BaoFeng Echolink Simplex Link

BaoFeng Echolink Simplex Link

After I moved to my new QTH in Escondido I fell out of range of the WF6OCS repeater. When I heard from its control op, Joe N6JO, that it would soon be on Echolink I got to work on my own Echolink simplex link. I know I can access Echolink directly on my PC or by using the iPhone app but I really wanted to be able to walk around the house with an HT, which an Echolink simplex link would be perfect for.echolink
I was able to pull it together rather cheaply with decent results using a few things I already had. For the link’s transceiver, I used an inexpensive BaoFeng UV-5R. To get the audio in/out from the radio and into my PC I picked up the BTECH APRS-K2 Audio cable and a Female to 2 Male Audio Y Splitter.
After a few minutes of setup with the Echolink software and using the radios VOX feature (setting of 1) to activate PTT, I was on the air!
Build List:

  1. BaoFeng UV-5R Radio
  2. BTECH K2 Audio Cable
  3. 3.5mm Female to 2 Male Audio Y Splitter

If you’re on Echolink and see my simplex link KK6NLW-L online, feel free to connect and give me a shout!

This Post Has 32 Comments

  1. Abbot Carder

    Did you have to use an external USB sound card? If you did not what are your settings? I am attempting to do this very thing and I am having issues. Thanks

    1. Jon - KK6NLW

      I am using the onboard sound card on the PC, but this should work with an external USB sound card as well. Drop me a line at [email protected] and I’ll see if I can trouble shoot the issue with you.

      1. kevin levin

        Jon,
        got the radio and cables today. Can you help with the setting i need for the software please

  2. G.

    Not sure what the point is in this setup. You want to walk around the house with EchoLink contact? Why not just use your smartphone with the EchoLink app and problem solved? I mean, it’s nice and all, but doesn’t make much sense really.

    1. Jon - KK6NLW

      Sure, you can use the app, but it hasn’t been updated in over 2 years. It performs very very slowly on new iOS devices because it hasn’t been updated for 64bit. More than that, the user interface is lacking and doesn’t make it fun to use.
      With all the being said, setting up a simplex link is what the EchoLink software written to do. In addition to allowing me to access EchoLink, it allows anyone who can reach my station via simplex to access EchoLink as well.

    2. Mike

      The point…look at it from this angle…..
      My HT can reach the local repeater easily with full quieting from my QTH.
      I’m not always physically at my QTH.
      Therefore 1 HT set on local repeater Freq + computer ( I use a Raspberry Pi)+ interface cable = internet link to local repeater when I’m out of RF range. With echo link on the phone I am able to hear or check into my local net anywhere in the world that I have wifi on the phone.

  3. ke8gim

    I got the the 5ra my computer has the same jack has the phone. any luck with that? wish it can key on it own but the kt cable does not use the ptt ground wire.

    1. ke8gim

      Use vox control. Works

    2. ke8gim

      I didnt need the y splitter just plug in the k2cable

    3. Jon - KK6NLW

      KE8GIM, what kind of computer do you have? Most computers don’t have a TRRS audio jack. It’s awesome yours does!

  4. Dale

    Glad this worked so well for you. I love it when a plan comes together.

  5. Mike Belanger

    Looks interesting. What were the EchoLink settings you used on the computer, Jon? de Mike, W1DGL

    1. Mike Belanger

      Although on my latest laptop, all I have is an external speaker jack; no external mic jack (that I can find).

      1. Lane

        The newer laptops have it combined to the same 1/8″ jack. I use mine all the time with my softphone headset, which uses that jack.
        With that jack being very common with smartphones, laptop manufacturers consolidated and use the same in laptops now.

  6. John Lester

    Can you please provide synopsis settings for this too work? Keep getting timeout message in Echolink and cannot find reason.
    Thanks
    John
    KG5BBM

  7. Gary West KG5SD

    I have bought the cables that you suggested and have them connected to a laptop. I’ve never used echolink before so I have been searching the internet for the settings needed to make it work.
    Do you have a list of settings that you used to make it all work?

  8. Arun Singh

    Dear Sir
    Good Morning
    I am Arun Kumar singh and my call sign is 9N1CA here in Nepal. I want to connect my baofeng radio UV-5R with my laptop in Link Mode, so could you please suggest me the setting. As you described on your page that, with the help of BTECH APRS-K2 cable it is possible to connect, but doubt that, when setting in the echolink sysop mode, echolink ask forthe COM port, how can I select the COM port, in my laptop there is single 3.5 mm port (mic + speaker), or do I need external usb sound card ? Please suggest me in detail with diagram. I will be very thankful to you if my problem is solved.

    1. Jon Rick

      Hey Arun,

      I got your email as well. I’ll send over some instructions as soon as I can!

      73,
      Jon

      1. Antonino Vetrano

        Hello:
        I have the same problem as Arun Kumar Singh who wrote to you on 13 August 2019. Would you also be so kind as to share some instructions on settings in Echolink when connecting my Baofeng UV5R using the wiring you suggest please?

  9. Catalino

    Really Appreciate this update, is there any way I can receive an email sent to me every time you publish a fresh article?

  10. Kolakowski

    I am so happy to read this. This is the type of manual that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that’s at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this best doc.

  11. Lee Stead KB4BVP

    Is it possible to make functional IC-91 to UV5R thru K2 cable to iPhone running EchoLink ? I want to connect to a repeater in KY from a beach in MA with the phone in the car in the parking lot.

  12. dave

    what did you need the splitter for? was it just to still have access to the port?

  13. Scott

    Hey Jon, thanks for the post on this and the proof of concept. I’m playing around with this but can’t seem to get my linked baofeng to pick up the transmitted audio from my HT. Any settings suggestions?

  14. Jim

    Any chance you can send me the instructions for use on a windows machine with both 3.5mm audio input and output? Thanks!

  15. Max

    I got mine going using only the K2 Cable and usb sound card!

    1. KN4ZEH

      How did you set it up? I can’t get mine to work properly. The ht connected to Echolink will it send signals from the ht trying to talk to it

  16. Rob

    I was wondering ,to take this a step farther – add to a decent base antenna up high ( and small amp maybe ) and have your own small simplex repeater for any local hams just for fun .

    1. Jon Rick

      That would be a great idea! If you do it, please let me know!

      1. Chris

        Would this also work, if you have a Baofeng, USB programing cable? Making a connection to the computer via the USB port.

        1. Jon Rick

          Hey Chris,

          No, I’m afraid not; the USB programming cable does not send audio to and from the radio in a manner that is needed for EchoLink.

  17. Ernest Bazzinotti

    Hello,
    I have an APRS-K2 cable, with a Baofeng UV5RA ham radio and would like to know how you set up the Echolink software to make all of this work?
    Any help here would be appreciated.
    Thank you.

    Ernest Bazzinotti ([email protected])
    KC1LKB

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.