Echolink, D-Star, D-Rats, CQ100, and DMR Nets

Echolink, D-Star, D-Rats, CQ100, and DMR Nets


To return to the previous page, press the BACK BUTTON on your web browser. This page, and the appropriate files, were last updated Nov. 22, 2020.

Originally designed as a page for Echolink Nets, courtesy of The Millennium Net (they went QRT as of August, 2020) I have decided to update the page with an information overview, and just links for these files.

For the net list, I've decided to go with an Excel Spreadsheet Only (it was last updated as of the date above). For items 5-9 below, you will need either Microsoft Excel, LibreOffice, or OpenOffice to view/print the Excel Files.

I have EXPANDED the spreadsheet, for separate files for the US Time Zones of Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific. For stations in Arizona, use the Spreadsheet List of D-Star, D-Rats, and Echolink Nets (US Pacific Time) from the 2nd Sunday in March, to the first Sunday in November. Otherwise, use the Spreadsheet List of D-Star, D-Rats, and Echolink Nets (US Mountain Time). For stations outside the 48 contiguous United States, check the UTC Time listing for the nets. Note that UTC Time is ONE HOUR LATER from the first Sunday in November to the Second Sunday in March. For a spreadsheet to convert local net times to UTC Time, click here.

For the rest of the items, you will need an appropriate PDF Viewer to view/print the files. With some of the files, the last update is noted at the top of the particular file.


1) Credit Where Credit Is Due

2) Disclaimer And Comments For Net List Spreadsheet

3) Files NOT Included In The Spreadsheet

4) Recent Net Listing Additions, Changes, Corrections, and Deletions

5) Spreadsheet List of D-Star, D-Rats, and Echolink Nets (US Eastern Time)

6) Spreadsheet List of D-Star, D-Rats, and Echolink Nets (US Central Time)

7) Spreadsheet List of D-Star, D-Rats, and Echolink Nets (US Mountain Time)

8) Spreadsheet List of D-Star, D-Rats, and Echolink Nets (US Pacific Time)

9) UTC Net Times Conversion

10) Mode Overview file -- (Information on D-Star, D-Rats, and the QuadNet Array, among other items)

11) The Queen And Princess Of D-Star

12) Selected Ham Radio Humor - Graphics And Text

13) The PCL Net (Packet Via Telnet)

14) Nets Where WX4QZ Is Net Control

15) Ways To Checkin To Nets Where WX4QZ Is Net Control

16) How To Contact WX4QZ

17) Expanded Information On Selected Nets

18) The E.D. Net (You Had To Be There (hi hi))

19) 2020 ARVARF Hamfest Forum Presentation

20) UALR Ham Radio Club License Exam Status

21) NCVEC Form 605 September 2017

22) My Ham Radio Biography

23) My New eQSL Card And Callsign

24) The Felony Question -- REQUIRED of ALL ham radio licensees

25) Setting Up Netlogger For Nets


Thanks to the acquisition of a ThumbDV, and the BlueDV For Windows, I can access D-Star, DMR, and soon will be able to access System Fusion with one program (even if it's listen only for Fusion. Overall though, D-Rats is my preferred mode, especially via the QuadNet Array. Echolink, CQ100, and D-Rats, are accessed with their separate programs. However, I mainly use D-Star with that program.

If you find any invalid links here, contact me, with the details. Lastly, I CHANGED the photo at the top of the Net List file, from ''The Ham Banquet'' to a picture from Hamvention a few years ago, with the late Connie Ballantyne, KB0ZSG (SK), and Danielle Eddington, KE8JNU; who were known as ''The Queen Of D-Star'' and ''The Princess Of D-Star'', respectively.


