The G7LFC-L Internet linked Echolink node is now on the air. Here is a summary of the operating procedures for using the node…
- Listen first to ensure no-one is using the node
- Press the PTT, give your callsign and put in the DTMF numbers of the wanted node
- When connected give a CQ
- When finished put in DTMF numbers 73
Please think of others before transmitting
As this is a simplex node it is quite possible that the node is in use, even though you can’t hear anything on the frequency. For example, you could be located fifteen miles away using a 50w base station. Listening on the node’s frequency you hear nothing, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a 1w hand-held station half a mile away from the node transmitting in to it; because the node is simplex, and not a repeater, you may not be able to hear the handheld station.
Please listen on the frequency for a little while, listening out for the distant station on the node’s link, rather than local stations before transmitting.
Using the node
To use the node, simply announce your callsign and then key in the Echolink node number of the station that you want to connect to. The node will announce whether the connection has been successful, or not. There may be a delay of several seconds between keying in the required node number and receiving the announcement, please do wait for it before commencing your contact.
When talking to a distant station over the node you should wait a couple of seconds before you start talking after pressing the PTT on your microphone. This is to give the two nodes time to establish communications for each over and prevents the start of your over being missed by the distant station.
When replying to a station, wait about three seconds after the distant station has released the PTT before you press your PTT. This is to give the two nodes time to get ready to establish the next connection and, again, prevents the start of your contact from being lost by the distant station.
Note that you are still bound by your license’s terms and conditions when operating through the node, so you still need to identifiy yourself using your callsign and location at the required times.
Signing off the node
When you finished using the node please return the node to standby and disconnect from the distant node. To do this, simply press the PTT, wait a couple of seconds and press 73 on your transceiver’s keypad.
You can use the following commands with the node whilst pressing the PTT on your transceiver’s microphone:
The default for the Connect command is to simply enter the 4- 5-, or 6-digit node number to which you wish to connect. To prevent interference with other DTMF functions, however, you may wish to configure a special prefix, such as A or 99.
Custom DTMF commands have been created to connect to specific stations. These commands are called Station Shortcuts, and are shown in the table above. Please note that the shortcut codes are not the station’s node numbers, rather easy-to-remember shortcuts.
Entering Node Numbers
To enter a node number (for the Connect or Query by Node commands), enter the 4-, 5-, or 6-digit node number. If the specified node is not among the stations currently logged on, EchoLink will say “NOT FOUND”.
To enter a callsign (for the Connect by Call or Query by Call commands), press two digits for each letter and number in the callsign. The first digit is the key on which the letter appears (using 1 for Q and Z), and the second digit is 1, 2, or 3, to indicate which letter is being entered. To enter a digit, press the digit followed by 0. When finished, end with the pound key (#).
For example, the letter “K” is entered as “52”, the letter “Q” is entered as “11”, and the digit “7” is entered as “70”.
Callsigns need not be entered in full. If a partial callsign is entered, EchoLink will find the first match among the stations currently logged on. If no match is found among the stations currently logged on, EchoLink will say “NOT FOUND”.
- To connect to node number 9999, enter: 9 9 9 9
EchoLink responds with “CONNECTING TO CONFERENCE E-C-H-O-T-E-S-T” followed by “CONNECTED” because 9999 is the node number of conference server “*ECHOTEST*”.
- To get the status of K1RFD enter : 0 7 5 2 1 0 7 2 3 3 3 1 #
EchoLink responds with “K-1-R-F-D 1-3-6-4-4 BUSY” because 13644 is the node number of station K1RFD, and K1RFD is currently busy.
- To connect to a random link or repeater enter: 0 1
EchoLink responds with “CONNECTING TO K-1-O-F REPEATER” followed by “CONNECTED” because K1OF-R was selected at random.