The Internet Radio Linking Project was started back in November of 1997 as an attempt to use the internet to link radio systems across Canada. The first full time link that was established ran from Vancouver, BC to Saint John, NB. The link had many problems and was shut down in March of 1998 due to the numerous computer crashes and repeater lockups it was causing, and the lack of user control over the system.
I set out to design a better way to use the same technology to perform the same task, while improving usability, user control, and sound quality. My first breakthrough was to replace the existing operating system, Windows, with a more stable and versatile language. I chose Linux, a IBM form of the operating system UNIX, because of its superior networking characteristics, its reliability, and its ease of programming.
I designed my own interface board to interface the radio to the computer. This allowed a large amount of delay to be removed from the system because two VOX circuits were no longer being used . I also wrote my own custom control software, and modified an existing voice-over-IP software package to accommodate the project.
The final product was a combination of hardware and software that created a nearly seamless radio link between two remote sites on the internet. The product works so well that many people can not believe that they are talking through a link at all!