What’s the “Internet” part of N7PIR?
The N7PIR system participates in the Internet Radio Linking Project (IRLP) http://www.irlp.net and EchoLink http://www.echolink.org. IRLP is available on the Seaside repeater. Both IRLP and EchoLink are available on the Skyline repeater. Incoming EchoLink stations must be “white listed” prior to connecting. When linked, the IRLP and EchoLink features extend to the linked repeaters as well. Normally the five repeaters covering the Portland-Vancouver-Willamette Valley and Central Oregon areas are all linked, meaning what is transmitted or received by one is transmitted or received by all. This provides a rather large coverage footprint. The group of linked repeaters are essentially one from the perspective of IRLP and EchoLink. They have one address for IRLP and one for EchoLink. When you connect to or from them, it is all of them. The Seaside repeater is not normally linked and stands-alone covering the coast. It can be connected with the others on demand using IRLP as it has a unique node number (address).
What are the differences between IRLP and EchoLink? EchoLink and IRLP are two separate systems that achieve a common purpose with a slightly different method: Interconnecting Amateur Radio stations by voice using the Internet as the linking network. You can access EchoLink with either a radio, a computer or a smart phone to connect with other amateurs using the same software via the Internet whereas IRLP requires all connections to be via radio. You cannot communicate using your computer or smart phone via IRLP where you can with EchoLink. If you are not familiar with IRLP or EchoLink we encourage you to visit their respective web sites (see links above). Both have excellent information and FAQ pages.
As discussed, the N7PIR system supports the use of both interconnecting technologies but with some caveats. Currently the use of EchoLink is generally limited to outbound connections. Incoming EchoLink connections must be pre-approved and white-listed by a Control Operator well in advance of the attempted connection. IRLP supports both inbound and outbound connections. While other EchoLink and IRLP node owners may have different philosophies, we ask our users to please limit connections to a reasonable amount of time, especially during commute periods and do not leave links or reflectors connected long-term so that other users can share the system. Pre-approved nets, special events and emergency communications are infrequent and are of course exempt from this request.
If you have any questions about how to access IRLP or EchoLink that are not answered here or by their respective web pages, please email Brien K7KSN or any of the Control Ops using the General Contact Form on the N7PIR.org contact page.
Thanks for stopping by and for supporting the N7PIR system!