We have changed the connect and disconnect codes on the repeaters and simplex node because we were using the standard (default) codes that are used by every node unless the node owner specifically changed them. The reason we changed them is because many clubs around the world do not allow access to their IRLP nodes unless they are paying members to their club. They control access to their nodes by not giving access to the control codes unless you are a paying member. Since we WERE using the default codes, we were essentially giving out other club’s connect and disconnect codes without their approval.
Most node owners frown on discussing connect and disconnect codes over the air, specifically while connected to reflectors. This is because most people are lazy as we have been, and just use the default codes. When someone locally asks over the air what the codes are and we freely give them over the air, we are compromising the security of every node connected that is still using the default connect codes. While this may seem like a small thing to us, others that charge dues and use access to IRLP as a means to encourage people to join their club, it is a big thing.
This subject has come up many times over the years. We at DCARS have been critiqued many times over the air by other node owners and especially reflector owners that charge dues for access to their systems. This is because we have innocently given out OUR codes that just so happen to be the same as theirs, over the air. They become very agitated at us when we do this and we have received very nasty responses in the past for doing this. Our solution to this is to change our connect and disconnect codes away from the standard codes so that we can freely give out our codes any time without being concerned about compromising the security other clubs.
These codes are unique to our repeaters only and their release will not risk the security of others. While it is still not a very good idea to openly publish these codes, we will only give them out to people that ask us by email. The reason that it is a bad idea to openly publish them even if we want ours to be open is because on any repeater there are going to be those that have bad intentions with the sole desire to cause problems such as jamming, interference, etc. Openly publishing connect and disconnect codes means that we as a club have no idea who is doing the connecting if they do not ID. If we ask and enforce that only those that ask us through email get the codes, then we can be more likely to maintain order. We as node owners have a responsibility to keep our systems clean.
It is not our intention to micro-manage the nodes to a point that people cannot use the nodes. If you want the codes, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, give your call sign and ask for the codes. We will gladly give them to you.
Paul McCord Sr, W5QO, Trustee DCARS