My Name is Robert Prybyzerski Jr.
I live in West Islip, Long Island, New York.
I’m 48 years old, Married with two daughters.
I currently work for the Long Island Rail Road as a Machinist.
I Inspect and Repair the fleet of diesel locomotives.
My main job right now is doing the Heavy Engine Overhaul.
I’ve been on the Rail Road for the past 18 years.
Prior to that I was a Automotive Technician for Nissan, and
our Family run Auto repair shop.
I’ve been an amateur radio operator since 1991 when I got my
No Code Technician license.
Finally in April of 2004 I passed my General and Morse code
test and received my upgraded license.
My first call sign was N2NWU, but in 2002 I requested a vanity call
sign of W2YMM. This was my way of saying Thanks to my Grandfather
Joe WA2YMM (SK 2015). He always wanted me to get my license as a kid, and helped
me along the way with learning basic electronic theory.
I served as a Volunteer Firefighter with the Medford Fire Department
for 12 years. I had to resign from Medford around 2000, due to moving out
of the fire district when I purchased my home in West Islip.
Outside of Amateur radio, my other hobbies are Hunting, Reading, and Learning more about computers.
When I’m on the radio, I’m usually always listening to the 449.300 repeater here on Long
Island. I also have a 900 MHz repeater on 927.3125
At home I have a Yaesu FT817 that unfortunately I don’t have enough time to operate.
Now you know a little more about me.
Thanks for stopping by………………..
HOW ECHOLINK REINTERESTED ME IN AMATEUR RADIO
BY BOB PRYBYZERSKI W2YMM
I was first licensed in September 1991 after learning about the new no-code technician class license. I was active on our local 440 repeater for a few years, and then slowly as my friends’ interest in amateur radio drifted, the repeater became quieter. I still hung in there. Listening mostly. But there wasn’t too much to listen too at the time.
In March of 2002, I heard two stations pop on the repeater, whom I had never heard before. This was Frank WA2NDV and Scott WB2UZR. They were discussing a new program that they were going to put on the repeater called iLink.
Frank worked with another ham that knew the repeater owner. Ken K2ATT gave his permission to try out this new Internet link on the repeater.
After hearing some discussion on the repeater, I referred to the March 2002 issue of QST, which had an article about iLink. I had previously skipped over that article, due to the fact I was not too computer savvy and didn’t know anything about connecting a computer to an amateur radio.
I decided to order the interface board mentioned in the article, built by Jim WB2REM. I also began speaking with WA2NDV and WB2UZR on the repeater. They were learning too and passed some info along to me. The WA2NDV-L iLink was one of if not the first link of its type in the area. The link was alive with activity, due to the fact that there were very few links of the air at that time, less than 100 if I remember.
When my interface arrived, I began setting up my own simplex link. I bought a used computer off of ebay, and interfaced it to a Motorola maxtrac radio on UHF. I had to also learn about routers, firewalls, and port forwarding. After some trial and error, I got my simplex link N2NWU-L on the air. I began making contacts all over the world. I was now able to make contact with people outside the range of my Handie Talkie, and we had something new to talk about, VOIP.
Being able to speak to other amateurs all over the world via VOIP was great, but I then realized I needed to also be able to do it the old fashioned way, with radios only, and no internet bridge in between.
I had tried years ago to pass the 5 wpm code exam and failed miserably. I never thought I could pass the Morse code exam. I decided to set a goal for myself. I’d study for the General exam, and try to pass the code the best I could. If I passed them both, I’d be really happy, but it didn’t happen that way. I passed the written exam, and failed the code. So now I knew I had One year to pass the code exam before my CSCE expired.
I studied the code practice tapes everyday for 20 to 30 minutes, 3 times a day. I even took a course that a local radio club held, trying to pass the exam. Finally after a few weeks, I was ready to take the test again, and I aced it, 100% perfect copy. Talk about being proud, I was now a General class Amateur radio operator.
During the time I was studying, Frank WA2NDV had a job change and he shut down his Echolink node. (Echolink took over popularity in mid 2002 over iLink) I offered to move my simplex link onto the repeater. I did, and that is where it is to today.
I had heard of another popular VOIP program called IRLP. There were a couple of links in the area, and I really liked the quality of the audio I was hearing from these IRLP nodes. But, I was so familiar with Echolink at this point and knew absolutely nothing about IRLP, except that it used a Linux operating system, that it actually scared me away from trying to learn it.
In October of 2004 I finally decided to try to setup my own IRLP simplex link. I received my Interface board and installation software from the IRLP team, purchased another computer for the project, tried to do the install, and failed, I had a broken node, and had no clue what I was doing. Fortunately an Echolink contact hooked me up with an IRLP node owner who knew what he was doing, and he got my Linux computer with IRLP up and running. It’s been a learning experience, and I’m glad I did it.
IRLP and Echolink are two separate systems, and having them both on the repeater at the same time is not allowed. This would violate the no cross-linking of networks agreement.
This is about the same time I heard about Marcus WA2DCI who runs an IRLP link on a local 2-meter repeater a few miles away. He was experimenting with a new script called EchoIRLP. This script, when added to an IRLP node, along with another piece of software called “The Bridge” would make your IRLP node an Echolink node as well, using only one computer and link radio. When the node is idle, it can accept either an IRLP or Echolink connection. Once a connection is established the other system would show up as busy, and not allow a connection, thus staying within the no cross network rule.
This is where we are today, The W2YMM EchoIRLP node on the K2ATT repeater, in Bethpage Long Island, NY. I’ve learned a lot about the two systems along the way. I can now modify my own link. I’ve built all kinds of interface cables, perfecting my design. Learned about a new operating system. I have achieved a General class amateur license with Morse code and I’m studying for my Extra license, and I became an accredited VE through the ARRL. I have now tried HF, SSB, Morse code, and Satellite communications. I have joined a local Amateur Radio Club, Participated in Field Day, and I’m currently building my own 900 MHz repeater. I try to pass along all the information I have learned along the way to newcomers and people having trouble on the various News Groups and Message boards I visit daily.
Echolink got me excited in Amateur radio again, and I would like to Thank Everyone who has played a part in helping me along the way.
All the best…
Bob Prybyzerski W2YMM