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28th December 2004

  • Belated seasonal greetings to all users and listeners. Hope you had a good one and Santa brought you what you wanted.
  • My "New" NOV has been received from the DCC. Its wording is slightly different than the previous one, it is now far more specific about what I cannot do. With this in mind, all nodes will go off air sometime around 1am and be back on sometime around 7am. There was a mention in the DCC site a while back about allowing un-attended operation on 2 metres before too long. If that does eventually come through, I'll be happy keep the node 5230 on 24/7. 

29th October 2004

  • Updated user guide to reflect recent change to CTCSS tone on node 5240.
  • Updated node pictures to show revised aerials and UPS.
  • Flights are now booked for my trip next year to Dayton. Looking forward to seeing as many folks there as I can! I'll be arriving Thursday evening (19th May 2005) and fly back the following Monday afternoon. 

27th October 2004

  • As a result of several unsavoury incidents involving the dishwasher, the RCD on the consumer unit and the resulting loss of 240V to the node radio cupboard, and more importantly the generosity of Graham G7EVY, the four node PC's are now protected by a UPS. Before too long the radio power supply will also be protected. 
  • Totally unrelated to IRLP, but RIP John Peel, the only DJ that's ever been worth listening too. The airwaves will never be the same.

21st October 2004

  • CTCSS tone change on Node 5240 now implemented.
  • Coverage maps updated for Node 5240 in line with change from beam to omni antenna.
  • Thanks to all users for giving preference to JOTA stations this last weekend. The station (GB5SAS) was a great success.
  • I have some GM300's available for sale. Click here for details.

20th October 2004

  • Some time today, node 5240 will have its CTCSS access tone changed from 151.4Hz to 79.7Hz. Please ensure any radio you use to access this node has its settings changed accordingly. 

15th October 2004

  • Just a reminder that this weekend (16th/17th October) is JOTA weekend. Please give preference to stations wishing to use the gateways for JOTA contacts. For those participating in JOTA, reflector channel 9205 is designated as the "official" channel. There will also be some Australian groups on reflector channel 9507. Node to Node contacts are also encouraged.
  • The 4 Metre node radio has been changed. The Tait T500 has been replaced by a Motorola GM350. For other node owners reading this, please be aware that if you too want to use a GM350, that the standard 4 channel variant does not have all the appropriate signals on the 16 pin accessory socket on the back. All the "GP" pins have no circuitry behind them. All that's available by default is PTT and audio in. If you want a GM350 to work without any of your own mods, then you'll need the 128 channel version. On my four channel version, I've patched a couple of wires inside to the accessory socket to provide audio out and COS. Other than having to do the mod, they work fine.
  • Unless I get any feedback that it's going to cause major headaches, I intend to change the CTCSS frequency of node 5240 from 151.4Hz to 79.7Hz in line with the other nodes. I'll leave it a few days before I change over. Due to lots of low band kit already programmed to the 4M node, the 123Hz on node 5973 will not be changed.

4th October 2004

  • Michael's paperwork has arrived, and his callsign is confirmed as M3HQN, he's already completed half a page of his log book!
  • Cooling fans added to all node radios, see node pictures for more details.
  • After a great deal of fiddling, I've managed to get the duplexer I picked up at the Donnington rally to work. Single aerial working is now in operation on nodes 5220,5230 and 5240. The duplexer tuning was a challenge since I could get it to either provide excellent isolation with poor insertion loss, or acceptable insertion loss but degraded isolation. The final set up is a compromise so the insertion loss is about 1.5dB per port and the isolation about 60dB. To increase the isolation, I still use the series bottle cavities, one on each port. Total insertion loss on UHF is somewhere around 2 to 2.5dB, a bit high, but considering the signal's going through a cavity filter and two duplexers it'll have to do. I've got another duplexer on order. Its specification falls within the frequency it will be used on, so I might be able to do better. Pictures of the duplexer arrangement can be found on the node pictures page.
  • So, in case all the above means nothing to you :-) the result is that ALL nodes are now on omni directional aerials. Specifically, node 5240, that was on a beam, is now on the same vertical as Nodes 5220 and 5230. For the time being I'll leave the EchoIRLP on 5220, but it's likely I may move it to 5240. We'll see.

28th September 2004

  • I've just spoken with the Radio Licensing Centre who inform me that Michael's callsign will be M3HQN. He won't be on the air until the paperwork arrives, but at least he knows his call :-) Thanks to Graham G7EVY's generous nature, Michael will soon be out and about using his Alinco handheld. I'm banned from using it :-) 
  • I've had permission to change the aerial on Node 5240 from a beam pointing 160 degrees west to a standard omni, expect the change before too long. I'll post here when it's done. I'm hoping to construct a bandpass duplexer that'll allow both UHF nodes to operate on the same vertical. More soon.
  • Would all users please remember to ensure they give their callsigns when controlling (using DTMF) on any of the nodes. There's been a sharp increase recently in "DTMF blasting". It assists other users to know who's around by giving your callsign. This is especially relevant since I know there is some un-licensed controlling taking place too.
  • I've still not had chance yet to get the levels set exactly right on all the new node radios. It's pretty close, but needs a bit more.

