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Echolink Saves a life

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KC8YCZ, Dec 30, 2005.

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  1. WB3DJL

    WB3DJL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Try to get on Echolink without a Ham license and then you may change some of your biased opinions about the whole aspect of Echolink and pc to pc hook up.
  2. WY3X

    WY3X Ham Member QRZ Page

    The same could be said about trying to get on ham radio without a license. The difference is- the law concerning using an amateur radio without a license is enforced by a government agency (the FCC). Having to have a license to get on a computer and type messages back and forth, or talk to each other PC to PC, is enforced by who? That's right.... the people who brought you Echolink. What will happen if you invent some scheme and get past the Echolink moderators and they find out you've been using the software without proper licensing or illegal/improper documentation? They cut off your access. Big whoop-de-doo. You won't lose your ham license. What happens if you get caught by the FCC transmitting on amateur radio frequencies without a license? According to some of the reports concerning illegal activity on the ARRL website, it could net you a big fat fine, your radio may be confiscated, and perhaps if it's a most egregious case, jail time!

    If you use foul language on Echolink PC to PC, you won't lose your ham license. You will lose it if you use foul language on the air! (Eventually... the FCC is kinda slack on enforcement most of the time.)

    If the same laws don't apply, how can you possibly think it's ham radio? I can see new case law down the pike: a user abuses an Echolink repeater node. The repeater owner gets popped for allowing outrageous behavior to occur on his or her repeater. (For cases in point look at the repeater abuse documented in the Enforcement page on the ARRL website concerning Los Angeles repeaters.) The ham who abuses the repeater via Echolink could argue that because he was using an internet connection, and the content of his data packets are not FCC regulated, he should not be fined. DOH! Some of this is pure hyperbole, but it COULD happen...!

    BTW, an opinion can't be biased if it's based on facts.

  3. K5GHS

    K5GHS Ham Member QRZ Page

    And hearing that some perhaps HAVE done this is what scares me, and should scare others, especially those running repeaters that are Echolink enabled.

    If the Echolink "bootlegger" only talks to other hams via echolink itself (ie, PC to PC) then probably, technically, no law is broken.

    If the Echolink "bootlegger" talks to another ham via a RF simplex link, then the bootlegger is illegal by virtue of transmitting without a licence. But wait, he's not keying the transmitter, so is he really? Probably. The person who owns the simplex link is liable, although the simplex link person is assuming the Echolink software people have verified this person IS a ham but isn't. And, the other party could be liable also for having a QSO with the party. So, in this situation we have 3 potential people who could get in trouble provided the FCC wanted to enforce.

    If the Echolink "bootlegger" talks to another ham via a RF repeater link, it gets even muddier. Again the bootlegger is responsible (likely). The repeater owner is liable, and if owned by a club, possibly the club. Anyone who talks to the bootlegger possibly is also, as well as the software authors since they aren't ensuring the person was an actual ham.

    So we have a few possibilities here. With the knowledge that the system has possibly been compromised, you would have 2 choices-not use it because of the potential of problems, or taking your chances and doing so.

    If bootlegging is occuring on Echolink, it will be interesting to see if the FCC ever takes action. If it does, it will be interesting to see who all is found liable and issued $21,000 NAL's (I use the figure as it seems to be popular lately).

    I don't think that IRLP has these issues simply because most of the linking is repeater to repeater, and you can't download IRLP and use it standalone (I don't think-and if I'm wrong please tell me, I don't know much about either, cept that I have ran echolink twice to look at the software).

    It very well could be that Echolinks downfall will be the authentication issue if the FCC finds out people are using it to get on Ham radio unlicenced. I don't know if its happening, but if it is, its going to have to be addressed immedietely, if not, there are many people who could be liable for one persons actions. Sure, someone can just buy a radio and get on a repeater too, but a radio is a larger investment than just a software download and a few hours' wait for "authentication"....

    It will be interesting to see what happens if someone does circumvent the system and causes major havoc. Lets hope it doesn't happen during an emergency, when the radio is the only lifeline, and some idiot decides to play around via Echolink over emergency comms.
  4. M3KCK

    M3KCK Ham Member QRZ Page

    A wasted thought perhaps?

    Is it not possible to think about the person who almost died had it not been for fellow Radio Amateurs and Not the mode used?

    I hope that no one directs G4WDI to this thread once he has Recovered to see the Response from his Fellow Amateurs, Although a lot have been Heart warming, Many have been nothing short of Disgraceful!! [​IMG]
    Andrew   M3KCK
  5. KF4VGX

    KF4VGX Ham Member QRZ Page

    What if the world was square after all , What if !

    Yea Right !

     Noticed there was a lot of,
    IF !
      IF !
    What happens if ?  
            What if ?
               I Don't know ??
                  But it could be ?
                    I Don't think I'm wrong !
                        But I could be.
                           If not ?

    What will happen if you  *invent * some scheme and get past the Echolink moderators.

    What would happen if you could  *invent* ways to fly cows to the moon etc.

    A lot of I don't know because ,"I don't use the software" .

    etc  ,

    I have more faith in the amateurs running the Repeaters and links , than I have trusting open airways where one can buy a  amateur radio right off Ebay and start transmitting.

    Now that has Happen in the past. No wolf call here.

    It shows You know nothing about using the security features of the software.

    Usually if a person has a question they will do the homework first.

    And I'm not going to educate you.
    I would suggest reading up on VOIP before you cry Wolf!
    Believe me both these post show that you know very little about VOIP.. or the Amateurs that operate with VOIP

    Its easy to cry wolf !  or the sky is falling etc.

