I understand that IRLP is an Internet connection between radios/repeaters using the nodes. I've located an IRLP repeater that's about 20 miles from me, N5XWD - 443.300. I thought I would try to make a link this evening, so I programmed in the repeaters frequency. I expected it to be free, however when I finished programming, I was surprised to hear some kind of net hosted on the WIN system coming across the repeater. I think it's the insomnia net, because they are asking trivia questions. When I checked the node listing on the IRLP website, it listed this node (3018) as "IDLE" for 14 hours and some minutes. It does not state that its linked to 9100 the WIN system node. I thought I would have to connect the repeater in order to hear any traffic? Is this a repeater that's always linked? Or can I hear, but not transmit without establishing a link?