Technician: Finding IRLP Enabled Repeaters

This question is from the section of the Technician pool relating to operating over the internet…  [T8C09]

How might you obtain a list of active nodes that use VoIP?

A. From the FCC Rulebook

B. From your local emergency coordinator

C. From a repeater directory

D. From the local repeater frequency coordinator

The question is a bit vague, unless you know that its specifically referring to the IRLP, or Internet Radio Linking Project (http://www.irlp.net/.)  This technology, along with similar ones like Echolink, and to some extent D-Star, allow for radios and repeaters to be able to connect to each other over the internet.  For example, with an Echolink-capable VHF or UHF repeater, I can transmit a code to the repeater using DTMF tones to connect it, via the internet, to another internet-capable VHF or UHF repeater anywhere in the world.  This allows those with i.e. Technician class licenses to use short-range radio to make long-range contacts.

The answer, is C. From a repeater directory.  The directory should list if a repeater is Echolink, IRLP, or D-star capable, and possibly provide more information you’d need to use it in that capacity.  The FCC rulebook doesn’t address this, and your local emergency coordinator probably wouldn’t know, let alone welcome the constant inquiries.  Ditto the local repeater coordinator.  His or her job is to merely keep the repeaters in a given area from stepping on each other.

However, in practice, you’d probably just hop on over to IRLP.net and use their list.  That’s what I would do.  Is the question inherently flawed? I think so. But there it is.

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