Echolink: A love-hate relationship

I love VoIP as long as it is not related to HAM radio. For that very reason I don’t care about D-star much. Interesting technology, sure, but there’s something ugly about it – and it’s not only the puffed-up rig prices which make me dig my heels into the sand. All the wires I need end in the back of my garden and, old fashioned as I am, I think that’s the way it should be.

Yet I do use Echolink occasionally, mostly to keep in touch with people who are either out of range, or with old friends who can’t have antennas anymore. Contrary to newer systems like TeamSpeak, only licensed operators are allowed to use it. Here are a few cool places I found.

Coffee Shop?
If the Dutch hear the word ‘Coffee Shop’, there’s a good chance their first thought is something related to drugs. Not so in the USA, fortunately. I found the KB4SVP-L node aka ‘Our Coffee Shop’ while scanning all the available USA-based links and repeaters, and decided to check it out. This hangout is managed by Richard KB4SVP. Most regulars still have rigs and antennas, which make it possible to schedule a real QSO now and then. Come often enough and you become a member. Don’t show up for a while, and you will be decaffeinated. LOL! Website:

KQ2H via Echolink
We were spoiled lately with great conditions on 10 meters. Only 25 Watts or so proved to be enough to access KQ2H on 29.620 MHz, but the sun went into a quiet state lately. Too bad, as we all made a lot of friends there. Fortunately there’s W2FLA-R on Echolink, which is linked into the KQ2H repeater system. Great!

Reflecting vs Connecting
Should I be less negative about the Internet? Probably. Will I change my mind in the foreseeable future? Probably not. I like radio waves, not data packets. I love reflecting, not connecting. Sorry folks. Call me what you want, a dinosaur, a fossil – I’ll take it as a compliment!

4 comments on “Echolink: A love-hate relationship

  1. I am happy to be thought a dinosaur too. I fully support you comments, as a subscriber and founder member of “ham radio and the internet don’t mix” plus “the internet is not ham radio”. I view them as as immiscible as i oil and water hi! Maybe I am biased having used what became internet since the early 1970. Also I value my free time, so while I do have a mobile phone I keep it in my pickup, turned off – for emergencies only. And take the view that the whole raft of the “gadgets” supposedly necessary just to survive in this 21st Century are realty a big hype; a liability as when disaster hits the infrastructure that supports them folds.While a basic ham setup of a CW T/RX beats the lot for “Communicating”, no radio waves it isn’t ham radio.
    In theory one of the advantages of ham radio is that the licensing process filters out the “nerd” element, certainly the CW requirement slowed them down. However now we have another sort the “bossy boots” brigade spoiling the hobby . But then I remember – just about, as a “small guy” – what ham radio was like in the late 1940s as a standard to gauge it by. And I certain my dad would consider the hobby has gone down the tube; was he still around, yet e that spirit is not dead yet ?

  2. Dave, I couldn’t agree more. I limit the use of VoIP applications to Skype or similar programs. This hobby should never be regarded as a form of communication. Communication is just one of the results. No less, no more.


  3. Just catching up, Hans. I still connect to W2FLA-R occasionally, and am waiting for 10m to open up again. We were spoilt in the weeks leading up to Christmas…

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