen any thing Ham Radio had offer in the past light up a child's eyes with excitement as does IRLP. Just tune in and monitor one of the kid's nets. Kids are joining Ham Radio because of it. Talking around the world through a handheld is truely advancing the art and science.

Let's face it, unless we get the youth of the country interested in Ham Radio...and do it soon....we will lose our franchise. To date DX, SSB, 60 foot towers etc. have failed to inspire. Getting youth involved is our best way of keeping the hobby. If we can't show it's growing we will lose it. It's time we all get behind this advancement.

There's room in Ham Radio for all interests. We don't have to embrace them all but we shouldn't disparage any of them. We owe it to those who went before us and gave us this wondeful hobby to advance it and pass it on to the next generation.

Posted by K0PCG on February 20, 2002

Nothing new
I-link is certainly nothing new and I personally don't think it's even amateur radio, it's just another thing for no code techs to get excited about....Oh by the way is it just me or does anyone else think it's highly inappropriate to be setting up I-link links on VHF/UHF calling frequencies?

Off to play real radio,

Brian W8BRI

Posted by W8BRI on February 20, 2002

Nothing New
Let's see... Someone was using a VoIP program (like Netmeeting or Net2Phone) and thought it would be neat to replace their mic and speakers with a radio. Then they grabbed another radio and DX'd about ten feet.

Is the interest stirred by the fact that they don't have to sit at the computer to chat over the Internet?

You don't need a radio to talk over the Internet to someone in another part of the world.

Posted by KC7ZXY on February 20, 2002

Cell Phone QSL
The next time I contact someone on my cell I will ask him/her to send me a copy of their cell bill as confirmation of our contact. After I get a confirmation from people in every state I will submit all the bills to the ARRL for WAC800(Worked All Cells 800Mhz). It's an interesting mode but it will never replace HF, or even a nice simplex VHF or UHF contact over an extended distance.

Posted by KB6TRR on February 20, 2002

I Link

Since it's initial revelation in addition to the articles in
both QST and CQ this subject has really stirred up a
storm both on the air and (ouch) on the dreaded internet !

Some points seem to have been missed in the furor however.

1. After the recent FCC covenant decree which has virtually
told the increasing legions of apt / antenna / RFI restrected
hams to essentially " find another way " then this mode
has found an instant attraction for THOSE folk.

2. Statements that the mode is useless in an emergency
situation ignore the fact that the operator still has the very
same dual band HT / mobile rig in hand for emergency simplex or
repeater work.

3. Yes the internet connection is essentially " reinventing or bypassing
the ionosphere" much like satellites do.

4. Such a mode enables foreign or dometic expats to link right
back into their home area repeaters to maintain those
long time local friendships with reliable FM quality QSO's.

It's just another mode and yes it's not pure radio but it allows
hams to communicate and exchange meaningful life topics
other than 59+ / rig / an t/ 73 before the band drops out !

Finally it's just another Democratic choice where the users
will vote with their HT or not.

73 and Aloha all ! Paul KH6/G3SEA

Posted by G3SEA on February 20, 2002

Send me your QSL card...
Although I'm only a new NCT licensee, I still feel that the real thrill is on HF. That's why I am studying for my General license. IRLP poses no challenge. Using my 1w HT, I can enter a few codes on the DTMF pad and connect to a node halfway around the world... Where's the challenge??? I especially have to laugh when I hear guys asking for QSL cards during IRLP QSOs! C'mon, guys! I can see trading cards on a QSO made during a HF contact, but trading cards when hitting the machine five miles a
way seems a bit ridiculous!
Don't get me wrong, I think it's neat to talk to someone on the other side of the globe, but I think too much emphasis is being placed on this technology. Maybe the next time I talk to my friend in Japan using ICQ, I'll ask for his QSL card... Hi Hi

Posted by KG6JEV on February 20, 2002

IRLP OK, but not on repeaters.
I like the idea of ILRP, and I use it when it's turned on in my area. The things that I like about it are that it shows that HAM's are resourceful, and intelligent, not a bunch of graduated CB operators. What I don't want to see is IRLP on every repeater. We pick a mode because of the type of communication we want to do, if I wanted to talk to England, or Las Vegas I would pick another mode. I do want to talk to my Ham friends in my local Ham club.

