I’ve long been a fan of IRLP having built my first node in 2003. Despite having gear and access to both DMR and D-STAR, the Internet Radio Linking Project is what brings me hours of radio enjoyment. I just like FM. By comparison, the digital modes leave me feeling cold, like I’m speaking with Siri on an iPhone.
Even before I went QRT on HF, time spent in casual conversation was always via IRLP. HF was little more to me than contests, sprints, paperwork, and chasing things. Whenever I wanted to kick back and enjoy a long rag chew, I used IRLP. It’s a more noble method of communication than mobs yelling over each other trying to bust a pile-up.
My first node was built on an old PC that someone from work intended to toss in the dumpster. That served me well for several years until I replaced it in 2006 with a “new” embedded node that I bought directly from the IRLP project. That has run more or less continuously for the last decade and though it’s given me no trouble, I thought it high time to replace it.
So last week I ordered the newest PiRLP node – a design based on the Raspberry Pi 3. It’s much smaller, consumes less power, and will fit nicely into my rapidly growing Pi-farm.
All these years I’ve operated IRLP using a simplex UHF node with a low-profile, intended primarily for my own personal use with a limited (neighborhood) range. Lately I’ve been kicking around the notion of installing a 220 repeater at home and integrate IRLP with it to provide area-wide coverage for myself and others.
The BridgeCom BCR-220 seems reasonably priced and has been well-received and I’m just guessing that coordination for a system on 220 in East-Central Indiana wouldn’t be too difficult. I’ve never owned a repeater so there would be a learning curve but the radio amateur is progressive, eh?
I’ll provide an update once the new PiRLP3 arrives and is placed into service. In the meantime, you can reach me via IRLP most weekends. My node is 4212. Ring me up and say “hello” sometime when you get a chance.