My first experience using Internet Linked Repeaters was in 1996 using Vocaltec. I didn’t get involved with my own linking until 2000, while living in Northern Minnesota. I was linking repeaters using the Internet before Echolink existed, back in 2000, using a program called VocalTec Iphone (with the Surf-N-Turf plugin). This method required homebrewing an interface, using multiply radio reveivers and transmitters, and a repeater controller all located at a remote location at my home. Then in 2001 a program came along called ILink– written by Graham, a ham in England– which made Internet repeater linking much simpler, eliminating the repeater controller and VOX equipment; but required building a homebrew controller using a PIC microprocessor. In 2002, Echolink was developed by Jonathon, which helped make the Internet Linking experience even easier for the system operator. Since about 2004, I’ve used EchoIRLP and could never go back to the old ways.
I was first registered with IRLP around 2004 and have been using IRLP since. EchoIRLP is Echolink that is riding on the back of IRLP using the same hardware– essentially allowing one interface to run two separate linking systems; IRLP and Echolink all out of one single box. Allstar Repeater Linking in 2017. I’ve built several Echolink, IRLP, and EchoIRLP Nodes since and I continue to support these modes of operation. I will be updating this page to include links and features pertaining to my experience with Echolink and IRLP– stay tuned.