Our IRLP Node is alive and well. If you want to give it a try, feel free! That’s why it is there!
You might want to start by looking at www.irlp.net to see where other nodes are located, and to get their node number. There are hundreds of nodes, all around the world. (Be aware of the time difference when trying a DX node!)
Start by listening on our VHF repeater for a little while. That makes sure you aren’t interrupting an ongoing Local QSO.
If it is clear, key up, announce your call and that you are going to use IRLP, then unkey
Key up again to enter the distant node number preceded by a #.
Eg. #9999 brings up a test node 9999.
When the connection goes through, ensure that you aren’t interrupting a QSO on the distant repeater. If all is well, announce your call and say you are from Brampton. That helps the other people get a picture of who is using their machine.
When carrying on a conversation, patience is the rule. Alway wait for the repeater to go silent before pressing the PTT. And count to 5 in your head before starting to speak. That makes sure all the linkages are open! Otherwise the other party will miss the first word(s).
When you are done, press 73. Let the repeater drop out after it announces you have disconnected. And then announce your call, and that you are clear of IRLP.
If you run into trouble, some kind soul on the repeater is bound to come to your aid.
By the way, if you are travelling and want to connect back to Brampton, our node number is 2121. Always check with hams in the area you are calling from to see whether you simply key the node number, or if you need a special character, like we do. Every node is different!