AllstarLink

Contents:
  1. Introduction
  2. The Original Author
  3. AllStarlink virsus Hamvoip
  4. AllStarlink
  5. The Server Form on the AllStarLink Web Site
  6. Downloading the AllStar and Installation on the Raspberry Pi
  7. Install on existing Ubuntu System
  8. Key Configuration Files
  9. simpleusb-tune-menu
  10. Tuning the Transmitter's Audio Output
  11. AllStar Connection Map
  12. Allstarlink Active Nodes List
  13. Codec and Bandwidth
  14. VK4PK Site
  15. Radio Interface Modules for AllStarCustom Communication's Mabel for the Yaesu DR-1X and DR-2X
  16. Baofeng Modification
  17. Echolink
  18. The Internet Radio Linking Project
  19. Setting up a IRLP Bridge
  20. Using Duplex Frequencies
  21. AllStar - An Analogue FM RoIP by Rick Perks VK4HC/S79RP
  22. VKLINK - The VK Repeater Linking Project
  23. Supermon
  24. Tools Run from the OS prompt
  25. Tools Run from the CLI prompt
  26. References for Allstar Information
  27. Mobile Access with DVSwitch

Related Pages:
  1. AllStar DTMF Function List
  2. Hamvoip (Redirected to hamvoip.org with some edits)
  3. Radio Interface Modules for AllStar:
    1. Repeater Builders's RB-RIM Lite
    2. ARA's AllStar FOB
    3. DMK-Engineering's URIxB
    4. Master Communications RA Series of RIMS


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Introduction

AllStarLink is a network of Amateur Radio repeaters, remote base stations and hot spots accessible to each other via Voice over Internet Protocol.

AllStarLink: https://www.allstarlink.org/

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The Original Author

The creator of AllStarLink is Jim Dixon, WB6NIL (Silent Key). Jim passed away on December 16, 2016.
His objective was to design a radio interface that could interconnect a computer and the typical interface signals of two-way radios. Jim designed and built the first AllStar style radio interface hardware modules and developed a software application based upon Asterisk, a free and open source framework for building communications applications. Jim developed the app_rpt module which allowed the open source PBX system, Asterisk, to function as a repeater controller.

Jim developed a radio interface that could interconnect with a PC internally and the typical interface signals of a two-way radio:

First-AnalogRadioInterface.jpg

The story of App_Rpt development can be found in an article by Jim Dixon WB6NIL himself on the AllStarLink History page: https://wiki.allstarlink.org/wiki/History

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AllStarlink virsus Hamvoip

There are two providers of the AllStar System:

Both offerings are build on Asterisk.org, an open source communications project that lets you create telephony apps for IP PBXs, VoIP Gateways.

The most common build is on the Raspberry Pi, RPi3. The Allstarlink distribution is built on the Raspberian OS and Hamvoip is built on Archlinux OS.



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Image
  
           _ _  _____ _                _      _       _    
     /\   | | |/ ____| |              | |    (_)     | |   
    /  \  | | | (___ | |_  __ _ _ __  | |     _ _ __ | | __
   / /\ \ | | |\___ \| __|/ _` | '__| | |    | | '_ \| |/ /
  / ____ \| | |____) | |_| (_| | |    | |____| | | | |   < 
 /_/    \_\_|_|_____/ \__|\__,_|_|    |______|_|_| |_|_|\_\
The AllStar Home Page: https://www.allstarlink.org/

Wiki Support Page: https://wiki.allstarlink.org/wiki/Main_Page - Wiki

Getting Started Page:
https://wiki.allstarlink.org/wiki/Beginners_Guide

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The Server Form on the AllStarLink Web Site

Create Server Form on the AllStar Web Site:
Image

Configure Server Form on the AllStar Web Site:
Image

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Downloading the AllStar and Installation on the Raspberry Pi

The Download Site is here: http://dvswitch.org/files/ASL_Images/Raspberry_Pi/Stretch/

https://www.qsl.net/w2ymm/allstar1.html In order to become a member of the AllStar Link Network, you must first Register to become user of the Portal system. To qualify for membership, you must be a holder of a valid Amateur Radio license.

A URI or RIM (Radio Interface Module) is required.

I purchased the Repeater Builder RIM-Lite, Repeater Builders's RB-RIM-Lite (local)

An interface can be constructed using a cheap USB sound FOB. Search the internet for conversion instructions.


One method is to configure your site online at:
http://www.masterscommunications.com/products/radio-adapter/ra-description.html

After completing the configuration download the web configuration to the RPi.

Wifi and DHCP are enabled by default and the RPi will attempt to obtain an IP lease. Secure Shell was not enabled by default.

