IRLP Basics

IRLP (Internet Radio Linking Protocol) allows you to use your radio to talk to hams all over the world by sending your audio over the Internet. You can think of it as an “Internet phone patch” — just like a traditional phone patch allows you to make a phone call with your ham radio, IRLP allows you to make an “Internet phone call” to other hams. If you’re in the outside Calgary, you can use IRLP to call to your ham buddies with reach of the VE6FAR simplex node.

Every IRLP radio (called a “node”) has a unique four-digit node number — kind of like a telephone number. The VE6FAR node is IRLP node 1483.

To use IRLP you need a radio that has a touch-tone (DTMF) keypad.

To call out from the VE6FAR node, set your radio to 446.150 simplex with a Tone Squelch of 110.9.  After monitoring for a few moments to make sure the frequency is not in use already, key up, pause, give your call sign, and use your touch-tone keypad to transmit the four-digit node number of the node you want to connect to, and unkey your mic. If all goes well you should hear a voice greeting in a few seconds stating that you are now connected to the remote node. At this point anything that you transmit will be sent over the Internet to that remote node and retransmitted on the air at that location. You’ll hear any ham at that location who responds. To disconnect, transmit DTMF “73”.

To call in to the VE6FAR node from the outside world, first locate an IRLP node near you by searching for IRLP nodes.

Tip: if you want to see how well your signal is reaching the node, try connecting to node number 9990 using the procedure outlined above. This is the IRLP “echo reflector” which will simply echo back to you whatever signals it receives, delayed by 10 seconds. It is very useful for checking to see how well you’re reaching the repeater. As always, the prefix code plus “73” disconnects.

For more information see the IRLP home page.