February 6, 2022

What is an ALLSTAR NODE and how does it work?”

A simple description of “Allstar”:

This is a way of connecting a ham radio to another ham radio by using a Internet connection taking advantage of a {VoIP} Voice over Internet Protocal devices and service.

This device of which we speak is called an Allstar Node.

What is VoIP?

VoIP is an acronym for Voice over Internet Protocol that describes the method to place and receive phone calls over the internet. Most people consider VoIP the new alternative to the local telephone company.

If you’ve heard of an IP address, that’s your Internet Protocol address. An IP address is how computers and devices communicate with or connect to each other on the internet.

VoIP isn’t actually all that new. Telephony has relied on digital lines to carry phone calls since the early 2000’s.

VoIP is a cost-effective way to handle an unlimited number of calls. This requires that you have a VoIP Carrier to provide you with the ability to make and connect calls to other telephones in the world whether they are VoIP or regular Telephone subscribers.

Now days almost all of the telephone service available thru a phone carrier is Voip because it eliminates the need for Cat3 telephone lines (real wires from location to the phone company). Internet service is available to over 94% of the entire United States as of January 2021 and covers a great deal of the world ( statistics unknown at this time).

How does that work for me as a ham radio operator?

The basic components of a node.

#1

Allstar_Block

#2 The necessary elements of an ALLSTAR Node

20190817_181727_Film3[1]

#3

Clear node

Current price is shown as #295.00

As can be seen, the node has a SA818 radio module allowing you to program on any VHF or UHF amateur frequency.

Product Details

The capabilities that have been added to this Rasp Pi node is not going to be talked about tonight, and can be found at the ClearNode website.

What is going to be discussed is how you should as a responsible user of the node, be familiar with how to operate on the different modes properly before setting up a clear node with no knowledge of what needs to be done before hand.

#4

The HARC ALLSTAR HUBHub

The above bubble chart is showing that we have several personal nodes connected to the network at this time. When you come up and transmit on your node these are the minimum of stations that will broadcast your signal out to a great many more stations monitoring the frequencies.

I recommend that you should set your new Clear node up using the “Parrot” nodes to check how you will sound before actually connecting to the hub or anyone else’s node.

Just as it is important to properly modulate your transmitter by talking directly in the hole on your microphopne or the front of the HT, this will fully deviate the FM transmit signal and keep your audio level consistant on your node too.

This needs to be done when talking into your node’s radio.

By not keeping the same distance from your mouth to the microphone ( no more than 1/2″) creates a condition of up & down transmit level. Folks who are use to not talking right into the microphone, either because of old CB habits with amplified microphones talking at arms length or a condition called “Arm Chair Conversations” makes your transmit audio sound not nearly as good as it could sound or because your moving around while talking to the microphone.

While operating mobile I’m sure you have herard the up-down audio and how much of a pain it was to have to raise the radio volume and then the next guy talks and blasts you at an extreme volume.

I notice this a lot, having hearing issues because it seems to make understanding the spoken word very difficult at times.

There are few things that is a MAJOR no-no on the HARC network and needs to be adhered to at all times.

  • Do not connected to the Harc hub while you are not the active control operator ( unattended ).
  • When connecting to the HARC Hub always connect to the hub #44045 and NOT to the repeaters directly.
  • Do not connect to other nodes while still connected to the Harc Hub and then leave them connected.
  • When using the Parrot node or mode make sure that you disconnect when done, don’t leave connected.
  • Do not connect to the WINSYS node at anytime for any reason while connected to the Harc Hub.

When controlling your node be sure of the keypad sequence that you want to send, don’t allow to long of a space between digits or your sequence will be broken up and it wont work.

There is a plethora of different nodes all around the world for you to connect to, do your experimenting off the Hub.

There is a bunch of different nets about many subjects…participate.

And please remember…..if you are having issues or questions ask any number of folks on the air ( text or call me )that can help you.

The main objective, like all the other aspects of ham radio is to have FUN.

This was a condensed version of ALLSTAR NODES that was a Tek Net a couple of years ago and doesn’t address all the aspects of it.

The HARC repeater network uses ALLSTAR to interconnect the repeaters together, please remember that when you key your microphone, your signal is often times connected and being heard in several states on several repeaters.

Audio clip by Dave W3QQQ

Have FUN!

DE WB6AMT      

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