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Bob Magraw (K0CBA) on April 5, 2003
View comments about this article!

I've had my ticket 43 years now and in the last two years or so the shine has gone off the apple but I am eternally curious. I kept hearing about EchoLink and had even heard it being used on a repeater. Hmm… Something new to piddle with.

After downloading the latest version and getting registered, I was connecting and up and running. It's pretty intuitive and I was impressed at how well it works despite my pathetic phone lines and anemic connect speeds. The audio quality is good and your audio stream doesn't fall into the "bit bucket" very much. Over driving the mic will cut you to ribbons but more on that later.

Here are a few observations and comments;

The screen shows the call signs of people currently on EchoLink. The first group is identified by an icon that indicates a repeater or link system. Also listed is location, sysop and whatever else information he/she entered. After the repeater list comes the individuals' list, which has a different icon. Connect requests go directly to the listee and he receives an audible signal. There is a number after the info column. I am not sure what it is. At first I suspected it may be the number of current users although I don't recall ever seeing more than "2" listed even though upon connecting I saw 4 and 5 people already connected.

It would be nice to be able to "lurk and learn" but as soon as you connect to a system, group or an individual, it announces your presence. On repeaters it's a voice announcement it lists you on the side of the screens of those using on line connections. I can understand why it's set up like that but it would be nice to 'read the mail' and see what procedures are being used or just plain old read the mail while maintaining a low to no profile. I think this would be a good thing to have especially dropping in on another countries system. After you connect and are announced, it's a poor time to find out you can't communicate in their language and I don't feel they should have to change for the new guy.

As I mentioned, the transmit audio is very good, albeit different than what one is used to on the radio. Why? Well, mostly because radio mics are normally pretty noise canceling and are optimized to work at an inch or two from the mouth. Computer mics are more likely to be used at desktop distance, like a studio mic. There is an audio level indicator bar near the bottom of the screen so you should keep a close watch on the audio level otherwise you may end up sounding like some of those stations on 20 and 75 that have the mic by their feet with the mic gain and compression controls set against the pin.

(We've all heard them -- constant background noise from their chairs groaning from the load, leather belts straining to the breaking point, last night's super-duper deluxe pizza as it works its way thru the digestive system and of course, the obligatory amplifier fan all working in concert to keep their signal at 30db over S-9 and when they speak the signal may go up to 32db over S-9! You can turn your AGC as fast as it will go but the needle never drops!) OK -- grumbling close to over.

I have used it once or twice from St. Louis to a repeater in Las Vegas to talk with K0FF when he was mobiling around on 2 meters in the warmth and sun while I was "enjoying" copious amounts of snow. Another friend, W8CBA in Cleveland, has used it a few times to connect to one of my local repeaters and I was able to chat with him using 2 meters from my car. In all instances, it worked well and my kudos to K1RFD Jonathon, the software designer.

I have had more experience using the direct connects. Now there is where the system really shines. Radio procedure, signing with calls, etc., seems to be the SOP. I can't really understand why, but I guess it is as good of a way to handle exchanges as anything. Repeater or direct connection, there is a little audio delay. I assume it varies with your connect speed but I've never had a decent connect speed for comparison.

My closing thoughts…

It is a slick system that allows hams of any class to communicate with other hams world wide giving the impression and perhaps the thrill of DX.

It allows communication to distant repeaters where you may have a friend that is not within V/UHF range.

It is perhaps the only chance hams suffering under damned antenna restrictions may have to play radio. (I do not buy into the "cost of a radio" argument because if you can afford a computer and an Internet connection, you can jolly well afford some bare bones rig).

I would recommend strongly that you set the parameters to "momentary" transmit from the default "tap on/tap off". Invariably, someone will overlook the second "tap" and the others get to sit there listening to squawking about why no one is coming back. Is there a phone op in hamdom that has never forgotten to roll the rock off the PTT ??

And now, entering a cage filled with starving lions to announce that the `fridge is empty -- Yeah but -- Is it ham radio???"

After much meditation and seeking wisdom from the inner weasel we all have, I feel safe with saying, if it is to you; 'coitenly' it is. If you feel it isn't, then it is not. Before you start pacing in your play pen and shaking to type hate and discontent filled replies, REMEMBER, either way I agree with you 100%; always have and always will.

Opinions are like, like, -- well you know; every one has one and here's mine. When connecting to a repeater and chatting with someone who is using a radio, I think it is; or at least pretty darned close.

When using direct connects I have tried to apply as liberal of a definition of "ham", "radio" and "ham radio" as I could come up with and I just can't massage them enough to encompass this form of communication. Even playing ham radio by using call signs and 'over' and my favorite -- phonetics when it's being displayed on the screen just doesn't fit. MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger or ICQ does the same thing.

When a couple of hams are all on their computers connected to a repeater somewhere where no one local to the repeater is using a radio or even there period, then no, in fact, hell no! All they are doing is 'broadcasting' to local hams that may be monitoring the machine and wondering why the heck they are there in the first place.

It is an enjoyable supplement to and a facet of ham radio to be sure so give it a play.

Member Comments:
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by KC0LKV on March 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I heard about echolink few months ago, but only last week download the application and to my surprise I realized that is not any different then Yahoo chat rooms or msn chats or any other IM software that is available on the net.

Eholink IS NOT HAM RADIO, is a chat software application with voice, like yahoo or msn.
There are thousands of members on yahoo ham radio groups and chatrooms, and you can voice there also.

Echolink downgrade this wonderfull hobby.

Its a shame that many hams really believe that this is the new generation of Ham Radio.

I unistalled the application because to me echolink is not hamradio!

If you must "CHAT" download Yahoo messenger!

RE: EchoLink  
by KG4LMU on March 29, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Well I disagree is some aspects of the echolink software it is not "ham radio" However in 3/4 of the software the audio goes through a link or repeater and in this case is "Real Ham Radio" Anyway you look at it. Simplex link or repeater the audio is Rf. So for it not to be treated as ham radio is a misjuctice to ham radio in general. It is good though that the gentleman that didnt beleive in the software unloaded the software and discontinued using it. Some people dont agree with it fine, that just leave's the contacts that really want to be there. I have been using echolink for over a year now and still havent lost any interest with upgrades becomming a link here in michigan. I never expected over that time to see close to 100'000 user's. Its complete and awesome new mode and opens a new door in the ham radio coomunity,in my humble opinion.
by KD7KOY on April 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I'd try Echolink except my dog ate my microphone..: P
by ZS1DX on April 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I really don’t understand how some of my fellow Ham friends can view EchoLink as part of Amateur Radio.

My Oxford dictionary defines "Radio" as: "The transmission and reception of radio waves." And "Radio Wave" is defined as: "An electromagnetic wave of radio frequency."

“But I’m using my RADIO when I work DX through EchoLink!”, I hear some of you scream.

The transceivers used in Echolink QSO’s are nothing but appliances plugged into the Internet.

Do some hams have fun with EchoLink? Yes. And are they making new friends in faraway places? Yes.

But it isn’t radio.
RE: EchoLink  
by AA8RF on April 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
It looks interesting. Are there many stations providing a HF link in to/out of the system? I wonder if it could be used to hit a home radio from some other PC on the internet and then go from the home radio onto the air (a bit like a remote base).

by VE6BGM on April 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I became an Amateur Radio Operator because I wanted to use RADIO EQUIPMENT [RF], and not talk computer to computer. I can do that without being an Amateur Radio Operator. I can become an Amateur Computer operator anytime. IF WE DON'T USE OUR BANDS WE WON'T HAVE THEM VERY LONG! [I guess then I will get into Amateur Computer]. Computer to Computer doesn't keep our bands alive. It is great that Echolink can be hooked to some RF, but if the MAJORITY are talking computer to computer, DON'T CALL IT AMATEUR RADIO!
RE: EchoLink  
by K9KJM on April 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Echolink can be either a "hybrid" ham radio mode,
or nothing more than another chat room that only
allows hams.
I have used Echolink to talk from my shirt pocket
RF radio, Thru a local UHF repeater, Then out over
Echolink Thru the local CATV company RF fiber optic
line, To a satellite link to Australia, To another
RF link, To a two meter repeater, And talked with
a ham there who was mobil, on his two meter radio.
Both that ham and myself figure that the path was far more RF than "twisted pair" phone lines.
Echolink is great for "on the fly" linking of VHF or
UHF repeaters, Or even "Link" stations.
OR it can also be nothing more than two hams sitting
at computers talking like in a "chat room" to each
other via the twisted pair phone lines......
Those who knock Echolink appear to know very little
about the actual operation of Echolink, Or what it is
really capable of.
The arguments seem very similar to those O.F. who also
knocked AM and said it would never replace the spark
gap, Those who knocked SSB and said it would never
be "real ham radio" like AM....... Those who wish to
live in the past and are afraid of the future.
I also remember a similar "uprising" in the early
70's when the two meter repeater craze took off.
Lots of O.F.'s were very fearful that the "new"
VHF repeaters were going to steal some of the thunder
from the HF operatons.......
Life is too short! ENJOY Echolink for what it is,
just another tool in the ham operators arsenal of
modes to enjoy!
by G7HEU on April 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
No, IMI it's not real radio but where's the harm?

For guys like me ( VHF only ) there's quite a thrill in saying hello to someone across the Atlantic.

Contacting people in other countries is what attracts many of us in to ham radio so any mechanism to encourage that can only stimulate interest in the 'real' thing.

Once I've got my morse ticket I don't imagine I'll use anything but my HF rig to communicate. Having said that I'm still waiting for complaints from the neighbours / authorities since I put up my G5RV the other week. If it has to come down then echo-link and
E-qso might have to be my 'rig'.


by JJ1BDX on April 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
The metaphor of simplex press-to-talk switch on EchoLink (and eQSO) does not cause annoying feedback which often blocks the entire conversation on NetMeeting or a duplex VoIP software. I think this is an advantage rather than a shortage. In the real-world VoIP duplex phone system, the latency issue is the hardest one to solve. Making the whole system simplex is a very effective workaround.

