Introduction: A Little HT Ham Radio Echolink Station
This was a fun little project. Most amateur radio operators probably have most of the parts for this lying around. The only thing I needed to buy was the VOIP/AMI interface. There are lots of manufacturers for new interfaces that are pretty powerful. For this little project, my first stab at Echolink, I went with a used very early version interface.
The wiring of the interface took the most time. I had instructions from the manufacturer and did a lot of trial and error too, but once it all came together it was really cool.
HTs are not the best radios to use for Echolink because they are going to be used hard with long transmit times. The little HT I used here was pretty old and almost in the junk bin. If you use a new(er) HT be aware that it's going to be pushed to its limits.
This HT kicks out about 2.5 watts on high. By the time that 2.5 watts gets to a homebuilt J Pole 30 feet away the power is probably down to around 1.5 to 2 watts. But with that little bit of output I can hear the station 5 to 8 miles away (and that's through some heavily wooded hilly terrain.
The software is free at www.echolnk.org
Thanks for taking a look.