Allstar is voice over IP just like Echolink, IRLP etc. The major difference is it uses open source Linux/asterisk software that can be built by anyone & can be public or private. The audio codec is current and sample rate (audio quality) is far greater then other ham voip modes. Users have the freedom to set up their own nodes & reflectors\Hub in just about any configuration you want. NO VPN or Port Forwarding to make outgoing calls. This completely changes how easy it is to use your Hotspot & public Wifi hot spots. This is why we have chosen Allstar.
The purpose of Allstar connected to PRA is to allow our operators to call into our system from anywhere! Not for PRA to make DX calls. This is why our Reflector capable of 50 simultaneous connections is setup for incoming calls only and is closed. What does “closed” mean? This means all incoming calls are rejected unless your on the allowed list. The reason for this is so we don’t have operators from all over the world connecting to our system. Instead, we wish to have this access for our regular users to call in to the system. Mobile, vacation, base station, even a over the road truck driver! How you say? This is where it gets interesting!
Users that live in areas of poor coverage can set up a permanent connection to our allstar reflector! say you moved out of state or live in an area that has poor repeater coverage. This is for you. Say you like to use a handheld at your home, but, coverage is spotty (ME!) you can setup allstar and be rock solid all the time. Most of all, if you travel allot, you never have to change repeaters and your solid most all the time. Drivers love these.
**Nodes that use a landline internet, wifi or standalone LTE hotspot will be added. PLEASE, don’t use your cell phone as the hotspot, its not reliable and we cannot add you to the allow list. Again, please no cell phones as the hotspot! We can tell the difference very quickly. We want our internet modes to be the best possible. So, spend the $20/month, add a stand alone hot spot to your account and talk on……get it, rock on…. ha ha. You will be very pleased you did.
Request access to the PRA Allstar reflector (47178) OR Echolink (AB7BS-L) by simply sending an email to Chris, AB7BS. Make sure to include your phone number so I can reach you to help get your access setup. chris (at) redcrosscommunications.org Echolink requests need to be regular users of the system. This means we know who you are and you know us. Echolink access is for travel, vacation or something fun. Not intended for emergencies or official use. Internet modes are gateways that allow us to access our hobby when radio is not easily used. Allstar is of course very different and is managed so. Many PRA tower sites use Allstar to back-haul links. We also have OTR drivers that use it every day with perfect audio quality.
If your interested in connecting your simplex node or repeater to PRA via Allstar, we are interested. A couple of common sense items to note. First, any system that is connected to our group will follow our guidelines and operational style. Second, all connected systems are to talk with PRA, this means that local rag chew traffic is to use a different resource. There is no reason to tie up 5 states for a local session among friends. Pretty simple really! Send me a message at the above email to get started. Kind, positive users with well built systems will be considered.
More information on equipment:
hamvoip.org (To build your own Raspberry Pi3 node, this site has TONS of info, a very nice script to use and lots of help) Where I learned!
dmkeng.com (USB-radio interface for the Raspberry Pi3….The best way to hook your radio to your Pi3)
Again if you have questions you can email me: chris (at) redcrosscommunications.org