Notes regarding Asterisk and app_rpt

I've been playing with the Asterisk telecommunication software. For those who don't know, it is used to do cool things with telephones and radios and all sorts of other stuff. There will be some things here for those who enjoy getting that kind of technical.

But I would imagine most of you came here wondering what the heck you're hearing on the repeaters and on the radios at my home. Those who are familiar with the old EchoLink and IRLP systems will relate to what I am doing because it is similar in concept. I'm just using the modern technology as EchoLink and IRLP are to VoIP what RTTY and packet are to digital data communication. That is to say they're still in use and mature technology, just not the state of the art.

The Schweitzer Mountain repeaters are attached, via port 3 of the repeater controller, to a Linux computer running Asterisk and app_rpt. That computer and radio connection is know as a node. The computer can, and frequently is, connected to the All Star Link network. When it is then it is known as node 27010.

Here at my house, on Division and Fir, I do not have line of site to Schweitzer. So it's difficult to talk comfortably on the Schweitzer Mountain repeaters with a base station and nearly impossible on a handheld radio. So I've got another computer running Asterisk and app_rpt and it is connected to a UHF radio on 447.7000 MHz Simplex with 100.0 Hz CTCSS. This is known as node 27006. And that doesn't do a darn thing for me.

However...the magic happens when you connect the two nodes together. When you do I can now use a handheld radio on low power to talk to the node in my garage. It talks to Schweitzer via Al Gore's interweb and now I'm on the repeaters.

Better yet, you can connect any of these node to any other nodes in the All Star Network. I've already enjoyed QSO's with the UK, Australia, Guam, the People's Republic of California and a dozen states, all using my Wouxoun radio.

Feel free to tinker. Explore the links I've provided here. Learn. Ask questions. Program the repeater controller.

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