Echolink--Common Problems Encountered


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Common Problems Encountered


The problems normally encountered when first starting with echolink are not by any means serious, but can be a little frustrating when wanting to get started. The most frequently occurring would include Firewall issues, and proper setting of one's audio level.


In respect to firewall issues, echolink requires, for communication, that ports 5198 UDP, 5199 UDP, and 5200 TCP be open. This requires the user to properly look at and setup whatever programs, or hardware, is necessary for this application. This includes resident firewalls embedded in your computer operating system, additional firewalls such as Norton or something similar, along with routers and modems with their own firewall protection. Since it is beyond the scope of this document, it will be necessary for one to consult their respective operating manuals for the programs and or hardware requiring attention. Additionally the echolink help file or their home web site can help immensely.


Audio problems, or proper setup, is adequately covered in the echolink help file and therefore is not covered here. Simply use their search option for either audio or Sound Card Adjustment.


It should be noted that Echolink provides, on their home web site, email availability to and from their support group. One will find them to be very responsive, professional, courteous, and technically adept.


MARRYING ECHOLINK AND A REPEATER

BY

GORDON KY6V

FOR SOUTHCARS VOIP 10-13-2015

THROUGHOUT THE PLANET HAMS HAVE FOUND THE FUN IN JOINING THE RF WORLD TO THAT OF THE DIGITAL VOIP WORLD. BASICALLY, BY MARRYING THE ECHOLINK SYSTEM TO A REPEATER, THE LOCALS CAN COMMUNICATE AROUND THE WORLD WITH SOMETHING AS SMALL AS A HANDHELD AND A RUBBER DUCK.

THE COMBINING OF THESE TWO IDENTITIES IS NORMALLY DONE IN ONE OF TWO METHODS. EITHER THE COMPUTER ALONG WITH ITS ECHOLINK SOFTWARE IS POSITIONED AT THE REPEATER LOCATION, OR THE COMPUTER ALONG WITH ITS ECHOLINK SOFTWARE, IS POSITIONED AT SOMEONE’S HOUSE AND ACTS AS A REMOTE LINK TO AND FROM THE REPEATER SITE VIA RF.

SO LET'S TAKE THIS SUBJECT IN TWO SECTIONS STARTING WITH EVERYTHING BEING TOGETHER AT ONE LOCATION.

REPEATER SITE:

THE COMPUTER WOULD NORMALLY BE PLACED INSIDE THE REPEATER CABINET OR ALONG SIDE THE CABINET.

1A-A SIX-WIRE SHIELDED CABLE IS RUN FROM THE COMPUTER TO THE AUXILIARY PLUG ON THE REPEATER.

1B-TWO OF THESE WIRES ARE CONNECTED TO PINS ON THE PLUG THAT PICKUP THE AUDIO OUTPUT FROM THE REPEATER'S INPUT RECEIVER AND CONNECTS TO THE LINE-IN INPUT PLUG ON THE COMPUTER'S SOUND CARD.

1C-TWO OF THESE WIRES CONNECT TO THE PINS WHICH FURNISH INTERNET AUDIO TO THE REPEATER'S TRANSMITTER. THIS PAIR ON THE COMPUTER END IS CONNECTED TO THE SPEAKER OUTPUT JACKS ON THE COMPUTER'S SOUND CARD.

1D-AND THE LAST TWO WIRES CONNECT TO THE REPEATER'S PTT CIRCUIT TO TURN THE TRANSMITTER ON AND OFF FROM THE INTERNET. THE COMPUTER END IS CONNECTED IN ONE OF TWO WAYS. IF THE COMPUTER COMES WITH A SERIAL PORT, THESE WIRES WOULD BE CONNECTED TO THE GROUND PIN AND RTS PIN THROUGH AN INTERFACE BOX FOR PTT ACTIVATION. IF THERE IS NO SERIAL PORT PROVIDED, WHICH IS NORMALLY THE CASE ON NEWER COMPUTERS, ONE WILL NEED TO PURCHASE A SERIAL TO USB ADAPTER CABLE AND USE ONE OF THE AVAILABLE USB PLUGS FOR THIS OPERATION.

