We had been talking about building a IRLP node for the repeater for several months after putting the repeater on the air. We saw IRLP demonstrated at a local repeater club meeting and decided we needed to get involved with it. The decision was made to attempt to use one of the new mini-itx computers so that the computer would fit nicely into the 19" rack we have for the repeater. We chose the Via C3 because it is very small and has LAN and sound built built in. There were also numerous people who had Linux running on it. We ordered it and one of the small cases designed for it. We figured this would sit nicely on a shelf in the repeater rack. The case is also powered from a 12v wall wart so the ability to be powered by the repeaters power supply was available. We used a 10 gig laptop hard drive left from a recent upgrade and assembled the mini pc. Now all we needed was the IRLP board.
The IRLP board was bought at the 2003 Dayton Hamfest. We wanted the board and everything to fit into the computers case. The case has room for one expansion slot. The Sound Blaster went in there. Because we used a laptop drive, there was extra room in the front area of the case to hold the IRLP board. We modified a bracket to hold it in and ran the RS232 cable out a small gap in the rear of the case to plug into the parallel port. There was a access slot for a DB9 in the back of the case so a jumper was made to link the IRLP board DB9 to it. Now we have everything in one small cabinet. We made the audio cables and mated them to another DB9 which connects it all to the controller. The node is now online and gets used on a regular basis. Pictures of the assembly are posted in the gallery.
For more information email us: irlp at kb9kld.org