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EchoLink

EchoLink® software allows licensed Amateur Radio stations to communicate with one another over the Internet, using streaming-audio technology.  The program allows worldwide connections to be made between stations, or from computer to station, greatly enhancing Amateur Radio's communications capabilities.


EchoLink is probably the most well known RF Gateway software package in the Amateur Radio community.  It also is known for its ease to set up.  The problem comes in the form of connectivity and flexibility.


When the Internet is unavailable EchoLink will not work (even if you have a broadband wireless network for data established) as it needs to make contact with the primary database every time a connect request is initiated.


Also there is the challenge of making sure that you have all firewalls properly configured for the connect request that will be returned to you by the station that you want to connect to;  for example K0AAA wants to connect o K0ZZZ there would be the outbound connect to the EchoLink database, then a second connect request from K0ZZZ.  The second request from K0ZZZ will appear to your firewall as a new connect request that is blocked (when the firewall is not set to handle inbound traffic properly) and then the
timed out occurs.

Another problem especially when dealing with emergency operations is the fact that EchoLink is in a simplex / half-duplex mode.  This means that the first station to key-up has total control of the system until they unkey.  This can be extremely hazardous when there is another station with priority or emergency traffic.


For general everyday use EchoLink is good for that as the interface to a radio can be quite simple to build (with a single transistor and a few diodes).   There are apps for smart phones that can interface with EchoLink available.


EchoLink web site is located at:
http://www.echolink.org/


Note: EchoLink has a "Amateur Radio" use only restriction.  It cannot be used in a commercial (Part 90) system.


Note: EchoLink administrators have decided to charge conference operators a conference "administrative fee" of $40 per year. For individuals and organizations that operate more than one conference this administrative fee will be quite costly. It's not about maintaining the EchoLink database as the money will be given to another organization. See http://echolink.org/conf.htm for details. (A conference provides a means in which many stations can be connected as one via a large capacity connection)







EchoLink® is a registered trademark of Synergenics, LLC.
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