EchoLink® software allows licensed Amateur Radio stations to communicate with one another over the Internet, using streaming-audio technology. The program allows worldwide connections to be made between stations, or from computer to station, greatly enhancing Amateur Radio’s communications capabilities. There are more than 200,000 validated users worldwide — in 162 of the world’s 193 nations — with about 5,000 online at any given time.

The program runs on Microsoft Windows®.  It is offered free of charge and may be downloaded here .

What is EchoLink for Android?

EchoLink for Android is an edition of the EchoLink software that runs on an Android smartphone or tablet, such as a Motorola Droid or an HTC Evo. If you own one of these devices and are a validated EchoLink user, you can access the EchoLink system from nearly anywhere where WiFi or 3G networking is available. EchoLink for Android is available free of charge from the Android Market; tap the Market icon on your phone and search for EchoLink. Or, if you have a bar code scanner app on your Android phone, scan the QR code that appears to the right.

Once you have downloaded the free software, all you need is an internet connection and a microphone headset and you can talk to hams worldwide. Alternatively, you can access EchoLink via RF without a computer from your handy-talkie, base or mobile station. Locally, in Amarillo the KC5EZO repeater (444.050, PL 88.5, node #307304) is tied in to EchoLink. Additionally, in Borger, the WA5CSF repeater (147.060, PL 00.0, node #387265) is also tied in to EchoLink and both can be accessed via RF.

What is EchoLink for iPhone?

EchoLink for iPhone is an edition of the EchoLink software that runs on an iPhone or iPod touch. If you own one of these devices and are a validated EchoLink user, you can access the EchoLink system from nearly anywhere where WiFi networking is available. If you have an iPhone, you can also use it to access EchoLink over the cellular data (3G or EDGE) network. EchoLink for iPhone is available free of charge from Apple’s App Store.

How do I access EchoLink from my Amateur Radio?

To access EchoLink via RF through a local repeater, you will need to know a few function commands that you will enter with DTMF tones from your radio station. You may not need to know all of the commands in the table below, but some of them will be necessary. Additionally, you will need to know the node number of the station that you want to connect to. A list of EchoLink active nodes that are available can be found here.

Command Description Default
Connect Connects to a station on the Internet, based on its node number. num
Connect by Call Connects to a station on the Internet, based on its callsign. C+call+#
Random Node Selects an available node (of any type) at random, and tries to connect to it. 00
Random Link Selects an available link or repeater (-L or -R) at random, and tries to connect to it. 01
Random Conf Selects a conference server at random, and tries to connect to it. 02
Random User Selects an available single-user station at random, and tries to connect to it. 03
RandomFavNode Selects an available node (of any type) at random from the Favorites List, and tries to connect to it. 001
RandomFavLink Selects an available link or repeater (-L or -R) at random from the Favorites List, and tries to connect to it. 011
RandomFavConf Selects a conference server at random from the Favorites List, and tries to connect to it. 021
RandomFavUser Selects an available single-user station at random, and tries to connect to it. 031
Disconnect Disconnects the station that is currently connected.  If more than one station is connected, disconnects only the most-recently-connected station. #
Disconnect All Disconnects all stations. ##
Reconnect Re-connects to the station that most recently disconnected. 09
Status Announces the callsign of each station currently connected. 08
Link Down Disables EchoLink (no connections can be established). (none)
Link Up Enables EchoLink. (none)
Play Info Plays a brief ID message. *
Query by Call Looks up a station by its callsign, and reads back its node number and status. 07+call+#
Query by Node Looks up a station by its node number, and reads back its callsign and status. 06+num
Profile Select Switches to a different stored set of configuration settings (0 through 9). B#

+num

Listen-Only On Inhibits transmission from RF to the Internet. 0511
Listen-Only Off Restores normal transmission from RF to the Internet. 0510

Connect

The default for the Connect command is to simply enter the 4- 5-, or 6-digit node number to which you wish to connect.  To prevent interference with other DTMF functions, however, you may wish to configure a special prefix, such as A or 99.

Link Up and Link Down

No defaults are provided for these functions.  To enable these functions, enter a DTMF sequence for each one, using the DTMF tab of the Sysop Settings page.

Profile Select

Profiles are numbered from 0 to one less than the number of profiles shown under File->Profiles.  Profile 0 is always MAIN.

Station Shortcuts 

Custom DTMF commands can be created to connect to specific stations. These commands are called Station Shortcuts, and are not shown in the table above. To manage your Station Shortcuts, click the Station Shortcuts button on the DTMF tab of Sysop Settings.

Entering Node Numbers

To enter a node number (for the Connect or Query by Node commands), enter the 4-, 5-, or 6-digit node number.  If the specified node is not among the stations currently logged on, EchoLink will say “NOT FOUND”.

Entering Callsigns

To enter a callsign (for the Connect by Call or Query by Call commands), press two digits for each letter and number in the callsign.  The first digit is the key on which the letter appears (using 1 for Q and Z), and the second digit is 1, 2, or 3, to indicate which letter is being entered.  To enter a digit, press the digit followed by 0.  When finished, end with the pound key (#).

For example, the letter “K” is entered as “52″, the letter “Q” is entered as “11″, and the digit “7″ is entered as “70″.

Callsigns need not be entered in full.  If a partial callsign is entered, EchoLink will find the first match among the stations currently logged on.  If no match is found among the stations currently logged on, EchoLink will say “NOT FOUND”.

Examples

(These examples assume that the default DTMF codes are configured.)

  • To connect to node number 9999:

Enter:  9 9 9 9

EchoLink responds with:

“CONNECTING TO CONFERENCE E-C-H-O-T-E-S-T”

followed by

“CONNECTED”

because 9999 is the node number of conference server “*ECHOTEST*”.

  • To get the status of K1RFD:

Enter:  0 7 5 2 1 0 7 2 3 3 3 1 #

EchoLink responds with:

“K-1-R-F-D 1-3-6-4-4 BUSY”

because 13644 is the node number of station K1RFD, and K1RFD is currently busy.

  • To connect to a random link or repeater:

Enter: 0 1

EchoLink responds with:

“CONNECTING TO K-1-O-F REPEATER”

followed by

“CONNECTED”

because K1OF-R was selected at random.

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Hopefully this information was useful. I hope to hear you soon on the weekly Ham Twit Net Thursdays at 01:00 UTC, (Wednesdays at 19:00 CST) which can be accessed via EchoLink node W5RAW-R #387265, or on the Borger repeater 147.060, PL 00.0. For more information on the HamTwitNet, click here.