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The OpenRepeater project - An open-source repeater controller for SBCs

Discussion in 'RFinderPi - Open Source radio interface based on R' started by K0PPE, Nov 11, 2016.

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  1. K0PPE

    K0PPE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I found this while looking for ways to get an old MICOR back on the air cheaply. I'm still in the middle of getting it up and running, but figured i'd share it here.

    The project's website is www.openrepeater.com/

    I will update with my thoughts about it once I get it on the air.
     
    KK4NSF likes this.
  2. KK4NSF

    KK4NSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    please do. I'd be very interested to see how well it works.
     
  3. K3RW

    K3RW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Any luck?

    If I read it right, I could use a RPi to run a repeater?

    I know the guys here are interested in expanding into digital ATV and also adding sub-repeaters to their analog network. Not sure if the OpenRepeater is intended as the more usual 2/440 FM type, or if it could do other bands.. Not sure if the mode is part of that, or if this is strictly FM.

    I'd be happy to run a repeater here even if it wasn't ATV. There's a lot of dead spaces here and other band repeaters are scarce or hard to hit (220, 1.2).

    I'd be thrilled if it could do AM for ATV. Or simplex AM. I've only seen one repeater so far that did simplex on 220, but that's a neato option for people who can line it up on me on 440 but can't hit the other repeater (I can). But AM is that mode.

    Definitely interested to see how you were able to do.
     
  4. K3RW

    K3RW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I read the siteinfo but was pretty lost on what I was reading.
     
  5. K0PPE

    K0PPE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yeah, you were reading it right. The RPi would be used as the controller. So, as long as you have receive audio, a transmitter and a PTT line, it can be used on any band.

    I haven't quite got it on the air due to some problems on the radio side of my build, but the controller seems to work very well!
     
    K3RW likes this.
  6. K3RW

    K3RW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hmmm!

    Thanks for that. I may try just a simple setup with 2 706mkIIGs and see where I can go with that.

    What RPi would you suggest? A 3?
     
    K0PPE likes this.
  7. K0PPE

    K0PPE Ham Member QRZ Page


    Yeah, probably. That's what I'm using. I mean if you have a 2 sitting around that would work too, but in my book newer is usually better! ;)
     
    K3RW likes this.
  8. K3RW

    K3RW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Its a neat site. But it looks like they had some hardware that they don't have available now?

    I couldn't figure out if it is only intended as FM, or if I could do AM ATV on with it. Same, I couldn't figure out from the docs if it is intended for a particular band, or if I could do a 10m FM repeater, for example.

    Our ATV footprint is compromised by a lot of hills all over Portland. Putting a unit on one tower means at least half the metro area can't see it. Tempting to put a 440AM repeater up and keep it simple, but not sure if that is something this could do. Ours is currently 426AM in, 1255FM out (on ATV).
     
  9. K0PPE

    K0PPE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yeah they did have a board available for a little bit. I didn't get one myself, I just used the stuff from their recommended hardware list.

    As far as bands and modes go, It doesn't care what band its on. It's just a repeater controller. It doesn't do the transmitting, all it does is key the transmitter, and handle ID. As long as you give it receive audio, transmitter PTT, and a place to put transmit audio, it will work just fine.
     
    K3RW likes this.
  10. KG7PAR

    KG7PAR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Upfront - I am involved with the Open Repeater project as a hardware designer, I am a bit biased :cool:

    Hardware
    The current situation is that the existing hardware designs are typically only orderable 1-2x per year as a large group buy and executed through the coordinator in France. Aaron (N3MBH) who pioneered Open Repeater usually makes an announcement on the OpenRepeater page when the group buys are planned. I haven't personally used the hardware kit, but know the developers at open repeater have used it successfully.

    For the US market specifically, I am currently working on a new design of hardware in partnership with Open Repeater that will make it much easier to use the OpenRepeater platform as it gets away from the USB sound card and is a full dual port system. The new design will sit on the Raspberry Pi as a daughter card with the same footprint. We believe the design is finalized, just putting the pilot run units through their paces now. If you are interested, you can review the HW manual in advance, but hardware is expected to be released in the next several weeks.
    http://www.ics-ctrl.com/pi_repeater_2x_manuals

    Software
    The Open Repeater software is a nice simple GUI that overlays SVXLINK which is a feature rich control system, but has many variables that can be confusing and difficult to configure in the first attempts. The GUI configures the sound card and GPIO (some basic information required about your HW), call signs, etc as part of a wizard. Once completed the GUI acts as a web-enabled control panel for the repeater system. The setup takes about 60 seconds to complete and have the controller on-the-air ready.

    If you want to try out the Open Repeater software there is a precompiled sd card image available, note, you will need a USB sound card as the factory sound on the pi does not have a sound input :mad: so won't work. https://openrepeater.com/downloads Outside of the soundcard, everything is based on basic GPIO inputs and outputs which you can use switches or whatever strikes your fancy for toggling the inputs and monitoring the outputs.

    We need developers
    If you know something about PHP and or SVXlink and would like to help with development, please feel free to reach out to me and I can help get you in touch with the appropriate admins.
     

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