The Society Node is currently of the air due to technical problems. We hope to have this sorted soon. Sorry for any inconvenience.
The Wakefield & District Radio Society Node MB7IWR (Internet Wakefield Radio) operates 24 hours per day, 7 days per week on 145.2375 MHz (moved from 144.9125 MHz by order of the RSGB ETCC and Ofcom)
However, I have noticed several simplex QSO’s taking place on the frequency. If you hear anyone conducting a simplex QSO on 145.2375, please call them and advise them that the frequency is now in use for the node. Thank you!
Please note that access requires CTCSS at 82.5 Hz.
If you don’t have the CTCSS tone, the node won’t hear you and you will NOT be able to use it.
In addition, you must be set to “Narrow” deviation (just like when using the other repeaters in the area)
PLEASE NOTE THAT “NARROW” (+/- 2.5kHz deviation, 12.5kHz channel spacing)
HAS BEEN THE STANDARD SINCE 2008 FOR ALL CHANNELS ON 2M FM!
In addition, following receipt of a recent grant, the Society decided to upgrade the old node installation by
replacing the node computer with an “Embedded Node” (which has around only 10% of the power consumption of the previous node computer); the radio with an Icom IC2200H which has 12½kHz RX filters (thus reducing QRM from adjacent channels) and replacing the existing collinear antenna with a folded dipole oriented towards Wakefield to improve coverage in that direction.
Support is now provided for EchoLink users via the use of software known as “EchoIRLP”. This software does NOT
permit the the interconnection of IRLP and EchoLink stations; however, what it DOES allow is the use of EchoLink from the
MB7IWR Node and connection to EchoLink Users and Conferences via this Node. The reason EchoIRLP has been installed
is so that the Society can offer support to EchoLink enthusiasts as well as IRLP fans. Also, the Society supports the
Scout’s Annual ‘Jamboree On The Air’ or JOTA and this event almost ALWAYS has an EchoLink Conference in operation.
The MB7IWR Node IRLP Node Number is 5918 and the EchoLink Node Number is 318283. You will need these node
numbers if you wish to connect back to this node from a distant (perhaps foreign) node, either IRLP or EchoLink
THANKS TO KARL 2E0KMA, MICHAEL G1XCC, NATHAN M0KKH, DAVE G6SSF, LES 2E0NDM,
DAVE 2E0DRR, STEVE 2E0SLT AND JASON 2E0RNR FOR ALL THEIR HELP.
If you DO encounter any problems, please let the Node Operator (Dave G4CLI) know as soon as possible,
either by telephone 07748 221855.
NEW! NEW! NEW!
IRLP TOPIC CHANNELS
It has been decided to offer reflectors (nodes which support connections from multiple nodes) which are dedicated
to particular topics. Being reflectors, all the node numbers are “9” followed by three digits.
The current TOPIC channels are listed here. (Opens in New Window)
Following complaints from Dave Cameron VE7LTD (who both wrote IRLP and also operates Node 1000), please do NOT
use node 1000 to test whether or not this node and your equipment is working. Please use either the IRLP Echo Reflector
(node 9990 to 9999) or the EchoLink ECHOTEST service (#9999). Dave is getting tired of many connects with no
subsequent QSO from this and other nodes. Both the IRLP Echo Reflector and the EchoLink ECHOTEST service are
purely electronic and cannot get “tired” HI!. Once connected to either of these, anything you transmit to the node will
be recorded and played back to you, providing a Full Test of both connectivity and audio paths in both directions.
ALSO DO NOT FORGET TO DISCONNECT WITH “73” WHEN FINISHED.
A QSO TIMEOUT OF 30 MINUTES HAS BEEN INSTALLED!
The Wakefield & District Radio Society node (MB7IWR) operates from the QTH of the Secretary. Dave G4CLI in Thornhill, Dewsbury (IO93EP). The node is part of the global IRLP network, and has node number 5918 and is also part of the EchoLink Network with node number 318283.
Useful information about the node, and both the IRLP and EchoLink networks can be found below
IRLP’ stands for the ‘Internet Radio Linking Project’ and was originally conceived and designed by David Cameron VE7LTD in Canada and started back in November of 1997 as an attempt to use the internet to link radio systems across Canada. The first full time link that was established ran from Vancouver, British Columbia to Saint John, New Brunswick. The link had many problems and was shut down in March of 1998 due to the numerous computer crashes and repeater lockups it was causing, and the lack of user control over the system.
The Canadian team set out to design a better way to use the same technology to perform the same task, while improving usability, user control, and sound quality. Their first breakthrough was to replace the existing operating system, Windows, with a more stable and versatile one. They chose ‘Linux’, an open source form of the operating system UNIX designed by Linus Torvalds, because of its superior networking characteristics, its reliability, and its ease of programming.
Next, an interface board was designed to interface the radio to the computer. This allowed a large amount of delay to be removed from the system because two VOX circuits were no longer being used. Additionally, custom control software was written, along with modifications to an existing voice-over-IP software package (“Speak Freely”) to accommodate the project. The final product was a combination of hardware and software that created a nearly seamless radio link between two remote sites on the internet. The product works so well that many people can not believe that they are talking through a link at all!
- The links below are to external sites, and will open in a new window.
- How Does IRLP Actually Work?
