I don't recall all of the details on how I was steered into this aspect of the hobby but I do remember that there was an Ebay seller within a few blocks of work that had some surplus Motorola Micor UHF repeaters for sale. My friend Rick, KC0HH, was very familiar with these machines and encouraged me to get one. He also helped me every step of the way and I could not have gotten the repeater up without his help.
At the time, there were still UHF pairs that were available for coordination in the Denver metro area. I applied for coordination and asked for something near the top of the 440 band as the Micor will work great up there. I received 449.925 MHz TX / 444.925 MHz RX and that meant that I had to get the Micor on the air. I ordered crystals from International Crystal, which was still in business at the time, and Rick, KC0HH, helped to get a manual and instructions on converting the machine into the ham bands from the Repeater Builder site. It is the place to go if you want to learn how to build or maintain a repeater system.
IRLP and Echolink were added so all the BusterBrown Hams
could keep in touch.
See the K0UPS page for more on that.
Remember to ID once every ten minutes and at the end of your
It is also good practice to ask if the repeater is being used. A simple "Is anyone using this repeater right now?" will do.
IRLP requires a 4 digit node number to connect to a
specific node. Simply press your PTT, enter the 4 digit DTMF
code and release your PTT. The repeater will let you know if
the connection was made or if there was a problem.
Once connected, it is helpful to wait 1 second or so between transmissions.
Enter 73 on your DTMF pad to disconnect,
Enter 33 to connect to a random IRLP node,
44 will tell you the link status for the repeater,
55 for last call received,
C for the current time,
and CC for the current day.
Listings of the current IRLP nodes can be found here.
Echolink requires a ** before the Echolink node
Echolink uses a 4, 5, or 6 digit node number.
DTMF 73 will disconnect.
For instance, DTMF **575182 will connect you to the VK4RBA Brisbane Amateur Radio Club repeater in Australia.
Current Echolink logins
EchoLink Link Status Page