Try ssh repeater@192.168.5.213 the ssh port is the default port: 22

Login: repeater
Passsword: allstarlink # The is the default password
On first login you will be requested to reset the password for the "repeater" account.
The repeater account has sudo privileges (sudo -s)

There may have been updates to the operating system and AllStarLink since this image was built.

Run the following commands after the first time you boot to update the operating system:

After the reboot configure the node:

I changed my Node name to "canaipa" and changed repeater account password.

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Install on existing Ubuntu System




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Key Configuration Files

extensions.conf, iax.conf, rpt.conf, and simpleusb.conf

/etc/asterisk/rpt.conf


/etc/asterisk/local/combine.sh

/etc/asterisk/iax.conf

/usr/local/etc/allstar.env

/etc/asterisk/simpleusb.conf

This configures parameters for the USB radio interface. It is far better to perform this configuration using the simpleusb-tune-menu



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simpleusb-tune-menu

Make sure askerisk is not running.

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Tuning the Transmitter's Audio Output

By Selecting "V" in the simpleusb-tune-menu the radio can be tuned in real time.


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AllStar Connection Map

The Connection Map is useful to confirm that connections have been made between node. It also gives an understanding of the AllStar communication around the world at any given time.

When connected check the AllStar Connection Map:

http://allstarmap.org/allstarmap.html

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Allstarlink Active Nodes List

http://stats.allstarlink.org/

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Codec and Bandwidth

Because we use the ADPCM (Adaptive Differential Pulse-Code Modulation) g726aal2 codec with Asterisk, each connection from/to a remote node will require about 55 kilobits/sec (at the IP packet level) of bandwidth in both directions. The frequency response when ADPCM is used will be very close to telephone voice grade (telephone voice grade is defined as 3db points at 300-3400Hz, 1000Hz 0db reference).

Due to the fact that the system is TDM (Time Domain Multiplexed) and there is overhead involved to perform DSP functions in Asterisk, there is audio delay for both local connections and there is additional audio delay from connections made over the Internet.

Adaptive differential pulse-code modulation (ADPCM) is a variant of differential pulse-code modulation (DPCM) that varies the size of the quantization step, to allow further reduction of the required data bandwidth for a given signal-to-noise ratio.

Typically, the adaptation to signal statistics in ADPCM consists simply of an adaptive scale factor before quantizing the difference in the DPCM encoder.

ADPCM was developed in the early 1970s at Bell Labs for voice coding, by P. Cummiskey, N. S. Jayant and James L. Flanagan. Source:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adaptive_differential_pulse-code_modulation

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VK4PK Site

Radio Interface Module

Radio Transmitter - Tait T2020
Tait Radios
Setup -
Power Supply
Antenna System
Frequency and Repeater
My Simple USB Tune settibings are
Active simpleusb stanza: [usb]
USB device String:       1-1.1.3:1.0

Card is:         0
Name is:         usb
Rx Level:        500
Rx no-delay:     0
Rx audio-delay:  0
Tx A Level:      700
Tx B Level:      700
preemphasis:     no
deemphasis:      no
plfilter:        no
dcsfilter:        no
rxboost:         no

PTT:             Active LOW
PTT status:      Un-Keyed

CTCSS (input):   Ignored
COS (input):     CM108/CM119 Active LOW
COS (test):      Un-Keyed
COS (composite): Un-Keyed


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Radio Interface Modules for AllStar

A Radio Interface module is required to handle the connection between the radio and the Rpi processor. There are several to choose from.

Repeater Builder's RB-RIM-Lite:

Repeater Builders's RB-RIM Lite

ARA AllStar FOB"

ARA's AllStar FOB

DMK Engineering's URIx Model 9170

DMK-Engineering's URIxB

Masters Communications, Kevin Custer, W3KKC Model RA-35 - REV2:

http://www.masterscommunications.com/products/radio-adapter/ra35.html - Model RA-35 - REV2

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Custom Communication's Mabel for the Yaesu DR-1X and DR-2X

Custom Communication's Mabel The MABEL interface and software allows analog control of the Yaesu DR-1X repeater and access to the AllStar VOIP network with the RA-35 Raspberry Pi3.

The system is composed of 3 separate boards.
For more information see:

http://www.customcomms.net/products

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Baofeng Modification

You will also need to do this to stop the BF from melting:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Isx-F6wlD-c

https://kk4pp.wordpress.com/2015/09/08/node-radio/

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Echolink

Incoming connections are made from any Echolink node in the usual manner. An app_rpt user dials an additional prefix digit in the connect command to distinguish between Allstar (2), Echolink (3) node numbers.



