EchoLink Gateway Project Information Update

Node:  644275     Call:  N8URW-R     Talkgroup: DCI 1

We have brought back our TRBO-Link gateway.  The Rev 2 project had been testing since June 21, 2013 but as of July 20, 2013, it has been rolled for use by all the DCI networks on talkgroup: DCI 2.  It has worked out so well, that we moved it over to DCI 1, our main talkgroup as of November 30, 2013.

Jason, N8URW, the admin of our Michigan network is heading up the effort and underwriting the costs for the resources needed for this project. 

Here's the setup info for the TRBO side of the gateway: 

  • EchoLink Users Transmit out on DCI 1 only

  • No conferences and no -R's or -L's are allowed to connect to limit analog RF audio on TRBO

  • No tones, ID'ers, or other typical analog related noises

  • Scanning of DCI talkgroups are:  DCI 1, DCI 2, Comm 1, North America 2 and Worldwide 2

  • DMR Nets available: Tech Net and the Worldwide are available

  • Connect messaging is disabled

  • Long inactivity timer to enable EchoLink users to monitor or "stream"

Please allow an extra second after transmitting on DCI 1 before speaking to allow for the additional delays on the EchoLink side of the portal.

Possible future changes:

  • Shorten inactivity timers

  • Modify scanned channel list

  • Whitelist and/or blacklist may be enabled

We will  continue to evaluate this portal's operation and everything is subject to change as we work to better this EchoLink gateway into DCI's normal operation.

We have added an information page for EchoLink users and this is announced on the EchoLink side of the portal.  This should help us all to insure the most seamless implementation of the TRBO-Link Portal. 

EchoLink User Information Page for EchoLink Stations


Below is legacy information from our original implementation of TRBO-Link

Since February 22, 2010, TRBO-6 and DCI has had an EchoLink portal in operation.  TRBO-Link is currently transmitting into our main talkgroup "Comm 1" but is listening to several TG's on both time slots.  Our "TRBO-Link" portal has provided solid 2-way "streaming" of our IPSC network without any issues and is convenient for users out of the service area of their local repeaters or those who have an interest in TRBO and want to be able to listen in.

To try it out, simply connect to: WB0VHB-L (484940) via your EchoLink station

Our thanks to Randy, WB0VHB, Iowa for dedicating the control radio, EchoLink station, and the engineering time to bring this project online.

We have restricted access on the EchoLink side to not allow any analog RF on our TRBO network.  No -L's or -R's are able to connect.  But stations running on computers as well as smart phones,  iTouch's, iPads, and Android products are able to listen to the TRBO network and talk as well.  We have these limits in place to keep all EchoLink related tones, announcements and analog RF noise off of the TRBO network.  We hope to enable a very transparent portal with respect to the TRBO side.  This approach has worked very well.  TRBO-6 users now have the ability to connect to any other EchoLink nodes or conferences via touch-tone which has been available since the R01.07xx firmware upgrades though these capabilities can inject analog noise and tones onto the TRBO network.  If you use this capability be aware that we do not want to listen to analog noise so your use or misuse may restrict this access.  This additional feature is there for priority or emergency traffic related uses primarily.

It is possible that we may further expand EchoLink access allow Echolink connect and disconnect messaging.  It is not likely we will enable -L's or -R's EchoLink portals, but on a temporary basis, these restrictions may be relaxed for demonstrations, networks or emergencies.

Portions of prior discussion still of some interest

BENEFITS:  The immediate benefits no matter TS or IPSC is a 2-way half-duplex voice connection into the TRBO system which approaches the audio quality of an all digital system.  Better yet, it enables another portal into the TRBO system which allows the use of computers, iPhones (new app available) and even other analog systems that have EchoLink access (if desired).  This would expand the repeater (or network) coverage essentially, to the entire planet.  We have that already in IPSC but it requires 8300's and client radios to be as ubiquitous as computers and iPhones, and that just ain't the same..

EQUIPMENT:  So the plan would require dedicating a client radio (4300 as the lowest tier mobile radio), and an  EchoLink station (PC or laptop) with VA3TO interface. 

ACCESS:  Access to the "TRBO-Link" would be enabled or restricted by a whitelist or country list.  Typically it may enable only EchoLink users (no -L's or -R's) and then possibly only TRBO-6 members who are Echo-Link users.  If repeaters or links, (even if sponsored by TRBO-6 members) were allowed access, it could inject normal analog system noise and that might be objectionable.  To compensate for this additional noise or traffic, we could put the TRBO-Link on it's own TS2 Talkgroup, IPSC enabled or not to limit bothersome noise on the TRBO side.  TRBO-6 Member access to TRBO-Link the other way could also be controlled. 

MAXIMUM IMPLEMENTATION:  At the other end of the scale, TRBO-Link could sit full time on Comm 1 and be used just as if another radio on the TRBO-6 network.  EchoLink users would able to use the TRBO-6 Intercom for the widest exposure.  The controls for implementing this interface are good and allow us to maintain a balance of security / talkgroup activity vs that of the excellent potential for EchoLink to provide for more enhanced coverage areas when unable to use TRBO client radios (out of range of the local repeater or it's network).  This would also reduce the need or desire to implement streaming audio onto the Internet.  A measured approach, initially restrictive, relaxing over time as we determine how best to fold this portal onto a repeater or the TRBO-6 network.

Our original concept page

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Revised: 09/19/2014 05:43