Guidlines courtesy of www.irlp.net
As with any new technology, it does take some time to adopt to
operating procedures that differ from conventional FM repeater
use. This work in progress can serve as a guideline for those
wishing to use their local IRLP enabled repeater node.
There are two connection modes for an IRLP connection. Direct
one-to-one or, one-to-many via a Reflector.
Direct connect is just like it sounds where repeater (node) "A"
connects direct with node "B". With this type of link the two
nodes are interconnected and no other IRLP connections are
possible. While repeaters "A" and "B" are connected, anyone
attempting to connect with either node will be told by a
recording that - "The node you are calling is currently connected to
callsign" however all local traffic on each repeater will be heard on
the other repeater as well.
While Direct Connect is preferred for a city to city chat, the most
common type of connection in use today is via the Western
Reflector (Ref 9250). A reflector is a Linux computer that is not
connected to any radio but rather sits on lots of internet bandwidth
capable of allowing many repeaters to be inter-connected together by
streaming the received audio back to all other connected
stations. Each reflector has 9 sub channels allowing up to 10
separate virtual reflectors to operate. These are
identified by the last digit. For example - 9250 is the main
channel with 9251, 9252, 9253 etc being virtual reflectors with
identical capability as the main channel.
You can always check which stations are connected to the reflectors
main and sub-channels by visiting http://status.irlp.net
and looking for nodes connected to individual nodes or reflectors.
With reflector use the first thing we must all remember is to leave a
gap between transmissions. Having said that this is a good time
to list the three main rules when connected to a reflector:
Due to the slight increase in delays created by multiple Tone Squelch
radios in the links between the repeater and IRLP link radio, a slight
change in our normal operating procedures is required with IRLP.
By leaving a pause between transmissions it .....
allows users on other nodes a chance to
allows other nodes time to send touch-tone commands to drop their node.
The most important guideline to remember is
leaving a pause after pressing the PTT button as well as between
local traffic while connected to the reflector.
By its nature, the reflector has a large footprint and a wide audience,
therefore if local users would like to have a discussion, they should
disconnect from the reflector. If we hear a local conversation (all
participants coming from the same node) that continues, I, or one of
the other reflector control ops will likely ask them to disconnect. If
attempts to break into the conversation are unsuccessful, the node may
be blocked from the reflector (more on blocking later).
Along the same line, if two stations become engaged in an extended
dialog involving only themselves, then I would recommend they both move
off the reflector and make a direct node to node connection, freeing up
the reflector for others. If more than two nodes are involved, then
moving to one of the lesser used reflectors might be an alternative,
especially if one of the stations can check the web site for an
available reflector. In the future, moving to one of the available
sub-channels will become an option.
It IS acceptable to call CQ, in fact, if you really want to make a
contact, it is preferable to say "This is K9DC calling CQ, is anyone
available for a contact?" as opposed to "K9DC Listening" ...silence for
2 minutes, followed by a disconnect. However 3 x 3 x 47 CQs are
unnecessary and should be left for CW/SSB frequencies where tuning
around is the observed practice. Odds are we heard it the first time.
It IS acceptable to talk about the weather, or anything else that is
geographically significant. But like anything else, within reason. A
station in Indiana that says to a Colorado op, "Hey I heard that you
have a mountain out there" will probably cause eyes to roll worldwide.
In general though, long winded, channel consuming conversations should
be avoided. Remember there are usually a dozen or two connected
systems, with perhaps hundreds of users that might like a chance to use
other Reflector operational guidelines:
Listen first. When connecting to the main channel on a Reflector, odds
are that you are dropping into an existing conversation. Wait for at least 15 seconds to make
sure you are not interrupting an existing QSO before calling.
Pause between transmissions. Many nodes are connected using simplex
links, therefore the only time it is possible for them to disconnect is
between transmissions. Be sure to pause AT LEAST 5 seconds between
Key your transmitter and wait before speaking. There are propagation
delays across the Internet, as well as delays caused by sub audible
tone decoders and other devices that cause a delay before the audio
path is cut through. If you speak immediately upon PTT, the beginning
of your transmission will not be heard.
BLOCKED from Reflectors.
IRLP reflectors have a management function allowing reflector control
operators to block specific nodes from accessing the reflector. When a
node is blocked, the reflector ALWAYS automatically generates an e-mail
message to the e-mail address of the Node owner as submitted to databaseirlp.net.
The e-mail should contain the specific reason for the block. This
blocking is NEVER personal. It does NOT mean that we don't like you,
but is only done to ensure continued operation of the reflector. Even
my own node has been blocked.
Nodes are usually blocked for a technical malfunction, such as a locked
COS, open squelch noise, extended hang time, or your repeater ID (with
no user traffic) or courtesy beeps audible to IRLP, or any other
problem that that impairs operation of the Reflector. Your node may
also be blocked for rapid fire local traffic making it impossible for
nodes to break in between transmissions.
