IRLP Node 3437
Georgetown, Texas USA
What is IRLP?
IRLP stands for the Internet Radio Linking Project. The aim of this project is to link radio systems separated by long distance without the use of expensive leased lines, satellites, or controllers.
The IRLP uses Voice-Over-IP software and the power of the Internet to link a radio site to the world.
The IRLP runs a large network of dedicated servers and nodes to offer the very best in voice communications. The heart of the IRLP is its Amateur Radio network which reaches hundreds of towns and cities across the World, linking them all with a full dynamic range, telephone quality sound.
A little about Node 3437, Amateur Radio Station N5KF
My first experience with the IRLP was when I was vacationing in British Columbia, Canada in 2001. I came across several repeaters that were connected to other repeaters all over the world. I heard connections from Alaska to Antarctica. When returning to home to the Austin area I looked further into the possibilities of an IRLP node in Austin. I found one node in the general area, but with limited coverage due to antenna restrictions. In the Spring of 2002 Matt, N1KM put up a simplex node in Northwest Austin, about 10 miles from from my home. This was my first real experience in using IRLP.
I had a spare computer and though I would give the IRLP a try. A friend, VK3JED, outside of Melbourne gave me some pointers and I started to build my own node. The hardest part is understanding Linux. Being a person who has only once worked on anything other than Windows for 15 years, it was a challenge. Fortunately the process has become quite automated and I was up and running with no problems the first try. The step-by-step instructions really helped!
My node has been "active" since the February, 2003. The coverage is not as great as I would like it to be, but has about a 20 mile coverage at this time.
Information on the IRLP can be found at www.irlp.net. You will find information on the process involved as well as recommended equipment if you would like to start your own "node". A broadband connection works the best for the internet side, but you can get by with an older computer and a simplex radio or simply use an existing repeater for the radio side. You will also find a list of current stations available to connect to on the IRLP web site. There are currently about 1500 stations on IRLP from all parts of the world.
How to use my IRLP Connection
I use what is called the standard setup. Simply touch-tone in the 4 digit code for connection you wish to make. The codes are all listed for each node on the IRLP web site. (You must have a 100 Hz PL tone running to wake up the receiver at my QTH.) Since it is a "simplex node", its not quite the same as working a repeater, but with a little patience, it works just as well (at a fraction of the cost).
Here are a few pictures of my setup
This is the Alinco DR-435 440 MHz radio.
These are the computers that I use for Ham Radio. The one on the right has the Linux loaded for the IRLP connection.
This is the dB Products folded dipole array hanging at 70 ft. along the side of the tower that I use with the IRLP node. It is fed with 1/2" hardline for low loss.
Feel free to use the my IRLP node anytime, as I try to keep it up 24/7. I am located in the Northwest part of Georgetown, about 8 miles west of I-35, about 20 miles north of Austin.
Bob Redoutey, N5KF