IRLP and the Origins of the HAM Radio Forum

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    During a disucssion about how to get more users on IceBoard, it was suggested that the HAM radio community was an untapped resource. This discussion can be found here:

    Because the subject of IRLP came up, this separate thread was opened for IRLP topics.

    Currently, Palmer Station has an IRLP connection but McMurdo does not. I don’t know if South Pole has one.

    Mike, do you think bandwidth concerns may have stalled the McMurdo IRLP link? They approved it for Palmer, but then bandwidth is not that big of a problem there.



    I sent an email to the News Person at ARRL ( asking them to make an announcement about this board, etc. In addition, I’ll be contacting several friends who are presidents of local HAM groups and asking them to spread the word. Hopefully, if all goes well, you should see a jump in the number of people getting on here…



    No it’s stalled in the IT dept. Ham Radio is only marginally supported here. Mostly we are buying our owns stuff and bringing it down. I’m really missing the IRLP link. For a couple of years I had a Sunday Morning sked with a museum ship in NH, that had scouts sleeping over each weekend.
    It was pretty neat. You could see me with a dedicated group in the galley each sunday chatting with up to 200 scouts. Girl scouts, boy scouts, cub scouts, brownies. I had every question you could ever imagine. We were very disappointed when the whole system was disallowed. Last year the museum told me they would love to start it up again, but alas, the powers that be said no way.

    For anyone that’s interested, We have a moonbouncer again this winter. One of our hams is shooting 2m signals at the moon to communicate with the other side of the world. I find it facinating.

    I’m in the process of hooking up a rigblaster to the HF set for SSTV and Digital modes. Unfortunatly we are at solar minimum and winter HF signals have dropped significantly.


    In case anyone wants to, and is able to, check out the following:

    Welcome to the W1RJC Repeater System
    Serving South Coastal Massachusetts since 1994

    443.800 + PL 88.5
    Dartmouth, Massachusetts


    IRLP & EchoLink
    VoIP Gateway
    Node Number 4259 2m/440MHz
    Remote Base Full Featured

    (Temporary text only website – pardon our appearance)

    This repeater is privately owned and is affilated with the
    Southeastern Massachusetts Amateur Radio Association, Inc.

    Technical Specifications:

    * Repeater Kenwood TKR-850 (Version 2)
    25 watts output
    * Preamp Advanced Receiver Research (ARR) P432VDG
    17db gain, 0.5 NF GaAsFET
    * Main Controller SCom 7K w/ Digital Audio Board (DAB)
    & Telephone Interface Module (TIM)
    * Link Controller Arcom RC-210
    * Remote Base Kenwood TM-G707 dual-band 2m/440
    * Power Supply Astron RM-60MBB (60 amp w/ battery backup)
    * Repeater Feedline Andrews Heliax LDF7-50A 1-5/8 hardline
    * Repeater Antenna Celwave Super Stationmaster
    * Remote Base Feedline Andrews Heliax LDF7-50A 1-5/8 hardline
    * Remote Base Antenna Comet CX-333 2m/220/440
    * Location Dartmouth, Massachusetts at SEMARA
    Latitude 41.6132 North, Longitude 70.9434 West

    All equipment is brand new as of 2005 and is owned by Rick, W1RJC.
    Use of this site along with the repeater and remote base feedline and antenna
    courtesy of the Southeastern Massachusetts Amateur Radio Association, Inc. (SEMARA).

    The above was taken from



    I’m often on the radio on the US Saturday night. 14243 various times, but try listening around 0300Z and later.


    Mike in McMurdo
    Glad to hear there is someone still on side band down there. Worked
    KC4AAA few years ago and it was quite a thril. Thanks and will try and
    work down South again.


    KC4AAC (Palmer) is down, sort-of. The antenna blew off the mast a couple months ago. Since then we’ve been using a large, vertical V antenna but I haven’t been able to hear anyone on it. Maybe it’s just atmospheric conditions lately. We do pick up the radar signals (Russian?) around 14229 or thereabouts, but that’s about it. I still check the 20m band now and then, just in case.



    Thanks for reply, I will keep checking 14.243 for some chance to work
    you. Your right prop has been kind of bad, but should be changing.
    Hope to meet you on the air. Do you ever work CW?


    Art, It’s been a pitiful propagation year. We are at the bottom of the solar cycle and it shows. It’s roughly a quarter mile walk to the ham shack from the dorms at 30 below zero. I gave up even walking up till the sun comes back out. I’ll probably be a regular this summer.


    Mercy, -30 stay in no need to get into that. I was conplaining here
    yesterday at +93. Will look forward to talking to you this winter (summer)


    See you this summer, although be aware that ham radio is only marginally supported in McMurdo. The equipment is not top of the line and with poor propagation we may or may not be on the air. The equipment is old, left over from the days when ham radio was how the station kept in touch with the world. These days with sat coverage nobody other than the hams themselves, really cares any more. At this point the antenna is falling apart, not having faired well in 4 years of winter storms. It still works on 20M. None of the radios are fairing well either. There is one guy in the comms management that is somewhat supportive, but I think the IT and sat people are not. One of the guys told me that someone donated a nice new antenna for us, but nobody would allow it to be shipped using the USAP facilities.

    For the most part the hams with general and above licenses get to use the hf, but they have been systematically cutting out the techs over the years and that is making it harder to have a club. For the past 5 years or so we used an old repeater for ourselves. That at least allowed us to maintain a ham club with all classes. It had the IRLP on it at one time, but IT removed it as an IT security risk. Last year the IT dept decided the repeater was unauthorized on the hill with the rest of the comms gear and removed it. Initially they had talked of letting us put it at the old water plant on OB hill, but this winter we got the word that they are not going to allow it at all and it is being packed for retro to the states for disposal. I bought a radio shack electronics lab this year, so maybe I’ll use that to keep the group together.

    So anyway, I should be back at the beginning of October and if we don’t lose the antenna to a storm. I should be on the air again. I’ll post the times here when I get back.

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