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Merk

HAM Radio + Asterisk?

16 posts in this topic

I have kind of an idea to make an autopatch, I might get my Technicians Liscence soon, once I get a radio. I think it would be a neat idea to make an autopatch with asterisk, and then carry around the radio as a mobile wireless phone. It would be over the air unencrypted, but it would be very good in case of an emergency. For authentication, I think that doing something like remote door unlocking with cars would be good. Both ends know of the algorithm to find the next number, so when you want to make a call, you transmit that number. If it's an incorrect number, it dosen't accept your call. The only problem would be the legalities, I don't know if the FCC would like it very much if you had the authentication, because that could be considered the use of codes to hide what you're saying. And if anyone else is using the frequency, you're screwed. You could try to make something like a scanner that would look for empty channels, but one end wouldn't know which frequency to use. I have been using a dialup connection for a while, so I haven't been able to play around with VoIP or asterisk, but I'm getting FiOS soon, so I will.

If anyone has any good ideas, please post.

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You should study more for your ham license, that is near impossible unless you want to get a decently powered rig and set it up as a repeater on 2 meters (including all the legal crap you have to do for that), leave it connected to phone lines, and then take your HT with you and you can do an autopatch. The idea is too convoluted, cost-prohibitive, and ineffective. You will only be able to get on the frequency your repeater is sitting on if you have enough range, and that means enough power and height. A powerful rig and a nice tower is very expensive, and even the more powerful repeaters can only be heard for 30-50 miles on 2m and 70 cm. A 5w HT will get you bad reception on an autopatch anyways, for the most part. Most ham radio clubs have repeaters that have autopatch (for some, only members are allowed to use it, or they are 911-only, etc.) and are much more powerful, but still, anyone can hear your conversations and it isn't really a great way to do calls. You can't do business calls either.

You are better off getting a cell phone ;)

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I have also been looking into setting up a phone patch to talk to Asterisk. The problem with most phone patches is the half-duplex deal. I've tried it out with a few Sipura adapters and I figure you'd need some sort of full-duplex converter to sit between the sipura box and the phone patch. I haven't had the $$$ to play with it more, though.

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You should study more for your ham license, that is near impossible unless you want to get a decently powered rig and set it up as a repeater on 2 meters (including all the legal crap you have to do for that), leave it connected to phone lines, and then take your HT with you and you can do an autopatch. The idea is too convoluted, cost-prohibitive, and ineffective. You will only be able to get on the frequency your repeater is sitting on if you have enough range, and that means enough power and height. A powerful rig and a nice tower is very expensive, and even the more powerful repeaters can only be heard for 30-50 miles on 2m and 70 cm. A 5w HT will get you bad reception on an autopatch anyways, for the most part. Most ham radio clubs have repeaters that have autopatch (for some, only members are allowed to use it, or they are 911-only, etc.) and are much more powerful, but still, anyone can hear your conversations and it isn't really a great way to do calls. You can't do business calls either.

You are better off getting a cell phone ;)

The point of autopatch is mainly emergencies. Sure you cannot do real business on a repeater, but thats not the point. Its unencrypted, unreliable, but it will help you when you really need it. I am currently working on a project to get Asterisk hooked up to a club's repeater.

Merk: look into local ham clubs. Start asking questions. They will notice you, if you are any younger than 30. Most of the clubs want younger people becuase they want to pass on the knowledge. They may even let you play with the repeater. ;) If you are looking for something fun to do, try googling IRLP.

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If I recall correctly, there is nothing in the FCC regulations against using authentication on the ham bands. Otherwise, every repeater controller and satellite telecommand system that operated on the ham band has a major vulnerability. In this instance, you are not deliberately trying to conceal the intelligence of a communication, as you would be with encryption, but instead ensuring that only an authorized user is using a feature.

Now as far as Asterisk is concerned on the ham bands, you might want to check out this system from Icom:

http://www.icomamerica.com/amateur/dstar/

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If I recall correctly, there is nothing in the FCC regulations against using authentication on the ham bands. Otherwise, every repeater controller and satellite telecommand system that operated on the ham band has a major vulnerability. In this instance, you are not deliberately trying to conceal the intelligence of a communication, as you would be with encryption, but instead ensuring that only an authorized user is using a feature.

Now as far as Asterisk is concerned on the ham bands, you might want to check out this system from Icom:

http://www.icomamerica.com/amateur/dstar/

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One could always use a pair of dual bander and set up the correct loop condition.

Speaking dual banding (slightly OT:) how many of us l33t hams use AO-51? It would be cool if we could take over the satellite on a schedule.

-jf

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I own a repeater, and I was recently planning to interface it to my Asterisk PBX through the autopatch on the controller (using an IAXy). Anyways, I think it's not so much about trying to make Yet Another Cellphone as using Asterisk to add interesting smarts to the relatively "dumb" devices on the ends of most radios. Think of it as that gateway between radios and computers that even things like Echolink or IRLP don't really provide. It also makes a cheap, open source, and standards-based alternative for anyone that does want to provide an IRLP-alike radio linking service.

With Asterisk on the end of a repeater or radio, it has the capability to provide functions that aren't supported by any controller I've seen being sold (or used). As for what those functions may be, well, I haven't come up with anything too amazing yet, but I'm sure there are some good ones waiting to be discovered.