Posted by KQ4BX on February 20, 2002

Full remote controll HF rig??
I would rather see this technology used to opperate a HF rig in a location that is not antenna restricted!
My parents in law have a exelent qth and I dont.

But this would be especialy interesting for a club or a group off ham who are antenna restricted. Listen allong for anyone, use it with a password.

pse make it and you will be loved by many hams :-)))

Posted by KJ6ETL on February 20, 2002

IRLP (what else is there?)
It is interesting the type of head-in-the-sand responses we see whenever a new form of our Hobby starts to gain critical mass. I recall AM vs SSB then FM was going to be the death of ham radio and now IRLP is being looked on as some form of threat to the hobby. Unlike iLINK, IRLP is 100% radio to radio. No headphoners here and the young kids are just loving it. The average age of the negative posters on this thread I expect is at, or beyond my age of 57. Take a look at the average age at your next club meeting and ask yourself - who will be replacing me?

You and I replaced the SPARK operators with our new Rice Boxes on SSB and FM and the young kids coming along behind us will be replacing our modes with digital boxes of some sort that no doubt will in some modes involve the internet.

JUST REMEMBER this time in Amateur Radio - we will look back on IRLP the same way we look back at the SSB/AM and FM arguments of yesteryear.

Check out the eHAM article at http://www.eham.net/newham/irlp - It is a bit out of date as there are now 355 repeaters active full time on IRLP – and with no headphoners.

73 Paul, VE3SY still on HF and also having a lot of fun with IRLP nodes 241, 242, and 243.

Posted by VE3SY on February 20, 2002

Contradictions...
Is it going to be the "saving grace" or the "shot in the arm" that ham radio needs? Hardly. With the consolidation of licensing classes, it is a given that more and more hams will have HF privledges. So fewer and fewer will be restricted to I-link/IRLP. If this had come along ten years ago, it might have had a chance with all the no-code techs with no HF access.

Besides, the big three radio manufacturers haven't weighed in yet, either, so it must be a non-issue as far as they are concerned. If they really thought it was a threat to their HF market, I'm sure they would go to the FCC with it (even though I can't see how). So it looks like for now I-link/IRLP is destined to have a small, almost imperceptible, impact. Right now, it's biggest impact is here on Eham and over on QRZ...it seems like a week never goes by that the I-Link/IRLP "cult" puts out a press release saying it's the best thing since sliced bread.

Steve, KE4MOB

Posted by KE4MOB on February 20, 2002

mmmm Interesting Debate
Don't you think it's a bit like when Packet first came along.. You either love it or you hate it.

Personally, I like the idea of sitting in my car on the way to work.. Dialing in a code and speaking to someone in ZL or VK or wherever.

Alot of people in the local area are very keen to get our 2M repeater connected to the system.

How many of you HF bods use a DX Cluster? On packet radio? Do you ever wonder how the information gets to your computer? Many DX Cluster station pass information over the internet. I think we'll have less of the "It isn't radio" thankyou very much.

Posted by M0CUK on February 20, 2002

Better, Cheaper, More Civilized
I've been using iLink for some time... IMO it's a very good VoIP program that carries the "aura" of Ham Radio into a universe ruled by people better off not having a licence (much like a lot of US 11 meter operators). Sure you can use any number of programs for voice chat, but we're hams and we should have something special for ourselves, especially something that ties into repeaters and allows antenna/financially restricted hams the ability to "get out more". It all falls back to the courtesies and professionalism you find on the air. Listen in on an iLink conference server and you'll see what I mean. Hams talking in a round-robbin and chewing the rag as long as they want. Tie in a repeater and let someone from an HT join the QSO. Utopia.

Posted by KC5SIG on February 20, 2002

i-net radio?
If you want voice over the internet, check out paltalk.com. You don't need a license. You can play music. You can use the same language that you share with the guys at work or in the restroom. It isn't wireless. It's someone's wires between you and the other party. They're charging you to use their wires.

Posted by KB8QLR on February 20, 2002

hmmm
well...
Posting messages on eHam.net "ain't Ham Radio" either...... but alot of you are enjoying doing it, eh!?!

I can tell you this much....
IRLP HAS replaced HF at my house.

Since I have taken down the 20 meter mono-band antenna and tower I can tell you that my neighbors are happy(er).. and my homeowners insurance premium just got cheaper,too!

