Many Scout groups use Ecolink to make Internet assist contacts for JOTA. While Echolink provides Computer to radio linking possibilities, IRLP, Internet Radio Linking Protocol, provides true radio to radio linking via Internet assist. Echolink repeaters have Node numbers and so do IRLP repeaters.
An option to provide opportunities for multiple JOTA sites to communicate is through IRLP Reflectors. Like Echolink Conference Bridges, Reflectors allow multiple connections allowing multiple repeaters throughout the world to connect through one location at the same time.
Jeff Alexander, N4MSE has given permission to set up a JOTA reflector channel as part of the 945 Dallas Reflector. Reflectors have 10 channels each. The 0 channel is for general use but the other channels can be set up for special groups or operations. On the 945 reflector, any JOTA station can connect to channel 2 by keying 9452 into an open and active IRLP repeater anywhere in the world.
There are many IRLP repeaters nodes throughout the world, many in the US and Canada but numerous othes elsewhere. To find a node near you, go to http://irlp.net
and click on the "Node Info" link on the left and then select one fo the links in the center of the page. For JOTA I recommend contacting the repeater trustee of the local IRLP machine near you to gain permission to use for an extended period of time. Also be aware of the means needed to take the node down from it's connection should it be needed.
For a real time status on the Dallas Reflector you can go to http://irlp.g4eid.co.uk/status/all_reflectors.html
and search on the page for "Reflector 9450 Dallas and you will see all the repeater nodes connected to the 10 channels of the reflector. Those repeater nodes connected to channel 2 will be there specifically for JOTA contacts. Click on the title link for the 9450 reflector and display only this reflector and it's channels. Connect to 9452 from your local machine and join in the conversation.
Please take advantage of this opportunity to use IRLP as a bridge for wide area radio to radio Scout communications with Internet assist.
73 de, Tom, N5HYP