The very first, I did after right after my license, I registered myself on Echolink. What else can a new amateur do? I didn’t own any single piece of equipment to ride the airwaves!
Once the validation from Echolink was complete (yes, they validate your Callsign!), within a couple of hours, I discovered multiple nodes and many of them from India. Super Excited Right? At least, this thing isn’t completely VOIP, right? After fiddling around with the Echolink App (Android) and Echolink Desktop (Echolink Linux does the job, but don’t have the same features as Windows! )
My First QSO was with members from WBRC ( West Bengal Radio Club). I discovered they hold regular nets and special occasions net. Things were great! Exchanged QTH, Signal Report, etc. It was fun and interesting, well at least for me!
Now here comes the real apart!
I understood various amateur radios clubs conduct regular nets mostly every weekend, and sadly almost all operators are on Echolink and very few operators check-in using a Radio! Now, yes phones are available and everyone loves to talk to hams and Echolink really have done a fantastic job! Fine!
After a couple of weeks, I noticed – Net Controllers always are eager to say 73s and close you out! Why could be the reason?
Here’s the bottom line – Echolink Network/Server do not have enough power to maintain this service robustly when thousands of amateurs try to connect almost simultaneously and use conduct regular NETs. Isn’t Echolink supposed to top up existing real Radio Nets, particularly for VHF? and NOT the other way around?
Do write about your experience with Echolink? Connection Issues?