Basic Overview of the IRLP and the WIN SYSTEM
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Basic Overview of the IRLP and the WIN SYSTEM

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Caveats. All information in this overviewis focused at the beginning IRLP / WINSYSTEM user level.was taken from the IRLP and WINSYSTEM websites.is presented as a
Basic Overview of the IRLP and the WIN SYSTEM

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1. Basic Overview of the IRLP and the WIN SYSTEM Is this really Amateur Radio? Compiled by KI6LO www.radioroom.org

2. Caveats All information in this overview is focused at the beginning IRLP / WINSYSTEM user level. was taken from the IRLP and WINSYSTEM websites. is presented as a ?seed? for additional reading and research on part of any prospective system user. Information for configuring a repeater/station for use in either network can be found at the respective websites. As the presenter is a new IRLP/WIN SYSTEM system user and has a very basic understanding of these systems, no conclusions are presented about either system nor is any guidance suggested other than that shown.

3. Why use remotely linked systems? Currently many new hams are limited by the privileges of their license, some aren?t. No Code Techs (Technician class) are limited to 6M and above, while Technician Plus class and higher have various HF allocations for CW and SSB. While many new hams jump right in and obtain the latest generation of HF-VHF-UHF multi-everything radios, most new hams start out with a simple HT on FM only. With the sunspot cycle at a minimum, even those Tech?s with multi-band rigs are limited on the lower bands since activity is not really hot right now. New hams with only HTs are even limited more as to using the local repeaters and short range simplex contacts. Extend the area of coverage provided by the class of your current license with no additional equipment needed while preparing for the upgrade to a higher license class. Hold a FM quality QSO with hams in other countries as a No-Code Tech using your US 2M and 70cm privileges and a simple HT? This is but only a couple of reasons to explore systems that link remotely via the internet.

4. I have Echolink. Why do I need something else? Main difference between linked systems and Echolink Echolink is mainly designed to originate connections via a PC and soundcard to: A remote PC via voice (Pc mic/spkrs) or kybd to kybd. A remote repeater (In via your PC ? out through remote RF link via remote PC interface A remote node Echolink will allow RF originating links to connect to Echolink network provided a simplex RF link is interfaced to a gateway PC to allow a RF connection to be passed to the Echolink network. No user PC is required for IRLP or WIN System so the link can be established via HT, mobile and base radios without the need for internet connectivity at the radio site. Internet connectivity is done transparently by the repeater or node that you are linking through.

5. Is this really ham radio? THE GREAT DEBATE Since this topic is never settled to anyone?s satisfaction, I?ll only say this: It is ham radio as much as you want it to be. Whether the conducting medium is air or wire, internet linked amateur radio related communications is done by hams for hams. Call it whatever you want to, it?s still communicating and that?s what hams do!

6. Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Summarizing a very technical topic, VoIP is the basic method by which audio is captured via some analog input, digitized via various analog-to-digital conversion methods and compressed into digital data elements and transmitted over the internet as IP data packets. On the other end, the process is reversed, with the digital data elements being extracted and put through a digital-to-analog conversion process and converted to audio. What happens to the digital data along the way and how it gets from one end to another is really not important to the casual user in most cases, especially here.

7. What is IRLP? The Internet Radio Linking Project (IRLP) uses Voice-Over-IP (VoIP) custom software and hardware to couple the power of the Internet with Amateur Radio allowing users to link to local and remote repeaters and simplex station without the need for expensive station configurations. Activity is on 2M and 70cm. For the general user, the system architecture is mostly transparent. The only thing the user need know is the operating rules, the desired node connection information and the commands/method required to activate the desired link/node.

8. How does IRLP work? The IRLP uses a Voice-Over-IP (VoIP) streaming software called Speak Freely. Speak Freely is very similar to other VoIP software packages (such as Microsoft NetMeeting and VocalTec Iphone with one difference - It runs under Linux User interfaces to the IRLP computer using DTMF signals sent over the radio. DTMF sequences are owner programmable. The DTMF signals are detected on the IRLP interface board and sent directly to the computer A DTMF software program then runs commands on the computer depending on the code entered. These commands are what start and stop Speak Freely, basically establishing and breaking the link.

