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Connecting to Other Stations

When I start the program, the list of stations never appears on the screen.  What could be wrong?

There are three possibilities:

  • If you are a new user, or if you've just changed callsigns, your callsign might not yet be validated.  Please see the Validation section for more information.
  • The password you are using might not be correct.  If you can't remember it, you can request a reminder using the Password Reminder page.
  • You might be having trouble with your Internet connection, or a "firewall" issue might be preventing the software from being able to contact the EchoLink servers.  Please see Firewall Solutions for more information.

I see the list of stations, but every time I try to connect to one, I get a "Cannot connect ... timed out" message after 30 seconds.  What's the problem?

Most likely, there's an adjustment which needs to be made to your router or your computer's "firewall" configuration.  Please note that this is not a problem with the EchoLink software itself; it will probably require adjustment to other equipment or software you may have, so there isn't much additional help we can provide you.   However, we have posted some tips on the Firewall Solutions page.

Also, keep in mind that if you are able to start up the EchoLink software and you can see the list of stations on the screen, there is nothing wrong with the validation of your callsign, or your password.

I seem to be able to connect to the Test Server, and to other stations, but I don't hear any audio -- or, I can hear audio, but the other station can't hear mine.  Any ideas?

If you're not hearing any audio, first check to see if a text message appears on the right-hand side of the screen when you establish the connection.  (Typically, this message says a few words about the station you have connected to.)  If not, you might have a "firewall" problem that needs to be resolved -- see the first FAQ above.

Next, double-check the settings under Tools->Setup, on the Audio tab.  The two audio devices listed should match the name of the sound card you're using, or should be set to "[system default]". 

Then, look through the list of questions on the Audio FAQ page for further advice.

Sometimes, a station connects to mine, but then disconnects after a little while without saying anything.  Why?

A common reason for this is that the other station is having a "firewall" issue, such as mentioned above.  If that's the case, the other station will be able to connect to yours, but won't realize he's connected since he never receives an acknowledgement.  He would also not hear any transmissions you make after connecting.

Another reason is that some PC users might be clicking on various nodes to connect and look for a QSO already in progress, and then disconnect when nothing is heard.  This is a very bad practice, but it is unfortunately hard to avoid.

I tried to connect to another station, but almost immediately got the message "Access Denied".  Why did that happen?

Each station running EchoLink has the option of setting its own security policy.  The message "access denied" means your request to connect was rejected by the other station because of one of its security rules.

For example, an EchoLink station can set up the software to accept connections only from RF links (i.e. -R and -L stations), or to reject connection requests from conferences.  The software can also be set up to accept requests only from certain callsigns.

Do not take the "access denied" message as a personal affront -- in most cases, it simply reflects the preferences of the other station, rather than a specific denial of your callsign.

I can connect to most stations without any problem, but once in a while, there is a "timed out" error after 30 seconds.  Why?

Most likely, the station you're trying to connect to is no longer online.  Although the Station List is refreshed every so often, stations may appear in the list which are no longer available.  For example, if a station on a dial-up connection suddenly drops its connection, its callsign will remain in the list for several more minutes, even though it is no longer reachable.  Or, the station you're trying to connect to might be experiencing a firewall problem.  If so, it's a problem at the other end, not at your end.

Why is it that there is sometimes a long delay, such as 10 or 15 seconds, when I try to connect to another station?

Due to Internet congestion, it's possible that your first request didn't arrive at the other station's computer, or that the response didn't arrive at yours.  EchoLink will keep trying to connect for up to 30 seconds.  Also, for the sake of security, the other station may be validating your callsign (with the server), especially if you have just recently started up the software.

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