page has received
since May 6 2001
This page outlines a project to setup one or
more IRLP (Internet Radio Linking Project) nodes in the Melbourne
area. Information will include project history, current status
and other relevant information. Stay tuned, as this page will
change frequently. For more information about IRLP in general,
please see my IRLP in
The Windows Beginning.
The idea to link VK3 repeaters into the IRLP
network goes back to January 2001. Then, Peter, VK2YX,
coordinated a project to link VK repeaters using the Windows
based IPhone software for Australia Day (January 26). At the
time, there was no one in VK3 with any plans to link a repeater,
so I stepped in and volunteered to get a link happening for the
day. On January 26, the VK3RSR 2 metre repeater was linked to the
temporary network using IPhone for 15 hours continuous. The link
was very successful and was popular with amateurs around
Melbourne. In March, another Iphone link was operated, this time,
a simplex link for the purpose of enabling the VI3GP special
event station to work distant stations via the IPhone repeater
arrives in Australia.
In April 2001, two events occured which led to
the push to link VK3 to the rest of the world. The first was the
linking of VK2RBM in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, to the
IRLP network. This gave Sydney based amateurs Australia's first
taste of IRLP, and impressed those who came to experience the
system. The second event was my own visit to Sydney (which was
for work reasons). During my stay, I was able to use the IRLP
system myself and saw the benefits and performance it offered. I
resolved to link Melbourne with the IRLP network.
On my return to Melbourne, I tossed around the
idea of IRLP linked repeaters among the afternoon drive time
regulars on 70cm. Several amateurs liked the sound of the IRLP,
and are now interested in assisting with the project. In
addition, another amateur had been working independently towards
an IRLP link, and is willing to join forces with anyone else
In the first week of May 2001, we had the first
really serious discussions about IRLP on the VK3RSE repeater.
Within 2 days, the discussion had turned from an idea to a plan,
and much of the hardware required for the project had already
been offered, as well as financial and other assistance.
Status and Timeline.
October 6, 2001
- Node 639 (VK3JED) is moved to the VK3RSR
Scout repeater, in preparation for JOTA.
September 30, 2001
- VK3RGL node now back to 24 hour/day
operation, following licence approval.
- VK3 WIA Division submits link licence
application on behalf of the node and obtains link
frequency allocations for the node to repeater UHF link.
- IRLP Presentation on September 7 at
Gippsland Gate Radio and Electronics Club.
- VK3RGL node now operating part time, due
to concerns raised by the repeater licensee about the
licencing of the system.
- IRLP presentations were conducted on July
6 (MDRC), July 13 (GARC), August 9 (North East Radio
Group), August 23 (Southern Peninsula Amateur Radio
- First week of continuous operation on
VK3RGL. The repeater has now become quite busy. The
node's performance continues to be flawless.
- Work commences on the UHF link equipment.
- IRLP node moved to a location with cable
Internet access and reconfigured to use the ADPCM CODEC.
The improvement in link performance was staggering, with
crystal clear audio.
- IRLP node now running 24 hours a day.
- First live test of IRLP on the VK3RGL
repeater. The timer used to prevent tail feedback on
IPhone networks was modified to work with the IRLP
hardware to make the tests possible. Stations worked via
the first VK3RGL link include VK2BGL (Western Sydney),
VK2JPJ (Sydney), AH6RH (Honolulu) and G3ZHI (UK). VK3RGL
was also heard via the VK6RNC repeater, but the operator
was unable to reply (got the report via ICQ).
- Performance of IRLP during the past 5 days
was mixed, with link echo (GSM bug), dropouts (timeouts)
and difficulty connecting with other nodes (timeouts and
authentication failures) being the main issues. These
issues are all due to the slow Internet connection being
used, and will be resolved shortly when a cable modem
connection becomes available. The actual IRLP gateway
itself has performed very well under the difficult
- IRLP presentation, demonstration and
workshop set for July 13 at the GARC club rooms.
