[aprssig] Text Messaging #15 Echolink
Stephen H. Smith
wa8lmf2 at aol.com
Sat Feb 21 21:38:32 CST 2009
Bob Bruninga wrote:
> Just discovered another Amateur Radio text messaging system that needs to be integrated into the Universal Amateur Radio Text Messaging Initiative... Echolink?
Not exactly. The Echolink messaging is embedded in the Echolink data
stream combined with the audio, and is essentially another proprietary
black box that only works Echolink-on-PC to Echolink-on-PC.
About 3/4 of Echolink "QSOs" involve only computer-to-computer
connections with no radio involved. The text message is primarily
provided so that when several Internet-only stations are in a
"conference" (i.e. roundtable; i.e. IP multicast), the stations that are
not presently sending audio can send text msgs to each other while one
1) An amazing number of Echolink users are totally clueless about RF
connections (they assume it is only Internet-to-Internet) and don't
realize that a station away from their shack can't see the text messages.
2) An amazing number of Echolink newbies are totally clueless about
the most basic audio operations in Windows and don't know how to enable
or adjust their outgoing audio. *AT LEAST* 4 or 5 times a week I get
random connects to my node (Echolink provides a
randomly-selected-connect function that sort of emulates calling CQ on
RF) and then NO AUDIO because the user hasn't yet figured out how to
access the Windows record mixer to enable outgoing audio (or has so much
other garbage loaded into Windows in the background that Echolink can't
gain access to the computer sound system). They then resort to text
messages not realizing that NO CAN SEE THEM on RF.
This is such a frequent ongoing nuisance that my Echolink connect
message text now says "This is an RF link. Text messages ignored since I
can't see them".
> Another Amateur Radio Text Messaging system brought into the universal system.
> Unfortunately, beacuse of firewalls, I have not yet played enough with Echolink to fully appreciate all of the ramifications of this idea... So if I am missing something, someone please correct me.
If you can get onto Echolink at all, then firewalls are not the problem.
Stephen H. Smith wa8lmf (at) aol.com
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