VK4RBA AllStarLink Repeater 2 meter Build

  1. RIM Cable from RIM perspective
  2. IC-FR5000 Accessory Port DB25
  3. RB_RIM Lite V3
  4. Schematic
  5. Layout
  7. The C-media CM119 Chipset
  8. Project Plan
  9. System Log Error: "retire_capture_urb: 5000 callbacks suppressed"
  10. COS and CTCSS with simpleusb Driver
  11. The cause of Spurious PTT's
  12. Logging PTT's (archivedir)
  13. How to Supply the correct CTCSS Logic to Pin 4 of the RB-RIM

Related Pages:
  1. VK4RBA Construction Photos
  2. UR-FR5000 VHF Channel Module
  3. Repeater-Builder-RB-RIM-Lite
  4. IC-FR6000-UHF/IC-FR6000-UHF.html


RIM Cable from RIM perspective

1txmixb=noN/C[txmixb] (tone) audio to TX
CTCSS to Radio
2txmixa=voice8Blue[txmixa] (voice) audio to TX
Audio to Radio
3CTCSS/COS composite input from Radio21GreyLow (active) when the signal goes above the squelch and the correct CTCSS tone decoded
4CTCSS logic from decoderN/CCTCSS only input
Use RB-RIM Pin 3 composite CTCSS/COS
5EPTT19RedProgrammed in Radio
6Audio In9OrangeDiscrimator Audio from Radio Receiver (no Emphasis)
7PC_OKN/CPC_OK output - Green LED
(Low when PC comms is OK)
8GND7GreenSignal Ground
9GND7GreenSignal Ground
N/CBusy Output17Low (active) when the squelch is tripped
Squelch ONLY COS is prone to false PPT's in noisy enviorments. Use FR5000 pin 21

RB_RIM_Lite_V2 (V2 adds connectivity between PC_OK and radio connector pin 7):

LoopBack Test Plug:

Note A:
  1. Don't bridge pins 1&2.
  2. Each audio output pin can be configured in the AllStar software.[txmixa=] & [txmixb=]
  3. Either output can be set for: no, CTCSS, voice, or composite.
  4. Left [txmixa] (Pin 2) can be used when connecting to a radio's mic input.
  5. Right [txmixb] (Pin1) is low-pass fil

    tered to eliminate sampling noise when this pin is connected directly to a modulator. (9600 baud input)
  6. In some situations and with some radios, it is desired to use these pins seperate - one forCTCSS tones (direct to the modulator) and one for voice. (connected to the mic input)
Note B:
  1. Pin 3 is a COS only or CTCSS/COS composite input.
  2. Pin 4 is a CTCSS only input.
  3. Using BOTH the COS and CTCSS inputs with seperate signals is useful when you want to have the ability to select COS/CTCSS squelch access mode via software.


IC-FR5000 Accessory Port DB25

Source IC-FR5000 IC-FR6000 Instruction Manual - Page 3.


RB_RIM Lite V3





Source: Schematic - RB_RIM_Lite-v2.pdf




Source: RB_RIM_Lite_v2_Layout.pdf



There are three LED indicators on the Version 2 Repeater Builder RIM.
  1. Green PC_OK - Pin 7 goes Low when the PC and Interface are communicating successfully.
  2. Yellow HB - HeartBeat
  3. Red PPT - On when PTT is active

RB_RIM-Leds-1.jpg RB_RIM-Leds-2.jpg


The C-media CM119 Chipset

Electronic-Modules - C-Media CM119A USB Audio Controller


Project Plan

Here is a suggested plan of action:
  1. Pin to pin test of the IC5000 to RIM interface cable
  2. Review the Acc DB25 on the IC5000 and the DB9 Radio Interface Module for correctness
  3. Scope test signals, PPT, COS, RX Audio, TX audio.
  4. Confirm signal ground.external site
  5. Check Radio config is correctly programmed. eg No Ident, EPPT is enabled
  6. Check ASL is correctly configured. eg PPT is High or GND, COS is read
  7. Scope Audio levels for best signal
  8. Check IP address and ports. Port 4569 UDP is set up to be forward to 192
  9. Use a HH to test RX and TX
  10. Test DTMF * functions. eg *81 for date and time
  11. Connect to externals sites (nodes) with browser admin app, supermon
  12. Re-configure to BARC network ready for installation


System Log Error: "retire_capture_urb: 5000 callbacks suppressed"

dmesg keeps rolling with the message: retire_capture_urb: 5000 callbacks suppressed

I am of the opinion that this is caused by the CM119A USB interface in the RB-RIM-Lite being overloaded with data from the Radio on one or more of the I/O pins. There are four signal inputs to the RB_RIM board, Audio In, Audio Out, BUSY, and PTT. In the worse case this can thousands of signals per second. It can, also, be very deceptive when in a quiet RFI enviorment. All looks to be okay, then when you move the repeater to a noisy envoirment the RIM get overloaded and AllStarLink (or the USB interface) fails. I quick unlpug and re-plug of the USB into the RPI will get it going again for a few seconds. On failure the Yellow HB_Led will stop flashing a go out. The Green PC_OK Led remaind on.

