A new activity is coming to Amateur Radio. Beginning in March 2012, the Internet Radio Linking Project (IRLP) will host IRLP Topic Channels. Interested in history? Media? DX? There’s an IRLP topic channel for you.
With nearly 3000 IRLP nodes worldwide, amateur radio operators can access a nearby IRLP node or repeater. Or, they can build an IRLP node, or even buy a plug-and-play node and join the conversation today.
There are nearly thirty reflectors scattered around the world that make it possible for nodes to talk to one another. Each reflector has ten channels and most of these go unused. The owners of these reflectors have contributed more than twenty channels for topic based discussions.
There is an IRLP Topic Lounge that serves as the meeting place for the IRLP Topic Channels. Then there are six channels with topics like DX, sports, movies and media, history and current events, emergency communications, and even the meaning of life itself. Then there are three flex channels that change periodically. These now include election 2012, stamp collecting and “the next new thing”. The number of channels is expected to increase as interest in new topics develops.
The IRLP Topic Channels is the brainchild of Michael Bloom, W7RAT, and is sponsored by the Oregon Radio Internet Group, a radio club established to promote the use of voice of internet combined with actual ham radio. IRLP Topic Channels is supported by reflector owners in the US, Australia, Canada, and Norway. While IRLP is the backbone of the system some topic channels will provide access via Echolink and other VOIP systems.
The IRLP system was designed in 1998 by David Cameron VE7LTD who has volunteered channels on his own reflectors for this project. For more information on using IRLP visit www.irlp.net. The first group of topics and channels is expected to be published in the April issue of QST Magazine.
For the latest list of channels visit www.irlptopics.net for the latest topics or to suggest your own.