I'll throw in what I wrote recently on QRZ.com as both an FYI about my
system and a (semi) related note in this thread...
In order to get onto the EchoLink system with the setup I'm running, a
user's signal passes through at least 7 radios! The user only controls
two of them (full control of his own, and partial control of the link),
but someone else has set up the other 5. In this case, I have worked
with the repeater owner (and the organization that sponsors it) to
configure the repeater for use with EchoLink. It was fun getting into
the guts and changing stuff around in the radio and the controller to
learn what things worked best and so forth.
At my home where the link radio resides, I built and setup the antenna
(while it was snowing of course), configured the radio, built the
interface to and configured the computer and installed the software.
This was all very engaging for me and continues to be. I like listening
to other people talk on the system and hearing comments once in a while
at meetings saying that they liked listening even though I haven't heard
them talking on the link. As I move my APRS I-Gate along with its
associated equipment from my office to my home, I will need to make sure
that they don't interfere with each other. I have enlisted the help of
some local experts who have done this sort of stuff before.
Regarding the rest of the RF linking: Although it's nearly a commodity
these days, it was still interesting to me when I installed it. I
didn't build the 2.4GHz antenna on my roof, but I could have. Since I
am working with a startup Wireless ISP for my connectivity, I helped
them install the system (up on the roof and at their office
troubleshooting both ends of the connection). Getting sufficient DC
power to the network bridge located 30 feet in the air across a long
roof and down into my basement was quite an exercise. Choosing which
link to point my 802.11b antenna at was also interesting since there was
more than one I could have used. Maximizing the signal strength and
signal/noise ratios while not difficult, will probably need to be done
again in the spring as the trees in my line of sight path grow more
microwave soaking leaves. I'll send my son up with his HT and watch the
levels down here as we optimize the signal. From the access point I
link to, there are two other RF connections before the signal gets onto
copper at the local CO (which is right across the street from the last
There are a lot of things in this system that have to be running right
in order to have the system work. The fact that it will all go down if
there's a local disaster is OK with me because I've designed the system
to be supplementary. It's here as just another tool that may be
beneficial someday, somehow. Some people are exploring ways that the
system might be useful in an emergency. But, unless people know about
its capabilities and limitations, it will truly be useless.
FWIW...There will be a few people on the N2LEN system (node #6427)
tonight (Dec 4) at 9pm EST (0400z) discussing the possibilities.
I still use other more traditional methods to communicate as well
(anything from mirror signaling to sign language), but I have very much
enjoyed myself in this particular corner of Amateur Radio.
Net Manager, Utah County ARES
Operator node #46049
24/7 EchoLinked to N7BSA repeater
From: n4wwc <n4wwc@...
Sent: Tuesday, December 10, 2002 4:12 AM
Subject: [ECHOLINKHAMS] Re: But is it Ham Radio?