In this build I went chasing a faulty

component and assumed the 12 to 5 volt buck stepdown was noisy. By removing it from the case all quitened down and the Repeater to function normally, or so I thought. I fixed the symptom but missed the cause.

Next, I was getting frequent spurious PTT downs of short duration. Making use of the archivedir logging I determined it occured up to 47 time an hour.

Using Google I found this information:
The USB code in the Linux kernel communicates with all USB devices using something called a urb (USB request block). It is not fully clear to me what all messages mean.

Here is some Linux USB audio code below.:
http://lxr.free-electrons.com/source/so ... cm.c#L1265

Additional information: based on these bug reports: ...this problem with the "retire_capture_urb" message cropped up in 2014 both in Raspbian, and also in Ubuntu linux-image-3.13.0-26-generic 3.13.0-26.48 when using USB audio devices. [Note also in ArchLinux as evidenced by deploying Hamvoip]. Both initial bug reports are closed as fixed, but apparently the fix was not completely successful, as post-"closed" comments to both bugs indicate the messages still occur, both in Raspbian and also Ubuntu.


COS and CTCSS with simpleusb Driver

The FR5000 setup:

COS and CTCSS as explained by David K4FXC:

In HamVoIP, COS must be asserted from the FOB for any inbound RX audio to be repeated or transferred to a network connection. Note that PTT from the FOB can/will be asserted independently from COS whenever incoming audio from the network is present or AllStar telemetry / audio announcements, etc.

By default, CTCSS is ignored. However, this signaling is fully supported and can be enabled using simpleusb-tune-m

enu option 'L'. When CTCSS signaling is enabled, the composite COS signaling becomes a logical 'and' operation combining the hardware COS 'and' hardware CTCSS signals.

12 Run Simpleusb-tune-menu application, option V) View COS, CTCSS and PTT Telemetry using real-time display" to determine the signals.

simpleusb-tune-menu screen updates when using option 'V' are nearly real-time. The update is generated immediately when the simpleusb driver detects a change in signal state. State updates occur every 20mS, which is the internal audio frame interval. Note that ACTUAL screen updates will be delayed by network latency or jitter.

In the asterisk software, you can "set verbose 5" which will show real-time internal state variable updates, which get dumped to the asterisk console. These updates aren't timestamped or logged, but will at least give a definitive indication of whether COS (or composite COS/CTCSS) are active. The internal COS variable is labeled: RPT_RXKEYED.

Note that the "archivedir" settings will allow telemetry to be logged real-time (see below).


The cause of Spurious PTT's

COS and CTCSS input connections on the usb interface are voltage detection not frequency decode, the decode is done before the pickup point by the Radio, then transferred to the simpleusb.conf The settings in the simpleusb.conf must be right in order for QSO's to work. It is likley that the pickup point for COS is poping with fake signal, so to avoid that try setting,


Logging PTT's (archivedir)

Logging by "archivedir" is very useful in many scenarios. Note that HamVoIP has several customizable settings beyond the stock codebase. For exampl, To simply perform a basic telemetry "logging" function:

In the /etc/asterisk/rpt.conf file, this example being node [1234]:

Then, you can see all enabled telemetry events. Note that this file can get very bif very quickly! So, a cleanup mechanism is required. I'll mention that I use FIFOs for these logs, so this data can be used by various web apps. Once the above is enabled, you can review many ways, including:

Note that the first CSV column is the timestamp: YYYYMMDDHHMMSS


How to Supply the correct CTCSS Logic to Pin 4 of the RB-RIM

Thanks to Jon Rorke VA3RQ for this information

Setting up the correct CTCSS logic to the radio interface module is essencial to the operation of ASL. COS/COR/Squelsh logic is not surficient for successful operation. Only CTCSS logic is accurate enough. AllStarLink may appear to be operating without CTCSS on the test bench but it is guranteed to fail in a noisy RFI enviorment typical of production installation.

By default pin 17 is set for "Busy". This is the COR active line and goes active when the squelch is tripped. This signal ignores PL (CTCSS) decode on the repeater.

pin 21 by default it is set to "Analog Audible". This line goes active when the signal goes above the squelch and the correct CTCSS tone decoded. This is the desirable line to use for the simple USB squelch and should be connected to COR IN line on the USB interface.

Also these signals from the repeater should be set to active low. Which means the lines pull to ground when they go active. Ensure the input logic on simple usb is set for active low or USB invert.

Do Not use pin 17 where noise on the repeater input could trip the squelch and cause false key downs.

Glenn Lyons VK4PK
Ver:gnl20230106 - pre published v0.9