Friday, May 20, 2016

Goodbye IRLP hello Allstar

Our former high school ham radio club has been running an EchoIRLP node since like forever.

With the advent of the Raspberry Pi I have been meaning to retire the old power hungry PC and go to a smaller form factor.

It took a while for a working Allstar image, but I am glad I waited and went that route.

The idea was to let some of our former members who were in college check in over Echolink.  And we didn't like the idea of a Windows PC at the repeater site.  Since then, members have permanently set foot outside of Green Bay where the repeater is.  And a group of them in Milwaukee set up a repeater and were connecting the thing over Echolink on a somewhat permanent basis back to the Green Bay repeater.  

Due to the silly design of IRLP, you can only make one connection at a time.  This is majorly annoying in our situation.  As it shuts everyone else out while you have that connection up.

We also have another subgroup who are experimenting with digital stuff, DMR and the like.

Connecting that back over IRLP is taboo.  And well the whole IRLP thing is basically stupid at this point.

What I have deemed is IRLP made sense in the 1990's.  Today it does not.  It was the best at the time, but is no longer. It is not open source, which is something more and more over time I have felt strongly about in this hobby.  I kind of had an awakening to all this with D-Star and the AMBE dilemma.

IRLP is based on the parallel port, which is getting harder to find in a PC.  It has a single source hardware interface board, which again I have issues with.  There is a big long list of no-no's in terms of use.  Basically it's a dictatorship.

In short we all grew up, as we are no longer in high school or college anymore.  It was time to move to a more grown up VOIP system, which was long over due.