I can provide you with a list of 7 NEW Hams that have come on board, exclusively because of IRLP.

Anyone wanna buy 472 pounds of aluminum?
I just replaced it all with a 'rubber-duckie'


remember...Internet Linking is Safe Linking

73

Posted by KC7ZWG on February 20, 2002

The ARRL ?

Why would we want to write to the ARRL ? Isnt't that a ham club in CT ? They have no influence over what we do on the radio, more less on the internet......

73, Jim KH2D

Posted by KH2D on February 20, 2002

Get Over IT
Hail to IRLP and Ilink!!!!

I have Both systems and We in this area love it...
it keeps us away from all the people that sit on there duffs maybe checking into a net now and then but mainly sit around and bitch about this or that...
well I found a place where they just arent there

haha

keep complaining at least we don't have to put up with the pileups and the crap found on most HF bands clutterd up with the same old bickering

Posted by KC7RJJ on February 20, 2002

I-stink pt 2
The IRLP, links repeaters together which is fine. It has access to ten meters, which in my opinion is NOT fine. Keep it vhf/uhf and I wont knock it a bit, in fact I support IRLP minus the HF capabilities. Does indeed motivate "nocodes" into upgrading. I-stink is something totally different and will end up being a migraine to our hobby. Keep the internet addicted chat room junkies on AOL and off of our spectrum. I have written ARRL, as a member, to see what if anything they can do to put a leash on this before it gets out of hand but based on the march issue of qst im guessing isnt much. I encourage others to write the FCC and ARRL. Before you dismiss me as a naysayer- give me 12 months and if I'm wrong I'll admit it freely and eat crow.

Posted by KM5QF on February 19, 2002

RE: Why
K3AN asks:

>What will the attraction be?

Well, I think we should look at this as an ENHANCEMENT to amateur radio instead of a REPLACEMENT for 20 meters....

Yes, it's just voice over IP. Nothing 'new'.

The attraction, for me, is that I'm in Florida but I have a lot of ham friends back in Guam. I have a (lousy) HF antenna, and in order to talk to them on HF I need exceptional propagation. But with an ILink board on the VHF repeater in Guam, and one on a simplex radio in Florida, we can chat back and forth with no propagation.

I don't consider it 'working DX' and I am fully aware of the distances/technology involved, but ham radio is a COMMUNICATIONS hobby, and a hobby that a lot of us use to keep in touch with other hams....

The other morning a 'new' ham called me on Ilink. He told me his 'shack' consists of an HT for local repeater use, but that one thing he REALLY wanted when he could afford one was a nice HF radio. Maybe the fact that he gets to talk to hams in other places using his HT will be some incentive to save his bucks and get the HF radio.

On the other hand, I think people that are running around collecting QSL cards from Ilink for Ilink DXCC awards are a bit off the deep end, but hams being off the deep end is nothing new. I can remember back in the 70's the 2 meter band would open up and people would run around screaming that they just 'worked' somebody 4 states away with an HT when in fact all they 'worked' was the local repeater.

The other thing we tend to forget sometimes is that ham radio is supposed to be FUN. So if somebody has fun talking to another ham in an another part of the world, who cares how he did it - maybe a better question would be:

Why not ?

73, Jim KH2D

Posted by KH2D on February 19, 2002

No
Just voice over IP.
Not new, and not radio.

Posted by AL7B on February 19, 2002

Just another way to link
I don't think this is going to replace HF. I have tried it myself and it's all pushbutton. No thrill, no challenge. It's just another way to link repeaters and hopefully talk to some new people. Don't confuse it with a different mode, it's still FM and repeaters.
My real concern is how secure this is. How do you keep bootleggers off the thing and off our bands? Remember, what anyone can think up, someone else can outsmart.

Posted by AD7DB on February 19, 2002

I LINK/real radio
I am nothing but a tech class ham and run an iLINK node. And I'm going for my general now. I have already passed my written test and currently studying my code (I'm a slow learner). Just because I have the option to link via the internet doesn't sway my want for HF communications. As many have posted before me, it is something that was bound to happen and is another form of communication in the ham radio world. I love it and will never NOT use it. But on the same note, I love DX on an HF rig and will never NOT use that either..

Posted by N8CNJ on February 19, 2002

iLINK
It is not the same as having your signal go from your QTH through the ether and picked up by someones antenna at the other end.

