EchoLink is software that allows amateur operators around the world to talk to each other via the Internet. The technology used is called VOIP or Voice over IP. It will work on Internet access speeds as low as that provided by a dial-up analog line. All you need is a windows computer, sound card, microphone, and speakers.
Hams can talk computer to computer, computer to a repeater, or repeater to repeater. If you haven’t tried it, what are you waiting for?
Jonathan Taylor, K2RFD, developed Echolink from another program he has, Echostation. That program is used to utilize a computer to run a repeater as a controller system. He continues to develop program upgrades for the EchoLink system.
This system was developed for many reasons, the least of which was to allow a backbone link for repeater systems that was reliable and could allow connections out of an area via VHF radio in an emergency. This is another system to help provide communications. It also can allow amateurs without the ability to put up an outside antenna system to work the world once again.
You have 2 options for use of EchoLink. One is your personal computer; the other is your VHF radio.
For your computer, you will need Internet access, a computer running under Windows 95 or newer, a sounder blaster 16 (or equivalent sound card), a microphone for your computer, finally, the EchoLink software which is a free download.
For your VHF 2 meter radio (in our area,) you will need only the operation codes for EchoLink on the system you intend to use.
Access information for the club’s EchoLink node is on the Repeaters page under K2DLL EchoLink.