Also many ham radio ops know how to talk on an unstable link - unfortunately Internet *IS* unstable, so talking with ham radio ops is more comfortable than talking with non-experienced ordinary person.

If you don't like EchoLink, you have the right to refuse. But remember you don't have the right to block setting up an EchoLink-controlled TRX, since all amateurs have equal rights on the frequency channels.

I've already been bashed a lot on the VoIP issues in, so I won't go further.
73 de Joe JJ1BDX/3 es K1BDX

by N0JZQ on April 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!

If it gives somebody something to do and it's fun what's the problem. It is a good place for new hams to get in touch with other hams and get the advice they need.

Do we want our young prospective hams to be sitting around watching some guy name Snoopy Dog Dog sell videos called Girls Gone Bad or something like that?

This just might spark an interest and get them onto the air!
RE: EchoLink  
by N8UZE on April 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I tried EchoLink and personally don't find it exciting but that's just me.

The difference between EchoLink and internet chat rooms is that you can talk to stations that are mobile or portable going through their locally linked repeater. You are not limited to computer to computer connections.

by KG4OOA on April 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
When is ARRL going to issue DXCC or WAS on Echo Link? What the time going to two hours or less. Get in line and get your 59. This is a bunch of crap. My license says Amateur Radio not Amateur Internet License. But who am I to expect anyone to want to work for their awards, etc. these days.

If you can't work DX because you are stuck on VHF you have two choices. Find a way to make the contact (the're still working on making a two meter transatlantic contact) or upgrade your license. Oh by the way, six and ten meters are available.

I have antenna restrictions and still work DX, so that's not an excuse either. You just have to get creative and inovative.

Why did you bother to get a license at all! I've used Netmeeting and it ain't the greatest but look at the DX you can work (no play) and the fasinating characters you can meet with no CW and no test and no license.

If it isn't done 100% radio it isn't ham radio!

That's my opinion and my two cents worth.
by KG4UOQ on April 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I kind of chuckle at the "is it ham radio or is it not" debate. I mean, it doesn't matter to me. But out of curiousity, let me pose some questions. Think though your answers and let me know what you think (like there was some danger you wouldn't HIHI).

1) Is FM simplex ham radio?
2) Is FM repeater use ham radio?
3) Is FM repeater use through a linked repeater system ham radio?
4) As (3) above, but take out the FM voice link and make the link a digital voice mode, like CVSD or MP3-over-AX.25-packet?
5) OK, is it ham radio if someone in LA uses the phone patch on a repeater to call a 1-800 teleconferencing service, and someone in NYC uses the autopatch to call the same conference at the same conferencing service? NYC to LA on 2M using 1950s ham-level technology.
6) Question (5), revisted, with the knowledge that analog trunks went away a long time ago and that the voice to and from the teleconferencing company is almost certainly being carried via SONET, a digital mode over fiber, and in fact most teleconferencing services don't decode the incoming T1s to analog so the audio doesn't degrade (as much) as more people join.
7) Question (3), above, where the link system is packetized voice carried over RF, such as 802.11, either part 15 or part 97 operation, and the underlying transport protocol is TCP (or UDP) over IP.
8) FM repeater operation, but where you stand at the repeater with a mic and a pair earphones and you connect directly to the RX and TX at the repeater site.
9) Echolink connected to a repeater?
10) Echolink connected to a link radio?
11) Echolink without being connected to a repeater or link radio on either end?

My answers? I'll submit that the first ten are subject to part 97 rules, therefore the first ten are ham radio by definition.

I'll further submit that echolink *IS* the result of implementing question 6.

No one says you couldn't, THEORETICALLY, build a really, really big, fast packet system (think microwaves... this was a backbone technology of the public switched telephone network in the seventies), use TCP/IP as the network on the packet system, and build a echolink-like service on top of it. That would clearly be part 97 regulated throughout, hence would be ham radio.

I mean, radio controlled toy cars don't look like ham radio, but they're up there on 6 meters, they're part 97 regulated, and they're even in the technician study guides.

Every award I can think of (except some Skywarn certificate for working stations at NOAA offices during some awareness weekend or something like that) explicitly disallows repeater contacts (except sometimes they allow satellites) so this really doesn't change anything on the awards front, does it?

Proposed experiment: do something illegal on echolink connected to a repeater or link radio, then explain to Riley that it wasn't ham radio, it was echolink. If that defence works, then we'll know that echolink isn't ham radio.

Just curious... doesn't matter to me. Sometimes I ask silly questions just to see how people will respond.

RE: EchoLink  
by W8DPC on April 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
This point has already been made, but whether or not Echolink is amateur radio depends on how you use it. In my opinion, if you are talking computer to computer, then sure, it is just like a chat program. I do agree with that. But if I get on Echolink, link into a repeater across the country, or on another continent for that matter, and talk to someone who is using ham gear to get into the repeater, then that is amateur radio. Sure, I am talking into a microphone on my desk (hmm, that's what I do with my tranceiver, too) that goes into my computer, but my voice is going out over the remote repeater, using RF, to get to other hams.

So, although I'm using my computer on my end, I'm still using RF to talk to others, still have to follow FCC regulations, and still have to follow all the rules of amateur radio because I am actively using ham bands. I'm just using the repeater remotely. That still sounds like amateur radio to me.
RE: EchoLink  
by G7HEU on April 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Attn KG4OOA:

Calm down a bit.

by K8UPA on April 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I've a question for those who say echolink is not ham radio. If I am monitoring my ht out my camp in the middle of nowhere and someone comes on who is connected to echolink and we have a qso, does that mean even though I used a 2 meter ht, in the woods, I wasn't using ham radio?
RE: EchoLink  
by N4GI on April 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
There's a huge difference between new HAM RADIO technology and new INTERNET technology, and unfortunately some are being fooled here.... Plugging a two-dollar plastic microphone into your PC ain't ham radio. It's internet chat with a microphone.

There are tons of ways to put a real antenna up, even with CCR's. IMO that's just a lame excuse for not trying. Feel free to e-mail me for help as I've been there.

Question: If a disaster happens, and your phone line/ISP goes kaput, how are you going to relay emergency traffic on Echolink?

Answer: You're not. Don't worry, though... real RADIO OPERATORS will.

And, BTW, it's Snoop-Dog, not Snoopy-Dog.....

Blake N4GI
RE: EchoLink  
by W5HTW on April 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Nah, it's Snoopy Dog. Friend of Charlie Brown and Lucy. I don't know any "Snoop-Dog."

You mean people are really using phonetics where they aren't required?!! Wow! Like on two meters, where every exchange is KILO GOLF FOURTEEN HAMBURGER PATTY BURNED THIS IS WHISKEY PATTY SIXTY FOUR OVER BIG OCEAN GO AHEAD QSL?

Someone forget to tell these folks (and those of similar ilk on HF) that phonetics are a way of clarifying a call sign. Once I've figured your call out, you don't have to keep beating my ears up with thirty seconds of phonetics every time you get ready to sasy "over over".

I agree - if you can't log on and just listen, then you have lost some control. Too Much control. Way too much. I can turn my ham radio receiver on and just listen and no-one knows I'm listening. You mean if I log onto Echolink to listen, I can't do that? Come on, now, that's an invasion of my privacy. What if I just want to listen? Poor feature, folks.

Is it radio? Well, not to me. It's "hinternet." (Thanks, ARRL. I keep wondering why I renew.) I suppose it's the best some folks can do, but I don't think that's because of antenna restrictions or money. More likely has something to do with the learning curve. Today's youth grow up knowing about TCIP, routers, chat rooms, from the time they're in kindergarten, so it's an easy move to another computer communications system. But give 'em a radio and you get blank stares. "Didn't radio die with my great grandfather?"

Does Echolink serve a purpose? Yes, actually, it does. Keeps the HF bands less crowded, for one thing. I've found that the repeaters I hear that are doing Echolink or other linking things are the ones I have blocked out of my radio. So I have less channels to scan. Makes the scan go faster. Probably has some other uses, too, and maybe I'll run across them one of these days.

