Echolink Node Sri Lanka 4S7RS
Connected via Yati Repeater 4S7RS/R
The Radio Society of Sri Lanka received a donation of equipment to run an Echolink node in Colombo immediately after the Tsunami of 26th December 2004. It has been serving Amateur Radio in Sri Lanka ever since with occasional outages when there were computer breakdowns.
What does the Echolink do?
It connects radio amateurs all over the world via the Internet. Where it scores over skype, google talk, and such chat resources is that only radio amateurs can use it; a dedicated amateur service. There are two ways to connect via Echo Link.
1. Register with Echolink http://echolink.org/
2. Use Echolink as a normal amateur radio operator via the RSSL Repeater. Many national organisations and registered amateur radio clubs connect their repeaters to the Echolink and when it is so done, the Echolink calls will come through the repeater. All you need to do is to use your VHF and answer and make contacts worldwide as if you are making a normal local contact. In a sense, it replaces the ionosphere. There are, however a few steps to follow.
1. When you hear a station coming through our RSSL repeater, there will be a voice identification “RSSL Repeater 4S7RS, connected 4S7EA (or whatever station call)” and the repeater “pip”. Wait until the repeater carrier drops and answer like answering any contact.
2. When you hand over the transmission to the station connected via Echolink, remember it takes approximately 8-10 seconds for the Echolink to connect. (This seems an age!) So wait without making a check or calling again. If you do so the cycle has to start again. The repeater has to be silent in those 8 seconds for the Echolink to connect. It is very important that no one presses the PTT in that silent period.
3. When you answer an Echolink call it might be better to take a short over without just giving an answering call sign, as the process takes time, therefore make your opening greeting and give your name. (Please always use the established phonetic alphabet and full call signs)
Good luck and enjoy contacts all over the world. It is an ideal way for those who have limited class licenses and also who have no HF equipment to make contacts and of course to familiarize themselves with foreign accents and procedures before going on HF. Not everyone is fluent in English, but that should not deter anyone from enjoying the hobby. If you like maybe practice a few sentences in English and make contacts, like some of us do in Japanese, Spanish, Italian, or whatever language you like, and of course, if you know another language, practice it.
Victor Goonetilleke – 4S7VK,