EchoLink and IRLP on W6CX
By Tim Barrett, K6BIV
MDARC runs a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) computer on the top of Mt. Diablo. This system is currently running RedHat 9.0 and has EchoIRLP software installed on it. This EchoIRLP software allows a user to connect the MDARC repeaters to other repeaters or individuals around the world and carry on a voice conversation with those distant stations. The new system is currently accessible from the club's 2M repeater at 147.060 MHz. PL 100Hz.
The EchoIRLP software consists of two separate software systems. The ﬁrst is EchoLink, which allows a user to connect to other hams that are logged on to the EchoLink network as a repeater, link or user. This connection has the ability to be made to several different stations at the same time and can be set to a maximum number, depending on the speed of the Internet connection. For the MDARC repeaters this number is currently set for 5. The user software is available for both PCs and Macs (EchoMac). Please make sure to forward UDP ports 5198 - 5199 and TCP port 5200 if you are behind a router or ﬁrewall. EchoLink software (for PCs) is available at www.echolink.org. EchoMac software is available at www.dogparksoftware.com.
Both are free, but require that you register to ensure that you are a ham before you can download the software.
IRLP software has the ability to connect the club's repeaters to other repeaters or to connect to conference servers located throughout the world. These connections are repeater to repeater connections and currently do not allow users to connect directly from their computers. The conference servers are located at wide pipe portals and have the ability to have more than 50 repeaters connected at the same time. The audio quality tends to be better on IRLP since it has more control over the repeaters in the system. They tend to frown on repeaters that do not strip their courtesy tones, hang time and IDs from the Internet side of the connection. They also better control the speed of the connections required for the use of IRLP software. Almost all the connections on repeaters using IRLP software will be high speed DSL, T1 or cable modem connections.
The access of the distant nodes is easy. For an IRLP connection, simply touch tone the 4 digit node number of the station you want to connect to. You will be greeted by a "now connecting to" message. Please wait for this greeting to ﬁnish before you begin to make a call. Please remember you may be connecting to a repeater in the middle of a conversation. So waiting to make sure is the rule. Enter 73 on the touch tone pad to disconnect. A list of active nodes can be viewed at http://irlp.net.
The access for EchoLink is similar to that of IRLP, but you must start the touch tone command with the asterisk (*) button ﬁrst, followed by the node number. In the case of EchoLink, the node numbers can be up to 6 digits. You will be greeted by a "now connecting to xxxxx" message. Please wait for this greeting to ﬁnish before you begin to make a call. Please remember you may be connecting to a repeater, link, or user in the middle of a conversation. So, waiting to make sure is the rule. Enter 73 on the touch tone pad to disconnect EchoLink.
Please remember to ID before you run any touch tone commands.
To connect to the W6CX 2m repeater from another location, you can connect to IRLP node 3057, or EchoLink node "W6CX-R" (number 133896).
The system is designed to not allow cross connections between the two services.