How to Eliminate the ID and COURTESY BEEP when Linking Repeaters

When linking your local repeater to IRLP or Echolink, it is mandatory to repeat a clean signal into the computer. If a noisy signal is re-transmitted into the IRLP system (and some Echolink systems), this could result from being locked out or banned from some repeater systems.

Imagine for a moment if three repeaters are linked together via the use of IRLP or Echolink. Then, imagine the noise and chaos the would ensue if every repeater CW and VOICE ID was repeated and even if every repeater COURTESY BEEP was repeated through out the system, not to mention to "REAL" ID and BEEP from the repeater you are actually using, locally. In some cases, all of these BEEPS and BOPS could result in a "Ping Pong" effect that would lock up all three repeaters, preventing the local hams from using them.

So, how can you eliminate the CW or VOICE ID and COURTESY BEEP from being sent into the IRLP/ Echolink computer and then being re-transmitted on everybody else's repeater? The solution requires some re-wiring, but the concept is quite basic.

1. Purchase a PL (CTCSS) Encoder board. I use the Communication Specialist products, but any Encoder board will work.
2. Wire the PL Encoder board to the repeater (at the repeater site). The repeater COS wire must be wired to the PTT wire on the Encoder board. Wire the Tone Audio Output to the correct point on the repeater.
3. Finally, place the IRLP or Echolink transciever (usually located remotely at the home of the hosting amateur) in PL Tone Decode mode. Match the PL tone of the transceiver to that of the repeater.

Some things to point out:

  • The repeater COS (carrier operated signal) is similar to the green "busy" light on most mobile or portable radios-- when the radio is actually receiving a signal (the squelch is open), the light turns on; when the signal disappears (the squelch closes), the light turns off. The COS is a wiring point on a repeater that indicates whether or not the squelch is open (a signal is being received) on the receiver of the repeater.
  • On most PL Encoder Boards, the PTT wire is what needs to be triggered to allow the Encoder Board to generate or produce the PL TONE audio. The PTT wire is what turns the tone on and off.
  • When the COS wire from the repeater is wired to the PTT wire on the Encoder Board, the PL tone turns on and off depending on whether or not a signal is being received at the repeater (Signal received= PL Tone on, No Signal= PL Tone off).

    I will update with diagrams, later!

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