by 4X1DA on April 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
As an eleven-year-old boy, I first became fascinated with wireless communications when I saw a film called “The Anderson Tapes” (1971) about professional thieves who manage to pull off an almost perfect heist on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The hero of the film who foils the robbery is a handicapped boy (played by Christopher Walken). He manages to contact the police on his Amateur Radio station after the thieves cut off all telephone line communications.
Not long afterwards, but long before the introduction of cellular phones, a local ham demonstrated the ‘auto-patch’ feature of the local repeater on his crystal controlled 6-channel Motorola HT-220 Slim-Line. I was hooked. More than a quarter century later, the magic of wireless communications continues to fascinate me even now that I understand quite well how it works.
With little left in the technology arsenal of Amateur Radio to inspire teenagers who have broadband internet connections and cellular phones with built-in video cameras, Interlinking programs like Echolink and eQSO is a welcome innovation that could not have come along at a better time.
In the future, if we are to be seen by youngsters as heroes and technical wizards than we will need to inspire them with technology and applications of technology that they’ve never come across. Only then will they be attracted to our hobby and if we are lucky, they might even pursue a career in engineering.
I admire and commend the folks who wrote the Echolink (and eQSO) applications and to all those who realize the future of our hobby will be a hybrid of RF mixed with existing and new technologies. ICOM Japan realizes this and has invested many resources to development of the next generation transceivers and repeaters – all digital. They will be capable of 3 times the channel capacity over the existing NBFM analog channel. The transceivers will be capable of simultaneous voice and data, allowing the user to talk to his buddies about what is ham radio and what is not, while ordering a pizza on the Web – all through his VHF/UHF transceiver. I imagine the other 2 major Japanese manufacturers will follow. (For more information on the ICOM D-Star system, link here:
I hope Amateur Radio will always be at the leading edge of communications technologies – even if it means synthesizing other technologies together in order to come up with something that didn’t exist before.
RE: EchoLink  
by K4WTW on April 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
no matter how you define echolink there is only one answer it is not ham radio, i guess you could call it amateur used to be if you wanted to talk to somebody the other side of the world, you would learn morse code and theory and upgrade your ham ticket so you could talk on hf.but with echolink, a technican can say why should i upgrade when i can talk to the world on my COMPUTER? in my opinion all echolink is a way around upgrading and earning a higher ham ticket. welcome to amateur computer!
RE: EchoLink  
by KF4VGX on April 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Ed it sounds like all you want your radio to do is scan without stopping anywhere ? Why cut it on then. Just pickin a bit there folks. I say this again To Each his On! I dont care how a Ham injoys the hobby as long as he injoys it. Who are we to dictate to fellow hams what there to do with their gear? Some of you havent realized that your posting on the internet in front of a computer LOL. I wont fault you for that :). its your choice to do so. I have ran Echolink here in Myrtle Beach S.C. for a year now . I have not given up HF and injoy Echolink everday. I have met alot of nice hams VIA of Echolink. We have hams that are down here on Vacation sitting in their hotel rooms with HT's talking with fellow Hams back home. Ever try to throw a wire across a hotel ? It wont go over to well with the Hotel owners lol. We can scream we can weep we can insult each other . One thing is certian though Echolink is here I for one injoy it and will continue to use it. I could go into detail on its use . But you download it and give it a Try . Emergencey use ? It has a lot of potential we listen to the shuttle disaster live here in myrtle beach. great learnnig tool also .Well I have to run Robert E Lee just connected here on the Repeater 73 All
Look at it this way  
by KD7EVS on April 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Ok here are the basic communications of echolink/irlp

1-Computer user to computer user
2-computer user to repeater/simplex base
3-base/repeater to base/repeater
4-mulitipe systems/users linked

ok #3 is definatly ham radio, its just using internet to link two or more systems. nothing diferent than any other type of line linked systems.

#2 gives people who can't put up nice antennas or haven't learned cw yet a chance to talk dx.

#1 is where this isn't ham radio. but look at it this way... people say use msn, aol, or yahoo. but people using echolink are hams. you get on there link to someone and you know this person has rf running in the blood. it's like a private chat client.

#4 just combines all.

So don't say this isn't radio. one mode of echolink isn't radio the other modes all are very much radio and I say they increase usage of our bands. repeaters that are seldom active, hook them up to a computer and people from other contries can use them but the owner has control at the touch of a keyboard.

I say enough of it is radio and the rest is ABOUT radio so noone should say people that like it aren't hams.

by K0LTD on April 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I am an over-the road trucker, and a lot of my friends talk on local repeator and of course the weekly net. As I am usually over 500 miles away, I cannot "HIT" the repeator from my truck. With ECHOLINK, I can use it to link in for a few words. Whether it is "HAM OR NOT" I beleive it is, Just using a new tech to acheive the end result. As for those that say it is not, The same can be said for APRS.
by K8UPA on April 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I suppose the same debate happened years ago when phone was introduced challenging cw. PLEASE don't take this as a cw debate because it's not.
by W9JCM on April 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
YES IT SURE IS HAM RADIO. I have been involved with Echolink/Ilink for a long time. Its a wonderfull aspect of ham radio. And for all the whiners well don't use the system. It gives repeaters another way to link. Why do you want to spend all that money on linking rigs and expensive locations for these. Now all you need is a home computer! Its wonderfull. I have seen it grow from 100 stations connected to over 1000!! Face it naysayers its here to stay. I fully support it. W9JCM Echolink #4107
by KD7EFQ on April 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I agree if it is PC to PC then it's not Ham Radio, But
if there is a Amateur HT/Radio/Repeater involved, being
used by a licensed Ham, Then It IS HAM RADIO. 73's.
by N5QXP on April 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I'm sure that this Echolink issue will grow legs of its own and follow the same path as the code/ no-code debate so common during the latter part of the 20th century.

'Twas ever thus.
by AE6IP on April 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
sheesh, people, chill.

i just came in from using my computer to access a 2m packet net through my icom and found this debate about whether someone who uses a computer to access...

it's a hobby, folks. you do the parts of it you enjoy and you leave the parts of it you don't to those who do.


by WA4PTZ on April 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Personally...I think they should be linking it to the
CB band and not the Amateur Bands. It is not, even in
it's broadest definition, HAM RADIO. It is ,
however, another means for unlicensed folks to create
problems on the Ham bands. Talk about the ability to
screw up repeaters. HA! And how about QSL'ing ?
It does not qualify as a valid contact for that
either, but that won't stop those looking for another
short cut to "following established proceedures."
No Thanks, I'll stick to RADIO .
RE: EchoLink  
by KA0MR on April 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Hams have been doing something like this for 30 years plus. Remote 10mFM on local repeaters. I have had a 440 to 10m system here in Kansas for 10 years.

All Echolink really does is keep everybody glued to their desktops and hardware experimentation out in the field such as repeater sites will slowly come to a grinding halt. There will be no new inovations in repeater hardware. Just like in the 1969 song by Zager and Evans "In the Year 2525" "won't need your legs or your eyes, some machines doin' that for you". Don't try to convince us that Echolink is what FM mode will be 100 percent consisting of. There may be a place on 1 repeater in an area but more than that is a waste of spectrum.

Ehcolink is not anything new in the classical sense. It just creates another reason for so many to remain "appliance operators" and never really experimenting and furthering the ham radio technology.
How is "packetizing analog voice" delayed transmission innovative in a world of real-time communications?

RE: EchoLink  
by DUPANOUS on April 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
It's become apparent to me that the hams saying EchoLink is not amateur radio simply don't understand how it works. Granted, when using it to talk PC to PC it's not, but when utilized in the mode where an RF device is involved, it most certainly IS HAM RADIO. The different modes of operation and functionality is the part I suspect they can't understand. It's difficult for some amateurs to grasp new technology. They remain intimidated, confused, and misinformed about how it really works, and therefor compensate for their lack of knowledge by knocking it. These same folks are probably intimidated by computers too. Probably somewhat a factor of human nature to take a negative stance on something that's feared or not completely understood. Over time, perhaps we "in the know" can educate these naysayers to help them understand exactly how EchoLink functions. It won't be easy, but if they demonstrate a willingness to learn, they may someday come to understand it. 73.
RE: EchoLink  
by N4GI on April 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
KD7EVS writes:

<#2 gives people who can't put up nice antennas or haven't learned cw yet a chance to talk dx.>

Huh? Someone has fooled you, sir. I can send e-mail or connect to ICQ and talk to people all over the world. You call that "talking DX" too? Newsflash, that's not DX, it's called internet chat.

Why not just link up those little toy FRS radios, and skip the burdenson licensing step... "Talk DX" with no pesky license, and no pesky antenna.

Echolink introducing new hams? Hardly. Just an influx of networking/VOIP techies and more poor 2meter operating techniques.

Hams operate radios and install antennas for those radios, don't kid yourselves, chaps.

Blake N4GI

RE: EchoLink  
by KK7AC on April 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Yes I agree that QSL'ing from a link contact (or connect as I say)is a bit stupid, and should not, and will not be accepted by the DXCC desk as such. Even WAS for that matter. However, comments such as not real radio and unlicenesed users etc. is complete crap.

I have an RF node at my QTH. It has brought to life a completely dead frequency in my area, caused me to do some UHF upgrades and purchasing a new HT. I use it to talk to other HF friends to set up scheds and such and keep in daily contact with my uncle who also has an RF link. A chat room? I dont think its a chat room since I and my uncle can be in out vehicles miles form our base stations seperated by 6 states. I still have to ID every 10 minutes and so does he. Its pretty cool to use "common" or "free" connections to link our PC's and ham radios together. Its just like any other linked simplex base or repeater only better and more flexible. Yes, I feel that computer to computer should be left to yahoo or AOL chats because thats exactly what it is. But the comments about it not being ham radio are from those who do not understand the first thing about voIP and its wonderful application into RF.

Yes its not "radio" in the fact that you are using an adjunctive aide in between the stations to establish communication. It is not skywave, antenna to antenna communication for sure. So if one wants to use this argument, then Oscar satellite, repeaters, remote base stations, and other "linked" systems are not real radio either. They to should be considered "not ham". Believe me, I am not here to defend the cry baby no-coders out there; some of whom have used this new "mode" to further there assualt on the code and or HF.

If you want to be a ham, then learn the code and upgrade. Its only 5 WPM now and this speed only requires you to memorize the letters. Anyone can do it now, its been so dumbed down. For those of you no-coders who think that you have "bucked the system" by "connecting to other countries" by echolink and think that you accomplished something is a farce. HF will never be replaced. And neither will satellite for that matter. Nor will internet linking. They should "work together".

Uaa the comment about non-hams having access to the system? Again, another dumb a hole that does not get it. It is easier, and happens all the time, that anyone in the world can get a hold of an HF transceiver and use it to start talking. There is nothing no one can do about it unless they find the signal. There are pirates the world over. On the other hand, echolink varifies the user first prior to issuing a node. Do you have to check into a "director" prior to firing up the HF? If there is activity that a non-ham is using this system he can be "taken out" at the local level through software, or the system administrator will have it removed. period. I can tell you that if I or other area hams who hear a non-ham using my system they will be "backballed" from my system (software defined) and also reported to Echolink to be removed. So this "non-ham" argument is completely stupid and uneducated.