Contents
My Echolink Node
Echolink Overview Part 1
Echolink Overview Part 2
Echolink Overview Part 3
Resources For Echolink Information
Echolink Credits
Net Times
Net Listing Requirements
Checking Into A Net
D-Star And D-Rats Information
D-Star Echolink connecting amateurs throughout the world D-Rats

My Echolink Node


Originally licensed on Aug. 7, 1991 as N5VLZ...I changed to the vanity callsign AE5WX on June 5, 2009...then changed to the vanity callsign of WX1DER on Dec. 27, 2012...and changed to the new vanity callsign of WX4QZ on March 22, 2019 (this one is a keeper). I changed the callsign, and the emphasis from weather to Railroad Crossing Safety, because I got BURNED OUT on doing weather on ham radio for the last 28 years.

Since I switched to the Windows 7 Operating System, I had trouble getting the EchoAnswer Add-On to work, so I disconnected it...and it may no longer be registerable. Right now, the only Echolink Net that I connect to is The Millennium Net, which meets on the third Wednesday night of the month at 8pm Central Time. Further details on that net are located here (this is to their link on Facebook). Also, because Microsoft is ENDING security updates for Windows 7 in early 2020, I have upgraded to Windows 10.

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Echolink Overview Part 1


Echolink is a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) mode of amateur radio, which allows ham radio operators with a Technician Class or higher license to connect to other stations, links, repeaters, or nets around the world...with no additional antennas or equipment requirements; if they're running it in single user mode. All that's needed is a computer with a compatable soundcard, a microphone and speakers (or a headset microphone), an Internet connection (dial-up will work, but DSL or cable is the best), and running either:

1) Microsoft Windows (98 or better), and the Echolink program; OR

2) Macintosh with the OS X operating system, and the EchoMac program; OR

3) Linux, and the EchoLinux program.

Echolink is particularly useful for stations that have power and/or antenna restrictions at their locations. With Echolink in Single User Mode, NO ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT, WIRES, ANTENNAS, ETC. ARE REQUIRED.

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Echolink Overview Part 2


Here is an overview of Echolink:

1) Echolink is FREE to use...although you do have to pay for internet usage charges...check with your local ISP for details. Also, if you are on a dial-up internet connection, the speed needs to be at least 28800 baud or above. Anything below that...including 14400 baud...will cause significant packet loss in your transmission. The faster your internet connection (DSL, broadband, etc.), the better.

2) Echolink REQUIRES either a router setup, or going through a Proxy Server. Proxy servers may have LIMITS on how long one can be connected, and are usually RESTRICTED to Single User Setups Only. For further details on Routing and Port Forwarding, click here. The PFConfig program...available for purchase...allows much easier router configuration on your network...and in my opinion, is well worth the cost.

3) Echolink has various nodes (single user, simplex link, repeater, and conference servers). If the stations are just connected via Single User Setup, NO RF OCCURS. However, if a station is connected to either a simplex node, a repeater link, or a conference server, RF WILL OCCUR.

4) Echolink will only allow phone transmissions...but it can play either .WAV or .MP3 audio files...such as the Amateur Radio Newsline, and the ARRL Audio News...as well as recording files in a specific .WAV format.

5) Echolink station information is shown on the transmitting station only on the first time they key up after connecting.

6) Echolink connections (if one or both stations are on RF) may be affected by noise, interference, erratic internet connections, etc., which may make the signal difficult to read.

7) Echolink nodes may limit the number of stations that can connect with their node or conference server. Note that Conference Mode is NOT recommended, if a user is using a dial-up internet connection. The faster ones internet connection (DSL, broadband, etc.), the better. In fact, some confernce servers will AUTOMATICALLY DISCONNECT you, if it's determined that you have Conference Mode enabled.

8) Echolink can run on Windows (98 or higher), Mac, or Linux systems, as noted above. An app for Echolink is also available (the link is on the upper right of the Echolink website...for either the Android or iPhone smartphones.

9) Echolink doesn't tell you at a glance if someone is on a particular node (unless that node is shown as BUSY), and if you have the Show Name Of Conference Server option enabled under Preferences. However, once connected to a node, the number of connected stations shown is determined by your choices under Preferences. Once you do connect to a node, if that node has conferencing enabled, you'll see a list of stations currently connected to that node. If the list is long, only the stations that made a ''recent transmission'' will be listed.

10) Echolink requires you to observe Third Party Traffic and Reciprocal Operating Agreements...if RF is occuring over your connection.