Posted by N1TKS on February 19, 2002

IRLP is linking in more ways then one !
Hello All,

IRLP is a form of linking, plain and simple, but it is linking more than the average person thinks.

IRLP can only be accessed via Amateur Radio, you can NOT just use a computer.

IRLP is more than just linking remote bases and repeaters, it is linking Amateur Radio and the Internet. It is also linking those that have lesser class licenes and those that do not have Amateur Radio licenses at all with the future of Amateur Radio. It is linking the imagination of todays youth to an interest in Amateur Radio which is and has always been the future of Amateur Radio.

The future of the Amateur Radio Service is the continued acceptance of new technologies and techniques. However, just as all advancements that have come along before, there are those that are quick to state "THIS IS NOT AMATEUR RADIO". Well not only is IRLP Amateur Radio in my opinion, it is what Wireless was to Amateur Radio in the beginnning. We have heard all of this before, Satellites and Repeaters were not amateur radio when they came along
and the transitions from Spark to CW, CW to AM, AM to SSB, RTTY to PSK31 all seem to split the ranks for awhile.

However, my outlook (licensed over 20 years and hold an Extra Class ticket) is always to embrace what is new and innovative, as I am past 40 years of age my outlook can NOT be attributed to youth either. Suppose Wireless (back then) was suppressed by those that controlled land line telegraphy, if that were the case we would not have the Wireless revolution today, let alone Amateur Radio.

The future of Amateur Radio depends on the influx of new blood into the ranks as
always and IRLP is helping as it bridges the gap between the old (Radio) and the
new (Internet) and captures the imagination of today's youth the way Wireless did
with yesterdays youth.

There are so many young Amateurs on VHF/UHF that have NOT had any taste of what HF
is all about, hearing long distance contacts via an IRLP reflector sparks their interest in HF. When I was a kid we had a great big old wooden cabinet broadcast radio that covered the ham bands, thats how I got hooked, today the VHF/UHF scanner has replaced the HF receiver and so many people not yet even licensed that have listened to IRLP with scanners that do not have HF receivers that are now bitten by the hobby and not just to get on IRLP but to get on HF.
I have heard many new Amateurs on IRLP state that they have either pursued or upgrades their licenses due to IRLP inspiring them.

Embrace IRLP and whatever comes next, the Amateur Radio Service depends on it.

Sincerely,

/s/ Steve Hajducek, N2CKH
IRLP Node 404, 53.430 Lakewood, NJ FN20vb
http://www.qsl.net/n2ckh

Posted by N2CKH on February 19, 2002

ham band cell phone
this is just a cell phone operating on ham bands. think about it people

Posted by AF5II on February 19, 2002

boring...
New technology, but not very much of a challenge. I'm not interrested...

New digital techniques for point to point live RADIO contact are what keeps me in this hobby.

Posted by NB6Z on February 19, 2002

ilink stink
Sort of kills the "incentive licensing" program eh? I hate to think what Istink and the irlp nodes are going to be like in a year's time. The post about the WACP award has my vote if we can get endorsements for multiple calls off diff. cell towers. The internet relay as "secure"? Hi Hi Entering a valid call during log on is all thats done to keep bootleggers out. Internet voice chat is nothing new, been around for years. Can I randomly call 100 people on Netmeeting and get an award for that too? with video endorsements? I got the Istink program and tried it out, talked to one person, said he needed my grid and wanted qsl. Terminated program instantly. No wonder arrl wont accept e-qsls- I dont blame them.
ugh, im still laughing.

Posted by KM5QF on February 19, 2002

iLink/IRLP
What is "antenna restricted"? Does it mean someone cannot put up a 70ft tower? Then I am antenna restricted. I've put screwdriver ant on my balcony and working Europe and Australia on 10 meters PSK...
See you on the air, de Dmitri KG6EFU

Posted by KG6EFU on February 19, 2002

iLink/IRLP
Shot in the arm - universal panacea - saving grace? Probably not. But it's great fun to make international contacts with simple handheld equipment. It won't replace DXing on HF or VHF for me, but it sure is fun to make contacts across the world on the local repeater. And if it captures newcomers imaginations to working DX, then it can't be a bad thing. So for me, in the overall 'scheme' of ham radio - it's another interesting facet to the hobby.

