MB7APT Link


Bringing Perth to the world…

… and the world to Perth!

MB7APT-L

© GM6MEN

Up until 2014 the Link functioned without financial contributions from users. It will continue to be a facility that is free-of-charge. However, costs are always rising, and should anyone wish to donate towards the upkeep please email the Sysop. Email details can be found below.

QTH: Kinnoull Hill, Perth, IO 86 HJ

Frequency: 145.2125 MHz FM, 12.5KHz channel spacing

CTCSS: 94.8 Hz

Node No. 866340

Power: 1W

Trx: Yaesu FT1802E

Antenna: Moonraker SQBM105MKII

Hardware: 2nd hand Fujitsu Siemens PC, 2.93GHz Intel Celeron Processor, 480 MB RAM.

Operating system: Windows XP Professional Version 2002, Service Pack 2.

Software: EPMicro (default); Echolink sysop version (back-up).

Interfaces: West Mountain Radio Rigblaster Pro.

rigblaster

Availability: 16:00 to 20:00 local and at other unscheduled times, attended operation

Beacon: Morse ident every 15 minutes (minimum), other voice announcements.

Sysop: Paul Thompson  GM4ULS/GM6MEN

shack2014

Please listen on the frequency before transmitting; as this is a simplex gateway and not a repeater, you may not instantly know whether someone local is currently transmitting to it. If you listen long enough, and someone is already using it, you may  hear a k-tone (dah-di-dah)*, which shows that they have dropped carrier, and then in a few moments you may hear the other side of their QSO. You may hear “MB7APT-L” sent in Morse Code, as there is a beacon facility here (in fact it is a licence requirement), or some other identifying station announcement. The gateway is usually connected to the Ireland ‘Conference’ (see below) and there is quite a bit of traffic there.
*only if EPMicro is running.

CONFERENCE: a server-based facility in which two or more Echolink stations can “sit”. Usually these facilities are made for a specific purpose, e.g. to group together several repeaters and/or links, maybe for geographical or linguistic reasons. Transmissions made via one repeater or link in the conference will be heard over all of them. MB7APT-L is usually connected to the IRELAND conference. The link’s presence there will be at the discretion of the sysop (system operator) of the conference. If he does not like the way people operate the link, it could well be muted or excluded. You may hear callers from anywhere in the world, as the Ireland Conference is often cross-linked to other conferences, repeaters, and links.

REPEATER: just like the ordinary repeater where you are located, but with an added Echolink facility. Local mobile traffic takes priority, and you may find it difficult to break in to an established QSO; but once you have been noticed and called in by one of the stations local to the repeater, they will make it clear when they are putting it over to you. Leave a few seconds’ gap when it is put over to you, to compensate for internet time lags and for the repeater logic to re-set itself (i.e. give its “k” to local operators – which you might not hear).

LINK: If you’re on MB7APT-L you’re on a link! Also known as a ‘gateway’, a link receives your signal on a simplex frequency and sends it via the internet to a remote station; then it transmits back to you, on the simplex frequency, what is coming down the internet connection from the remote station.

INDIVIDUAL: Individual stations are usually computer based, and are not ‘on the air’. Try not to ignore calls from operators of such stations, and do not say to yourself “This isn’t real amateur radio”. I have known several amateurs for whom this is the only way they can contact fellow amateurs, and for them it is a life-line to their hobby – take, for example, an operator of my acquaintance in Tokyo, in a small apartment where he can’t erect an HF antenna, and where the VHF repeaters are constantly jammed. There are also a number of blind or disabled amateurs who use this facility. Individual stations, like anyone else on Echolink, have had their call signs verified by the people at www.echolink.org , so you can be fairly confident you are talking to a licensed amateur. In addition to people operating via desktop computer, there has been an increase in use via various portable devices such as the iPad and iPhone. Again it can be argued that this takes things a step away from amateur radio, but on the other hand it is fascinating to see how technologies can be brought to an interface with each other.

When in contact with anyone, please use recognised radio etiquette and procedure. Rag-chews and light-hearted chat are perfectly ok, but remember that your signals may be heard simultaneously in several places in the world. PLEASE LEAVE GAPS OF ABOUT  4 SECONDS BETWEEN OVERS. When you have finished, you are sure that no one else wants to “tail-end” your QSO, and there appears to be no further activity, close the connection you have made* (see the list of commands below). International users and local users of repeaters often give longer pauses in order to allow each other equal access, or to invite anyone else into a QSO, and will announce when they do so (rather, this is what ought to happen!).
*Not applicable when the link is connected to the Ireland conference.

It is not usual to exchange QSL cards for Echolink contacts, and to be asked for one is rare. It’s up to you how you respond to a request, and how you choose to foster goodwill amongst amateurs.

I will often monitor traffic on the link (my NoV states that the station must be attended, not necessarily monitored) but might not be in a position to respond to calls. If you need to get in touch to ask questions or to report abuse, please use the email address below.

THE GB3PU PROJECT

[Shelved pro-tem]

It is the sysop’s intention, with permission from the repeater-keeper of GB3PU and subject to getting the appropriate Notice of Variation, to switch from 2 metres simplex activity and instead to operate an RF feed to GB3PU, in effect making the repeater internet enabled. This will significantly increase the service area of the link – see the coverage map below. News updates will be forthcoming in due course.


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