IN THE CASE OF THE NEED FOR AN INTERFACE BOX, THERE ARE MANY ON THE MARKET RANGING AT DIFFERENT PRICES. IF YOU WISH TO BUILD YOUR OWN IN A VERY SIMPLE MANNER, SEARCH THE INTERNET FOR “KY6V INTERFACE”. IF YOU THINK YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN TRYING THIS APPROACH, PLEASE REFERENCE http://kg4bjd.tripod.com/id12.html OR http://kg4bjd.tripod.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/ky6v-interf.... PLEASE NOTE THAT THE TRANSISTOR USED IS A 2N2222 NOT THE 2N222 SHOWN.

IT IS NOW IMPORTANT TO TAKE SOME TIME AND UNDERSTAND SOME THINGS IN YOUR CONFIGURATION SETUP FILES ON BOTH ECHOLINK AND THE REPEATER CONTROLLER.

2A-ON YOUR SYSOP SETUP PAGE (RX CTRL):

-BULLET THE VOX SETTING.
-CHANGE THE VOX DELAY (MS) TO 1500.
-CHANGE YOUR ANT-THUMP (MS) TO 1200.
-ENABLE SQUELCH CRASH ANTI-TRIP
-SET THE DURATION (MS) TO 150.

2B-ON YOUR SYSOP SETUP (TX CTRL):

-BULLET RTS.

2C-ON YOUR SYSOP SETUP (DTMF):

-BULLET INTERNAL
-CHECK MARK FOR “LOG ALL COMMANDS”.
-CHECK MARK FOR “AUTO MUTE”
-CHECK MARK FOR “DISABLE DURING PTT”.
-CHANGE THE DTMF SEQUENCE CODING TO YOUR PREFERENCE.

2D-ON YOUR SYSOP SETUP PAGE (IDENT):

-UNCHECK ALL BOXES UNDER “IDENTIFY”. YOUR REPEATER CONTROLLER WILL TAKE CARE OF THIS FUNCTION.

2E-ON YOUR SYSOP SETUP PAGE (OPTIONS):

-UNCHECK THE THREE BOXES CALLED “PLAY WELCOME MESSAGE”, “PLAY COURTESY TONE”, AND “PLAY ACTIVITY REMINDER”.

-SET MAX KEY-DOWN TIME TO ZERO.
-SET DEAD-CARRIER TIMEOUT TO ZERO
-LEAVE ANNOUNCEMENT PRE-DELAY AT 250.

2F-THE PAGES CALLED “SIGNALS, “REMT”, AND “RF INFO” MAY BE SETUP AT YOUR DISCRETION.

WE ARE NOW MOVING BACK TO SOME NEW CONFIGURATION TYPE PAGES.

2G-ON YOUR SYSTEM SETUP (TIMING):

-SET EVERYTHING TO ZERO WITH THE EXCEPTION OF “CONNECT ATTEMPT AT 30”, AND “RECEIVE HANG TIME TO 1200”.

2H-ON YOUR PREFERENCES PAGE (CONNECTIONS):

-UNCHECK “ALLOW CONFERENCES”
-THE REST OF THE PAGE IS AT YOUR DISCRETION.

BEFORE MOVING INTO THE REMOTE LINK SETUP, A FEW COMMENTS ARE IN ORDER. SHOULD YOU WANT FURTHER DETAILED EXPLANATION ON THE CONFIGURATION SETUP RECOMMENDED ABOVE, PLEASE REFER TO THE HELP FILE CONTAINED IN YOUR ECHOLINK PROGRAM.

THE AIM OF USING ECHOLINK FROM A REPEATER ON A CROWDED ECHOLINK CHANNEL IS NOT TO TRANSMIT UNNECESSARY INFORMATION THROUGH THE ECHOLINK SYSTEM. THIS WOULD INCLUDE SQUELCH TAILS THAT INCLUDE A COURTESY BEEP OR ROGER BEEP, STATION ID, LOCAL BULLETINS SUCH AS RADIO CLUB ANNOUNCEMENTS, WEATHER AND THE LIKE. IN MOST CASES, THE REPEATER CONTROLLER MAKES THIS HAPPEN.

