Southern Alberta Amateur Radio Club

USING ECHOLINK

 

Many thanks to Bruce Stewart  VE6ATY for the following information...

 

Welcome to Echolink.

 

You can use Echolink with your VHF and/or UHF radios.

First tune to an Echolink repeater.  In Lethbridge and area there are three full time Echolink repeaters:

 

VE6ROT  - 146.790 MHZ

 

VA6IRL – 146.970 MHZ

 

VE6DOK – 442.O75 MHZ.  (This is Gary Wheeler's new Fusion Repeater)

 

VE6ATY only is operational during the Wednesday evening CAM NET at 8 PM on the frequency 146.880 Mhz.

 

For the full time Echolink users, you have to know the number of the station or node.  First, your radio has to have DTMF on it.  Then, using the DTMF pad on your radio’s microphone, ( in some cases the DTMF pad is on the radio), dial that number and the Echolink will connect to that node.  Talking to the other party is the same as when you are talking to someone using the repeater directly.  When you are finished and wish to disconnect, simply dial the crosshatch on your DTMF pad.  If you have problems connecting to another station then your tones are not being recognized by the repeater.  In that case, contact the repeater custodian.

 

The node numbers can be located on Echolink’s webpage, Introducing Echolink.

 

When talking to another station, please wait a least 3 to 4 seconds when you are turning it over to him or her.

 

You can also use Echolink with your computer.  Go to the Echolink webpage and download the program.  It is a free download.

 

After the program has been installed, it will ask you for some information such as your region, (North America),  location, whether you will be operating as a single user or sysop.  Single user will likely be your choice as sysop means that the system will be used as a link or repeater.  Other information required will be your name, and call. A password, which is your choice, will also be necessary.

 

You will not be able to use the program right away as Echolink will want to verify your call.  To do that a copy of your certificate will have to be sent to them.  You can email that copy using their web page.

 

Once your call has been verified, the program will work.  It will show you the stations and their node numbers that are on-line.  You can connect to a station by clicking on that station’s call.  After the connection has been made you will see an icon on the top right of the screen will be red.  When you wish to transmit, push the space bar.  After transmitting push the space bar again to receive.  When you are finished and wish to disconnect, simply click on that red icon.  It will turn to black and the other station will be disconnected.

 

If you are having problems connecting to another station, you may have a firewall problem.  First look at the firewall on Windows.  That will be found on the Control Panel.  Check the list for Echolink then mark it as allowed.   If you cannot find Echolink on that list, you may have to add Echolink then mark it as allowed.

 

If that does not solve the problem, then it lies in your router.  Echolink does provide instructions on how to set up some D-Link and Linksys Routers.  That can be found under help then go to index, then firewalls.  If yours is a different make, then your router manual should have that information.  Further information can be found using help on the Echolink program.  No matter what router you are using these forwarding path numbers, TCP 5200 and UDP 5198 and 5199 will have to be  used.

 

ADDITIONAL ECHOLINK INFORMATION

 

For those who use radios to connect to stations on the Echolink.

 

If you wish to test your radio using Echolink, you can do so by dialing 9999 on your DTMF Keyboard.  When connected, speak into your microphone.  Echotest will record your voice and play it back to you.  From that you can determine if your radio is operating properly for Echolink, I.E. if you are over deviating.  Disconnect by touching the crosshatch on your DTMF pad.  Make sure you do disconnect otherwise Echoltest will continue to record and playback.  In other words the repeater will be transmitting and receiving until Echotest is disconnected.

 

For those who use a computer to connect to stations on the Echolink.

 

If you are using Echolink on your computer, after bringing up the program,  you can select Station on the upper left  portion of your screen.  Go to  Connect to Test Server.  Echotest will then be activiated and then use the same procedure of recording your voice as described above.  Disconnect by clicking on the red icon on the upper left portion of the screen.

 

After recording your voice and you are not hearing it during playback, the problem may be you are using the wrong input or output selection on the Echolink program.  Go to Tools on the upper left portion of the screen.   Go to Setup then audio.  When  clicking on Input Devices a dropdown will occur.  Click on each one until the correct one is selected.  Do the same with Output Devices.

 

If the audio level is too loud or too low, go to Tools, click on Audio Sound Devices and adjust the  audio levels for your input and output devices.

 

You can also play around with the Echolink app on an iPhone if you like and I believe there is one for the Android system as well.

 

Good luck and once again welcome to Echolink.

 

 

Contact us by e-mail at: infosaarc@shaw.ca | Snail mail: SAARC, PO Box 1024, Raymond, AB T0K 2S0