Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Echolink on the Repeaters

(click picture to zoom in)

Hi Gang,
From time to time, folks ask "what has to be done to get Echolink back on the repeater ?"

1) Someone with a stable, high-speed, Internet connection
2) A PC with pretty good up-time (probably not someone's daily driver)
3) Echolink running on that machine pretty much full-time.
(it would get a separate node number for this purpose.)
4) A clear link (a small mobile rig ? roof-top antenna ?) to the .91 repeater.

The someone would be around quite a bit to disconnect things if something went nuts. Maybe someone "retired" ?

Ideally, we'd have "remote base" radios at Tiger Hill for Echolink. That would let us put the radio mentioned in "4" above on a frequency pair besides the input and output of .91 repeater. We could use a frequency pair somewhere on 440 for these purposes. Then, if something happened, we could disconnect it via touch-tones to the controller on .91. (Assuming we get a separate controller (CAT-200 or something) back up there.)

5) some small mobile rigs for use at the repeater site.

I'll try to sketch this out if someone is interested.

If anyone can supply some of the above (parts, time, Internet connection, old computer, floor space in your shack, etc.) let us know.



ke5omv said...

Great explanation Scott. What would be the system requirements for the computer...i.e., Would an old 486 do?

On the radios, would a 2 meter only (single band) work?


Stan(KE5LEP) said...

I am interested in this project.
What about using money from the club to purchase an old (not too old used computer) and a used radio. If we had Echo link available I would use it. Also we might be able to collect some money above and beyond dues to fund the project. I am not retired and can not provide a home for the equipment. Lets start on this project...or we won't get it done.

KD5NJR said...

That's the "beauty" of it, Stan. I stress that we need to locate it aside from one's regular computer and radio equipment so the odds of it getting wiggled, giggled, or a new piece of software / virus / etc. is minimized. It would be good for it to be not too far from the repeater (that whole line of sight thing) so we can keep the antenna and radio requirements to a minimum. And I think it would be good to have a "babysitter' (aka control operator) around sometimes.

Don, I'm doing some checking on which bands would be appropriate to carry the audio from the Echolink station to the repeater site. Per FCC, that might have to be 400 Mhz.

We also need to get the CAT controller installed at the repeater site. Those controllers (not the freebie controller that comes in the Yaesu / Vertex repeater) all for linking / unlinking of radios.

Operating System: WinXP.
For convenience's sake, we're talking about Pentium III / IV compatible. 512 MB memory.

I don't have one to give / donate / etc., but I do have a power supply "New In Box" if someones wants to undertake a build or rehab.

I'll donate an older Yaesu dual - band HT. I'll throw in a Radio Shack 3A power supply.

Those little MFJ antennas and a cookie sheet can come in at $20. On top of a bookshelf, those might be good enough.

Thanks for wanting to help, Stan. Hopefully we'll get more comments.