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Advanced Operating

I'm planning to set up a Sysop node on a simplex frequency. How should I choose a frequency for it?

Try to find out about commonly-used simplex frequencies in your area, and then choose a frequency that is not commonly used as your link frequency. Good sources of information are local clubs and frequency coordinators. By all means, avoid repeater input or output frequencies, unless of course you are setting up a link to a repeater, which you should only do with the permission of the repeater trustee. In most areas, you should also avoid standard frequencies such as 146.52. Also, please avoid frequencies that are typically used for weak-signal or satellite operation such as the 145.8 to 146.0 band.

I'm running a Sysop node, but I'm not able to monitor it all the time.  Is there any way to set it up so that it turns itself on and off at certain times of day?

Beginning with Version 1.7, you can use Windows Task Scheduler to invoke special scripts to enable or disable your node.  These scripts can be found in the same program directory as the EchoLink software.

When trying to connect to another station, I get an error message about conferencing.  What does it mean?

Multi-conferencing is the connection of one conference to another.  EchoLink includes safeguards to prevent multi-conferencing, since there is currently no reliable way to detect and prevent conference loops , in which more than one path is established between conferencees. Conference loops can cause substantial disruption of communication for all participants.

However, version 1.7 of EchoLink includes automatic conference-loop detection, and allows multi-conferencing to be enabled.  For more information, see the Conferencing section in the EchoLink Help file.

Another station told me he got "access denied" when he tried to connect to mine.  How can I find out why?

If another station's attempt to connect to yours is denied, the specific reason is noted in the log.  Choose Log from the View menu to open up the log file, then scroll to locate the date and time on which the attempt was made (or choose Find to locate the callsign).

In the Station List, I sometimes see a number in parentheses right after the station's location.  What does this mean?

This number indicates the number of stations which are currently connected to that station, when Conferencing is enabled.  If the station's conference limit hasn't yet been reached, the Status will appear as "On", even though several stations may be connected.

If you prefer not to display this information for your own conferences, you can disable this feature in the Connections tab of the Preferences window, by un-checking the box "Update location entry with status".

Note that this indicator will over-write the last part of your station location (description) if the description is longer than 22 characters.  If you are using this feature, consider shortening your location/description to 22 characters or less.

I run a Sysop node, and it responds to DTMF commands received over the Internet, as well as over the local link.  For example, if a conference member hits the pound sign, everyone in the conference is disconnected.  Why is this happening?

Most likely, audio from the output of your sound card is "leaking" back into the input of either your sound card or your interface board.

EchoLink's internal DTMF decoder normally does not respond to signals received over the Internet -- it only responds to signals received at the input of the sound card.  However, if your system is wired or configured a certain way, audio from the output of your sound card can find its way back to the input.

If you are using the Internal DTMF decoder, check your Windows Recording volume controls.  If you see an item such as "Wave Out" or "Wave Out Mix", be sure it is muted or de-selected.

With any type of DTMF detection, check to see if there is an audio path from the output of your sound card to the input of the decoder.  Some interface boards offer this path as an option.  It's also possible that a ground loop, or other isolation problem, is causing input and output audio to become coupled to each other.  Check also for an open microphone picking up sound from the PC speakers.

I'm a little confused about the difference between the -L and -R suffixes.  Could you please clarify?

When running in Sysop mode, the callsign entered in the Station options tab must have either a -R or -L added to the end.  -R indicates that you have connected EchoLink to a rig tuned to the frequency pair of a local repeater (or connected it directly), whereas -L indicates it is tuned to a simplex frequency.  This distinction is helpful to stations which connect to your link, since operating practices differ somewhat between repeaters and simplex frequencies, and it is useful to know (before connecting) which type of link is being provided.

Note that (in most countries) it is not necessary that the callsign of a -R node be the same as that of the repeater to which it is tuned, nor that it be operated by the repeater trustee.  However, it is always good practice to obtain the trustee's permission before setting up such a link.

I'm having trouble getting the Alarms feature to work right. Any suggestions?

When entering a station into your Alarms list, be sure to enter the station's exact callsign. For example, K1RFD is different than K1RFD-L. Do not enter a node number or a name, just the callsign.

If the Alarm Log window doesn't appear on the screen when the Alarm sound is heard, it may have been moved off-screen. To restore it to its original position, do the following:

  1. From Tools-->Preferences, un-check the option "Restore window size and position at startup"
  2. Exit EchoLink.
  3. Start up EchoLink again.
  4. From Tools->Preferences, re-check the option "Restore window size and position at startup"

I've tried connecting to myself by double-clicking my own callsign in the Station List, but it doesn't seem to work. What's the problem?

Depending on your network configuration, you may or may not be able to connect to yourself with EchoLink. If you are using a router to connect to the Internet, for example, your router might not support this capability. However, keep in mind that there isn't much benefit to connecting to yourself for testing purposes; a much more useful test is to connect to the *ECHOTEST* conference server instead. This test server lets you adjust your transmit and receive audio levels, and verifies that you will be able to make actual Internet connections to other nodes.

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