11) Echolink requires the equivalent of a valid U.S. Amateur Radio Technician Class license or higher to access and use it.

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Echolink Overview Part 3


If a user is in the local area of an Echolink node, they can use DTMF commands on their rig keypad to access these nodes directly. The Echolink user can also run their system in Sysop Mode...setting up connections between their rig and a computer for a simplex link, or a link to an area repeater. Callsigns with asterisks (*) are Echolink conference servers. Other callsigns are either repeaters (-R suffix), simplex links (-L suffix), or single user stations (no suffix). It's best to search by Echolink node number to find the correct listing.

More details on Echolink are at the Echolink homepage...including details on Validation Requirements, before you're allowed access to the Echolink Network...where there are a wide selection of conference servers and nets.

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Resources For Echolink Information


Two publications from The ARRL Store offer additional information on Echolink.

The first one is the Nifty EZ Guide To Echolink Operation, by Bernie Lafreniere, N6FN. Using easy to understand explanations and illustrations, this is your complete guide to EchoLink installation and operation. Step-by-step learn how the system operates, and how contacts are made using computers, RF Simplex nodes and repeaters. For those interested in installing EchoLink software on their own computers, it includes full installation, setup and operating information. You'll discover how to use your radio or personal computer to make EchoLink contacts anywhere in the world!

The second one is VoIP - Internet Linking For Radio Amateurs, by Jonathan Taylor, K1RFD, the creator of Echolink. This second edition is your complete guide to several of the most widely-used VoIP systems used by hams, with particular attention to EchoLink and the Internet Radio Linking Project, or IRLP. The book is designed for beginners who need information on how to get started, set-up, and use these systems. For the more advanced, it provides plenty of technical ''meat'' for those who want to dig deeper into VoIP applications and discover how they actually work.

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Echolink Credits


NOTE:The following information...used by permission...is from the publication VoIP: Internet Linking for Radio Amateurs (2nd Edition), published by the American Radio Relay League...which has more information on Echolink, and the other Voice Over Internet Protocol modes of IRLP, eQSO, and WIRES-II.

Echolink is the creation of Jonathan Taylor, K1RFD (who is the author of the book VoIP: Internet Linking for Radio Amateurs (2nd Edition)...and Echomac is the creation of Steven Palm, N9YTY. EchoMac is an open-source VoIP package designed to be fully compatable with Echolink, fulfilling the need for desktop Internet linking for Mac users...and it can be downloaded here. EchoMac is based partly on a project called Echolinux, spearheaded by Jeff Pierce, WD4NMQ, which brings an Echolink compatable client to the Linux platform.

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Net Times


Since many ham radio logging programs and contests use UTC time, there are several programs to use to show the USA Time, in comparison to the time zone where you may be located.

One such program to show world time is called Sun Clock from Mapmaker. It can display all time zones around the world either as a screen saver, or a stand-alone program. Another recommended program is SymmTime, a freeware timezone clock for Windows. Also, MFJ Enterprises has several clocks in their product line...some that display local and UTC time...which you can use in your ham shack. Just do a search for clock in the Product Search box on their website, and select the desired product.

Lastly, you can get a Windows program called QLOCK. There are 3 versions...a freeware version, a Pro version, and a Gold version. The Pro and Gold versions require purchase, have more features, and have much better product support than the freeware version...each of these can be obtained here.

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Net Listing Requirements


If you have an Echolink, D-Star, or D-Rats Net that you'd like listed in the Nets Menu files, I need the following information:

a) Callsign and node number of the node (Echolink), the Ratflector (D-Rats), or the Repeater, Reflector, X-Reflector, XLS Reflector, or DCS Reflector (D-Star).

b) A ''brief title description'' of the net.

c) The days of the week that it meets.

d) The time that it meets in local U.S. Time. Only these times are noted.

e) Any comments, and additional weblinks for those who want more information.

To contact me information on a net that you'd like for the Nets Menu files, noted at the top of the page, click here, and please include the items noted above.

