GB3TR has now been slightly modified to take advantage of an internet repeater linking system known as IRLP (Internet Radio Linking Project). Started in Canada this mode has swiftly taken off across the world, and gives us an easier way of linking repeaters and nodes together without the need for a broadband connection actually in the repeater’s cabin.
Taking an on-air signal containing the correct tones, an off-site receiver located where a broadband connection is available, and which can also be monitored, takes the signal and connects it to the computer. The DTMF tones that control it are filtered and read by the computer, which then sends it down the network and connects to whatever node/reflector has been selected by the tones.
The main website is www.IRLP.NET, this site contains all the information that you will need to allow you to use the system. It contains all the codes and addresses of the other sites (Nodes/Reflectors)) in the UK and across the world. At present there appears to be two major modes in use, Node to Node, and using a Reflector, a form of “chat room”, which joins all the Nodes together. At present Bill and myself would suggest that use of the Reflector is limited until it’s use has been fully investigated, and so as not to affect any other users of the repeater that do not wish to use this facility.
At present the nearest operational Nodes closest to GB3TR (Tone 5582) are at Looe, MB7IDQ, 145.3375 (Tone 5612, 77hz), and Wyke Regis M5MKW, 145.3375 (Tone 5704, 71.9hz), there is one in Exeter GB3EW which works as a simple repeater at present, but hopes to come online soon, and one in Honiton GB3SW, which has closed down temporarily, but we hope will restart transmissions again in the near future.
A very useful ‘weapon’ is the Google Earth add-on which shows the status of every IRLP Node worldwide, along with its access code and other information. This can be downloaded from http://www.irlp.net/setup-irlp.kml. You do need to have Google Earth installed on your computer of course!
If you do decide to play with this new system, please remember to send 73 in DTMF tones when you wish to disconnect from any Nodes that you might be connected to, this will reset GB3TR back to its normal state. It might prove to be disconcerting to find your transmissions are being monitored by someone from across the other side of the world, when you were only calling a friend in Torbay.
Final Note, GB3TR requires 4 seconds of audio when trying to access, even using ctcss, this is something that can be changed if it proves a problem, as many callers are not talking long enough to latch the repeater and get the two tones, Yes there are two, a “T” and an “E”, and it still has 4 minutes of time-out if you do not wait for the “E”.
We hope to have a full set of usage instructions available as a download from the web site or from Club HQ on any meeting night.
Late News: We now have access to a Broadband connection in the repeater cabin. It is hoped that within the next month or two to have the IRLP linking setup on site rather than ober a radio circuit. Other things are planned for installation on the site, as and when finances become available. All donations to GB3TR greatfully received.