I consider my echolink node as yet another mode in my stations' ability to establish communications. I have it up as a service to other area hams who use it to keep in contact with friends, family and others "back home". If we (hams) do not take advantage of new technology, we will be run over by another service. I consider it only an augment to HF, satellite, repeaters, etc. It is simply another way to link radios over great distances without the expense of expensive microwave or dedicated land line shots.
by AA8RF on April 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!

Well said - I am getting interested in this now. Can you use this to operate your home HF radio remotely from a PC? That would be fun when I am out on the road.

by KF9VH on April 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I just loaded echolink on my computer and find it fascinating. The abity to connect to a repeater out of state and work some of my ham buddies while they are mobile on 2 meters is great. The direct connect is interesting also, no qrm’ers, static crashed nor white noise. Sure I prefer talking on my 756 pro but this is fun also.

I can’t believe some of the dumb ass negative comments I have read here. But it is typical of the ham community. I have never been around a bunch of narrow minded, opinionated egocentric group in my life. Some of you guys might consider some ex-lax or prozac.
by KG4OOA on April 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
As far as I am concerned it is the same as fishing with dynmite or spotlighting deer.
RE: EchoLink  
by KK7AC on April 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
......One other thought that just crossed my mind; what are we HAMS doing HERE on this CHAT BOARD!! We should be TALKING about this topic or any other for that matter on the radio!! THIS is not radio, its the internet! My God none of us are hams anymore!!
RE: EchoLink  
by KD5VHF on April 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Gee, I can talk anywhere in the world with just this little hand held linked to the phone lines. It's called a CELL PHONE!!! I guess Cell Phones are now amateur radio??? Isn't echo link and cell phones doing the EXACT same thing? Amateur radio? I think not.
RE: EchoLink  
by AA8RF on April 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Ok I just installed it from and got my ID authorized in about an hour (based on my call being in the FCC database).

In practice it runs a lot like linked repeaters (some link over other frequencies, others over land lines, hard to tell the difference in operation).

I was able to link out from my notebook to the 146.88 repeater in Jackson, Michigan, send a test transmission, and pick it up on my 2m base rig.

Then I joined up to a conversation in Portuguese between a station in Brazil and one in Portugal. Being that it was in Portuguese I couldn't understand a word!

Got a PC to PC call from a ham who noticed I was new who helped me fix a little feedback setting problem I had - not like a real QSO, but more like an internet chat but on a ham topic.

Overall I like it.

RE: EchoLink  
by W6EMR on April 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!

AE6IP, I like your point the best.

I have never used Echolink, but I may try it some time in the future; so I will not pass judgement on it here until that time.

Otherwise, back to learning CW. I want to get on HF!

My Swan 500 awaits under the dust cover.........:-)
by N3XLS on April 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I like Echolink, i know many believe that echolink isn't ham radio, well guys and gals i used to be just like you. I didn't think it was either and i changed my mind about it, after i used it and tried it out. It is a great system, espically for people like me when i'm at school and can't have my radio equiment. Many say its not ham radio, but people said FM wasnt ham radio, before that AM wasnt it either and they said it about Digital too. Hey i'm on the impression that i'm not going to tell what ham radio is to you. because every ham has a right to make ham radio what ever he or she likes it to be for themselves. As long as its within the part 97 FCC rules. More over either you hate echolink and internet net linking, or you love it. guys its hear to stay, and so far on echolink there is almost if there isn't already 100,000 hams that have used echolink. 73's!
RE: EchoLink  
by G3SEA on April 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Whatever it is :) It's growing by leaps and bounds for all the obvious reasons.

It seems to be rejuvenating repeaters the world over
and it's use will probably increase exponentially as
we head for the sunspot minimum years.

Unlike Cell Phones there is NO AIRTIME OR LONG DISTANCE CHARGES :)
RE: EchoLink  
by VA3 on April 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Over the last number of months I have been coming to eham to take advantage of this wonderful resource. I am in the middle of studying for my lic (VA3???), complete a course next week and then the exam a few weeks after that.

While I find many of the articles facinating, I must say that many of the comments after the articles can be quite depressing. I belong to a number of interest groups, but I find this one seemingly full of people quick to judge and highly critical of each other. I must admit that it was with some trepidation that I went a few weeks ago to a local amateur club meeting - thankfully the group was inviting and welcoming, noting that the group needed some young blood (at 35, I didn't feel all that young).

As with many, my fist associations with amateur radio were the big rigs, CW, DX - which I all found facinating and plan to get involved with shortly. However, I also found the newer technology facinating - IRLP, EchoLink, APRS - amazing ADDITIONS, not substitutes to a complex and ever changing service/hobby. I recently was on a long drive and monitored a guy on my route having a conversation with Australia - both mobile, both lic operators. It put a smile on my face.

Seemingly like the rest of amateur radio history, so many of these astonishing advancements in the use of technology are from amateur radio operators (eg a very young man made IRLP happen). They seem to be valuable additions and evolutions from other parts of amateur radio be it satelite or SSTV. In addition, many of these additions have practical and valuable uses - APRS for Search and Rescue (an area that I was heavily involved with)- a technology I watched in amazement evolve over time.

This is facinating stuff, it does attract new members that still value ALL that amateur radio has to offer. You don't need to embrace it, you just need to accept it!

Cheers, Hugh (who 40 years from now will likely be complaining about some new technology :-) )
by W2IHY on April 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I have been on EchoLink for about 3 months. I view EchoLink as an interest group of Amateur Radio operators using the computer as a way to communicate with each other. A license is required, given the current setup of Echolink, because some of the sites connect to repeaters.
When I first got on my perceptions were that EchoLink would hurt peoples desire to get an amateur radio license. This perception was changed after talking to the administrator of an EchoLink repeater in Texas. He told me that local non amateurs with scanners were listening to stations all over the world talk to local people running mobile. After making inquiries to him and others and finding out what was required to participate additional interest in amateur radio was generated. The bottom line is that the number of people entering classes to get a license increased due to EchoLlink. This is not what I had guessed would have happened.
I have talked to a number of people who at one time were active on HF but moved to residences where they could not put up antenna’s on HF. EchoLink offers them the opportunity to talk to other amateurs (of like interest). This is another aspect that to me makes EchoLink a valuable communcatons tool.
by N6JSX on April 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I've used Echolink to talk to some friends back home in WI. But I have a problem with EchoLink and the potential for illegal use. The registration of your callsign as a security method - is virtually a joke -non-HAMs (if they are bright enough) could get registered under a bogus or SK callsign.

Systems that are connected to simplex HAM radio(s) are 90% of the time not monitored by the owner/control OP. I've called on many many systems to never get a contact or even licensee acknowledgement. Also I doubt that the simplex radio is properly ID'ing when Echo keys it up, especially when foriegn HAMs activate the system. Echo is unique and has some interedting possiblities but it is riddled with potential Part 97 violations.

I'm just waiting for the FCC to step in and shut it down unless it can demonstrate and have absolute 27/7 manned control OPs and proper ID'ing (not automatic via Echo software). This is NOT a repeater type system even though it may talk into a repeater system. Automatic uncontrolled ID'ing is not allowed.

I have monitored a USA "Echo conferencing" connection that was connected to multiple USA 440 repeaters and had some direct USA Echo HAMs - they spoke in their native language and never ID'ed in english for over 30 minutes.

As unique as EchoLink is and how much fun it is to operate I see TOO high a potential for Part 97 problems as it is structured and operated today.

Past-LA OOC & Past-WI OOC
Kuby, N6JSX /8
by NJ6F on April 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Get A Grip Gentlemen! First of all to each his own but here is my two cents on your distance fixation.

I like Echolink because:

Ham Radio is about meeting people. The RF part was just what we had to deal with to get the end result.

Whether it's the ionisphere, a repeater, or a web interface .....WHO CARES!

Are you not still talking to the same guys and gals that share your, electronics, and
God help us, other stuff as well.

I am constantly amazed at the hams out there that don't even have a computer but call themselves Ham Radio operators.... What happened to the electronics background...having a computer is basic man!
*** For the older gentlemen, if you don't have a computer ( you will lack the ability to even communicate with your children)via email...this is sad.
You think of yourself as a communicator but only know how to do it sending smoke signals...I mean CW.

You guys are hooked on the means of achieving the end result and not the end result which is meeting people of simular interests....that's what it is all about.

Besides, when you all get a little older and are in a senior care facility YOU WILL THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS you have Echolink and that no one listened to your ill thought out bull. Most of your comments are just first impression stuff from other hams that did not allow themselves to think it out either.

Its the same as saying...lets get rid of the all band compact tranceivers that weigh 5 lbs and get a shack full of tube stuff.
Gee, that's not a real radio, it doesnt weigh 200 LBS!

Don't get me wrong... I am 51 and went through all of it, tube stuff, home built etc. I searched my sole and agree that I was just hooked on the ability to talk to someone distant ......distance.... fixation was what I had... and somehow you think that has to be earned and that this is cheating... thats crazy ...this is a better way, and just an alternate way. I still enjoy the other modes as well.

This will (((enhance the hobby))) and bring in more hams, and make the hobby richer with more alternatives. I love chatting with someone who is freezing his butt off in Germany when I am on my VX7 poolside.
The Wires/Yeasu direct connect to any node in the world and other systems will just make life and keeping in touch with fellow hams or people of simular interest that much easier.....
NO IT DOESNT HAVE TO BE EARNED...that just your father talking to you back in the 30's and 40's.

By the way this WAC and WAS awards mean nothing because you cannot pick up the radio and work all continents or states simultaneously at any one point in time....think about it... Echolink can....and do it all simultaneously on a conference link with good audio using a $2 condensor mike... God Help US, now we won't have anything to talk about.

My opinion only...I speak from the heart.

