IRLP from here in Charleston?

Terry Fox tfox at
Tue Aug 17 01:23:48 CDT 2010

The only IRLP node that I've found here in the Charleston area does not 
appear to be open and generally available.  It's on a repeater downtown, 
which is part of the HEART repeater system for hospital disaster and 
emergency use.  It is also part of the VOIP Wx net and Skywarn.  It is 
available by "permission only".  I'm sure me talking with the DC gang 
would not be considered acceptable.

So, I looked at the IRLP page, and found that I could buy a "node" 
hardware & software for $188 (which includes an "optional" $40 donation, 
yeah right).  I can scrounge up an old PC, and possibly a radio, to run 
the node.  For those of you familiar with IRLP, a few questions:

1.  Can I run the IRLP with the computer directly?  Maybe fake the COS, 
and just do my own sound in & out (no actual radios)?  Seems doable.
2.  If not, could I hook up a small radio (with COS mod) to act as the 
"node" radio (maybe into a dummy load), and use a second HT to actually 
3.  I assume from reading the IRLP info that full-dux (repeater) is not 
required.  What hassles are involved in simplex use?
4.  Any legal issues with items 2 & 3 above?  What freqs would be legal? 
2M and/or 440?
5.  What do the IRLP folks have to say about simplex operation and/or no 
actual radio?
6.  Would I need local coordination of a freq for just me?  Is that a 
repeater pair, or just simplex, and how is simplex coordination done?
7.  How about if I added someone else (maybe Mel) who lives only a mile 
away?  I believe I know the answer to this one... yes if any radiation 
8.  Is it worth it?  If I make a few-hundred dollar investment to do 
this, are there enough AMRAD people still on the repeater?
9.  Any thing else that I'm missing?

I'd like to catch up with you guys, but I want to be sure it's 
doable/worthwhile before putting the time and money into this.

Terry, WB4JFI

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