Monday, January 5, 2015

Simplex node

Because of a recent VHF/UHF radio purchase, I ended up with a "spare" dual-band radio. And, I've been having some fun lately monitoring the WIN System on a local repeater (that is connected via IRLP). So I figured I might try my hand at setting up an IRLP simplex node. I've had some experience with IRLP in the past and have really enjoyed it.

However as I was looking into it, I started hearing about Allstar. That is an alternative to IRLP. It's a little cheaper to get started with Allstar, and it offers full-duplex operation. And it uses standard open-source VoIP software to do it's thing.

So here you see my main computer, and next to it is a $45 Goodwill special. It's a Core 2 Duo with 1GB RAM and an 80GB HD. Pretty wimpy, but more than enough to run the special Allstar Linux CentOS distribution. This Linux distribution comes with all the stuff needed to run an Allstar node and does the setup for most of it.

So I've applied for and received my node number. I went ahead and finished the Linux installation last night and that's all good.

The only things I had to buy (besides the computer) were the URI (USB Radio Interface) and the URI cable. The URI plugs into a USB port and the cable connects it to the radio.

Now patiently awaiting those last two pieces.

So in theory... once this is all complete... I should be able to sit on my couch with my HT and talk to my node radio in the back room which will control the node. I can connect to other nodes all over the world with a few DTMF commands. And the connection quality should be rock-solid and full-quieting.

Plus, I have a neighbor who is a ham. He should be able to use it as well.