Echolink, isn't it great?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by DL4QB, Dec 1, 2019.

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  1. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm pretty sure he knows that. :)
  2. WR1O

    WR1O Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you like Echolink you will love something called a cell phone.
    N3AB likes this.
  3. N1BCG

    N1BCG Ham Member QRZ Page

    How many people have you met by chance using your phone who were also happy to talk with you?
  4. KB9BVN

    KB9BVN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not this one.
  5. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    That also brings up the question of "third party" raffia, which IS limited (at least) in the U.S. A contact into a station in a country that does not allow 3rd party traffic may be a violation of FCC rules/regulations.
  6. KC3EPA

    KC3EPA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I like it for hitting easily repeaters in Australia.
    I do it may be once in a blue moon.

    I have tried different states but it is pseudo real in any case.
  7. N2SUB

    N2SUB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Funny you should ask this question. I just spent the last week at my Dad's house for the holiday. I brought my DMR setup to demo it for him. He's been a ham for over 25 years and he's never tried anything with VOIP. Since he's 3 states away, I thought that DMR would be a good way for us to communicate when propagation isn't in our favor on HF. I hooked up my openspot2 to his network...quite a task to explain to him how that worked. He made me draw a picture. I explained dynamic vs static TGs and how they worked using an openspot va a repeater. I showed him the Brandmeister dashboard, where you register, how to designate TGs as static, etc. Then I showed him the CPS and explained contacts, talk groups, channels and zones, and how they are used on my radio. The difference between Analog and Digital channels, the difference between how digital repeater and openspot channels are programmed. Dad's response....

    "Why don't you just use Echolink"

    I think he's on to something. I started DMR with no prior knowledge. I've found that much of the info on the internet is either incomplete or just plain wrong. I've found that many of the operators you talk to simply downloaded a code plug and have no idea how their system actually works. Or maybe a buddy set it up for them and told them "Don't touch anything". It's frustrating when the DMR "experts" just paste a link to a DMR 101 page when you ask an operational they think I haven't read that already? Need help from Bridgecom University? If something isn't clear in their videos and you need clarification, unless you bought a radio from them they will not talk to you. I guess I understand that line of thinking, although as a result I won't buy my NEXT radio from them. You would think helping beginners get on the air can only serve to increase their business. In general, once you understand the concept of DMR, there isn't a one stop shop for information about operating. Too many people just give up.

    With Echolink, you download the program, enter your callsign and you're "on the air" so to speak. Have a question? Hit F1! Dad and I have used Echolink on and off for years. For us, DMR was meant to be used as a backup line of communication since he is in a hurricane zone and often loses power and internet, but generally can rely on having a cell phone signal while his HF antennas are down. But despite the minimal investment (compared to D-Star), the overall complexity was enough for him to say "No Thanks". The retired RF Engineer isn't interested.

    The other day, I read something that put things in perspective...."DMR was not designed to be used in the amateur radio service". We've kind of adopted it from commercial radio. Echolink was designed by amateurs for amateurs, and it makes perfect sense, even to a casual observer. I first used it in 2001, when I moved to a new city, so I could still talk to my friends on the local repeater. To me, their is no shame in using the internet as part of your communication to a repeater. The choice is yours, but when it comes to ease of use and reliability, you cannot beat Echolink.

    Sorry about railing on's frustrating for a newbie.
    KQ0J, KC9ONY, N8TGQ and 1 other person like this.
  8. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Your frustration is understandable. I picked up one of the Chicom HT's, to give it a try, about 3 years ago. The first thing to be done was to go to their web site and download some software and this was before programming the actual DMR program(s). Gave up on the first step after much frustration.
    I did pick up a Fusion radio because it was the most prominent digital mode in this area. The radio was easy to program but the digital audio is an assault on the ears. Why the audio can't be made to sound at least as good as cell phone quality is beyond my technical paygrade, perhaps it's a cost factor.
  9. ND5Y

    ND5Y Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's one of the problems. Some hams think it's just an app you install and they don't bother to set audio levels or anything and they sound like crap and cause other problems.
  10. N2SUB

    N2SUB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I had not heard that about Fusion. I've got DMR and D-Star. There are no D-Star repeaters I can hit, and the local DMR system is mainly used for ecomm purposes and has limited contact with the world outside of the Carolinas. I've never looked for a Fusion repeater, but based on your review, perhaps I shouldn't bother. :)

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