So about two weeks ago I discovered ALLSTAR! A fantastic network of internet linked nodes and repeaters. The best thing is you can go ahead and build you own node and run it at home! So I tasked myself with building a node. Before setting out and checking if I had all the parts I registered on www.allstarlink.org for Server/Node number. This usually takes around 48 hours so if you are planning on building a node, go ahead and register now.
So the parts required were quite simple:
1) Raspberry Pi
2) Allstar Pi image (from hamvoip.org)
3) A sound fob (CM108 or CM118)
4) Buck converter (13.8v down to 5v)
5) A BF888s transceiver!
Well I scoured the cupboards, the shed and my workshop for all of the parts and I was only missing the buck converter. So I ordered one from ebay which arrived a couple of days later.
There are plenty of guides on the internet on how to modify your BF888s and your Sound Fob so that it works with the ALLSTAR image. The only information I didn’t come across was the essential need to make sure the Pi is fully grounded! You’ll see what I mean when you’ve built yours!
Here’s a photo of the node with the case on. You can see I have used the original BF888s antenna on top of the case.