The K8JTK Hub is a Ham Radio Digital Voice over IP Multimode Interlinked System (DVMIS). It was created in the spirit of ham radio experimentation by supporting Open Sourced projects and interlinking ham radio VoIP modes for interoperability: AllStar Link, EchoLink, DMR, D-STAR, NXDN, P25, and Yaesu System Fusion.
This can be used for an EmComm exercise or a rag-chew meetup where users are utilizing different Ham Radio Internet linking technologies. While convenient in some situations to use non-RF connections, please use RF connections whenever possible to utilize the spectrum we’re given.
Utilizing AllStar Link (built on Asterisk) at its core provides linking flexibility. Transcoding between digital and analog via DVSwitch, digital linking through MMDVM Bridge.
This system is available to use but should be considered in a testing phase for network conditions and audio levels.
- Follow all rules of your regulatory authority
- Keep it classy
- English only
- Identify your station by voice. Digital stations are used to quick-keying to break-in or check-in, this will not work. IDs in data streams are lost due to analog and cross linked connections. Proper ID is required and accepted method is by voice.
- Press PTT and pause for 2 seconds before speaking. This gives time for all links to become operational otherwise the first couple words of the transmission will be lost.
- Pause a minimum 3-5 seconds between transmissions. Stations cannot break-in when stations quick-key (or “tailgate”) after the previous. System timeouts are caused when links are not given proper time to reset.
System usage rules
- Nets or events taking place on this system, or connections to other multi-node systems, hubs, reflectors, etc. must be communicated to the sysop. Email is on the home page or QRZ. Active connections tie up resources unnecessarily.
- Analog nodes, in particular, need to eliminate all courtesy tones, hang times, squelch tails, IDs, etc. sent over Internet links. This could cause a ping-ponging effect. Set the repeater to use TX PL and link radio to use RX PL COS to transmit audio only when the repeater is active.
Accessing the Hub
Allmon2 status page shows Asterisk connections: AllStar Link, EchoLink, HamShack Hotline. Dashboard links show connections to those modes.
- Node Info
- Reflector Dashboard
- Only the “A” module is used for the Hub
- In the event of connection problems (unable to connect, frequent disconnects) use:
- DCS983A (Pi-STAR)
- XLX983A (OpenSpot)
- Any of these protocols can be used if supported by the gateway:
- REF983A (DPlus)
- DCS983A (DCS)
- XLX983A (DCS)
- XRF983A (DExtra)
- XLX crossmode support is not available
- As of 8/31/2020, access to the hub via Echolink has been restricted to a select number of stations. A problem identified with the AllStar Echolink module has lead to this decision. Linking for nets is still possible to another single Echolink node. Users, however, will need to utilize the other Echolink node or another mode offered by the K8JTK Hub. The problem needs an AllStar developer to look into the issue. I will look at implementing alternative solutions in the future. Thank you for your understanding.
- Greeting: K-8-J-T-K-H-U-B CONNECTED
- *99 to transmit (PTT)
- # to stop transmitting (release PTT)
- TG 31983
- DMR2NXDN via DMRGateway: TG 7031983
- TG 31983
- K8JTK-Hub 31983
- YSF DTMF & DMR2YSF: 31983
- DMR2YSF via DMRGateway: TG 7031983
- K8JTK-ROOM 40680
- Available on request
Tuesdays @ 9 PM ET/6 PM PT, 0100 UTC – AmateurLogic Sound Check Net.
Systems and modes available for use for accessing the Hub.
AllStar Link: a ham radio linking system based on Asterisk. This analog system can be used on anything from repeaters to portable nodes. Implementations: AllStar Link and HamVoIP. See my write-up on AllStar. Accessible via any AllStar Link node using an analog ham radio.
EchoLink: widely utilized Internet linking program. Windows desktop application for users or nodes is dated and not actively maintained but still seems to work on later versions. Linux users install QTel through the package manager. Smartphone applications for Android and iOS. Nodes or repeaters can be built using the Windows app, SVX Link, or AllStar/HamVoIP. Accessible via any of the apps or any EchoLink node using an analog ham radio.
Hamshack Hotline: an IP PBX telecom system for amateur radio. All HH servers are trunked and accessible from any of the supported regions and platforms. A supported SIP phone or phone adapter is required. Follow the “getting on board” instructions on the HH homepage. See my write-up on Hamshack Hotline. Accessible via any Hamshack Hotline configured hard/softphone.
Digital modes: digital modes are made up of two components: radios that produce digital RF output (modulation) and network types. All digital networks are available on repeaters or personal hotspots using MultiMode Digital Voice Modem (MMDVM) protocol. These are devices such as OpenSpot or hardware supported by Pi-Star.
A radio capable of desired digital transmissions (DMR/D-STAR/NXDN/C4FM System Fusion) is required with hotspots.
Many hotspots can translate digital RF of one mode to a network of a different type. Common examples of translated radio to network: DMR <-> YSF (Fusion), DMR <-> NXDN, Fusion <-> DMR, Fusion <-> NXDN, Fusion <-> P25. OpenSpot3 is currently the only device that can transcode D-STAR to another digital mode network type (ie: DMR, YSF, etc.) in addition to the above examples.
Brandmeister (DMR): repeaters or hotspots linked to Brandmeister – direct or MMDVM. DMR capable radios are available from TYT, Bridgecom, Alinco, or any DMR Tier-2 capable commercial radio.
D-STAR: repeaters or hotspots with access to DCS/XLX reflectors or MMDVM capability. D-STAR capable radios are available from ICOM or Kenwood.
NXDN/NXDNReflector: see digital modes above. NXDN capable radios are available through ICOM and Kenwood – commercial radio divisions.
P25/P25Reflector: see digital modes above. P25 capable radios are available through Motorola, Tait, Kenwood, ICOM, Harris, EFJohnson… to name a few – commercial radio divisions.
YSF/YSFReflector: see digital modes above. C4FM/Fusion capable radios are only available through Yaesu.
Note about Yaesu Wires-X: Wires-X is a proprietary format to Yaesu System Fusion radios and repeaters. Only way to add Wires-X support is through an RF link – which is available at times or can be made available by request.
Behind the Scenes
AllStar has the concept of private nodes which cannot be linked to publicly. They are used to manage links and systems such as individual repeaters, nodes, links, etc – they can be anything defined by the sysop. They are four-digit numbers beginning with a 1, ie 1XXX. My defined numbering scheme on The Hub:
100X = rooms or channels (1000-1005)
1000 = main room where K8JTK Hub nodes connect by default
1001-1005 = available for linking two or more nodes/modes upon request.
12XX = analog connections
1202 = Echolink
1203 = Hamshack Hotline
50394 = Allstar Link (publicly accessible)
13XX = digital connections
1311 = Brandmeister DMR
1321 = D-STAR XLX reflector
1331 = NXDNReflector
1341 = P25Reflector
1351 = YSFReflector