Frequently-Asked Questions
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Callsign Validation and Passwords

1. I'm getting the message "incorrect password", and I can't remember what my original password was.  Is there any way to find it out, or change it?

Please see the Password Reminder page for help .

2. I'm using EchoLink for the first time.  Why do I see a message that my callsign hasn't been validated?

For proper security, EchoLink requires that only duly-licensed Amateur Radio operators have access to the system.  Each new user's callsign must be validated before being given access to the EchoLink system.

The most important part of validation is authentication.  EchoLink offers you several different options.  To begin, please see Validation .

For more information about authentication and access-control policies, please see the sections Authentication and  Access Policies.

3. Where do I send a copy of my license?

Outside of the U.S., it may be possible to send a copy of your current license. Uploading or faxing a copy of your license are just two of the available validation options. If you choose one of these options, complete instructions on how to send it are provided on the Validation pages when you make this choice. Amateurs in the U.S. may choose Official Copy PDF upload or credit-card-based verification. Step-by-step instructions for each option are provided on the Validation pages.

4. I've been a ham for 50 years, and now you're asking me for a copy of my license.  This is an outrage!  Can't you just look me up on QRZ.COM?

In most cases, there isn't a shadow of a doubt that the callsign is valid; callsign validity is usually easy to verify.  What we are asking you to do is authenticate yourself, which means proving that you are who you say you are, just like showing a driver's license when you write a check.

In fact, if your callsign is well-known around the world, it is even more likely to be a target for pirating.  You would probably not be happy if you heard someone else using your callsign on the air because we had taken for granted that it was you. Many hams are surprised to learn how many non-hams have attempted to gain access to EchoLink over the years by pretending to be someone else — and sometimes going to great lengths to do so.

Keep in mind also that many online callbooks (such as QRZ.COM) are very useful for obtaining QSL address information, but are not necessarily reliable for callsign verification, since most non-U.S. information does not come from official sources.  Most of these sites allow new calls to be added to the database by unauthenticated users.

5. Can a club-station callsign be used on EchoLink?

EchoLink will accept validation for a club or repeater callsign if a valid copy of the club station's license document is provided, subject to the same rules as any other station license. However, a club or repeater callsign will not be validated for single-user mode, only for sysop mode (with a -L or -R suffix).

6. I'm not comfortable with the idea of sending a photocopy of my license.  Can't I have somebody vouch for me instead?

We receive and process more than 100 new validation requests each day, 365 days a year — about one every 14 minutes.  Our rules for validating new stations allow the all-volunteer staff to process these requests quickly and efficiently, while still ensuring the security of the system.  While we recognize that some people may have legitimate reasons for not wanting to send us a license photocopy, we cannot make exceptions to this rule.  If you are not comfortable with this procedure, you are under no obligation to comply; please un-install the EchoLink software, with our thanks for your interest.

7. Before sending a license copy, can I cross out or cover up some of the information it contains?

As a policy, we do not accept for validation a license copy that has been altered, or has portions obscured.  This makes it too difficult for us to verify that the document is authentic.

8. I can't find my original station license.  Can I send something else, like a payment receipt, or exam results?

We do not accept for validation any document other than the station license.  See Validation Documents for the specific document for each country.

9. My license document contains some personal information. Do you keep it private?

As a strict policy, we never reveal any user information to any third parties. We treat e-mail addresses, mailing addresses, and license documents as personal information, and never reveal them to other EchoLink users or to anyone else outside of the system.

10. I just passed my Amateur exam, but I haven't received my license document yet.  How can I get on EchoLink?

Congratulations!  We look forward to having you join us.  However, you may need to wait until you receive your new license document before you can be validated, since EchoLink requires proof of license for all new users.  Note that we cannot accept "reference copy" documents from U.S. amateurs, because they are downloadable by anyone from the FCC's Web site.  (However, there may be other validation options; see the Validation page for details.)

11. I'm a licensed amateur, but I live in a country that requires periodic renewals of the station license.  Can I use EchoLink even if I haven't renewed my license?

EchoLink is intended to be a supplement to Amateur Radio, not a replacement for it.  It is not our intent to have Amateurs use EchoLink exclusively, while allowing their station licenses to lapse.  If you are asked to provide proof of license, the license copy must clearly show that the license is current.

12. I've already been validated for EchoLink using my basic callsign.  Now I'd like to switch to Sysop mode, with a -L or -R after my call.  Does my call need to be validated again?

Yes.  From EchoLink's point of view, every variation of a callsign, such as a -L or -R suffix, is considered a separate call, and must be validated separately.  This is partly because the validation process is slightly different for Sysop stations in certain countries.

However, it's usually easy for you to validate the second form of your callsign, if you know the password for the original form.  See the Validation section for details.

If you switch to a different suffix, your original validation remains in force, so you can always switch back.  Please use the same password for each form of your call; otherwise, you may be asked to provide proof of license once again.

13. I've never used EchoLink before, but I get the message "Incorrect password" when I start it up.  How can that be?

EchoLink's database of validated users includes most former users of the iLINK software, which was available from 2000 to 2002.  If you had ever used iLINK, your original callsign and password are probably already on file.

If your callsign was previously held by another person, it's also possible that the former holder of your call had registered with EchoLink.  If you suspect that's the case, send a note to Support under the topic "Validation".

14. I just changed my callsign after upgrading, and validated the new call with EchoLink. Is there any way I can get my old node number back?

Yes.  You can swap node numbers between two callsigns. The limitations are as follows:

1. Node numbers can only be swapped between two callsigns; we cannot honor requests to assign a new, unassigned number to a call.

2. The two callsigns must have both been validated, and must have been assigned to the same person. This means you can only switch node numbers between calls you currently hold (or once held), including -L and -R variations.

3. A particular node number can only be associated with one callsign at a time.  You cannot have the same node number for two different callsigns that you hold, including -L and -R variations.

To inform EchoLink of a callsign change, use the Change Callsign page. To swap node numbers for other reasons, use the Swap Node Numbers page.

15. My Sysop node links to a repeater, so I'd like to change its current -L suffix to the correct -R suffix.  Can I do this without changing the existing node number?

Yes -- this can be handled as a callsign change, as described above.

16. I've just been issued a new callsign.  What do I need to do to have it validated for EchoLink?

First, change the callsign in your EchoLink software, to register the new call with EchoLink. Then, request validation for the new call. Use the Change Callsign page as described above.

17. I want to move EchoLink to a different computer.  Do I need to be re-validated?

No; once your callsign is validated, you can use it from any computer on which EchoLink is installed.  Your node number is same regardless of which computer you are running, because it is not stored on your computer.  To set up a different computer, download the EchoLink software from the Download page.  During Setup, enter your callsign and your current EchoLink password.

18. I have a new e-mail address.  How do I change it for EchoLink?

Go to the Validation page (http://www.echolink.org/validation) and choose "Change E-mail Address". You'll need to enter your current EchoLink password for verification. If you need a reminder of your password, please see the Password Reminder page for help.

If you have forgotten your password and your e-mail address has changed, you will need to be re-validated, since we have no way to confirm your identity to safely remind you of your password. (Go to the Password Reminder page to begin).

19. In the list of stations, I see calls with asterisks, like *CONF*. How do I set up one of these?

These nodes are EchoLink conference servers. For more information, please see Conference Servers.

 

 

Copyright © 2002-2015 Synergenics, LLC.  EchoLink® is a registered trademark of Synergenics, LLC.

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