Echolink ties ham radio and computers together over the Internet. For several years we have used it in the club to allow club members to talk over the SBARC repeater using just a computer, tablet or cell phone. So far, KI6RC talked to us from China, WA6OWM checked in from Germany, and others out of range or without 220 MHz equipment have used it to keep in touch with the club. I use it to attend our Thursday net from a hotel room while away.
So how do you use it? Here are some steps and pointers:
- Go to www.echolink.org for basic information.
- Start with a Windows internet-connected computer for registration. You need a soundcard, speakers/earphones, and a microphone.
- Download, install, and run the Windows software to register your call sign with the system.
- After you run the software, validate your call sign at www.echolink.org/validation.
- Test your setup by connecting to the test server in the Echolink program dropdowns: “Station”->”Connect to Test Server”. Most people have to boost the microphone as much as possible in the sound interface to get a decent audio output.
- Hint: Transmit by toggling the lightning bolt icon or space bar. Note that you have to click stop!!!!!!!
- Email Jerry at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will put you on the club access list. (Otherwise the node will not let you on.)
- Connect to KJ6JJ-R and you will be on the air at 224.38 MHz! Standard repeater rules and courtesy apply.
You will be connected to the club repeater through Jerry’s radio. He will leave it on as much as possible, but if you cannot find KJ6JJ-R, he may have shut it down for some reason. The -R, meaning repeater, is important. You might find KJ6JJ without the -R, but that is not the repeater, just Jerry on another computer. Occasionally, he uses KJ6JJ-L used for special events.
There’s more! You can connect to thousands of other repeaters around the world. Thanks to the Echolink folks for setting up the system and allowing us to use their icon for this note. Email Jerry if you have any problems.
KJ6JJ – Jerry