24th September 2004

  • Ok, nodes 5220, 5230 and 5240 are all now running on God's chosen radio, the Motorola GM300. Since nodes 5220 (430.0625MHz), 5230 (145.3375MHz) are both Nov'd for 12.5kHz channel spacing, the GM300's used on those frequencies are 12.5kHz models. Node 5240 (434.475MHz) is Nov'd for normal 25kHz spacing, so that radio is a 25kHz variant. If you want to see pictures, please refer to the node pictures page. Apologies to all for the extended outage while the swap out was taking place, I took the opportunity to tidy things up a bit while I was at it :-) All I need now is to get a Motorola 66MHz-88MHz radio to complete the family! Please note, there's still some audio level adjustment to be done, should be complete over this next weekend.
  • Minor changes to web site layout, some pages withdrawn, others updated.
  • User guide updated.

22nd September 2004

  • On the weekend of October 16th/17th 2004, JOTA contacts have priority on all internet gateways at G4EID. For those stations active in JOTA, Reflector channel 9205 has been set aside specifically for the event. Node to node contacts are also encouraged. More news nearer the event.
  • Node 5220 is the first node to have its radio swapped out. It's now running a Motorola GM300. This is a commercial PMR radio. It's a 12.5kHz channel spacing model so everything is lined up with the NOV for 430.0625MHz. Previously, the IC207 had its deviation set to 2.5kHz to prevent causing co-channel interference, but this Motorola should help the node receiving it too.
  • Node 5240 is temporarily off air as a test bed for the new radios.

19th September 2004

  • I've just spent the weekend with our son Michael while he took his Foundation Licence course and exam. Thanks to the efforts of the Three Counties Training Group under the direction of Dave M0OBW in Runcorn, I'm pleased to report that he passed. All the paperwork relating to his callsign application will be sent out tomorrow, so expect to here a new M3 call in Southport soon!
  • Node 5973's (4Mtr node) aerial has been replaced. The existing one's performance was so poor it simply had to come down. I'm trying to get hold of a Jaybeam PMR end fed dipole, until then, a simple vertical diplole is now in use. It appears much better.
  • All node radios due for change out very shortly. All IC207's will be replaced with Motorola GM300 PMR radios. They're all programmed up and ready to go, I just need to make the connecting leads. The Tait 4M radio will be replaced with a Motorola GM350. 
  • Slight problem with an audio lead on node 5220, it's now been replaced with a spare, but for reasons I'll not go into now, the outgoing audio is likely to be poorer than before. No point in fixing it, since the new radio will be in very shortly.

18th June 2004

  • Another star code added, dial *192 plus a four digit IRLP node number. The node will report the node's callsign. For example, *1925200 should result in G4NJI being reported. Useful if you want to check a node number/callsign before you dial it.
  • The single star command (for the list of all star commands) has been replaced with *10. This is due to problems (like under mobile conditions), when the node just picks up the first star from a transmission, having to wait for the full star output can become a bit tedious :-)
  • Expect some downtime on the nodes soon, they're all due for a power down and some routine maintenance (cleaning of fans, radio checking etc). Also, I'll be taking the opportunity of rebuilding each one to the latest IRLP levels. They're all getting a little long in the tooth now!

24th April 2004

  • Just back from Las Vegas attending the 2004 IRLP conference, a big thank you to everyone I met over there, I had a marvellous time.
  • Three system status page introduced, a page that contains the status of IRLP, EchoLink and eQSO all on the one page. Click here to view it.

19th March 2004

  • Minor changes to site layout.
  • Mailing list removed, too much abuse from spammers.

9th March 2004

  • First release of a set of pages that show the status of all eQSO Servers. They are similar in format to the IRLP reflector and EchoLink Conference status pages and are hopefully self explanatory. Click here to view the page(s). This facility now provides a "one-stop" place to view the status of all the major Amateur Internet linking systems.

20th February 2004

  • First release of a set of pages that show the status of all EchoLINK conference servers. They are similar in format to the IRLP reflector status pages and are hopefully self explanatory. Click here to view the page(s).
  • Additions to the IRLP reflector status pages. Pages now included for individual US States and Canadian Provinces. See here for further details.

3rd February 2004

7th January 2004

  • I'm pleased to report I'm now the proud owner of a new callsign. In addtion to my UK call, (G4EID), I'm now also licensed in the USA as KM8H. This should allow me to make full use of all the available spectrum on my visits over the pond this year. 

 

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