Posted by G4VXE on February 19, 2002

I disagree with Gerry. You say ""New Generation" Hams too lazy to take the time to learn Morse Code and get on HF" Very wrong you are. Allot of the users are general class and above. I myself work allot of HF DX and run a I link gateway here too. I love both. I have 13 wpm general before the 5wpm (easy lisc). I have about 10 HF antennas up here at my qth. ALL the internet linking is , is another aspect of ham radio. You people need to explore new ways to communicate. Like the up and comming Digital Voice too. ITs about advancement or the hobby to not ripping down what someone else enjoys.

Posted by W9JCM on February 19, 2002

RF DX is still more Fun
IRLP is ok for those "New Generation" Hams too lazy to take the time to learn Morse Code and get on HF. The real thrill is to work DX over many miles using antennas as your connection to the other part of the world. When the Internet goes down you still have your connection to the world. I fairly recently got on PSK 31 and it's really great experience to chat to someone without an internet connection. I have only used IRLP a few times when I was out for a walk with my Handie. In closing I still suggest to pick up your 5 WPM morse code so you can enjoy real Ham Radio on HF.
73 Gerry

Posted by VE7BGP on February 19, 2002

That's it
It's the magic. N0AX hit the nail on the head. That's the allure of radio. HF, DX, the ionosphere, sitting up late on a cold
winder night listening for weak signals far away - the magic of radio.

Posted by N8AUC on February 19, 2002

yawn....
wake me when it's over.

Posted by KB1GYQ on February 19, 2002

ILINK/IRLP
I think that it is fine, as far as giving people a taste of HF, BUT, not a replacement for the real thing. Maybe it will give some the urge to upgrade.
For emergency stuff, I think that it would be almost useless.

Posted by N6OFY on February 19, 2002

IRLP NO< ILINK YES
I choose I link over IRLP. Reasons for one Linux is a pain in the ass. OH but it open code they say ya ya.. 80 Percent of you guys that say that can't write a program to make a stick man walk across the screen! 2) There is a user software IRLP doesnt let you access via your own computer with no RF equipment,3)Dont let um fool ya I link is secure and you need to be validated to use it, 4) Have you ever heard the Denver Reflector on IRLP? Enuff said.

I dont think it will ever replace SSB not for me no way. I love HFing. Buts its just another aspect of the hobby. Its fun too. Thats what its supposed to be about.

Posted by W9JCM on February 19, 2002

Have fun
As others pointed out it isn’t radio from end to end, and as such it doesn’t excite me much. My definition of “radio” is my own equipment sitting in my own shack (or under my direct/total control remotely) talking directly to another ham in his/her shack using their own equipment on the other end. I’ll expand that definition some to include satellites/repeaters based on the premise that they are generally designed, built, and maintained exclusively for amateur radio use, by hams. I don’t however put any restrictions of any kind as to the amount of computer or other technology used in my shack to communicate by “radio”. That said this kind of linking via the Internet is worthwhile for a couple of reasons. If it helps to expand amateur radio participation in general it is good. It would also have tremendous value for certain kinds of net operations as well. As for emergency communication though its value will be very limited; simply because it depends on the very same infrastructure that ham radio is presumably intended to provide emergency back up for. The whole concept needs to be fully understood for what it is, nothing more nothing less, and then apply it sensibly within the FCC rules. Most importantly have fun.

Posted by N9DG on February 18, 2002

ILink
What's the big deal? If it ain't Ham Radio, it ain't Ham Radio, so what? It's all about communications, whatever it is, and there are some times I can happily pull up ILink and enjoy myself tremendously. I don't care that it isn't my Omni V or my 920 Yaesu. If I want to use 'em, I'll fire 'em up. I don't understand why so many people feel threatened by stuff like this. It ain't no big deal. The thing I do like is that I can get on ILink and KNOW that folks will act like human beings, not idiots, and I know that they will act like they've been in front of a microphone before. Some of you need to learn how to be serious without taking yourself too darn seriously. Believe it or not, this old world spins just fine without you, not to mention your antiquated and utterly selfish attitudes.