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Checking Into A Net


Depending on the Echolink Net, or Conference Server Location...or even the D-Star Reflector or Ratflector, you may need to be SURE that your country has either a Third Party Traffic Agreement or a Reciprocal Operating Agreement set up WITH the country, where the Echolink Station or Net that you plan to connect with is located. The only exceptions to this are if a station has EMERGENCY OR PRIORITY TRAFFIC, or if you, as a single user station, CONNECT DIRECTLY to another single user station via Echolink, and NOT over an RF link.

The reason for this, is that occasionally, DX stations may ask you to pass a third-party message to a friend or relative in the United States. This is OK, as long as the United States has signed an official third-party traffic agreement with that particular country, or the third party is a licensed amateur. The traffic must be non-commercial, and of a personal, unimportant nature. During an emergency, the US State Department will often work out a special temporary agreement with the country involved. But in normal times, never handle traffic without first making sure it is legally permitted.

Links to a list of countries having Third Party Traffic Agreements, and Reciprocal Operating Agreements with the United States...along with other information...can be found here, then click on the desired links from that page.

Once you do connect with that Echolink Station or Net, please WAIT until the appropriate time for Echolink checkins are called for. Then, key your mic, BUT WAIT 2 SECONDS to give all the links a chance to key up, before you continue...otherwise, the first part of your transmission will be cut off!!. Then, call the net control station by their callsign, give your callsign phoenetically; then UNKEY, AND WAIT UNTIL YOU ARE RECOGNIZED BY NET CONTROL before keying up to speak again. Most net controls will just ask for your callsign first, then will ask for your name, location, and comments. If you are checking in ''just for the count only'', please advise the Net Control Station of such.

If you're at your computer when using Echolink to checkin to a net, be sure that your TEXT WINDOW and DOUBLING ALERTS are ENABLED...so that you can tell if you're doubling with another station. If that occurs, you may have to check in again. Also, if you have Echolink minimized, you can NOT transmit with the spacebar.

As most, if not all, of these nets are DIRECTED NETS, please listen for any other directions from the Net Control Station...such as if they can take several stations at once...or only a few at a time...due to the Net Control Station being a blind ham radio operator. Stations checking in via D-Star can do a quick key checkin (you key your mic one time, for one second, when the frequency is clear...there's no need to say anything). Net Control will get your callsign out of the log, such as with the DPlusReport program. Further details are noted here.

If checking in via an Echolink repeater or simplex link, please TURN OFF your DTMF tones, and DISABLE the conferencing feature while you are connected. Several Echolink conference servers can detect if you have conferencing enabled when you connect to them...and they will immediately disconnect you if that is the case. With Echolink, only one station can transmit at a time...so, you WON'T be able to transmit, if another station is already transmitting.

Lastly, because politics and religion are emotional hot buttons for many people, many of the nets may either allow you to BRIEFLY TOUCH on these subjects...or they may DISCOURAGE discussion of these topics altogether. In fact, some countries amateur radio regulations PROHIBIT these discussions...and one can FORFEIT their amateur radio license as a result!!. Besides, there are plenty of other topics that can be discussed besides politics and religion...such as trains, food, weather, RV'ers, etc.

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D-Star And D-Rats Information


Affectionately known as ''Echolink On Steroids'', D-Star and D-Rats expand the digital modes of amateur radio. One can just ''quick key'', and their callsign comes across automatically. Nets are either on Repeaters, Reflectors, or X-Reflectors, and can be accessed via D-Star Radios, via the DV Tools program by Robin, AA4RC, or via the BlueDV program by David, PA7LIM. The D-Rats program, originally by Dan, KK7DS, allows sending of messages and files, plus chat in real time, via several Ratflectors. Unfortunately, the D-Rats program is not in development at this time.

For more information on D-Star, D-Rats, and to get registered on the gateway, click here. Note that I started the listings of selected D-Star and D-Rats Nets, because a lot of the nets at this page were out of date. To my knowledge, every net in the Net Menu files (noted at the top of the page) have been VERIFIED. The files are released on the 1st and 15th of each month. You will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view/print the files.

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