73 Rich

RE: EchoLink  
by N6HBJ on April 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
It is just a little adjunct to ham radio. What is the big deal? Its fun. Its not like its gonna take over ham radio or something. I think that is the real fear here. People are afraid it may become the prefferred choice of communications. Relax, it aint gonna happen. All of us are out here because we love RF.
RE: N4GI's reply  
by KC0LPV on April 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Wow, N4GI, that is the first time I have heard a ham use the term "techie" in a derogatory manner.

Being a techie used to be a _plus_.

by K6ALF on April 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
This is a hoot!!! You guys are ALL CORRECT!!! hehe.

Had Echolink on the other night. Just "signed off"
with a fellow ham.. XYL was in the same room with me.

Her remarks: "Why cant you just talk with your ham
buddies using the computer... Why bother looking for a
house to put up antennas, etc(I'm living in temporary
housing.. No radio setup) since you can "talk" all you want without all that fuss..."
I just looked at her, "It's not the total ham experience" I told her.
She just looked at me for a moment.... " You were talking were you not??" ....

She did have a point.. I turned off the computer,
pulled out my astronomy telescope, and went outside.

;-) ....

RE: EchoLink  
by K9KJM on April 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!

A question has been raised about how "secure" Echolink
is, or the ability of someone to "bootleg" a call and
get on Echolink. The answer is that Echolink is MUCH
MORE SECURE than "Over the air" RF contacts. If someone
wants to bootleg, It is EASY to do so over the air...
And HARD to locate the bootlegger if he chooses to
go mobil...... It is EASY to locate bootleggers on
the Echolink program. ALL contacts are logged. And
anyhow, it is a moot point, as Echolink contacts themselves are not subject to FCC I.D. requirements.
There very well may be some persons with "link" radios
connected to Echolink who are failing to I.D. properly.
putting his own license at risk for doing so. It is
NOT the fault of the Echolink system. Just because someone "connects" to an Echolink station and gets no answer does not mean that station is not being monitored! The owner may very well be at work, etc.
and cannot answer the many many calls that are done
"just to see who is there" Such connects to many
Echolink stations get the originator a permanent place
on the "DENY ACCESS" list of the Echolink station.
PERMANENTLY ending that problem for that station.
Cries for FCC enforcement sound like great fear of
something new again....... Happened just like this
when two meter repeaters started getting popular and
O.F. H.F. operators cried to the FCC because they
figured those darned new fangled repeaters were taking
some of the "thunder" away from HF operation........
In reading these posts, It is clear that most who
"knock" Echolink know very little about how it really
operates, and it's many features and security.
The ability to "allow" OR "disallow" access to any
station is very powerful, And is only one of a large
number of features that many who post here seem to
have zero knowledge of.

Remote operation of a ham radio IS ham radio!  
by KG6OYK on April 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Yikes! Why does this threaten so many people? How many posts here are screaming "THIS IS NOT HAM RADIO!" If it involves speaking over a radio on ham frequencies, for which I need a license, then it most certainly is ham radio. Computer-to-Computer chat (which is one mode of operation on Echolink) does not involve an amateur radio, and is not "ham radio".

Look at it this way. I can connect via echolink to a repeater in NY from CA and chat with folks in NY VIA the repeater. This is ham radio and need a license to do this (this is why you must register with your call sign). How is this any different from when I use my trunk mounted 2meter/440 rig in my car? I control the radio from a remote control head mounted on my dash. It is connected to the radio in my trunk, and communicates digitally with it over about 15’ of cable. Is that not ham radio? After all, I am using the radio remotely, am I not? Echolink, when connected to a simplex radio or a repeater is just that – a remote link to an RF radio – just like my rig in the car, but using a more complex “head” (my computer), and a little farther than my trunk.

What about remote bases, is that not ham radio?

What about TenTec PEGASUS users? They use a computer to control a radio, is this not ham radio? Is it only ham radio if the computer and Transceiver are on the same desk? What if the transceiver is down the hall, in another room? Across town? In another state?

At what point does remote operation of a ham radio stop being ham radio???? I must have missed this question on my exam.

Bottom Line – Echolink requires that you register with your call sign because it gives you easy access to repeaters and radios that REQUIRE a license – Ham Radios, in fact. If the FCC says I need a ham radio license to access these echolink repeaters, I’d say it’s ham radio.

RE: EchoLink  
by KK7AC on April 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
N6JSX seems to be a bit confused on this issue.

I run a 440 simplex link, and I dont monitor it all the time? I dont need too. Sometimes Im at work. Sometimes Im here at home and have my headphones on the HF rig. Sometimes my HT has a dead battery and I cant reply. Sometimes other hams in my area are using it to talk to their ham friends. If someone is tieing up my link or has a dead key after X number of minutes, he gets bucked off. Can your radio do that??

Part 97 says that I can run "aux. control" above 2 meter band. Others who operate 2 meters on down may find themselves in a bit of a problem, but not I. And secondly, how many repeater owners listen to there machine? I have heard some pretty interesting autopatches on a 2 meter repeater here (O WAIT A MINUTE - THERES ANOTHER MODE THAT IS "NOT HAM RADIO"!!!! - AND A NON-HAM CAN BE ON THE OTHER END!!!)
that has some pretty colorful language and (hold on to your seat) the controling "ham" does not even ID!!! In these cases I have never heard the "owner" get on and terminate this activity with a non-ham on the land line end of the repeater. Get off this box. It has no water.

Im not trying to make excuses or justify one for the other but holy hell. Have you, N6JSX, ever listen to 75 meters at night? How many of those are ID'ing every 10 minutes? Thats right, most do but it will always be the "2 percenters" or "dirty dozen" that spoil the bunch. As an OO are you crackin' down on them. What about their language? Again, you need to go back to the pond and get some water in that has holes in it.

You have no clue about this ID'ing thing. My link ID's every 8 minutes during a QSO ---and in turn I ID.

Lastly, if I hear someone on my link that is using profane language or is not ID'ing, etc, I will prevent them from using my link in the future with a few mouse clicks. Can you do that on "real radio"? -Uaaa, no.

Just think -- those that I would "prevent from using my system" would be......envelope please...... (drum roll in the back)..........HAMS!!!
RE: EchoLink  
by N2BR on April 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I have been running echolink now for one year and enjoy it.I have work CW dxcc WAS and all the hf modes but atv.Echolink EQSO IRLP WIRES will not take any thing away from amateur radio,This is just a real good tool for amateur radio and the ham community.If many have notice our ham bands are dead anyway look at 2 meter ssb.I never hear anyone on but only dureing 2 meter contest and just about the same with 6 meters.I see post about us ham loseing some of the bands like 222mhz 440mhz etc.Well guys it you dont get on these bands and make noise yes we will not have them anymore.Many hams i have talk to over echolink have said they put echolink on there local repeater couse there was not must use on them,Echolink got them alive again.I think we need to do this to all our ham bands get them alive again VHF/UHF/222/1.2gigs and HF.Befor some day we wake up and hear that the fcc gave them to commerical use couse hams were not useing them.

Just my 2 cents worth
N2BR-L Node #27353
RE: EchoLink  
by N0NYA on April 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
so typing computer to computer isnt ham radio??

holy crap, would someone please get on 2 meter packet and tell them to knock it off!!! And i guess APRS REALLY isnt ham radio, as you dont even type to people, just your station announcing its location!! BAN THE NON HAMS...


by KO4SY on April 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
You can say one thing for EchoLink, it's got people talking. Whether or not it's ham radio is for each of us to decide. most of the folks that hate it have never taken the time to really try it and see what it will do.
I'll tell you this, I interfaced EchoLink to our local repeater three months ago and it has brought a silent repeater to life. It has renewed interest in ham radio for a few, it keeps one of our club members, who is on the road all the time, in touch with his dad and his friends no matter where he travels to.
While talking to a ham in South Fla., another station that was scanning the frequencies came across our repeater and thought he recognized the Fla hams voice and threw his call in. Turns out they knew one another years ago and had lost touch, but to hear them catch up on all the years that had gone by had convinced me that all the effort to put Echolink on the repeater was well worth it.
Most of the comments I've heard have tried to define Ham Radio as a thing, to me it's a way of life, a state of mind. To me EchoLink is as Ham Radio as going to a tower party, or club meeting, building on a
project, airing your gripes on a forum, etc.
I thought ham radio was about experimenting, not being afraid to try new things.
Give it a chance, it's a lot of fun.
Tommy <KO4SY
by KB2QQM on April 9, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
WHO CARES !!! What does it matter ? I enjoy echolink for what it is. An ingenious way to connect and share thoughts and ideas. I really am sick of all this mindless chatter about whether it is or is not ham radio. If you like it....then use it and
If you don't, then shut up and uninstall it and mind you own business. I don't care if you have been a ham for so & so many years, and it doesn't meet your requirements for ham radio.. Then don't use it. All the people who wrote paragraphs and paragraphs about how this program is not "really" ham radio need to go turn on their radios and practice what they preach, but instead they are here pointing their fingers at everyone else,in a chat room.
by N8VQJ on April 9, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
You know, back when I first became fascinated in Amateur Radio was right around the time my Grandpa gave up his Heathkit HW-101 for a nice Ten Tec with a Digital Display. BOY I thought that thing was cool and much better then the ole 101! Then he got that really nead thing that looked like a CB called a 2 m rig. I was hooked. Those radios looked high tech to me even if the mode wasn't much different. Now I have a Handheld next to me playing a local radio station (noone on's too damn late! :)).....I am playing this on the SAME radio I talk to our repeater on. This HT has WIRES ability built in. I can call any WIRES enabled machine with my HT once I get a Yaesu Dual Band for a base plus the WIRES module. PC would be tied up but I could be anywhere in my house or on my property. or heck across the neighborhood. Things like this and APRS are bound to get new hams interested in the hobby. BRING EM ON! I need someone to talk to on the repeater! PLEASE! I need someone to get interested in that strange band called 6 M! We have 2 repeaters listed in our area on 6 in the book but heck even the many 2m repeaters in the area are quiet sometimes! We need blood. We need young hams to come and show the oldsters what "innovation" is about. My grandpa, if he were still alive, would have probably gone on packet or something once he saw how nice it was and back when he was around he detested computers (too much RF noise in the shack!). Now, most computers base clock speed is much higher then back in the late 80's (remember, clock speeds were 4 MHz!). I bet he'd decry Echolink but once he saw it in action he;d think it was kind of neat and then eventually warm up to it. No-coders in the 90's were supposedly going to bring about the end of ham radio. The only thing I see ending ham radio is people clinging to "old-fashioned" things and attitudes on what ham radio is. Innovation is what we need. This may be why you have not heard much from the ARRL on this. So I say, bring echolink on! I want to experience it! Let's apply this new stuff to what we know and make ham radio more then just about a bunch of old guys on a radio talking about their lumbagos!
RE: EchoLink  
by AD6WL on April 9, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Echolink is like a big repeater system. So, is a repeater Ham Radio? In my opinion Echolink is Ham Radio when RF is used anywhere in the link. Now when hams are talking computer to computer with no RF then it is not really radio in the strict sense but it is two hams who are talking and probably talking about ham radio.

by K0RGR on April 9, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
OK, I'm easily baited so here are my comments.

