Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Southgate ARC News

Building Bridges

On occasions, we have been asked about linking in Analog systems to our Digital Repeaters which has resulted in a huge NO WAY. Digital is Digital and Analog is Analog, However, we do have a couple of Bridges that allow various modes to link to each other.

On occasions, we have been asked about linking in Analog systems to our Digital Repeaters which has resulted in a huge NO WAY. Digital is Digital and Analog is Analog, However, we do have a couple of Bridges that allow various modes to link to each other.

C4FM Bridge.

Initially we had a system that allowed IE.YSF.IRL, the Peanut APP, Brandmeister TG 2724 to be linked into CQ-Ireland Wires-X. This in turn linked the Galway, Limerick Repeater and EI2SHD Wires-X systems to each other resulting in a wide coverage from the two Repeaters. However, the system became clogged up with lengthy QSOs occupying many connected Nodes. As a result, our regular connections disconnected their nodes, and we also lost the connection to the Limerick Repeater for the same reason and EI2SHD went off line as well. It is unlikely that CQ Ireland will return to the airwaves. Sadly, we should never take anything for granted.

All is not lost, as we still have the Peanut App and YSF. IRELAND connected into the Brandmeister Talk Group 2724.

Peanut is a mobile phone app, available from PA7LIM, allowing licenced users to access the system their mobile phone or internet radios.

Brandmeister Talk Group 2724 is accessible via Repeaters or Gateways and most of us have this programmed in our code plugs.

IE.YSF.IRELAND Those using Hotspots or Gateways can access IE.YSF.IRELAND using C4FM equipment.

The Bridge is shown in the diagram above. To date this has been very reliable with good clear audio at all times.

ALLSTAR Bridge

Allstar is a VOIP system based on the Asterisk program. Allstar is much like Echolink but a more advanced system. As with Echolink, Allstar allows connections to nodes all over the world. To connect to Node 29885 use *3 e.g. *329885 and to disconnect from Node 23885 use *1 e.g. *129885. It is also possible to link to another Node whilst connected.

Hamshack Hotline is a VOIP telephone network, for licensed radio amateurs, allowing telephones to be connected to each other throughout the Hamshack Hotline system. It is simple to join and obtain a number by filling out a form on the Hamshack hotline application on their website. You cannot make calls to international landline numbers through this system.

The Hamshack Hotline Bridge is via Hamshack Hotline Number 94001. This connects to the Hamshack Hotline Bridge EI7KK Allstar Node 28885. Basically, EI7KK node number 29885 is the Bridge to which everything is connected.

To access the Bridge using Hamshack hotline. Dial 94001. There will be a connection message. To transmit dial *99 and to go back into receive dial # - it is important to say over as you do so. Bear in mind you are going out on RF using this system. Your are not able to connect to any other nodes except Hamshack Hotline on this system. You would have to rely on communication via any that are already connected

Brandmeister Access is via DMR TG 27241. Simple, just program this talk group into the handheld and key up the appropriate Repeater or Gateway. You cannot connect to any other nodes via DMR You have to rely on those already connected to the Hamshack Hotline Bridge at the time

D-Star Access via XLX353E. Connect into XLE353E reflector either through a Repeater, Gateway or personal Hotspot.

ALLSTAR LINK: To connect into the Allstar Bridge key in DTMD tones *329885 where *3 is the connection command and 29885 is the Node number if you wish to bring in a friend you can dial up his number and he will be connect via your Node to the Hamshack Hotline Node.

A Word of Caution here !!! Do not connect a large network of Nodes such as UKHUBNet into this network otherwise nobody will get a word in edgeways. If you want to talk to a those on UKHUBNet dial your Allstar node in direct.


The Bridge is shown above. The Audio is very clear, but you must careful not to overmodulate at your end. Be sure not to “eat” the microphone and back away a little from it. Whichever mode you use to access will come out simultaneously on three others.

EI4GCG Node - Galway City 4m Gateway - 70.425 MHz, CTCSS Tone 77Hz (Node 52469)

Finally we got this project on the air. While there was a lot of attention being paid to the installation of a Digital System around Galway, this project was left on the back burner. Fortunately, Allstar appeared and rather than use Echolink, it was possible to turn the attention to Allstar instead. Why 70 MHz? This band is totally underused and if only more appeared on the band its capabilities and range would be appreciated. Handheld coverage is possible around Galway City but use a proper radio and you will reap the benefits.

How to use it from 4 metres.

Tune to 70.425

Set CTCSS tones to 77Hz

Key the mike. Two dit tones will be transmitted to indicate you are getting in

To Connect to a Node e.g. 29885 Key *3 the connection code immediately followed by the Node Number 29885 - *329885. To disconnect type *1 the disconnect code immediately followed by the Node Number - *129885.

There are additional codes that can be used to tell the time of day - *81

Force system ID - *80

Last Active node *72

Disconnect all links *74 used if you have a load of links to other nodes

 



The Diagram above shows  EI4GCG (red arrow) connected to EI7KK (black arrow). EI4GCG has also been connected to GB3DQ.By keying the PTT. All repeaters and Gateways in the Network will be keyed simultaneously. ABOVE ALL – don’t forget to disconnect from the additional network when you have finished. 

The Map above shows a health distribution of Allstar nodes and so there is no excuse not to have a contact with somebody.

ETIQUETTE on Bridges and Gateways

If you connect to a Node Disconnect from it when you have finished using it.

If you connect to a Huge Network such as UKHUBNet disconnect from it and do not leave it running for a whole day. By ignoring this request, the Node will be unnecessarily busy preventing others from using it and also wasting electricity overheating the Radio on full duty cycle.

Do not Waffle and Drone on, for hours on end, via a Node that is connected into a huge network as this is guaranteed to pee somebody off. The Band police will mobilise very quickly! The polite thing to do is establish a contact on the Node connected to a wide area and then ask the station to disconnect and connect to you having first given him your Node Number.

This is one of the reasons why CQ-Ireland Wires-X lost all of its regular connections and was subsequently taken off air.

Equipment for a Personal Gateway

A home construction project was described in the Galway Radio Club Journal (2021). The Build was very simple although the set up can be time consuming. A fully built nodes is available from G7RPG which is almost the same as the Construction project in the Magazine.

The 2E0BMT Personal Allstar Node Kit

The SHARI PIHat is a system that works on a Raspberry Pi 4 with a miniature TX/RX on board running a few milliwatts for use s a personal node.

SHARI PiHat

Further Reading https://www.allstarlink.org/

Acknowledgements: Much work was put into the building if the Bridges by John,MI0AAZ, and Michael, MI0HOZ, with the Galway Node, EI4GCG built by Steve, EI5DD, and not forgetting the input of the BM SYSOP EI7IG.