11. Using IRLP Common Modes of Operation Direct one-to-one Direct connect is where repeater (node) "A" connects direct with node "B".? With this type of link the two nodes are interconnected and no other IRLP connections are possible.? All local traffic on each repeater will be heard on the other repeater as well. One-to-many via a Reflector A reflector is a Linux computer that is not connected to any radio but rather sits on lots of internet bandwidth capable of allowing many repeaters to be inter-connected together by streaming the received audio back to all other connected stations.

12. IRLP Nodes Node Status current as of 12/8/2005 20:45:03 GMT

13. REFLECTOR 9453 Channel: 3 on Reflector 9450 in Dallas, TX 23 Nodes shown connected Local Node 3877 : WI6RE on El Paso Peak w/ Ridgecrest coverage

14. WINSYSTEM

15. What is the WIN SYSTEM? The Western Intertie Network or ?WIN System? is a series of linked, or ?Intertied?, UHF (440 MHz, or 70 cm) repeaters that cover a great deal of California and soon into southern Oregon.? It is owned and?operated by K6JSI ?Shorty?, with a lot of help from the WIN System membership. The WIN Sysytem is not a Closed or Private system, but rather a member supported system.?All hams are encouraged to stop in and get acquainted.??Membership is open to any licensed amateur radio operator who wants to get involved with a growing, vibrant group, on the leading edge of technology. The WIN System uses IRLP reflectors to link repeaters within the system that are unable to be directly linked by RF

17. Commonality of Systems

18. What radio gear do I need for IRLP or the WIN System? General User Any VHF/UHF transceiver capable of FM voice mode Touch Tone input needed to activate remote nodes for IRLP. WIN System is constantly ?intertied? and no user linking is required Linking / config handled by node owners Lots of 2m/70cm HT?s are commonly heard. VX2R 1.5W HT with 17? Comet-24 SMA duckie works from northside of Ridgecrest into WI6RE Repeater Operator Since each system is different, suggest that a visit to respective website for more details http://www.irlp.net http://www.winsystem.org

19. Ok, so I got a radio, now what? Well first you will need to locate a entry point into either one of the networks. Sometimes the two networks share some common points. For IWV hams, this is the main difference between Echolink and these 2 systems. As luck would be, the IWV/Ridgecrest has such a ?shared? repeater (WI6RE). Currently for the near future, it is tied into the WIN SYSTEM but occasionally it is switched over to the IRLP Western Reflector.

20. So I?m setup on the link repeater, now what? To start out, I strongly suggest that you monitor the repeater Listen for a day or so & learn the way things are done. When your ready to jump in, you?ll probably want to know which network (WIN System or IRLP) WI6RE is currently connected to? One key indicator is where stations are located Western Reflector has Las Vegas ? if you hear a lot of LV stations, chances are your on W-R. Ed Tipler (WI6RE) controls which network the repeater is linked to. Usually it is connected to the WIN System, but he switches it occasionally.

21. Linked Network Usage Operating Tips Pause a bit longer between transmissions Instead of ?{Your call} monitoring? as on WA6YBN, give your location ?{Your call} Ridgecrest California monitoring? ?{Your call} Ridgecrest California in the High Mojave desert, anyone around? Remember, you are linked into a lot of coverage area The WIN System coverage is from the Mexican Border to Northern CA & soon to be into south/central Oregon IRLP can be worldwide depending on which node you have linked to.

22. Knowledge is power!! Access the home pages for the 2 systems presented here: WIN SYSTEM @ http://www.winsystem.org IRLP @ http://www.irlp.net Review the Operating Guidelines and Node Lists/Maps for possible access points. If in doubt, ask the other system users via forums, emails, chats, etc. LEARN ? LEARN ? LEARN!!!!

23. Reading Room ARRL Book ?VoIP: Internet Linking for Radio Amateurs? QST May 2003 was the first in-depth feature coverage of IRLP QST May 2005 has a fine article on IRLP for new hams. World Radio January 2003 : IRLP Article ?Seven Thousand Miles on a Rubber Duck? by Allen Sherwood K6USN Internet eHAM.net article @ http://www.eham.net/newham/irlp Search on Google, MSN or other search engines

24. Summary For newer hams, as well as the more experienced ones, IRLP and the WIN SYSTEM open up a whole new level of operating as well as a lot more coverage area than one or two local repeaters do. As with any system, the impetus is on the user to learn the proper way to use the system. Don?t be afraid to ask questions. If you ask and don?t get an answer ? ask AGAIN! No question is stupid but try to learn as much as you can from the system?s website before just firing away with questions.


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