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The Internet Radio Linking Project

The Internet Radio Linking Project (IRLP) Information Page
Compiled by Mike Morris WA6ILQ
Maintained by Robert Meister WA1MIK

http://www.repeater-builder.com/irlp/irlp-index.html

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Setting up a IRLP Bridge

https://hamvoip.org/IRLP-Setup.pdf


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Using Duplex Frequencies

I changed my duplex setting in the rpt.conf file and now that I'm transmitting telemetry and courtesy tones I am back on the map. Switching off the telemetry is how I fixed the chasing the tail problem. The docs say that it shouldn't matter if I dont advertise my node people should still be able to connect but now no one can connect and I am not on the map at http://allstarmap.org/allstarmap.html

To check you have no registration issues you do a check_reg.sh from the bash prompt.
To check you have a route to the node you are wishing to contact you do "dns-query <node>"

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AllStar - An Analogue FM RoIP by Rick Perks VK4HC/S79RP

This is a write up by my good friend. Rick and I have colaborated on many projects and he has always challanged me on to greater heights.
AllStar–Analogue-FM-RoIP-Rick-Perks-VK4HC-S79RP.pdf (local)

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The VK Repeater Linking Project: http://www.vklink.com.au/

Building a Simulcasting & Voting Repeater System using VKLink
19/09/2018 rasaorg By Hayden Honeywood VK7HH:
http://vkradioamateurs.org/building-a-simulcasting-voting-repeater-system-using-vklink/

Official User Manual, Version 3,Revision 2.40, Printed 27/07/2019 by M.Bilston
vklink_man_v3.pdf (local)

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Supermon

The detailed instruction on how toset up supermon are here: https://hamvoip.org/supermon_howto.pdf

To setup supermon:



To start supermon in the browser type the following. Once Supermon starts you will see a basic screen layout. Then login with the username of your call-sign and the password entered above to get a more detailed screen layout:



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Tools Run from the OS prompt



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Bandwidth

Because we use the ADPCM (g726aal2) codec in Asterisk, each connection from/to a remote node will require about 55 kilobits/sec (at the IP packet level) of bandwidth in both directions. Optionally, the GSM codec can be used and the bandwidth requirement will be 35 kilobits/sec, but the audio quality will suffer.

The frequency response when ADPCM is used will be very close to telephone voice grade (telephone voice grade is defined as 3db points at 300-3400Hz, 1000Hz 0db reference). Additionally, we optionally support the G.711 codec which is superior ro ADPCM at the expense of bandwidth.
Source:https://wiki.allstarlink.org/wiki/ASL_FAQ#How_much_bandwidth_is_required_per_connection.3F

The hamvoip code has the ILBC (Internet low bandwidth codec) installed. It uses about 1/3 of the bandwidth of the G726AA codec which is most commonly used for Allstar. Its audio quality is very good and very close to G726. Most people would not be able to tell the difference. The reason we do not use it by default is that it poorer "squelching" than G726. G726 on a poor connection mutes dropouts whereas ILBC tends to allow the garbage sounds through. I often recommend that cell phone hotspot users try ILBC but anyone trying to conserve bandwidth can give it a try. Most would not have that issue as voice is rather low bandwidth compared to most other things we do on the Internet nowadays. Codec settings are in /etc/asterisk/iax.conf. Ordering sets priority but if the called node does not have the codec you request then it will take the next one down the list until it is satisfied. I would recommend you try the ILBC codec and see if it satisfies your needs.
Source:
http://lists.hamvoip.org/pipermail/arm-allstar/2017-May/005191.html



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References for Allstar Information

https://www.voip-info.org/

The deprecated login page: AllStar Link - VOIP Portal

allstar-newbie-guide.pdf - Your First Allstar Repeater (local)

http://www.nh6xo.net/allstar/index.htm -Allstarlink Lessons Learned by NH6XO 18th January 2014

http://kd8biw.com/hf-radio/allstar-link/ - Node Types

https://www.asterisk.org/

https://hamvoip.org/#maillist

https://www.hamvoip.org/#hardware

Building My Raspberry Pi-3 Portable AllStar Node – for your Car or RV

http://docs.allstarlink.org/drupal/node/12

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9kF_l2FqqY

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Building Hamvoip version of AllStar

See: https://hamvoip.org/#download for more information and check for the latest image.

Download the media here:
https://www2.hamvoip.org/RPi2/RPi2-3-4_V1.6-01_Allstar.img.xz

Load the image onto a sdcard


On the RPi login as un:root pw:root and a firsttime script will run to update the system and then run a setup script:


Configure Node 48798


Login as root and select "9" - start a bash shell


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Mobile Access with DVSwitch

Setting Up DVSwitch Mobile Access in AllStarLink: My iax.cond stanza: Note this requires sudo to edit.



See the iax-rpt or zioper howto at hamvoip.org

https://dvswitch.groups.io/g/Mobile/wiki/AllStarLink-setup-for-DVSwitch-Mobile



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Glenn Lyons VK4PK
glenn@LyonsComputer.com.au
Ver:gnl20200121 - pre published v0.9