Posted by N5XM on February 18, 2002

Wont replace SSB but still fun
I have only made 2 QSOs using it but is an interesting low maintenance concept for DXing
while on 2m FM mobile or handheld setups. Seems like a lot of true DX codes I have are
rarely connected though. But a great way for 2m Techs to extras like me to do worldwide QSOs
under certain conditions.
It will NOT replace SSB or the thrill of propagation, anymore than golf simulators or fishing games
replace the sport. What a thrill to make a new country contact or ones first psk31 WAC. Or even a
first SSTV contact like a 35 yrs in the hobby guy like me did Saturday. All that is fun just
like ILINK but none will replace the other for uniqueness of the mode and moment.
Dave K0VH Rochester MN (our ilink is on 146.625/025, backup rptr)

Posted by K0VH on February 18, 2002

Fun, but not a saviour
Years ago, when I was a VHF only call in the west of Ireland, tropo ducting would occasionally see Spanish ops accessing the local 2m repeater. This pseudo (from our end) DX was great fun. IRLP / iLink is fun in the same sort of way. But if you still restrict yourself to the local repeater, you risk getting bored with it.

As for whether it will revive the hobby, try a vox pop in your local shopping mall. "Q: why aren't you into Amateur Radio? Is it a) too difficult technically, b) the Morse requirement, c) the expense, d) etc". Nearly all the responses will be of the form "Huh? what's Amateur Radio?" If you want to give the hobby a shot in the arm, this is the issue you need to address - most people don't know that Amateur Radio even (or still) exists.

Meanwhile the linking via the internet is an enjoyable part - had a very nice chat with an John EI6AK from the old country.

Posted by VK2SKY on February 18, 2002

iLINK/IRLP
I have to admit that the concept is cool. I have used it and it is fun. I have used it to link repeaters to keep in touch with a family member who was on a trip over 500 miles away from me. It was VERY useful in that respect.
It was bound to happen. It is a techno-computer-radio geek's dream. I wish I had thought of it.
For me it will NEVER replace SSB. I say this now, but in reality what is the world of radio going to be like when the fully digital phone radios come into being. SSB may be pushed aside just like SSB displaced AM. Everything changes and very few things stay the same.
Some folks complain that it is just another excuse for people not to leard code. Maybe, but I am not going to go into that. It will remain a novelity for some, a tool for others, and a terrible thing to a small group. ( I can remember my brother-in-law complaining about how SSB ruined ham radio. There were probaly folks who were holding out for spark-gap as well. )
The times, they are a'changin'

Posted by W6EZ on February 18, 2002

ILink
What's the big deal? If it ain't Ham Radio, it ain't Ham Radio, so what? It's all about communications, whatever it is, and there are some times I can happily pull up ILink and enjoy myself tremendously. I don't care that it isn't my Omni V or my 920 Yaesu. If I want to use 'em, I'll fire 'em up. I don't understand why so many people feel threatened by stuff like this. It ain't no big deal. The thing I do like is that I can get on ILink and KNOW that folks will act like human beings, not idiots, and I know that they will act like they've been in front of a microphone before. Some of you need to learn how to be serious without taking yourself too darn seriously. Believe it or not, this old world spins just fine without you, not to mention your antiquated and utterly selfish attitudes.

Posted by N5XM on February 18, 2002

ILINK/IRLP
I have to agree with some of the other posts in where is the
challenge? I look forward to the days, hours and sometimes
minutes when 6 meters opens up. Out here in the midwest,
we don't normally hear Greenland or Costa Rica on a daily
basis. To me, that's the fun/challenge part of Amateur
Radio of getting those rare contacts.

Posted by KB9YUR on February 18, 2002

iLINK/IRLP
In 2 of the posts, iLINK/IRLP was referred to as a mode. It is not a mode. It is a means of linking repeaters. The mode which is used is FM. I voted "No" in this survey. Linking repeaters can hardly be compared to SSB. SSB is a mode. This, as I stated above is not. It is just FM repeater work. Personally, I don't see how one can get a kick out of having a QSO with Austrsalia on a repeater with an HT. there's no propagation. I would think it would be more rewarding making a distant contact with that HT using Tropospheric Ducting, rather than using the assistance of the Internet to QSO with Australia. If iLINK/IRLP does really take off, it will be a fad that won't last too long.