First, the questions about compliance with part 97 will be resolved, and FCC is not going to shut anybody down to do it. I think there will be some rules changes and clarifications coming very soon, and some Echolink operators may need to make some changes. Please see recent articles in QST and a document recently published by the SouthEast Repeater Association (SERA). I don't entirely agree with SERA's opinions, but I think you will see that questions about the legality of the system are minor at most.

We've always had the ability to do this sort of thing - the cost just made it prohibitive. I remember a group of repeater owners back in the 70's who discovered a number of unusued satellite transponders on some geo-synchronous birds. They managed to get free airtime on these satellites and used them to link repeaters all over the country. And we had the same kinds of arguments then, too.

If my link were a repeater, it would have much more than the required automatic controls - multiple ID'ers, three independent timeout timers (not counting the repeater's timers), and three redundant means of remote shutdown, including wireline control via the internet - and they all work now, too. I have 6 control operators who monitor the link when it is up.

There is also a small political aspect to this. There are now more than 100,000 registered Echolink users. There are usually more than 1000 active users on the system at a time. There is strength in numbers.

So far, with several years' experience with Echolink and its predecessors, I've had NO obvious cases of bootlegging on my node. The security controls are just enough to keep the 'honest' ones out. I also QSL most of my contacts via eQSL and so far, nobody has let me know that someone was bootlegging their call. Let's not use the MOAB (Mother Of All Bombs) to kill a gnat here.

Second, I too am concerned when people see Echolink as a substitute for radio, except in special cases. I have a number of local hams I would call 'shutins' who have no hope of radio beyond a handheld - while we're at work, they're working the world through my gateway and club's local repeater. But it troubles me when I meet people who do all their hamming from their computer - the idea is to INCREASE the use of two meters. I strongly advocate Echolink and other VoIP "modes" VIA RF. RF to computer is OK if no RF gateways exist. But I really discourage computer-to-computer connections. The latest versions of Echolink come with the computer-to-computer connections disabled by default - thanks K1RFD!

I see VoIP as a great asset to amateur radio - we have here a great mix of new technicians and higher class hams actually talking to each other via a combination of radio and computer technology. I've had the pleasure of demonstrating to many new and young hams how to have a good ragchew on any band with proper ID's etc., without 'preaching'.

I have seen several long-dormant hams come back to the air, and renewed some very old friendships that had been curtailed over the years by RFI and the economic and social realities of raising families. I love HF, where I usually run less than 100 watts to some simple antennas - I coexist fairly well with my neighbors that way. But trying to keep skeds with the old pals in California or Colorado? That just hasn't worked out. Now, they can reach me easily from their computer or their local RF gateway almost all the time.

Yes, we have to ensure that Echolink and its kin do not undermine "real" radio, but it does not deserve the kind of bile I see being vented here.
by FORMER_HOLDER_N1_Q_Q on April 9, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I will not get into the 'Is ECHOLINK Ham Radio' debate... BUT, if you plan to use it with Windows XP, plan on some opening of ports, and compromise of Firewall settings. I can keep all my security with 2 way voice on Yahoo, Messenger, etc., but NOT Echolink. I hope a future update will address this annoyance at least pertaining to XP systems, like my Dell, with 'out of the box' stealth ports.
by WA3KQA on April 9, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Echolink is HAM RADIO. I have been licensed 35 years and Echolink is one of the most exciting communication alternatives. I have been able to communicate with ham friends going back many years that have moved to other parts of the country. I have met wonderful friends in other parts of the world that I have communicated with both on HF and echolink. With the sunspot cycle going down and conditions not being very good - I can maintain communication with DX friends. I never use the computer, operating a vhf link. All of my communication is done by my 2 meter handheld which otherwise would be collecting dust. Echolink on repeaters as generated a new interest in 2 meters since most repeaters are very DEAD with virtually no activity anymore. For the traveling ham - you can keep in touch from anywhere with either your 2 meter handheld or laptop computer. Just heard a local conversation - a local ham moved out of state but via echolink - is connected back to his home repeater and feels back in town. My hats off to the developers and team of hams who have created a very effective means of alternative communcation for hams.
RE: EchoLink  
by N0UWW on April 10, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
To N6JSX: While you're worried about someone circumventing the Echolink registration system, how many people without a ham license are buying ham rigs to carry on CB type or other illegal communications on eBay, at Radio Shack or through private sales? In a perfect world, there wouldn't be any illegal operators (or lids) and there would be a 'mother of all band openings'. But the world isn't perfect so we make the best with what we have. Wait all you want for the FCC to 'step in' and shut it down; are you waiting for the FCC to do something about 11 meter 'freebanders' and other illegal activity too? I use Echolink to stay in touch with friends in SE Nebraska where I used to live. I use a 2 meter simplex frequency (with local & remote control) and have found that it's a lot of fun and I've met a lot of nice folks in the few months that I've had it. Those folks that don't like Echolink, should not sign up for the service or worry about those of us that have. Whether it's ham radio or not is irrelevent; the fact is that hams are using it to communicate is. Compare this: Is autopatch ham radio? Sounds like telephone to me... If a ham repeater is linked to another via wireline or Echolink, what's the difference...? I'd say the cost if nothing else. Perhaps this is the competition that the overseas equipment manufacturers need. You know, the ones that ran the US companies out of the ham market... Let's face it, the internet is here to stay and if ham radio and the internet can be tied together and used as an alternative medium to communicate, what harm is done? If it brings new life to this hobby, that's fantastic. And perhaps Echolink is just too 'high-tech' for the oldtimers that want all the new ops to 'suffer' the way they did to get their ticket... As time goes by, isn't life in general supposed to get easier...? Not to mention that this is a hobby, which is 'supposed to be fun'...?
by K8JME on April 11, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
This is my first post on eHam -- I generally lurk. But I feel compelled to speak out due to the dissent in the ham ranks on this topic. Here are some of my thoughts on the question:

"Is Echolink ham radio?"

-- Is ham radio a hobby or a club?

-- Is your life today any better or worse than it would be tomorrow if Echolink disappeared tonight?

-- If a tree falls in the woods, but no one hears it, does it make a sound?
RE: Cell phones vs Echolink  
by WW3S on April 11, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Most of the people that are knocking it haven't tried it; unless you are pc to pc ( which I agree, its just another chat room) there is a rf link involved somewhere. You are actually going direct into a repeater system (and they are listed by freq, 10m, 6m ,2m 440 mhz..I think I even saw a few 220 mhz machines) or you are connecting to an individual ham who has a radio set to a local repeaters pair. Most of these "links" even have the equipment listed as to radio and antenna type. I've used one to contact a friend in the Florida area on a local 2 m repeater while he's been mobile or from a ht but beyond that, it doesnt really interest me. That doesn't mean its wrong or nor radio. Its kinda like SSTV or VHF packet; I have no interest in it but its still radio. If it's fun to some people and adds people to the ranks, I'm all for it
by KN4AQ on April 11, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Well, if you've gotten this far down the thread, you are an eham addict or just a glutton for punishment.

But if you want to read some more, the SouthEastern Repeater Association (SERA) has an article their perspective on Echolink on their web page: Look for "SERA Releases position on IRLP & Echolink type stations." It's a small pdf file excerpted from the group's magazine, the "Repeater Journal".

Echolink's off-air element is ham radio in the way that club meetings, magazines, tower-climbing, hamfests and other off-air activities are ham radio. It's a way to keep people interested.

I'm concerned that Echolink may serve to take people off the air more than it puts people on the air. Computer voice chat, never much of an enticement for me, is pretty easy on Echolink. I talk to people around the country and world, and don't much think "why don't we get on 15 meters and carry on the conversation?"

Ham radio is much more than just radio. But it is nothing without radio. So let's stay balanced.

Gary Pearce KN4AQ
SERA Repeater Journal
RE: EchoLink  
by NB2A on April 11, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Just out of simple curiousity if Echolink is so offensive to ham radio then why are you using your computer on here then for sharing more of what this hobby is all about?
Did you just get your first computer?
Get a grip!
RE: EchoLink  
by N8DI on April 11, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
i am a repeater owner. i own a 440 and a 6 meter repeater. most of the repeater owner in our part of Michigan, have noticed a sharp decline in people using our repeaters. Maybe when i interface to Echo-link with my repeaters, i will get an increase in there use. I am also a ve we have noticed a sharp decline in people wanting to be ham operators. I have made contacts with countries that i never could reach with my hf rig. Most people that i talk to will send you a qsl card even on Echo-link. 73,s N8DI
RE: EchoLink  
by VE7LGT on April 12, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Echo link is great if it is used properly that is computer to mobile or handheld but when a repeater in England is used for Hams using computers in North America to chat this is a waste of repeater time there should be some sort of filter that prevents computer to computer links via repeater and only alow radio to computer links such as with a phone patch.

