IRLP Information

All about IRLP, by Jess Girard – ND1L

IRLP is an acronym for Internet Repeater Linking Protocol. It was created and is still championed by David Cameron, VE7LTD. For those interested in being able to reach distant users without HF equipment, and have such DX QSO’s with a Technician license, IRLP is an interesting and very capable way to do just that.

Wikipedia has a great explanation at

The page discusses history, capabilities and even a bit about how nodes are set up.

This little guide is not intended for a discussion of the technical details of the VOIP protocols used for voice transmission, nor about how IRLP connections are initiated or ended. For such detail please check out You can find links there to many technical resources.

You can connect to a distant IRLP-enabled repeater by finding out the node number for that repeater in several ways:

  1. Many repeaters with associated IRLP nodes are listed in repeater directories published by ARRL and other for-profit and non-profit sources.
  2. The main IRLP web site,, shows all the existing nodes. Be careful, though, not to look only for “active” nodes, since that term evidently means “node in use” it doesn’t mean whether or not a particular node is available if you want to connect.
  3. There is an iPhone/iPad app called “IRLP*Me” published by SixSpot Software. I own the “Lite” (free) version. The publisher’s website is The app is available through the iTunes Apple Store®.

Connecting to a distant IRLP node is simple, and can be done with any FM repeater including an HT assuming your equipment has a DTMF keypad. Using the keypad, enter our Access Code and the node number of the distant IRLP node. Here are two examples of ways you can connect:

The East Coast Reflector:

A popular destination is the “East Coast” Reflector (Node #9050) . At thes moment, there are 32 repeaters listening to that reflector from as far West as Idaho Falls, and as far East as Hauppaugue, NY.

  • Announce your call and what you are doing. Otherwise a control operator may disconnect you.
  • Using your DTMF keypad, enter our Access Code and “9050”.
  • A computer voice will announce, “Welcome to the Interlink System. Link Active”
  • You may simply listen to an ongoing QSO or net, call someone, announce that you’re listening, etc., just like you would when you connect to our repeaters.
  • To disconnect, enter “73” on your keypad. For the disconnect command to work, THERE MUST BE NO VOICE TRAFFIC. Incoming audio from the reflector cannot be overridden by your RF signal. After you enter “73” you will hear, “Thanks for using the
  • That’s it!

Here’s another example:

Suppose you have a friend spending time in Santa Rosa, CA this summer. Looking on the web site you find KD6RC, a simplex node in Santa Rosa.

The procedure to reach an individual repeater/hot spot is quite similar:

  • Announce your call and what you are doing. Otherwise a control operator may disconnect you.
  • Using your DTMF keypad, enter our Access Code (see below) and “3856”.
  • Surprise! The computer voice says, “The node you are connecting to is currently connected to Reflector 9100”.
  • Don’t let that stop you. Try connecting to Node 9100. You’ll hear, “Welcome to the Win System Reflector”
  • Try calling your friend. He may hear your audio on any of the 35 IRLP systems which are currently linked to Reflector 9100.

Reaching our repeater from remote locations:

If you’re traveling and you have even an HT you can speak to folks on our repeater system.

  • Look in a repeater directory or ask around, and find a local repeater offering IRLP.
  • Make sure to ask the people on that repeater if you may use their system to connect to ours.
  • If they agree, enter our IRLP node number – 4300 – and you will be connected to W1NLK/R via IRLP. Remember – you’ll be on our 2m repeater at 146.475. Warn your friends to listen for you there.

Our Access Code:

The special Access Code for W1NLK repeater is not publicly discussed. I’ll be happy to explain how it works in person, on the phone, or by email if you send an email message to me (you may use; the easiest one to remember). Please – DO NOT DISCUSS ANYTHING ABOUT ACCESS CODES ON THE AIR.