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 24 Comments

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

  2. 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. 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. 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. 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. Use vox control. Works

    2. I didnt need the y splitter just plug in the k2cable

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

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

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

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

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

  7. 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. 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. Hey Arun,

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


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

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

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

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