echolink guide

Basic Operating Guidelines

Please listen on the frequency before transmitting; as this is a simplex gateway and not a repeater, you may not instantly know whether someone local is currently transmitting to it. If you listen long enough, and someone is already using it, you may well hear a couresty-tone , which shows that they have dropped carrier, and then in a few moments you may hear the other side of their QSO. Having listened, the next step is to see if the gateway is active, please look at the list of commands below. You will not be able to blip it up like a repeater, but if you press your PTT and send in DTMF tones, you should hear whether the link is on and connected. You may also hear EI2MOG-L sent in Morse Code, as there is a beacon facility here (in fact it is a licence requirement), or some other identifying station announcement.

Once you are sure that the gateway is not being used, you can use it to connect to any conference, repeater, link, or individual currently on-line, by pressing your PTT and entering the node number with your DTMF keypad. You can find out who is currently on-line here www.echolink.org/el/logins.jsp . Let me explain a little about the terms conference, repeater, link, and individual.

CONFERENCE: a server-based facility in which two or more Echolink stations can “sit”. Usually these facilities are made for a specific purpose, e.g. to group together several repeaters and/or links, maybe for geographical or linguistic reasons. Transmissions made via one repeater or link in the conference will be heard over all of them. EI2MOG-L may well spend periods of times sitting in a conference (often it will be the IRELAND conference – see www.echoireland.com ); I will have decided when to do so, but the links presence there will be at the discretion of the sysop (system operator) of the conference. If he or she does not like the way people operate the link, it could well be muted or excluded. If there is no traffic currently on the conference, you may still set up a connection, using your DTMF tones, with another Echolink user, but I would suggest putting out a CQ call, to see if anyone is listening anywhere.

REPEATER: just like the ordinary repeater where you are located, but with an added Echolink facility. Local mobile traffic takes priority, and you may find it difficult to break in to an established QSO; but once you have been noticed and called in by one of the stations local to the repeater, they will make it clear when they are putting it over to you. Leave a few seconds gap when it is put over to you, to compensate for internet time lags and for the repeater logic to re-set itself (i.e. give its k to local operators which you might not hear).

LINK: If you are on EI2MOG-L you are on a link! A link receives your signal on a simplex frequency and sends it via the internet to a remote station; then it transmits back to you, on the simplex frequency, what is coming down the internet connection from the remote station.

INDIVIDUAL: Individual stations are always computer based, and are not on the air. Try not to ignore calls from operators of such stations, and do not say to yourself "This is not real amateur radio". I have known several amateurs for whom this is the only way they can contact fellow amateurs, and for them it is a life-line to their hobby take, for example, an operator of my acquaintance in Tokyo, in a small apartment where he cannot erect an HF antenna, and where the VHF repeaters are constantly jammed. There are also a number of blind or disabled amateurs who use this facility. Individual stations, like anyone else on Echolink, have had their call signs verified by the people at www.echolink.org , so you can be fairly confident you are talking to a licens