RE: EchoLink  
by KD7KHG on April 12, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Call some random DX on your cell phone, tell them your using a Nokia 8200 and your QTH, then ask them what their using. Get the point!
RE: EchoLink  
by KD7KHG on April 12, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
When RF is used with echolink its ham radio to me. It's not HF but was never intended to be. It's an intergration of computer and radio. Setting up an RF link is not a simple task, give it it try.
RE: EchoLink  
by NB2A on April 12, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I have done more with radios in the course of my career than most would in a lifetime I am sure.
Echolink is another facet to a dying hobby so anything innovative is worth at least a try.
Just because you dont like spinach for example does not necessarily mean it is not good! Only to put it in simple terms for all the negative comments about this program. This sounds so much like the worn out debate on whether to keep a morse code requirement! I can see how practical that is now correct? For the record I was certified at 25 plus a minute when I was first licensed and still think except for the accomplishment at the time it is absolutley USELESS now! If you dont like Echolink then dont use it like any other mode you may not care for.
RE: EchoLink  
by N8CNJ on April 12, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
This is to all the old timers that want to keep saying it's nothing more than a computer chat room or saying it's nothing more than talking with your computer...

I run an echolink node (#8204)... I don't allow computer connections to my link...

So, does that fit your description of Ham Radio? No one on my system is using a desk mic... Everyone is using a radio on both ends... Hmmm...

Oh wait, now the arguement will be that it is because they are going through a computer... Through wires... Think about that the next time you key up a repeater... You know, taking your radio, keying it, talking into the mic, out the antenna, to a repeater, through it's circuts, and back out to another antenna...

Same deal here... Only, I my systems circuts are connected to someone else's circuts anywhere in the world...

And yes, I agree that DXing is antenna to antenna... I won't claim that EchoLink is DXing... I only claim that is a form of repeater.. A repeater with range...

Now the arguement will move to disasters when the phone lines are down... Well, chances are, if the phone lines are down, then the cable is out (which is what I use), and the power is out... Well, hopefully people that monitor my system will be smart enough to switch to simplex because other local repeaters are probably going to go down eventually also unless they are on backup generators.

Here is the biggie.. No matter what the old timers say against EchoLink, there will be 3-5 more with open minds..

Please understand, although I say old timers, I could be talking about any age group. I use old timers because most of the negitive responses are from those that think us no-coders should be shot... Things change ladies and gentlement... deal with it...
EchoLink - Recheck  
by N8CNJ on April 12, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
After reading more post... I would like to make another point that wasn't clearly stated... There were a couple post that put this in, but not as a main part of the post..

naysayers are saying with using EchoLink we will loose ham bands...


To you people that think this, look at

Here you will find literally tons of repeaters that are getting used when a good portion of them were probably on the verge of being taken down for lack of interest.. Mostly on 2m but some on other bands also.. That covers usage of the repeater frequencies..

Here you will also find just as many, if not more, Link stations... These are simplex links... Hmmm... More ham frequencies being used that normally wouldn't be...

You can continue your arguments that EchoLink is ruining Ham Radio, but there is proof that it is helping...

Nothing wrong with trying to save our frequencies with a little help from modern inovation and technology... Or aren't those forms of HAM RADIO?

Like many many others have said, if VOIP isn't your bag, then quit trying to wrinkle it for others that enjoy it.

The next contact I make will be with EchoLink and will be done with me talking into my radio and talking to someone half way around the world on their radio..

by K0RGR on April 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
KC8SHP - you may want to reconsider not allowing computer connections to your repeater. I have run my gateway both ways and I find that blocking the computer users wipes out most of my activity. And, I have no problem with two computer users talking to each other "through" my repeater. It all generates more activity on two meters, which is my whole reason for running a gateway system. I or one of my designated control ops should be monitoring in the extremely unlikely event that an obvious bootlegger comes up on our node.

I think computer users are finding too many repeaters blocked, which may be contributing to the problem of too many computer-to-computer QSOs.

RE: EchoLink  
by VE7LGT on April 14, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
May be its about time that we got rid of repeaters lets face it there are just to many of them . I actually feel that the repeater may be responsible for the death of Ham Radio . Lets face it without repeaters the manufactuers would not have produced all these usless low power FM only HTs. They may have put more time into designing real radios and the use of SSB for UHF VHF simplex DX would have been alot more popular. But instead we have ended up with a lot of appliance opps running around with HTs asking for signal reports through repeaters . Even worse are those who insist on running 50 watts into a local repeater when a milliwatt woul probably do.

FM stands for Frequently Mundane
by K0RGR on April 14, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Actually, I think you do have a point there. I sometimes wonder if we should continue to devote 3/4 of our 2 meter allocation to FM repeaters, too. In our area, we used to have only two 2 meter repeaters. When a third high level machine was added, the activity level seemed to drop. When one of the three machines died, activity level increased dramaticaly. Now, all three are up again, and activity seems to have dropped off. I think it's because nobody knows where to listen when there are too many repeaters.

Overpopulation of the repeater sub-bands has made 15 Khz. split-splits the norm for most of the country - resulting in degraded performance for lots of repeaters. And it has drastically increased the need for traveller-unfriendly PL access.

But, I think that unless FM dies completely and is replaced by something much better, this is not likely to change. Current experiments with digital voice on HF show some promise for providing even better audio than FM on VHF with signal levels similar to that required for SSB - not a true weak signal mode, but better than FM. Perhaps FM repeaters in some areas will be replaced with linear translators that will accomodate SSB and digital voice modes over time. The technology is rapidly approaching maturity.

I know that in many parts of country, there are lots of 222 machines kerchunking away in the night, but maybe we can start the revolution on this band!
by K5LDL on April 14, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Hello Friends,

As for my two cents... I just finished a grueling weekend of ham radio volunteer duty. Here in Texas we have the largest MS 150 bike ride in the nation. The MS 150 is a 150+ mile bicycle ride sponsored by the Multiple Sclerosis Society as a fund raising event. The ride I volunteered my time and gear for is the MS 150 from Houston to Austin. With over 10,000 registered riders, it is the largest single event of its kind in the nation. And a logistical nightmare. We used our radios along with repeaters, linked repeaters, APRS and HF to help coordinate the different efforts of all concerned. And yes, EchoLink was used as well as IRLP. I was impressed by its ease of use, the readability of signal, and its ability to be turned off of and on to any repeater prepared for its purpose. We at Houston Command Central used it to pass all sorts of traffic between the net controls out on the ride and their volunteer staff (the terrain out there can get quite hilly).

Is it radio? No. Can it be used by hams to augment their communications arsenal? YES! I see it as an adjunct to the hobby, not its replacement. As such, I can see where it can be used by SkyWarn, Weather Spotters, and other hams who may not have access to a radio.

I was also wondering if it were possible to send a SSTV signal via EchoLink and have other hams receive that signal from a linked repeater and/or a linked computer via software and a Rig Blaster.... Hmmm... A new way to use it? Possibly. Or maybe using EchoLink to expand coverage of a satellite QSO or a Space Shuttle transmission?

Let's explore its possibilities before we trash it completely!

As Always... 73!

RE: EchoLink  
by KC0NIB on April 16, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Absolutely biased... First thing off is that common "chat" software cannot, and will not communicate with a ham radio repeater. It would be illegal for MSN or Yahoo to do this. So hence, it's just not common chat room software. That feature is an adjunct...

Fact is that I frequently will chat with friends around the country, but also over in Europe. It's fantastically clean and clear, unlike a DX call made on 40 or 80 meters AM or SSB. In one instance, one of my friends I chat with, is done computer/Echolink to his mobile installation while he "toodles" around North Hollywood and adjoining areas. It's just flat out a gass!!!!!!!


Cheers & 73;
EchoLink & eHam  
by K4III on April 16, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
If you are stricktly only into ham radio and you won't involve other applications to "spoil your hobby", what are you doing here at I can't pull up this site up with CW on HF or 2m! This Internet website isn't ham radio either, but you are still using it for amateur radio information and stimulation!

Some of us are into the hobby more than others or are interested in future communications applications and experimenting on how they can be utilized for our hobby or general communications. Just think what life might be like today if Edison walked away from using carbonized bamboo for his first light bulb filament due to the fact that the plant's initial purpose was to be a decorative item that belonged in his garden to give his property the "typical ornate look"! So we don't use bamboo for filament today, but it was a vital "stepping stone!"

Just a thought...

(Why not discuss which direction toilet paper should be placed on the dispenser! We all use this too, I hope... Should we "ban" the dispenser? Let's have a national survey to see who is right? Ask the govt how they install it? Declare it not an important item to ignore this ongoing argument which has existed longer than ham radio has been around? Tax or burden those who install it incorrectly? Maybe we need a new dispenser to not discriminate or so everyone is happy? And all those light-colored rolls on top of it all!)

Just some fun... Enjoy! :)
by KG4YEY on April 17, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
EchoLink is not a cell phone, or a "slap in the face" to the ham radio hobby! I'm a new ham and I have been on EchoLink for a month and I love it. Computer to computer via EchoLink is not so much ham radio, but it is still fun. That is why I got it to ham radio, to have fun!! Why did you get in to the hobby?!?

I was in Newport News, VA (My QTH is Franklin,VA) and with my HT linked to a repeater in New Orleans, LA, and talked to a guy on his mobile rig going to work. I thought that was just the coolest thing!!

