IRLP Information

Node 4424 (VHF) is operational

RATS has implemented Internet Radio Linking Protocol onthe W4RAT VHF repeater! Now, you can talk to repeaters all over the world any time you can access the 146.88 repeater. Open to all Amateur Radio Operators with a Technician or higher class license, you can now expand your ham radio horizons with this service. RATS encourages all hams that can access the repeaters to give this new mode a try!

IRLP is a method of using Voice Over IP to connect repeaters seamlessly throughout the world. You can connect point-to-point, or use reflectors to connect multiple repeaters together for nets or other uses.

Using IRLP is easy. You need a radio with a DTMF (TouchTone®) pad, and a node nuIRLPlogomber to connect to. Node numbers can be found by going to the IRLP Project page on the web at, then clicking on the “NODE INFO” link in the left menu, then on the “Connected Nodes and Reflector status” or the “List of nodes and Frequencies” links in the center of that page. Once you’ve found a node to connect to, the procedure is as follows:

  • Key your radio.
  • Hit the # key then the 4 digit node number, then unkey. (for example, to connect to the WA0OJS repeater in Manchester, MD, you would hit #7070 on your keypad and then unkey.
  • Now you talk and identify normally to anyone on the other repeater. You hear their conversations and they hear ours across the repeaters.

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  • VERY IMPORTANT: A TWO SECOND PAUSE is necessary between each transmission. You must also PAUSE ONE SECOND after keying your mic before you transmit. You will hear a BEEP that is different from the usual courtesy beep on the repeater. These de2-Meter-IRLPlays are necessary to allow for the delay in moving the audio from one node to the other. If you do not pause, the other end will lose the first few seconds of your transmission, which is usually your call sign!
  • When you are done using the node, disconnect it by keying your radio and hitting #73 (that’s easy to remember!) the link will drop after three minutes of inactivity, but it is always better to disconnect it when you are finished.

There are a few things you must remember when using the IRLP links. One is that whoever brings up a node is responsible for its use until it is disconnected. Please don’t just let the links timeout because during the busy times of the repeater, it may be a long time before that timeout occurs. Also, remember that when connected to remote nodes, hams in other parts of the world aren’t too interested in local politics, etc.

And repeating: A two second PAUSE is necessary between each transmission, and a one second PAUSE is necessary after you key your mic, BEFORE you speak. If you do not pause, the other end will lose the first few seconds of your transmission, which is usually your callsign!

The Technical Committee can answer your questions about IRLP usage.  Email the RATS Technical Committee , we’ll try our best to help!

Our thanks to Ron McMurdy WA0OJS and Ralph Stoffel N3KZS, for their invaluable assistance in getting this new service for hams on the air. The installation was completed on September 15, 2006, and the RATS IRLP team trained with Ron and Ralph on Saturday, Sept. 16th.