The MB7IWR Node is sponsored (and therefore owned) by the Wakefield & District Radio Society and was licensed earlier in 2005 to operate on 145.3375 MHz, The operator (Dave G4CLI) has received a Notice of Variation to operate unattended under the callsign MB7IWR (Internet Wakefield Radio), and this is now in use. Since the 28th of January 2013, the node has QSY’d to 144.9125MHz to aid improvement of node coverage nationwide. More recently, a further QSY (on the instruction of the RSGB and OfCom) to 145.2375MHz.
To access the node, you will require a normal FM transceiver equipped with either a DTMF microphone or keypad. ‘DTMF’ stands for ‘Dual Tone Multi Frequency’ and is what most modern telephones (including mobiles) use, so if your rig is not equipped with DTMF, you can always hold the microphone of the rig up to the earpiece of a mobile or fixed phone, and use the phone’s keypad. The DTMF tones are used to ‘call’ or ‘select’ other nodes on the IRLP network. Also note that due to licensing restrictions, you will need a CTCSS (or sub-audible tone) of 82.5 Hz. This requirement was imposed by the RSGB and OFCOM in order to limit interference between well-located nodes. If you do not use this tone, the Node will be unable to “hear” you and you will NOT be able to use it!
PLEASE ALSO MAKE SURE THAT YOU IDENTIFY BY USING YOUR CALLSIGN BEFORE DIALLING! (After all, it IS a legal requirement!)
There is no need for ANY software on your home computer; all the computing requirements are taken care of in the node itself.
However, if you hold an amateur transmitting licence, you may wish to install home-based-Echolink on your PC at home.
You can get it by downloading it from www.echolink.org. where you will also be able to see all the other repeaters, conferences and
users currently active on the Echolink network. If you don’t have an amateur transmitting licence, you can study for one with the Society. Check out our Licence Training Page for details.
With Echolink, once your callsign has been validated with the Echolink team, you’ll also be able to transmit and receive THROUGH the club node, simply by initially connecting to 318283. As the node is located in quite a high spot, with an excellent take-off, it is more than possible that coverage through the node may be better than coverage from your own home QTH!
Next, choose the node to which you wish to connect. Note that IRLP nodes are FOUR digits in length, but Echolink nodes can be anything from three to six digits! To connect to an IRLP node, simply “dial” the number of the node. For an Echolink connection, prefix the node number with ‘hash’ (#).
For example, the original ‘home’ of IRLP is node 1000 (VE7RHS in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada); the K7OJU node in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA is node 3407. The ‘node number’ of this node is 5918. You will need this number if ever you are out of the Wakefield area or even abroad and want to use IRLP to call home! Echolink is very similar, but the node numbers can be up to six digits in length. For example, the VE7RHS node mentioned above has also the Echolink node number 190638, and a very popular local repeater, GB3IR in the North East is 1353. Note that although GB3IR uses node number 1353, this is an Echolink node number, NOT IRLP! GB3IR’s IRLP node number is 5562.
To re-iterate, to make a connection to GB3IR via this node using IRLP, simply dial “5562”; to connect using the EchoLink network, dial “#1353”.
Next, identify yourself using voice through the microphone, then type in the chosen node number using the DTMF keypad. Release the PTT, and wait for the local node to say “Connected”. You may then proceed to call CQ or a distant station. When you’ve finished, please key your rig and type “73” to close the link down.
You may also wish to try connecting to an IRLP Reflector. There are several of these, and they all have ‘node numbers’ in the 9000 range. A reflector is a ‘special’ node which allows several other nodes to connect simultaneously, to create an IRLP ‘net’. Once again, when you’ve finished, please don’t forget to type “73” to close down the link. There are also Echolink “Conferences” which provide a similar service. You can find a list on www.echolink.org
Another difference you may notice is that when connecting over IRLP, the connection message is quite short, but Echolink can be a little more informative (or verbose). When disconnecting, IRLP nodes always confirm disconnection. EchoLink nodes sometimes do not! If you’re not sure about the status of the node, dial “*123” (STAR-1-2-3) which will cause the node to announce its current status.
It is also important to realise that MB7IWR is a SIMPLEX node, not a repeater. This means (amongst other things) that it CANNOT
receive whilst it is transmitting. I often hear people attempting to make a disconnect request whilst the node is actually transmitting!
MB7IWR Node Special Features (“Star services” :-)
The node is capable of a lot more than simply acting as a communication pipe. For example, it has already been configured to provide a “time check”. You can get this simply by entering DTMF “*100” (note the “*” (Star) at before the 100 – hence “star” services).
I am open to reasonable and feasible suggestions for other services. Please also note that these services are unique to this node; other nodes may have similar services but the codes dialled to activate them will almost certainly be different. Please also note that the list of “Star Services” below, only “*123” works when the node is already connected. The others are ignored.
PLEASE CHECK THE NODE’S STATUS WITH “*123” BEFORE USING!
Here’s a list (correct 28th January 2013) of all the “star” services:
*100 Play current time (in UTC)
*123 Play current node status
*130 Plays details of last connections, (in out or waiting)
*150 Connect to random IRLP node
Above all, support the Wakefield & District Radio Society by USING and ENJOYING the node, and PLEASE come to our weekly Friday evening meetings.
If you enjoy what you hear, and would like to actually gain a licence to transmit, please come along to one of our regular, weekly meetings where any member of the committee will be pleased to advise you of our RSGB approved training courses. If you can’t make one of our meetings, you may email the Head of Training, Chris Lashmar MØKJP at firstname.lastname@example.org.