Monday, March 12, 2012

Echolink node 1494 update

setup the alternate PC for my Echolink node, different type of motherboard and different type of built-in sound card. Had it all running last night, RF audio coming into the node from the radio (Line-In) port now sounding much better.

six metres FM activity

some good E's activity on the weekend, after the WIA broadcast on Sunday mornimg there was talk of 6 metre opening to VK3, tried out the repeaters and found these repeaters coming in with good signals,
53.550  VK3RMH    Melbourne  30km NE of Melb
53.600 VK3RMR Gippsland Aberfeldy, nth of Morwell
53.675 VK3RAD Melbourne East , this has a electronically generated voice ident
53.725 VK3RGV Mt Wombat near Shepparton
I called on all of them several times, but nobody to be found, but I did work vk3NUG and VK3ALZ both in the Gippsland area on 52.525 simplex. Heard VK3NUG again several times later in the afternoon on 52.525

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Echolink update

My Echolink node is back on air after a lengthy absence, ran some tests, realised the noise of the incoming audio from the radio is still noisy, did some testing to isolate the source, I thought it was a noisy receiver, but after testing realised it was the Line-In port to the inbuilt sound device of the Dell PC, I adjusted the audio levels from the Windows drivers and I can vary it.

Not really a problem, as I built a new PC up (more precisely, I stripped down an old server, to
make it run 24x7 with minimal power usage, with extra fan, so it will run cold) so hopefully, the audio device in it will not have internal noise issues as the old Dell PC had.

Hoping to build the new PC using SVXLink (a linux based Echolink server).

Also, I eventually uploaded the latest version of Echolink client app for my HTC phone, now there is athe option for headphones or speaker, so I can now use the headphones for working the Echolink app from the phone. I was getting desperate and thinking I would have to get an iPhone just for the sake of working Echolink from a mobile phone.

Speaking of mobile phones, looking at my next replacement, heavily considering the Samsung Galaxy S II (Android based) for a phone and a Samsung Galaxy 10.1 Tab for a tablet PC. Yes, the iPad, iPhone and iMac are very nice devices, but I just don't like the idea of being told what you can and can't do when it comes to those devices, or being bound & locked in to the latest Gen-Y fad, I prefer flexibility. I like the idea of Linux and Android where the tools are available, it's up to me if I want to change things. (back off the soapbox)

Finally, I understand the concept of the Echolink Proxy, I was led to believe that it would let someone run two Echolink nodes from the one IP service, but after reading into it, that is not the case, so that squashed the idea of multiple nodes (for now). The idea for the 2nd node was to have a 6metre FM receiver scanning 52.525 plus all the repeater frequencies, now this could have been fun for someone interstate during 6metre E's season, you could be calling on 52.525 or one of the 6metre repeaters in the Sydney basin and hear yourself coming back through the Echolink connection, handy for testing propagation when there is nobody listening.