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Echolink is a very cool, new way to communicate using Amateur radio and the Internet.

Echolink uses the Internet to carry transmissions as Voice over IP (VoIP) to another Echolink station. This allows low power UHF radios to make world wide contacts, even when weather conditions are not favourable.

Linking Example

At our site we use a handheld transmitter to talk to a base station. The base station is connected to the audio ports on a computer running the Echolink software. Sometimes we use a microphone and speakers connected directly to the computer.

Echolink connects to a central server via the Internet to see who is online and waiting to talk. Once a person is selected a direct connection is initiated to their computer and the conversation starts.

The software can be downloaded for free from the Echolink Website and runs on Windows and Linux. You must be a licensed radio operator to use the software.

The Echolink protocol is a conversation format that the node uses to talk to the server or other nodes. Surprisingly a lot of people search for this term on the Internet. This page will help them get to the right place (I hope). Sometimes it is referred to as echo link.

IP - the Internet Protocol

The Internet Protocol, commonly abbreviated as IP is the protocol or "language" spoken by computers on the Internet. A common protocol is TCP/IP which is the Transmission Control Protocol over IP. Another common one is UDP/IP, the User Datagram Protocol over IP. UDP is used for most VoIP transmissions due to lower overheads.

Read more about the computer network at Narrabeen.