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I own a repeater, and I was recently planning to interface it to my Asterisk PBX through the autopatch on the controller (using an IAXy). Anyways, I think it's not so much about trying to make Yet Another Cellphone as using Asterisk to add interesting smarts to the relatively "dumb" devices on the ends of most radios. Think of it as that gateway between radios and computers that even things like Echolink or IRLP don't really provide. It also makes a cheap, open source, and standards-based alternative for anyone that does want to provide an IRLP-alike radio linking service.

With Asterisk on the end of a repeater or radio, it has the capability to provide functions that aren't supported by any controller I've seen being sold (or used). As for what those functions may be, well, I haven't come up with anything too amazing yet, but I'm sure there are some good ones waiting to be discovered.

Like I said before, for it to work you need that hardware interface. Otherwise the entire system is pointless. What would be nice is a ethernet interface for the repeater controller that is opensource so we could add things like sip/iax connectivity and other pieces. That to me would be a better way to go. And it would allow for all the future expansion of * to work with a repeater without issue.

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Like I said before, for it to work you need that hardware interface.  Otherwise the entire system is pointless.  What would be nice is a ethernet interface for the repeater controller that is opensource so we could add things like sip/iax connectivity and other pieces.  That to me would be a better way to go.  And it would allow for all the future expansion of * to work with a repeater without issue.

Sure, it would be nice to use a hardware interface and the asterisk radio module, or a smarter controller with network connectivity, but I have a decently good controller already (an SCOM 7k), and an IAXy, and the two do work reasonably well together.

Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be much innovation by way of repeater controllers. Thankfully, HAM radio is a place where "roll your own" is the norm, and it's tempting to use one of those Rabbit semi. microcontrollers with an ethernet port and cook something interesting up. As things go though, too many projects and not enough time :|

(For example, perhaps of interest to various phreaks, I'm building my own small phone switch from the ground up just using old parts like relays, hybrid transformers, etc. next quarter for an ECE project class. Somewhat similar to an old ESS. Asterisk is nice, but this is something I can really be proud of, assuming it all works in the end.)

If there's interest out there, it would be neat to see an integrated (and smarter) controller built with some type of VoIP and network support, though. I would venture to say that it would probably even sell well.

By the way, what in the world is that clip in your avatar? I'm sure you've answered that before, but I haven't had much luck with the search function.

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Like I said before, for it to work you need that hardware interface.  Otherwise the entire system is pointless.  What would be nice is a ethernet interface for the repeater controller that is opensource so we could add things like sip/iax connectivity and other pieces.  That to me would be a better way to go.  And it would allow for all the future expansion of * to work with a repeater without issue.

Sure, it would be nice to use a hardware interface and the asterisk radio module, or a smarter controller with network connectivity, but I have a decently good controller already (an SCOM 7k), and an IAXy, and the two do work reasonably well together.

Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be much innovation by way of repeater controllers. Thankfully, HAM radio is a place where "roll your own" is the norm, and it's tempting to use one of those Rabbit semi. microcontrollers with an ethernet port and cook something interesting up. As things go though, too many projects and not enough time :|

(For example, perhaps of interest to various phreaks, I'm building my own small phone switch from the ground up just using old parts like relays, hybrid transformers, etc. next quarter for an ECE project class. Somewhat similar to an old ESS. Asterisk is nice, but this is something I can really be proud of, assuming it all works in the end.)

If there's interest out there, it would be neat to see an integrated (and smarter) controller built with some type of VoIP and network support, though. I would venture to say that it would probably even sell well.

By the way, what in the world is that clip in your avatar? I'm sure you've answered that before, but I haven't had much luck with the search function.

I just wish SBC (Single Board Computers were cheaper... I'd be integrating all kinds of stuff) :)

The clip is from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. I thought it was appropriate.

-jf

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Hello All, Asterisk already supports Ham Radio. Check out www.allstarlink.org. I'm node 2060. Check out /etc/asterisk/rpt.conf.

73's KE6UPI

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Hello All, Asterisk already supports Ham Radio. Check out www.allstarlink.org. I'm node 2060. Check out /etc/asterisk/rpt.conf.

73's KE6UPI

I am aware of the app_rpt application. The hardware approach seems a bit redundant. (Using two FXS zapatel ports to talk to a special analog radio board.) Also rather expensive.

Many hams have IRLP hardware, and that also runs on Linux. Wouldn't it be nice if there was an application that would provide the inter-operability in much the same manor we have added support for Echolink? The idea of having to have different hardware board for each VOIP system you want to support seems redundant.

From what I understand the logic signals PTT/COR toggle the "call on hold" field and that's how the standard signaling is sent over a standard SIP/IAX stream.

Configuring two SIP extensions isn't the worst. The part I don't like with the original is the hardware approach. That's why I think it would great of there was a GPL command line SIP client such as "linphonec" that could be torn apart and made to talk to the IRLP hardware board, since most of use are already using that hardware.

For anyone interested here are some references:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/irlp/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EchoIRLP/

http://www.irlp.net/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/asterisk_radio/

https://allstarlink.org/

http://asteriskpbx.org/

http://www.zapatatelephony.org/app_rpt.html

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