IF THE ECHOLINK SYSTEM IS INTRO,DUCED AT A POINT OF THE CONTROLLER THAT IS BEFORE THE CIRCUITRY TRIGGERING ID’S, COURTESY BEEPS AND BULLETINS, THIS WOULD PREVENT ANY TRANSMISSIONS OF THESE ITEMS AUTOMATICALLY.

ANOTHER ANNOYING SITUATION IS THE RE-TRANSMISSION OF THE TEXT MESSAGE NOTIFICATION. EVERY TIME A MESSAGE IS ENTERED IN THE TEXT BOX THIS ALARM GOES OFF.

THE WAY TO DISABLE THIS FROM HAPPENING TAKES SOME EXTRA EFFORT. ONE MUST FIRST OPEN THE ECHOLINK PROGRAM AS A SINGLE USER. GO TO PREFERENCES > SIGNALS AND SELECT NONE OPPOSITE OF THE TEXT MSG LINE. SAVE YOUR WORK AND THEN RESET YOUR SYSTEM BACK TO SYSOP MODE.

ECHOLINK REMOTE REPEATER LINK:

THE REMOTE TRANSCEIVER ALONG WITH ITS ASSOCIATED COMPUTER ARE CONFIGURED AND WIRED IN KEEPING WITH THE INFORMATION FOUND ABOVE FOR AN ON-SITE REPEATER INSTALLATION. THE ONLY THING DIFFERENT IS YOU WILL BE DEALING WITH TRANSCEIVER SPEAKER JACKS AND MICROPHONE CONNECTORS.

THE MAIN THING THAT MAKES A REMOTE INSTALLATION DIFFERENT IS HANDLING THE SETUP FOR USING THE TONE SQUELCH (CTCSS) SYSTEM ON THE REMOTE. THE TONE IS GENERATED AT THE REPEATER AND SHOULD BE KEYED AT THE REPEATER RECEIVER'S COR LINE.

ONE ACTIVATES THE TONE SQUELCH IN THE TRANSCEIVER AND SELECTS THE TONE BEING TRANSMITTED BY THE REPEATER.

IF THE REPEATER SIDE WAS SETUP CORRECTLY, THE ONLY THING THAT THE REMOTE TRANSCEIVER SHOULD BE HEARING IS WHEN SOMEONE KEYS THE REPEATER AND STARTS TO TALK.

AGAIN, IF THE REPEATER SIDE WAS SETUP CORRECTLY YOU SHOULD NOT BE HEARING AND, THEREFORE, TRANSMITTING TO THE INTERNET ANY ID’S, COURTESY BEEPS, OR LOCAL BULLETINS.

IN CONCLUSION FOR BOTH THE REPEATER INSTALLATION AND THE REMOTE INSTALLATION, CAREFUL AUDIO LEVEL ADJUSTMENTS SHOULD BE MADE. THE AUDIO BAR GRAPH FOUND AT THE BOTTOM OF THE ECHOLINK DISPLAY PAGE MAKES IT EASY TO SET LEVELS. JUST REMEMBER THE RED LINE READS PEAK AUDIO LEVEL; AND IF SET TO PRODUCE SEEING THE RED BAR READING ABOUT 90 TO 95 PERCENT OF THE BAR TRAVEL, YOU WILL FIND YOURSELF SETUP CORRECTLY.

SOUTHCARS VOIP STANDS READY TO HELP IN ANY WAY WE CAN. SHOULD YOU HAVE PROBLEMS WITH YOUR INSTALLATION, OR HAVE QUESTIONS, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO DROP US AN EMAIL AT VOIP@VOIPNET.SOUTHCARS.COM.

Gordon/ky6v
CEO AND FOUNDER SOUTHCARS VOIP