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The Internet Radio Linking Project


Jamaica Amateur Radio Association. What is Amateur Radio (ham radio) ... Under 100 members in Jamaica, active in the following areas: Internet Radio Linking (IRLP) ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Internet Radio Linking Project

The Internet Radio Linking Project
Presented by Basil Chuck Davidson, 6Y5DB
For IEEE Jamaica Section, August 20, 2003.
Topics of Discussion
  • Introduction
  • Jamaica Amateur Radio Association
  • What is Amateur Radio (ham radio)?
  • Traditional Amateur Activities
  • IT and Amateur Radio
  • The Internet Radio Linking Project What it is
    and its impact on Amateur Radio.
  • How it works
  • Typical IRLP Node
  • Scripting
  • Security
  • Reflectors
  • Impact and the Future
  • How to become a Radio Amateur
  • More Information WWW sites to follow up.
  • Demonstration of IRLP
  • Thank You

Jamaica Amateur Radio Association (JARA)
  • Club station at Jamaica Red Cross (St Andrew)
  • Under 100 members in Jamaica, active in the
    following areas
  • Internet Radio Linking (IRLP)
  • Satellites
  • Education and Publicity
  • Mobile and Portable Operation

What is Amateur Radio?
  • Amateur Radio stations are operated for the
    purposes of self training in radiocommunications,
    intercommunication using radiocommunications and
    technical investigation into radiocommunications
    by persons who
  • do so solely with a personal aim
  • have no pecuniary interest in the outcome of the
    operation of the station and
  • are operated on specified amateur frequencies
    or frequency bands...

Traditional Amateur Activities
  • HF (Shortwave) communication
  • Morse code
  • Analog Voice
  • VHF/UHF repeaters
  • Satellite for hams
  • Radio Teletype Packet switching
  • Homebrewing (construction)
  • Dxing (long distance contacts)
  • Moon bounce transmission

IT and Amateur Radio
  • Computer Controlled Modes
  • Packet Radio
  • Slow Scan TV
  • Narrow Band Teletype (PSK-31, etc)
  • Digital Signal Processing
  • Internet Radio Linking
  • Remote Bases and Web Radios
  • Internet Collaboration
  • Publicity

The Internet Radio Linking Project (IRLP)
  • Uses the Internet to link distant radio sites
    together using VoIP.
  • Gives global coverage to normally localised VHF
    and UHF frequencies.
  • Enables minimally equipped stations to
    communicate globally.
  • Allows end user control of links via their
    radios DTMF (Touchtone) keypad.

How Internet Linking Works
Mobile Station
Radio Link
Distant Repeater
The Internet is used as a link
to connect distant repeaters together
Typical IRLP Node
  • Standard PC compatible is usually used.
  • Pentium P100 or faster.
  • Linux operating system (Red Hat).
  • Soundcard and appropriate drivers.
  • Simple hardware interface to control link radio.
  • Radio tuned to the appropriate link frequency.
  • ISDN/xDSL/cable/broadband Internet connection.

IRLP Scripting
  • The IRLP software is composed largely of bash
    shell scripts.
  • Easily customised to suit local needs.
  • Many functions and applications have been
  • Node status (link off/on and where linked to).
  • Time of day (talking clock).
  • Weather reports.
  • Parrot (simplex) repeater.
  • Almost anything that can be run from the console
    can be controlled via radio if needed.

IRLP Security
  • Regulations prohibit unlicenced people using
    amateur bands.
  • IRLP links are only accessible by amateur
    stations within range of a node. No direct
    Internet access.
  • Internet links use PGP for authentication to
    minimise the risk of someone impersonating a
  • OpenSSH used for remote administration.
  • Linux packages updated automatically (autorpm).

IRLP Reflectors
  • Server that enables multiple nodes to be linked
    together into a network number limited only by
  • Running a reflector requires very fast Internet
    access (32 kbps per connected node) to handle the
    multiple data streams. Most reflectors are
    hosted at Internet Service Providers who often
    donate the bandwidth.

Impact of IRLP on Amateur Radio and the Public
  • Level of amateur activity has increased
  • Amateurs who have been inactive for a long time
    are coming back on the air.
  • Amateur Radio is becoming more appealing to
    todays Internet oriented youth.
  • New opportunities for experimentation.
  • Global network to communicate with the ISS

The Future
  • Internet linking is already becoming commonplace
    over 1,000 IRLP nodes on air.
  • Improvements in technology will improve
    performance of links.
  • IPV6 and multicast offer more flexible linking
    with less bandwidth.
  • Technology can be ported to high speed amateur
    microwave and satellite links.

How to Become a Radio Amateur
  • Radio amateurs are licenced by the SMA (Belmont
    Road), once they pass required examinations in
    Amateur regulations, radio theory and, Morse
  • Examinations are conducted when arranged by the
  • JARA runs study courses for amateur theory,
    regulations, and morse code.
  • More information
  • Amateur information from the ACA
  • http//
  • Ron Bertrands online study course
  • http//

More Information
  • IRLP http//
  • The Shack of VK3JED
  • http//
  • Amateur Radio FAQ
  • http//
  • Moorabbin District Radio Club
  • http//
  • WIA Victoria - http//
  • Wireless Institute of Australia
  • http//

Demonstration of IRLP
  • Linking to Cayman and Trinidad.
  • A URL to listen to streaming audio from one of
    the reflectors is
  • http// and click on the link.

Thank You
Chuck, 6Y5DB