I have been experimenting with Allstar nodes and Echolink nodes. A few of our ham friends have been doing excellent work in transcoding and linking Allstar and Echolink into the digital modes (DStar, DMR, Yaesu System Fusion). This is all great stuff and there are some side effects to all of these interconnections.
The symptom that is most recognizable to me is a lag in transmissions reaching all of the intended recipients. We all have noticed that when we transmit, the other side may take a moment to reply. Sometimes this is intentional, sometimes it’s because it takes some time for the message to make it’s way through the network and reach the other side.
It is important that we remember this lag associated with all of these interconnections and adjust the way we key down and key up so that the other end will receive all of what we say. I’m sure you’ve heard someone say their call but you only hear the last 3 letters of their call sign.
The best way to use the network is to key down and wait half of a second to a second before you start talking. The other end will not miss any of your transmission. Also, at the end of your transmission, keep the key down for half of a second when your are through talking so that the other end will hear the very tail of your transmission before you key up.
It is that simple and it makes a world of difference. You should include this technique in your everyday ham radio practices so that everyone hears everything you say.
Thanks for reading! 73