- IRLP node installation completed by Dave
Cameron, VE7LTD, with some help from Pete, VK2YX (a good
ad for Linux and SSH - try doing that sort of remote
control with a GUI! :) ).
- Node tests commence on 146.550 MHz simplex
using GSM compression over a modem link. Unfortunately,
audio quality is compromised due to a bug in the GSM
CODEC, which causes a strange echo effect. Moving the
node to a faster connection and using the ADPCM CODEC
will fix this problem and improve audio quality to near
telephone quality. Several amateurs take advantage of the
- A presentation and workshop for IRLP users
is planned at the MDRC for July 6 2001. A date is yet to
be set for GARC members.
- IRLP hardware arrives from Canada
- Operating system installed on IRLP server
PC, awaiting final installation.
- Moorabin and District Radio Club
officially sponsors the Internet end of the IRLP link.
- Geelong Amateur Radio Club officially
approved the use of one of the VK3RGL repeaters for IRLP
linking. IRLP operation will commence on the 147.000 MHz
VK3RGL repeater around the end of June. The link will be
moved to the 70cm repeater on 439.575 MHz once that
repeater has been upgraded for better performance.
- Official publicity about the project
commences. APC News will be used as the main publicity
- IRLP board en route to Australia
- Worked Dave Cameron, VE7LTD - the
developer of IRLP while I was in Sydney.
- IRLP board ordered and paid for from
donations previously received.
- Administrative mailing list setup to
facilitate communication between project team members.
- Second strategy meeting takes place at
Moorabbin Hamfest. Several donations received, which will
go towards IRLP hardware.
- Offer of high speed Internet connection
- Creative Vibra 16 soundcard donated by ATC
- Computer hardware for the IRLP link
donated by Motorola.
- A page for the VK3 IRLP project was
created to keep people up to date (you're reading it
- Approval granted to use the VK3RGL
repeater by the Geelong Amateur Radio Club.
- An informal meeting of some of the
interested people occurred during the MDRC social night.
- Several GARC members express interest in
linking the VK3RGL 2m repeater to IRLP. Negotiations
- Much of the hardware and facilities
required is offered tentatively by several Melbourne
- First serious airing of the VK3 IRLP
project on VK3RSE.
- A web page is created on this site to
describe IRLP and promote IRLP links in VK.
- IRLP is experienced first hand while in
Sydney. A visit to the VK2RBM IRLP node and
demonstrations of the system also took place.
- VK3XEM investigates the possibility of
IRLP for VK3.
- VI3GP special event station is linked to
several overseas repeaters via IPhone. This was the last
time I used IPhone, due to a fault developing in the link
radio. In addition, IRLP was seen as a technically
superior solution for long term repeater linking.
- The Australia Day national IPhone link
took place. VK3RSR was linked to the network to give
Melbourne its first taste of Internet repeater linking.
One of the highlights of the way was a VK3 tram mobile to
VK8 handheld contact. Many international nodes also took
part in what was one of the largest IPhone linkups ever.
- The link for the Australia Day IPhone link
was developed and refined.
- A new technique for preventing tail
feedback on IPhone networks was developed.
- Permission to use VK3RSR for the IPhone
link was granted.
- Test links were operated on simplex and
VK3RSR for various periods during the week.
- ACA formally approves Internet repeater
The following people and organisations have
contributed time, money or hardware to the VK3 IRLP project. This
list will be regularly updated, and has been presented in no
- VK3JDA, David
- VK3SZ, Gary
- VK3XEM, Simon
- VK3FC, Leighton
- VK3YIL, Ian
- VK4BAB, Andrew
- VK3TBN, Peter
- VK2YX, Peter
- Geelong Amateur Radio Club
- ATC Training Australasia
- Moorabbin and District Radio Club
If you or your club is interested in offering
assistance to get an IRLP node up and running in VK3, please drop
me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or
catch me on VK3RSE during drive time.
The following links contain more information on
VK3JED IRLP Node. - A system dedicated to IRLP development and
IRLP in Australia.
Radio Linking Project). The home of
VK2RBM IRLP Node, one of