Voice Over IP
What's happening with I-Link and EchoLink
When EchoLink was released in early May
(2002) it was intended by the author to work with
If you have not tried either systems, or
are new and not aware of the current situation
There has been no information made
available on why this has happened and/or who was
Introduction to Voice over IP
Voice over IP is not new but it has received a lot more attention and
interest in the past year. Some of
Amateur Radio VOIP - What's available now
IRLP - Internet Radio Linking Project
IRLP was conceived by David Cameron, VE7LTD, in the late 1990's to overcome what he saw as the major deficiencies in IPhone. IPhone and its Windows operating system suffered from instability and the lack of security. Thus, IRLP was designed as a secure and flexible Internet linking system. Unlike other systems, it is designed to prevent direct access to linked systems from the Internet. At the node level, PGP cryptographic is used by the nodes to authenticate each other. The only way to access IRLP is via a connected radio gateway (node). IRLP connections are initiated by the end user keying DTMF codes from their radio. This allow controlling link connects and disconnects.. IRLP offers both point to point and "reflector" (conference room) connections.
Unlike other Internet linking systems, IRLP runs on the Linux operating system, which is extremely stability. . The use of the Linux platform offers a number of other benefits to node owners, such as automatic updates of both the operating system and IRLP software. To setup an IRLP node, you must purchase a custom interface board.
For information on the Internet Radio Linking
Project - http://www.irlp.net
I-Link started in May 2001, when Graeme Barnes, M0CSH, released the
first version of his Windows based Internet linking system. It provided a Windows
based alternative to IRLP, with the added feature
I-Link allows radio connected nodes to be controlled by DTMF commands. It also supports both point to point and conference connections. Computer users can contact other computer users, or RF links and repeaters. When new user registers for the first time, they are denied access until their callsign is verified. Once verification is completed, the user is receives an index number and can log on from a computer using the index number and password.
I-Link's computer access allows amateurs to use Internet linking without having link radio or repeater available in their area. It also allows linking repeaters from any where in the world or participating in conference groups. I-Link software is FREE
Yahoo! User Groups: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ILINK-GEN/
EchoLink is a very new program that was released in the first week May 2002. EchoLink is an I-Link compatible program written by K1RFD. It is an excellent and well written program Unlike I-Link which has computer user and SYSOP versions, EchoLink comes in one version, which supports both functions. Also, for connecting the computer to a radio, it requires a much simpler hardware interface. You can use interfaces such as commonly used for current many soundcard modes such as PSK. The reason for this is that the software handles all the DTMF decoding. EchoLink also has built in conferencing, allowing more than one person to connect to a user at the same time. There are also functions that allow the user to limit connections by station type (repeater, link or Internet user), as well as region and individual callsigns. This is excellent for countries that do not allow direct Internet connections to local repeaters, or where third party traffic restrictions apply.
Yahoo! User Groups: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/echolink/
eQSO came along in 2001 to replace the loss of the IPhone conference servers. Originally known as the M0ZPD Internet Gateway, it was later renamed to eQSO in early 2002.
eQSO is very different than IRLP and I-Link as it is based around the IPhone style conference room operation. eQSO only has conference room facilities with no end user DTMF control. Like IPhone and I-Link, direct computer access is allowed to the servers. There is also an application that allows browsing the servers list to choose a conference room.
eQSO offers a widest range of options for interfacing a radio, including VOX and hardware PTT. The VOX is reliable, and its easy to hookup. The audio quality of eQSO is not always as good as I-Link or IRLP.Like I-Link, eQSO's computer interface is easy to use. A Linking version offers courtesy tones and CW ID. One of the greatest concerns with eQSO is that it requires no authorization to use it. This makes it possible for none hams to access radio links and repeaters. Non Hams are allowed to access conferences, and there are some with no RF links, to enable hams and SWLs to communicate.
eQSO is also a free program - http://www.eqso.net
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