is a system that can connect Amateur Radio stations
to each other via internet. Does this sound weird
to you? Well, that depends on how you look at it.
Echolink system allows radio signals to be passed
over the internet. This is accomplished via computers
that are connected both to the internet and to an
amateur radio station. By contacting one of these,
your signals can go from the air waves onto the internet
and vice-versa. Echolink even allows PC users and
amateur radio stations to directly communicate with
each other. In fact, you do not need amateur radio
equipment to make a contact with radio stations anywhere
in the world. You need a PC with a soundcard, speakers
and a microphone. Your PC transmits your voice signals
over the internet, to an Amateur Radio station which
is connected directly to the internet.
connects for example two-way repeater radio stations
and / or computers to each other. That means that
you can make contact with your portable radio set
to a local repeater station. Your signal is then transferred
from this repeater, via the internet, to another repeater
or to a computer on the network. The other repeater
re-transmits your signal in its local area. In this
way you can speak to an amateur radio station in that
area. Or to a radio amateur connected with his personal
computer directly to the echolink network.
E.g.: a Scout camping in Nijkerk, Netherlands makes
radio contact with the local repeater station in Amersfoort.
Using the internet, his signal is transferred to the
main repeater in Sydney, Australia. Via this system,
he has a pleasant conversation with another Scout
in Paramatta, close to Sydney, who uses a portable
radio station at his local camp site. Another Scout,
located in Roanoke Virginia, USA, uses the computer
room of the local high school. He too connects himself
to the echolink network and can speak to the Scouts
in Nijkerk and Sydney at the same time.
for use during JOTA:
you are at a location that does not allow you to put
up antennas. Or you have easy access to the computer
class room in a school building. Now you have the
chance to take part in JOTA from the school's PC's,
simply by connecting to Echolink.
against internet abuse:
of licence regulations and the possibility to actually
transmit via a connected radio station, you do need
the assistance of a licensed radio amateur. That the
same regulations apply as for the regular, on the
air, radio contacts. The transmissions are identified
with the radio call sign, so they are not anonymous,
and can be traced to the responsable operator. The
license of the operator is checked before access to
the system is granted. In this way, Echolink protects
youngsters from unwanted elements present on the public
internet and ensures child safety.
radio amateur has to validate his call sign with Echolink
so his license can be checked. This can now be easily
done on-line and takes only a few days to return the
validation to you. But don't wait till the last moment
to prepare your Echolink station. Validate with
Echolink before 1 October if you intend to use it
here to validate your station.
Special-event call signs can be used on Echolink,
but not to register; instead you must use the call
sign of the 1st operator. The software, however, allows
you to set a station descriptor; JOTA stations are
asked to put in their station descriptor "JOTA: your
call sign", so they can easily be recognized on the
system. A detailed instruction for JOTA stations is
your JOTA station does not have an internet connection
available on site, you can still use the Echolink
system. Ask your radio amateur to determine which
VHF or UHF link station is nearby and within reach
of your JOTA station. Next, obtain the co-operation
of the operator of your local link station. Set up
instructions can be found here.
details and technical assistance to your radio amateur
on how to use Echolink, please see the
specialised web site.