    Have a little faith in your fellow amateur.

    What would happen if Amateurs just relaxed and enjoyed their hobby. Let others do the same.

    Could it be that we may actually enjoy VOIP ?

    Ya think ?

    Heres the original topic as so many seem to change the subject.



    Joined: July 2003  Posted: Dec. 29 2005,04:37  

    Date of incident 12-29-05
    Date of artical 12-30-05

    As I sat in front of my computer with echolink on and connected to The Missing Lynk System a messege comes across that a fellow ham needs help.  G4WDI was suffering from a heart attack right at his home while talking on the radio.  WA4VWV was chatting with James when it happened and this is an email that was sent to me directly from Steve, WA4VWV:

    " sounded like things were not going well...and then I
    got the text message that simply said "HELP"

    We rallied the troops and had the paramedics dispatched to your QTH.  Hope you didn't mind that friends of yours was concerned, but when I get a message that says "HELP" then be assured that I will gather every resource available to make sure it happens.

    It took several folks on MissLynk to assist and gents from Indiana, Arizona and Washington were directly involved and the entire network went quiet until we were sure that assistance was on the way.  Geez, talk about the spirit and intent of amateur radio.  We all anxiously await positive news!

    Let me know what you can, when you can.  Take care and be well!

    73 de Steve, WA4VWV"

    Also sent in another email was an update:

    "Let the record show that our good gang did, in fact, save a life.  The British Army Air Corps responded and found him damned near flatlined, fired up a chopper and flew him off.  Apparently he was on O2, along with CPR during the flight.

    A rush trip to the ER of his local hospital brought him around and about 4:15 this AM I got the word that all is once again well.  Hey guys...let's face the reality of last night.  Were it not for the "system" and some heroic reactions, we might have had a Silent Key on our hands.  By all means, this should be an Amateur Radio Newsline item.  What a classic example of our hobby, with several people involved, quite actually saving a life of a fellow ham in a whole different part of the world.  Geez, am I proud of our collective efforts!  Thanks to all involved! This not to pump sunshine up our skirts, but an acknowledgement of a job well done!

    73 de WA4VWV"

    Just goes to show, doesn't matter what you use as a tool as long as it's for the greater good.
  6. WY3X

    WY3X Ham Member QRZ Page

    Johnny, you don't need to educate me. I received my Echolink education a few years ago when Echolink was on the 147.285. I witnessed a QSO between two hams, one in England and one in the US. The US ham told the ham in England that he had been kicked off Echolink, so one of his friends let him use their callsign and password to get signed on. That's secure. REAL secure. Using someone else's callsign. REAL legal. I really don't give a rip though. The guy was not cutting up or using foul language. What bothered me the most was that two hams from out of our area were tying up a local repeater without a valid reason for over an hour. And that was when I got my education on Echolink...

  7. KF4VGX

    KF4VGX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Your education was short lived, As he was blocked from the system.

    You are correct , the system was in use ,but you exaggerate one hour.   Perhaps 28 minutes ,would you like to see the log ?
    But none the less the repeater was being used by Amateurs at the time.
    In other words there was traffic on a machine that was getting very little use. It was a good conversation .
    As a matter of fact you were one of the Amateurs enjoying that conversation.

    Webster all of the QRZ readers can tell you Don't  "really don't give a rip ".
    We can see that most of your post here on QRZ ,are  Anti VOIP post as well .

    AH , but what the hay , its just your opinion.

    As a mater of fact there's a topic going on right now!
    That shows the amateurs spirit and support , Randy, KC8VKZ    . I implore you to show this amateur a bit of  support ! He has been to heck and beyond the same as the Amateur in this topic.
    Randal L McCloy, Jr
    PO BOX 223
    Philippi WV 26435

    There is more to life than your bickering over VOIP.
  8. WB5YIW

    WB5YIW Ham Member QRZ Page

    At the time of this writing, 248 posts to this thread and it's still going.

    For those of you who may only tune in from time to time, please allow me to summarize for you:

    "Is TOO!!"

    "Is NOT!!"

    (Keep in mind, these two phrases have NOTHING to do with the original topic.)

    Now repeat this 248 times.

    You can of course apply this summary to any thread here, no matter the topic. Morse requirement, incentive licensing, echolink, doesn't matter. In fact, it doesn't matter what the topic starts out as, it will within a half dozen or so posts evolve into a debate over CW, IL, or NCT's are/are not real hams.

    So feel free to save yourself all that typing and just copy the two words from above that fit the side you wish to argue and paste them in as often as you wish.
  9. M3KCK

    M3KCK Ham Member QRZ Page

    The only problem with this Topic and Thread is that G4WDI is NOT getting much Support and Only bickering about Echo link!!

    Not much Amateur Spirit going on here.
    Andrew   M3KCK

    edited: 10th of Jan 2006 @ 23.48hrs UTC

    Perhaps the Moderators of would consider Locking this Thread as to minimise further Embarrassment to the Amateur Community should G4WDI come here and read this thread once he has Recovered?
  10. W0GI

    W0GI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think bashing Echolink is BS.

    BUT, some folks that try silence opinions they don't like is a giant pile of BS.

    Andrew, maybe should be shut down. Maybe we should wear rose colored glasses.

    Give it a rest. People have opinions, just like your opinion that everyone should only post what you find ok to post.

    I don't like some of the posts here, but that is better then throwing free speech out the window.

    Maybe you should consider not reading these forums if they upset you so much.

    73 - Bob
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