To the people who don't like EchoLink but have never tried it.........Just give it a chance!!! Try it out!!


by N8XRV on June 11, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
My 2 cents:

If it wasn't for echolink, I probably wouldn't have a radio in my hands now.

I got my ticket over 10 Years ago, It was a requirement to pass an electronics class, at the time, no big deal.
About 7 Months before it expired, I found it in a box of old stuff, and just for fun started listening to local repeaters on my police scanner, and heard about echolink.

I still had a valid license so I decided to fire it up, to talk on a local link, since I had no radios.
thats what really sparked my interest and got me going in Amateur Radio.

Since then, My license is renewed, I have a real radio I talk on alot, and I'm working on upgrading to my General Class.

I'm so glad I heard about it, because I love the hobby now.
by LX3SKY on June 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Dear OM,

Your article about Echolink was very well written, complete and give to the novice and "naysayers" a good idea of the real performance of Echolink.

Comments of users that followed this publication are also very interesting too, most, smart and open-minded, recognizing that this product is a new ham radio tool, as is packet radio, PSK31 or APRS, excepting that it is more complete.

A few examples.
Last time I contacted a repeater in 3A and how was my surprise to be in contact with a JA1 station in Chiba through this relay ! Another time this is a PE station that contacted me through a 2.4 GHz linking, unbeleivable !

How must we name such contacts if there are not ham radio traffic...

Long live to Echolink !

Thierry, LX3SKY, node 2273.
(soon LX1SKY)

More info on (updated June 2003).
RE: EchoLink  
by G3VFP on December 29, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Well all the responses are interesting, and I guess like everything else in this fantastic hobby it is horses for courses. Easy to say it isn't real radio, and that in itself defines why we join the hobby in the first place. Is it to communicate with like minded radio amateurs the world over, or to defend your score in some contest, or dx pile up. Whatever it is there will be a percentage of guys like me that think Echolink is a great facet of our hobby. As already discussed it is a mixture of radio to radio via the internet, or pc to pc via the internet, or pc to radio via the internet. In any event it is radio amateurs communicating with other radio amateurs. Is there a holier than thou attitude in some places, yes I guess there is, but put yourself in a scenario where ham radio has been your lifes hobby. You are maybe old or infirmed, or simply not able to put up antennas anymore like in zoned areas. What would you do then ?. Your life long hobby suddenly hits a brick wall. How many guys do you know who have lost the ability to talk to others of a like mind in this hobby ?.Well not any longer my dear friends because systems like Echolink exist, and when the chips are down, or the bands are dead, there are still qso's to be had !.
If its simply the use of the internet that bothers you, then what about normal packet...links via internet or telephone lines, what about the dxcluster, again internet based, APRS a great system...internet based. Irrespective guys our hobby is a technological one, it will expand, it will delve into areas not forseen in our youth, and so may it be the case. Pushing the frontiers is what our hobby is also about, so come on guys there's room for everyones activity and we all belong to the best hobby since sliced bread :-) Now that you can't argue about :-)

Take care out there and laugh at least once a day even if like me it is at yourself :-)

Best Regards to all for 2004.

Dave G3VFP
by AB7UW-MONTANA on January 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Hmmmmm ITS NOT AMATEUR RADIO!!!!! Once your "transciever" becomes infected via worm or virus,you will know. goodday! Vaughn N1XV-ex AB7UW
RE: EchoLink  
by FRANKM12 on May 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!

Thanks for your observation vis a vis Echolink.

ECHOLINK isnt radio  
by W0IW on August 6, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I would'nt run echolink...

I see the errors of my way now!!!

I use to
run echolink on my repeater...
but all these wise men here have convinced me..
that I am not talking on my handi talkie... Crossbanding thru 440 to 2meters...

thru my repeater linked to a link radio hooked thru the internet to another ham linked to echolink thru his repeater mobile in England on his 2m mobile mobile talking to me thru my repeater...

Thank you... thank you... thank you.. for letting me see the light iam not using a ham radio... Iam so glad I read all you posts..

A new reformed ham...

RE: ECHOLINK isnt radio  
by N2WEC on September 11, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
While it may be fun; it is not DX in any way, shape or form. Have fun in the chat room. (sorry no chat roomese)
by N0LJD on October 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Radio or not... If I have a repeater across town, and I get an analong pair from the telco to my home so I can have a wired, or hard "remote" control station... I'm remotely controlling my repeater.

The Internet just replaced the hard wired link, and allows others to use it.

Everything has it place, and I may not use it as a primary mode... I think it does have a place for new and young operators.

When I was in high school, I couldnt aford my own radio. Kids are use to chat rooms now... and this could be a bridge to ham radio. Once they get their license, they can get started at no cost. And as they talk to more of us with radios... they will work to get get their own like I did.

Ed - N0LJD (at

RE: EchoLink  
by KF4VGX on February 26, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
KF4VGX on April 5, 2003
Ed it sounds like all you want your radio to do is scan without stopping anywhere ? Why cut it on then. Just picking a bit there folks. I say this again ,To Each his Own! I don't care how a Ham enjoys the hobby as long as he enjoys it. Who are we to dictate to fellow hams what there to do with their gear? Some of you haven't realized that your posting on the internet in front of a computer LOL. I wont fault you for that :). its your choice to do so. I have ran Echolink here in Myrtle Beach S.C. for a year now . I have not given up HF and enjoy Echolink everyday. I have met alot of nice hams VIA of Echolink. We have hams that are down here on Vacation sitting in their hotel rooms with HT's talking with fellow Hams back home. Ever try to throw a wire across a hotel ? It wont go over to well with the Hotel owners lol. We can scream we can weep we can insult each other . One thing is certain though Echolink is here I for one enjoy it and will continue to use it. I could go into detail on its use . But you download it and give it a Try . Emergency use ? It has a lot of potential we listen to the shuttle disaster live here in myrtle beach. great learning tool also .Well I have to run Robert E Lee just connected here on the Repeater 73 All

It's been three years now sense I posted this .

I still enjoy all of my amateur privileges and now own a repeater with Echolink on it.

Feels great to provide a service to Amateur's while there here in Myrtle Beach area.

I still remember the time an elder ham linked here from a retirement home ,we talked about the days he use to surf here . His words were , I enjoyed hangin Ten (surfing ) on the beaches with the long board. ;->

We talked a little longer before he signed clear.
his closing words were , I want to thank you for listening to me and letting be relive some of my youth.

Its a great thing your doing providing Amateurs with way to communicate ,your a true Amateur and I thank you for this conversation.

I don't know where he is today, but I sure would like to say thank you for his most encouraging words.
RE: EchoLink  
by KG4TCJ on February 27, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
In reference to the comments that Echo Linkis NOT ham radio...

From Florida, I connected to a repeater in Europe, made a CQ call and spoke to two people for about 10 minutes. One was in his vehicle and the other was in his home. Clearly computer to repeater to radio for this QSO and to me, that is HAM Radio.

Other times, I have been in my vehicle and connect to someone through our local Echo Linked repeater. Again, that is Ham Radio also.

Now I guess you could say that if you use EchoLink and talk from your computer to another on computer that that is not "radio"... Whatever!

The truth about Echo Link is that it is a part of Ham Radio and it's here to stay. No big deal really.

It does have it's place and it a very inexpensive way to try something new and different.

Two thumbs up for Echo Link.

Wayne - KG4TCJ
RE: EchoLink  
by KE7DZE on August 7, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Hello Gents

I don't know how many of you will actually read down this far but I have followed this debate closely and would like to say a few things.

A little bit about myself: I'm 16 and just recently got my license May of 2005. Both my father and brother are hams however though their license is current they do not participate anymore. Therefore I'm left with what they left. Two 2m mobiles and a handheld, with a simple omnidirectional antenna on the roof.

This is all I have and unless I get a decent job when I'm older and have a house of my own I will not be able to work dx bands for a while. Although I intend to eventually. Therefore for now Echolink allows me to achieve the reason I entered the Amateur Radio Service, to talk to people farther away then Utah.

As far as I'm concerned Echolink represents the fundamental purposes for the amateur service in the
United States.
To increase the number of trained radio operators and electronics experts, and improve international goodwill.

Thats why the radio services exists, especially now a days where acting as emergency service isn't all to practical with the current advances in technology.

That's all I have to say really.
FYI - I found an interesting fact about the security of Echolink. It's as secure as this website and asks for the same information.
RE: EchoLink and D-STAR  
by VE7TKO on February 2, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
I have had a lot of fun reading through all these posts about EchoLink. It sort of reminds me of the discussions that I have had about a newer technology called D-STAR. KE7DZE is a good example of the future of ham radio. At the ripe old age of 16, he is what is going to keep ham radio going log after many of us are gone. If this hobby dies, it will be because of the sour attitude of "stick in the mud" hams, who are afraid to learn or try something new.

Our club has just set up two IRLP nodes on our repeaters. We also have a simplex EchoLink link node. There is more RF going through those antennas now, than what there was in previous years. We are starting to see young people get their amateur license through courses taught through our club.

If you don't like IP linking, get rid of your computer, and hide out on the CW bands. Nobody will bother you there, unless he is using a keyboard to send his CW and you can't copy him fast enough. Everything has its time in this new era of modern technology. The earth isn't flat, nor is it the limit of man's achievements.

Young minds, that haven't succumb to stinking thinking, are the future of modern technology. New ideas come from possibility thinkers, so why not get with the program, and enjoy it.
RE: EchoLink  
by N2LRB on June 7, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Echo link is not Ham Radio. Whoever allowed this to happen and then allow everyone else to think it is radio has changed our hobby for the worst and is a liar. Why has the FCC allowed this?

A petition needs to be circulated asking the FCC to not allow this internet appliance to used and paraded as radio. It is not radio!

It is very simply internet chat. How anyone can get a radio high due to any contact is silly, its pretend and it is not RF. Echolink need to be abolish for it is an abomination.
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