Welcome to EchoLink 101 Presented by Shawn Bolton KG4BHR Echolink Node Number: 146470
Introducing EchoLink EchoLink is software which allows Amateur Radio stations to communicate with one another over the Internet, using voice-over-IP (VoIP) technology. The program allows worldwide connections to be made between stations, from computer to station, or from computer to computer. The program runs on Microsoft™ Windows® 95 or above. It is offered as freeware and may be downloaded. EchoLink is a full-featured software package with many important and useful features.
The Modes of Amateur Radio • CW – Morse Code • AM – Amplitude Modulation • FM – Frequency Modulation • SSB – Single Side Band • Digital – Packet, Pactor, Amtor, RTTY, PSK31, … • VoIP – Voice over IP
EchoLink Pros: • Friendly Windows GUI • Usable from Computer OR Radio • Easy configuration for RF Link or Computer user • No Special hardware required Cons: • VOX PTT (default) • No AGC • Need broadband internet for reliable communications
A Tour of EchoLink For licensed hams, EchoLink opens up new possibilities for communicating around the world with other amateurs. Your PC links you or your local repeater to any of thousands of other stations over the Internet. The station-list screen keeps running tabs on who's currently on the system. Stations which have recently come on or off are noted separately. Sort the list any way you like. You can set up any number of "alarms" which will ring when your favorite stations come online. In Sysop mode, EchoLink connects to a conventional FM transceiver using either the custom-designed iLINK interface boards from WB2REM and VA3TO, or general-purpose digital-mode interfaces such as the RIGblaster from West Mountain Radio. The board connects to your computer's sound card and serial port.
Virtually any type of Internet connection may be used with EchoLink, from dial-up to DS3. Custom settings allow you to tailor EchoLink to compensate for older computers or slower Internet connections The program includes a number of important new security features, such as the ability to restrict access by country, to help comply with your nation's third-party traffic or reciprocal operating rules.
If the bandwidth of your Internet connection permits it, EchoLink allows up to 10 different stations to be connected at once. This is especially useful in Sysop mode for running a roundtable on your local repeater, or allowing "listening" stations to be connected without blocking out others. Extended DTMF commands allow stations to be searched or connected by callsign, or the status of any station to be queried. The program also includes a built-in Web server for remote control of EchoLink from any Web browser on the Internet .And can also be setup to accept DTMF commands via voice modem.
Floating" pop-up windows keep track of how many stations are on the system, along with detailed status about the current connection. The toolbar allows quick and easy access to frequently used functions
The four system setup screens are easily configured. Most everything is Automatically filled in except your personal information.
The Preferences settings allow how the listings are displayed, the connections that are allowed and your personal info file, the security settings as to the connections allowed the call signs locked out or the country prefixes accepted or denied and the signals menu designates the sound played when activity is detected
The Sysop Settings allow many controls: The receive audio is able to be controlled in many ways the easiest is the default VOX. But the most reliable is COR / COS. The transmit control on the standard interfaces is via the serial connection.
The DTMF commands allow a number of different operations. These are listed on the Echolink Control Sheet. The Identification allows the default computer voice, internal CW, or a .wav file for your Connection Identification.
The options settings are for voice announcements of connecting stations or conferences and the time out settings. The Web tab allows for remote control via the internet and/or voice modem.
Interfaces: If you are expecting to set up EchoLink in "sysop" mode, you will need a special interface device which connects your radio equipment to your computer. This device allows the computer to control the PTT function of your transceiver, and (optionally) to accept and process DTMF commands from the receiver. For maximum flexibility, EchoLink is designed to work with several different types of interfaces. Below is a partial list of high-quality interfaces which are specifically recommended for use with EchoLink. WB2REM & G4CDY'S iLINK Board This interface is available fully-assembled, or in kit form. The circuit was described in QST for March, 2002. VA3TO Enhanced iLINK Controller This interface is also available fully-assembled, or in kit form, and can be used with other digital-mode software such as PSK31. RIGblaster from West Mountain Radio Several models of these general-purpose digital-mode interfaces are available, all of which are compatible with EchoLink. Use EchoLink's internal DTMF decoder when using a RIGblaster. G3VFP iLINK / EchoLink Interface Controller Fully assembled and enclosed, fully isolated interface designed expressly for iLINK/EchoLink. Can be used with other digital-mode software such as PSK31. Other Interfaces Here are some other interface options for EchoLink. PY2JF Interface (from Brazil)
Echolink Interfaces VA3TO WB2REM West Mountain
WB2REM • Uses Standard 1/8” Mono Connectors • Easily Re-Programmable PIC Chip for Updates • Nothing too Complex • Nothing Hidden! • Aux audio input for RF remote control (above 222.150Mhz) • Built in COS
West Mountain • Standard 8 Pin Microphone connectors • RJ-45 Modular Connector • Switches on front panel for ON/OFF • Nice installation presentation
VA3TO • Uses Standard Connectors for Interfacing • Small breadboard area for redesigning • Uses readily available components • Indicator Lights for Status of Operation
Hookup is very easily done with Shielded wires and mini phone plugs on the interface side and the proper connecter for your Microphone Jack and external speaker. There is even an option for a control receiver to control the system remotely.
Here is the link radio and interface board. And the Short Case just left and under the monitor is the link computer
EchoLink Control Sheet • Direct Connect by Node Number. node number • Connect to random node on internet: 00Connect to random link on internet: 01Connect to random conference on internet: 02Query node by node number: 06 + node numberReconnect to LAST node: 09System information: *Turn system on: CONTROL OPS ONLYTurn system off: CONTROL OPS ONLYDisconnect: # (make sure you hit pound after finished using the link every time!) • Hints & Tips: • Leave a pause between transmissions, don't jump the key. When working with several linked repeaters, it takes a couple seconds for them to drop.Wait until the machine says "Connected." until you start calling CQ. If it just says “Connecting to xx...", do not talk yet, wait for it to connect fully. It will say "Connected" when it's connected. • If you hear "Disconnected" right after you connect, this means the remote station has a firewall or internet problem. Just try another station at this point. • When you are finished, wait until the station drops, and press # ONE time only. Pressing #### multiple times will not drop the link, and only causes a problem.
THANKS FOR YOUR TIME AND INTEREST FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT WWW.ECHOLINK.ORG