Posted by KF4BOT on February 18, 2002

IRLP Rocks.
You bunch of sour-pusses have missed the point. It is not DX. It's just another way to tie in to a distant repeater. We all thought that was pretty cool, right? Several of my ham-buddies have set up IRLP nodes, and found it to be a lot of fun. It gets us in to areas where it would have been difficult to tie repeaters together. I have personaly seen IRLP spark new interest in local repeater owners, who now have something beside a ho-hum talking repeater. We are now regularly talking to old radio buddies who have moved away, and unless we land-lined them, rarely got to chat. IRLP has opened up some new doors, and maybe some of you will see the light on this. It certainly isn't "DX" to talk to Chris the firefighter at McMurdo Station in Antarctica, but it's pretty damn cool, isn't it??..... 73 8-)

Posted by N6MAI on February 18, 2002

No Special Equip Needed
For those folks who haven't tried the HF bands and have not made an investment in "radios" as of yet, I believe IRLP can present some food for thought. Maybe even a geewhiz or two for new hams. It's important for our hobby to grow to retain our freq. previldges (use it or lose it) and adding to our ranks for folks awed by long distance VHF QSO's can be a positive at best or at best be a neutral.

Posted by K9FTB on February 18, 2002

iLink is just like every other "mode" ofour hobby. If you like it, use it. If you don't like it keep your piehole shut and let those that like to use it.

Posted by N1YLN on February 18, 2002

I like ilink
What's wrong with combining the different modes of voice? Where would we be without advancement? I grew up thinking HAMS were snobs. All your negative views still make me think that you are snobs. Let's get out of the caves of pounding on stones and join the current population.

Posted by WL7BAL on February 18, 2002

No, no, no
Ilink is just voice over the internet. Which was a big kick a few years ago, but now, with all the multimedia sites out there, is no big deal. So what if you connect a ham radio to it. Yeah, it's sort of a kick, but the point is it's not RADIO, and it really isn't all that interesting.

What's also interesting here is that even with 3 "yes-type" answers, and only 2 "no-type" answers, the survey is still just about 60/40 against it.

Posted by AC0X on February 18, 2002

ILink is not radio
As I have said before on QRZ.COM ILink is not radio and is dangerous to the hobby. I was berated for many of my negative comments which were very similar to ones posted on this site. However, with all that, I do see some redeeming value in the use of ILink.

1) A gathering place for hams or clubs that eventually move to an agreed upon frequency.
2) A discussion board for ham relateed technical or amateur related matters.
3) A link to the outside world for handicapped hams.

Other than that, I agree with most of the postings. I use ILink for one purpose and that is to avoid phone charges by a ham friend who lets me know when he is getting on the air. I still believe this mode and similar modes will be detrimental to ham radio by convincing young hams that a rig is no longer required and there is no need to upgrade because the "DX" (I use that term loosely) is on the internet.

Posted by K2WH on February 18, 2002

Glad I wasn't alone...
...in not knowing anything about this.

Where can we go to research and educate ourselves on this?

Posted by WA9PIE on February 18, 2002

Thrilling Contacts
I have an even better idea. Dial the "Operator" on your telephone and ask to be randomly connected with another line. You don't need a license or an HT for this. It could be a fad that will sweep the nation (even the world), and replace ham, CB, FRS, children's walkie talkies, and even yelling out the window.

Posted by TOMAHAWK1 on February 18, 2002

If It Has Magic
I don't care what people use their radios for or how the communications is accomplished, as long as they find a path to the essential magic of the hobby.

The phone system and the internet attempt to make communications as reliable as possible - that's their whole point. Not much magic there. But if making an HT-repeater-internet QSO gets somebody excited, then more power to them and to the technology. They will eventually discover magic in other parts of the hobby and expand their scope. It might be DXing, it might be moonbounce, it might be some odd hybrid that nobody has thought of yet.

The magic of Radio lies somewhere in the notion that there is still variability and chance in the interactions with the Real World out there. The ionosphere may or may not be reflecting, there might be an odd tropospheric opening, you might stumble across an unexpected QSO.

If adding a little technology to a repeater makes it cool for someone to chat to a place far away in an unexpected way, terrific. The proper response to that enthusiasm is not, "So what," but, "That's cool - how would you like to try it directly?"

It's about the magic, guys. We need to be more enthusiastic about the magic and take a less parochial view of the hobby.

