Using Echolink

The club hosts a dedicated Echolink node on 147.52 MHz, or what we call “White Rock Simplex.”

Echolink is a fascinating technology that provides links between Echolink-connected hams all over the world. A ham might be using a PC, smartphone or tablet running the Echolink application, or a radio talking through a repeater or a simplex node like ours.

Graphic courtesy  echolink.org

You’ve probably heard Morse Code on 147.52 MHz; that’s the Echolink node IDing with the club callsign each hour in CW.

How can you use Echolink? Well, the easiest way to experience it is to monitor 147.52 MHz and see who drops in!  If you hear a computerized voice announcing a call, that means someone has just connected. Wait for a moment and see if they call CQ, and, if not, give them a call.  If you only caught a partial call, just say your call and perhaps “QRZ to the station on Echolink.” Hopefully, they’ll come back and you’ll have a memorable QSO. When you complete your contact, they will disconnect at their end. All you have to do is monitor White Rock Simplex!

A few pointers when communicating with a station via Echolink:

  • Leave a pause before you transmit.
  • The party coming in on Echolink is on VOX so their audio might clip. Also, their audio quality is dependent on their Internet bandwidth, so some QSOs will be better than others.

Ready for the next step? Install the free Echolink application on your smartphone, tablet PC or desktop computer or laptop.  Feel free to connect to WA5WRL-L so you can see how it works (turn your radio down or you’ll hear an echo). 

Then, feel free to use Echolink on your phone or laptop to come up on White Rock Simplex whenever you’re out of direct radio range.

The club Echolink node is hosted on a dedicated computer and transceiver at the trustee’s house in Little Forest Hills just south of the lake.

The little black box on the left side of the desktop is the dedicated Echolink AcePC running Windows 10 (soon to be Windows 11). It has since been moved behind the monitor above it.

For more info on Echolink (and to download a free copy), visit echolink.org. For a full explanation, check this presentation.