IRLP and Echolink nodes now back on-air

After a small amount of reburbishmemnt of the mast and aerial the IRLP and Echolink nodes are again on-air. Please feel free to test them. But it can be a bit like ships passing in the night, so I suggest to those who automatically receive this GB3OA  news that they test at 10a.m., 2p.m. or 5p.m. if they wish to have a QSO.

In other news: the part of Southport Pier that runs across the sea will be closed from October 1st until Christmas for refurbishment and construction of new attractions. This means that the Pier-to-Pier Challenge as detailed in previous news items will not be able to be accomplished during this period. Briefly, it entails a QSO between the end of Southport Pier and one of Blackpool’s via GB3OA. A small ham-related prize will be awarded for the first to achieve this.

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Technical details – SAS streaming

A couple of local operators have asked for technical details on relaying pilots talkback during the Southport Air Show through

The normal rig that receives GB3OA transmissions is a Baofeng UV-3R. Its audio output is pumped through a sound card attached to a Raspberry Pi v.2. This uses the audio level controller Alsamixer program and then DarkIce to convert the analogue audio to digital and send it to

However, the UV-3R does not have AM nor airband to be able to receive the pilots transmissions. So a Kenwood TH-F7 HT will be used instead of the Baofeng. This rig has wide-band receive from 100kHz to 1.3GHz, and can receive CW, SSB, AM and wide and narrow FM. It can only transmit on 2m and 70cms, using wide or narrow FM.

A test with this rig was carried out earlier in the week tuned to Manchester Airport Area Control Centre on 128.050MHz and streamed to All worked well. The main frequency that will be used for the Southport Air Show will be 121.175MHz although other frequencies will be monitored and the TH-F7 retuned should another frequency be more interesting.

Note that once the TH-F7 is set up during this afternoon it will be left as is until the Air Show completes on Sunday at around 17.00BST. Therefore there will be no relaying of GB3OA during that period.

Also, the introductory announcement on the stream to will change, to explain the new relay for those listening in worldwide.

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GB3OA and Southport Air Show details

We’ve put the following onto the Southgate ARC news website which feeds many clubs, as well as the ARRL news site:

This week there will be many thousands of scanner enthusiasts descending on Southport, UK for the Southport Air Show, and no doubt many of these will be hams. 2m repeater GB3OA, located next to Southport railway station, covers the beach fully at excellent strength, and has IRLP and Echolink nodes 5302. The full details for your HT memory are 145.6125, PL tone 82.5Hz and -600kHz shift. Up to 150,000 spectators will attend over the three days of Friday 15th, Sat. 16th and Sunday 17th, so a QSO is virtually guaranteed. Timeout is five minutes for RF-RF QSOs or four minutes for IRLP and Echolink, but please try to keep overs short.

The show starts at 17.35UTC on the Friday and 12.00UTC on the Saturday and Sunday. On the Friday aircraft will land on the beach and they can then be inspected up close. The Saturday and Sunday will have, amongst other attractions, bombing of the beach, twister aerobatics, kids tanks to drive, a paintball range and of course fly pasts of many classic and modern aircraft and helicopters. Full details can be found at:

For those who can’t attend, the GB3OA stream on Shoutcast which normally relays the output of GB3OA repeater, will be turned over to relaying the main talkback frequency of the pilots. To hear this go to and search for GB3OA.

The repeater keepers and Southport hams look forward to having a QSO with operators at this event and also via IRLP and Echolink through GB3OA.

The repeater keepers ask that Southport locals keep an ear on GB3OA during this period and respond to calls or CQs through GB3OA to make visitors welcome.

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IRLP and Echolink nodes now back on air

The IRLP and Echolink nodes are now testing and in beta form on-air through GB3OA. The repeater keepers apologise for the time it has taken to re-instate them but, as regular readers know, a new server had to be purchased.

It is unlikely that they will be off-air while the testing phase is advanced as this can be done live on-air.

We now ask all past users to try both the Echolink, and especially the IRLP node, so we can tweak the nodes with precision. As mentioned, this can be done while you’re having a QSO. Please give your callsign as normal.

Those users who are experienced in using IRLP, we ask that if you find a problem to think about its possible cause, and submit a report to:

We may just reply a Thanks, and not any detail on the possible cause….

Hopefully it may get some interesting use over the next four days with licenced spectators before and after The Open hours.

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​ GB3OA IRLP and Echolink 5302 nodes unavailable

The dedicated server for these two nodes now has an unrecoverable fault. It may be some time before the fault is cleared.
Some users of Echolink may not realise there is a Catch-22 situation when using Echolink on both this node and all other nodes. If you try to connect and cannot it’s because there is a QSO already going on. If you can connect OK then there is no QSO on the repeater and you should call CQ with your callsign, as normal. Otherwise there is no point in connecting…..
Apologies to all of the users that use IRLP and Echolink. Users of Echolink in the North West may be able to access GB3OA directly using a base station, mobile rig, or HT. Those operators that visit Southport will find that GB3OA has excellent RF  coverage in the Town Centre, along the Promenade, the extensive beach and to the end of the pier and this can continue into the ‘burbs.

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