73, Ward N0AX

Posted by N0AX on February 18, 2002

i (don't) Link
Yawn . . . snore

Posted by K4IA on February 18, 2002

It's not the same thing...
ILINK - An interesting thing to play with - but it isn't radio. You could do the same thing with a telephone. Hey maybe a new award. WAAC - worked all area codes. No QSLs needed, and the phone company keeps your log for you. What a deal!!! For the DX enthusiast you could have WACC - Worked All Country Codes. Gee you don't even need a license. And forget about public service and emergency communications - because this relies on existing public utility style infrastructure - if it goes away you do too. If this is where we are headed, I'm going back to being an SWL.

Posted by N8AUC on February 18, 2002

Why Again
Maybe ok for antenna restricted hams who wish to qso other licensed hams but as many have mentioned it is a bit like Net2Phone and the internet sites that promise "free" long distance by connecting through their portal and talking with your microphone equipped PC.

Eventually the same thing will be accomplished via wireless PDAs through either Sat or Cell networks;
and you will not ned a ham license....just pay the applicable fees.

This is not radio in the way many of us think about radio. On the other hand maybe there are increasing numbers of amateurs who do not think about radio the way I do.... in which case ILINK might be the best thing since 2 meter FM

Posted by W3GEO on February 18, 2002

What is this?
Is this Digital voice that has been written up lately? The title needs to be explained
for those of us who don't know all the latest names. I still get lost in PSK31, MMTTYY and all the new names and the bickering among users of each.

Dave K4JRB

Posted by JohnThompsonExK4LY on February 18, 2002

WACP
Can we establish a Worked All Cell Phones award, with endorsements for PCS, etc? Or maybe WAWS (Worked All Web Sites) for people with speedy connections and overactive browsers...

WB2WIK/6

Posted by WB2WIK on February 18, 2002

Amazing...
People will hook up almost anything to
a ham rig today, maybe somebody will
actually hook up an antenna to one?
It just kills me. Several friends of mine
get on the air screaming (literally)
that they just "worked" Australia on
Two meters. I usually congratulate them
on their wonderfull 40 mile contact.

They ask me if I'm nuts...Australia
is many THOUSANDS of miles away.
My reply is usually this.....
Let's see, you are twenty miles away from a
two meter repeater in NYC, talking to an
Australian twenty miles away from his
local repeater, correct?

The two repeaters are connected via the
internet, correct?

Ok, so you are really only talking about
forty miles or so on-the-air to another
ham on two meters aren't you?

I always get the "yeah but, you don't
understand" reply out of them.

So, I always counter with this beauty:
Ok, same two guys, except not with ham
radio, just cordless phones at home.

Do you jump and down screaming I just
worked Australia on my cordless phone?

Now, I'm the silly one, huh?
Let's all go to I-Link or IRLP
and see if we have any frequencies
left in a few years.

Use it or lose it...frequencies that is.

Best 73,Dennis

Posted by KB2VUQ on February 18, 2002

Computers Vs Radio
Computers have become a hobby, but MY primary hobby is radio, Amateur radio.

PC's are an appliance to me, nothing more. I enjoy the challenge of putting a signal on the air that can be recieved thousands of miles away by a brother(or sister) ham.

The I-link sems to be nothing more than an open-ended cell phone. Where's the challenge?

Gary WG7X

Posted by WG7X on February 18, 2002

What?
What is Ilink?

Posted by KC9AZL on February 18, 2002

No
Irlp is another what I call "mode". It will not bring thousands of new people to Ham radio. It does give others to use their handie talkie to speak to others around the world, however One can do the same thing with net2phone or nettalk.

Posted by AC7KZ on February 18, 2002

No
I can see internet providers using this in some form. I can see some of our people experimenting with it and some using it on a regular basis. But it won't replace RF point to point contact. How can you beat wireless point to point contact. No lines, poles, switchers, servers, etc. Wireless communication compared to hardware communication is like comparing the jet engine to a reciprocating engine. Fewer moving parts to break down.

Posted by KG6AMW on February 18, 2002

WHY?
What will the attraction be? Will Internet users sitting at their computers be somehow charmed by the fact that the 'Net is not carrying their voice the entire way, but it's going part way by RF? Are they charmed by the fact that the 'Net uses state-of-the-art routers and fiber optic equipment?

Net2Phone and other services already allow users to talk to each other over the Internet, and they don't have to queue up to access some ham's repeater or HF gateway.

If I'm missing something here, please post and explain. Thanks in advance.

Posted by K3AN on February 18, 2002

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