What an amazing week. A week ago it was a sad day when I had my tower taken down and sold. The WIN System antenna was placed on my dad’s (W5QO) tower about 1/2 mile North of here. The 443.3 repeater is back on the air at this new location with the antenna mounted on the Southwest side of the tower. We were concerned how we were going to install the IRLP node on the repeater because there is already another node (3867). Since both repeaters are now at the same location, they are using the same Internet service. If you know anything about IRLP, Echolink, or any other streaming service, you know that audio and control commands happen on certain ports. The ports are the same on all nodes of like systems. Most people forward those ports to the node using a router. The problem is that you cannot forward the same ports to more than one computer simultaneously. This causes a unique problem because simply having a router will not be enough to have more than one node on one router.
We were left with either changing locations of the IRLP node and transmitting the signal to the repeater or getting another Internet account at the same address. Transmitting the audio to the repeater from a remote location is not the desired method for various reasons. For one thing the audio is not as clear by doing it this way. We prefer to have the IRLP node connected directly to the repeater. Secondly, having the node at a remote location makes moderating it more difficult. By having it connected directly to the repeater we solve these issues and others. We did some research and found it would not be that expensive to purchase another Internet Protocol (IP) address for the same Internet service. This eliminates the problem of forwarding ports to more than one computer. Now the 443.3 repeater’s node (8440) has its own IP address so that it does not require any ports to be forwarded. For the purposes of security, we have to block all ports except the ones that are needed.
As of last night, 11 Feb 10, both repeaters are back online with both nodes fully operational. We remain an affiliate of the WIN System so once the audio levels are set on the 443.3 repeater, the WIN System will return 24 hours a day. The antenna is currently not as high as it was before it was moved but we are evaluating our options to remedy this limitation. Either my dad, W5QO, Larry, KD5MAF, or myself will keep you up to date on the operation of the systems.