AllStar, EchoLink & IRLP:
present primary software AllStar
is very well explained here
is the firmware we presently use)
After many years of linking (or attempting) via 420, our efforts shifted to VOIP methods. People moved, sites became unavailable, coverage areas and interests changed making RF linking not practical. What was once San Jose, San Francisco, Santa Maria, areas of San Luis Obispo County, Santa Rosa, Reno, Modesto, Fresno, Santa Barbara, Thousand Oaks, Los Angeles, Big Bear, and Laughlin, NV, shrunk to the present locations.
started out using exclusively IRLP, but after
running power hungry (and noisy) PCs for years we switched
to the low-power (6w) Raspberry Pi computers (Rpi) and audio
(DMK), we converted to EchoLink. Thanks to Roy's (K6MF)
The security is not quite as tight as IRLP, but we have not
experienced any problems.
Note: we must add you to the "allowed" list first before you will be successful connecting. This is to eliminate the random un-welcome connects that occur at times. Please contact us to be added to the allowed list.
If you are an already a UHF operator from Southern California, you are aware that most UHF repeaters here are operated as closed/private.
This is not an attempt to exclude any qualified operators from using them, just an effort to make sure that all users have similar operating standards and understand the proper control and operation of the repeater. If you have listened to the operating “standards” on some of the open VHF/UHF frequencies you will know what I mean.
There are also plenty of open UHF repeaters available in the Southern California area. For a current list, see this link: Open Repeaters, many have excellent linking capabilities.
A good analogy for a closed repeater is:
A closed repeater is like your house, you paid for it, you maintain it, all at great expense. You don't just open the door for just anyone knocking that finds your address.
You qualify those for whom you open the door and invite in. A repeater operating in the closed mode is much the same, people are invited to operate, much as you would invite friends into you home. And, of course, if someone is not a good guest you can, sometimes, have to invite them to leave.
If you live or work in the following California areas: Santa Barbara, San Jose or Coarsegold. We are always looking for new compatible members. Please listen to us and if it seems like something you would like to join, please e-mail for details. You will find out that most of us have some technical background and a good percentage have some connection to Santa Barbara. Even if you don't live in one of the coverage areas, reliable access is available via a Smartphone or computer into EchoLink or preferably AllStar.
Please use the qrz.com email address for WB6DAO or any other of the owners.