Cross-linking other VoIP networks on
IRLP reflectors is not allowed as very few non IRLP VoIP systems mute
Station IDs, hang
timers and courtesy tones. IRLP does not permit retransmission of
any source that is not part of a users PTT transmission.
With 20 or more repeaters connected together, sheer chaos would result
if this hard rule was not enforced.
The reflector control ops may try to contact a local control op on the
air to advise the problem, however this may not always be possible. It
is important that the node owner respond to the e-mail message advising
the problem has been corrected.
If you have any other specific questions I can address, please send
First of all listen on your local machine for at least 15 -30 seconds
before transmitting and then ask if the repeater is currently in
use. Assuming all is clear, identify
your self and give the node name or number you wish to
call. Example: "VE3xyz for the Sydney node" - - then enter
the ON code for the node and release your PTT. Your local repeater
should come up with a carrier as it waits for the connection to be
authenticated. This can take a few seconds of dead-air so don't
be concerned. When the connection is confirmed, the voice ID of
the destination node will be transmitted back to you as well as your
nodes voice ID to the other repeater.
your node is already connected to another node or reflector, a greeting
will play saying; - ("your node is
currently connected to...ID of the connection") In this
case confirm if anyone desires the connection to remain up before
dropping by using the OFF code..
Once connected and after hearing the confirming voice ID, wait at least 15 seconds before
repeater may be in use, and your entry may have occurred between
voice ID of your node is longer than the voice ID of their node, and
the connection is not made until the ID is fully played.
computer may be slower, and hence take longer to process the connection
Press and hold the microphone PTT for a second and then announce your
presence and your intention such as you are calling someone
specifically or just looking for a QSO with another ham in that city.
If no response is heard, announce your call and your intent to drop the
link and then touch- tone in the OFF code. Not a good idea to transmit touch-tone
commands without first giving your call-sign. Not only is this
courteous it is a regulatory issue in some countries who may be
connected to the reflector.
Some nodes are configured so you cannot connect to them if that
repeater is active. In this case you will receive the message"The node you are calling is being used
locally" If you receive this message wait 5 or 10 minutes
and then try again.
If you stay connected to a node and there is no activity on your
repeater for 4 minutes, the connection will time out and automatically
disconnect with a voice ID disconnect message on both nodes.
THE NODE CODES?
This is a very common question to which there is no single
answer. Some node operators choose to add a prefix to their
node. Also some nodes require membership so the easiest way to
get current codes is to contact the node operator or custodian.
To email a node owner go to http://status.irlp.net,
find the node you wish to contact and click on the node number. A
link to create an email message is presented.
TO THE REFLECTOR
As above, listen to your local machine for local use and then announce
your intention for the Reflector before keying the ON
command. When you hear the confirmation ID always WAIT at least 15
seconds before transmitting as you are most likely now connected with
many repeaters and a QSO could be in progress. If after 15
seconds you hear nothing, identify yourself and indicate you are
listening to the Reflector from "City
and, Prov./State, Country". With the world wide IRLP activity your
local repeater now has world wide coverage thus the suggestion to
better detail your QTH.
Don't be in a hurry to hear someone come back to you. You may
have to do a bid of pleading from time-to-time to dislodge someone from
whatever they are currently involved with.
By default, connections to the reflectors now time out with no activity
however many node owners set this period for a long period so it is not
unusual for repeaters with minimal traffic to stay connected to the
Reflector for extended periods of time. When or if the node times
out from a Reflector connection a standard time-out greeting will
precede the timeout saying, "Activity
time out ... Reflector xxxx, link off"
If you are new to IRLP you should always
consult with your local node sponsor
to confirm the local guidelines on reflector connections in your
If you hear or wish to engage in a prolonged rag-chew on your local
repeater (long discussion of a local
nature) out of courtesy to other node listeners drop the
From time-to-time you may receive error messages when attempting to
connect with a node or reflector. The most common ones are:
"The node you are calling is not
responding, please try again later"
is caused by a loss of internet connectivity to one end of the call
"BEEP Error -
The call attempt has timed out, the connection has been lost"
occurs when a node is OFF-LINE. Some nodes such as in the UK use
dial-up connections and then, only for short periods.
Also there may be
temporary net or node problems.
Connection Has Been Lost"
internet connection drops, this error message will be heard. I
found this out when I accidentally kicked out my network
working around the node computer.
DO'S and DON'TS
In summary then a few do's and don'ts
DO pause between transmissions to
let other in or others to enter DTMF command.
DO identify before sending DTMF
DO hold your microphone PTT for
about 1 second before talking to allow all systems time to rise.
DO NOT rag-chew on your local
repeater while connected to the reflector.
DO pause for 10 seconds or when
entering the reflector before talking.
DO NOT start or plan a Net without
pre-authorization from the reflector owner
- Waikato VHF Group Inc. - 2020