Dial Install on RPi2
This assumes you have already completed the correct steps in your allstarlink.org and echolink accounts.
This install is very easy and the most difficult part of the whole install was finding the default password for the fresh install (username:root password:debian).
Download the Dial image from http://www.allstarlink.org for the RPi2. Then use a program like Rufus to write the image to your microSD card. After this is complete you will be able to place the card in the Pi and turn it on. After you login (username:root password:debian) there is a default script that runs. I think it has you change your root password and then runs through the basic Allstar setup asking for your Allstar login and details. It may ask about your networking and whether you are DHCP or static but this is easily changed later in /etc/network/interfaces or you can also set a static lease in your router.
After the script is finished and the Pi reboots you should be almost ready to go. The default ssh port for Dial is 222. I find this annoying and I don’t open ssh to outside world so I changed it back to the default of 22. This can be done in /etc/ssh/sshd_config. I then added my public key to /root/.ssh/authorized_keys so I don’t have to use a password to login via ssh and it is also more secure. You don’t have to do either of these for your system to work. These are just my preferences.
Our next step was to get our URI (we used the Repeater Builder RIM) to play nice with the controller. The RIM appeared to work out of the box, lights came on, and everything looked good. But when we started testing we could not control the system via DTMF and found it was not passing audio. I checked the usbradio.conf and noticed the carrierfrom was set to no but for our RIM it needed to be set to usbinvert. After changing this the node came to life and was now receiving our audio. After making changes be sure to restart asterisk.
Now to adjust the rpt.conf. There are only a few things that I changed in rpt.conf.
For a full duplex repeater (Use 1 for a simplex node). Another interesting issue I found was an audio delay issue when running the UKAllstar Hub RPi-1.6rc3 which is based off of Raspbian. The issue sounded like an echo that repeated your transmitted audio back at you when using the local repeater. The weird part is that it was completely random, it would simply come and go. When it was active the delay would transmit anywhere from 100 to 1000 ms of your transmitted audio. One workaround I found was to set the duplex mode to 3 which from the manual says “Full Duplex wit telemetry tones and hang time, but no repeated audio”. I take this to mean it does not send audio on the main input but I could be completely wrong, but it did fix the echo audio delay issue.
erxgain and etxgain
To adjust the echolink transmitted and received audio hangtime Adjust this to preference. We have ours set to 100ms.
Additional Courtesy Tones
unlinkedct – When the system has no remote nodes connected and is acting as a standalone repeater
remotect – Remote Base
linkunkeyct – Tone when linked station un-keys
Telemetry Wait Times
telemwait, idwait, unkeywait, callterwait
Again, just preference, we didn’t like how long the wait was so we turned them down. Added a few different functions and macros to taste and that is it for rpt.conf. Again, after making any changes to rpt.conf make sure you restart asterisk.
Information on all of the Node Stanzas here http://ohnosec.org/drupal/node/83
If you want to use Echolink you will have to make a small change to load the Echolink channel driver. To do this you will need to modify the /etc/asterisk/modules.conf at around line 100 to change “noload => chan_echolink.so” to “load => chan_echolink.so”. After you have the channel driver set to load you will need to configure your Echolink in /etc/asterisk/echolink.conf. I did not use the echolink.conf file that came with the Dial install. I used the one from our last installation because I was too lazy to re-enter the information again. If you would like to use the same one I did it can be found at http://ohnosec.org/drupal/56 and I will also put the sanitized version at the end of this post. Once you have enabled the channel driver and configured your echolink.conf file your will need to restart asterisk.
Adjusting Audio Levels
The next thing you will want to do is first adjust your Allstar audio levels. You can do this using the Echo or Parrot modes. From the CLI type radio-tune-menu then type E to enable Echo Mode. At this point you can transmit to your repeater or simplex node and what you hear back is what you will sound like over the Allstar system.
The first level you should adjust is the Rx Voice Level using option 3 in the radio-tune-menu. This has a live graph and you can see where your voice peaks while you are transmitting. What I have found is that you don’t want it to peak over about 75% or your audio will always be “hot”.
After you have adjusted your Rx levels it will be time to move on to Tx Voice (option 6). This mode does not have a live graph but if you still have Echo mode enabled you will be able to hear what you sound like and adjust from there. Talk into the repeater and if your audio is weak then raise the Tx Voice Level Setting and if you audio is too high then lower it. This will take some tinkering to get it where you feel it is comfortable.
Be sure to adjust Rx Levels first. If your levels are too hot and you drop your Tx levels to where it sounds better your audio will still be hot over the Allstar system.
After you have your Allstar levels adjusted you will have to adjust your Echolink levels. The best way to do this is to connect to the Echolink Test server 9999. To connect to the Echolink Test Server dial *33009999. This test server will act just like the Echo mode in the radio-tune-menu but you will NOT adjust your Echolink audio in the radio-tune-menu. To adjust your Echolink audio you will use etxgain and erxgain in /etc/asterisk/rpt.conf
Allmon is a very useful utility monitoring Allstar nodes. It provides a realtime view of all connected and transmitting nodes. Transmitting nodes are highlight green. You can run the utility on the same Pi as your Allstar or run it on your website and have it talk back to your Allstar Pi.
To get Allmon to work you will first need to make a few changes in the /etc/asterisk/manager.conf. You will need to set a secret with secret=. This is already in the manager.conf toward the bottom. The next thing you will need to change ONLY if you are going to be monitoring from another system is bindaddr. You will want to comment out this line so it is not bound to listening only to itself. If you are going to do this it is HIGHLY recommended to use a VPN or secure tunnel to monitor the server and NOT open this up to the outside world.
Next we need to install apache2 and php.
apt-get update apt-get install apahce2 php5 libapache2-mod-php5 unzip cd /var/www/html/ wget https://github.com/tsawyer/allmon2/archive/master.zip unzip master.zip mv allmon2-master allmon2 cd allmon2
Change the allmon.ini.php to include your node number and the password you created in /etc/asterisk/manager.conf and set the address of the Asterisk server. If you are setting this up on the local Allstar node server then the address would be 127.0.0.1 and if you are connecting to another system the address will be the IP address of the node.
Make sure you are in the allmon directory
and create a username and password to login to be able to control the node. To create the username and password
htpasswd -cd .htpasswd admin
To add another account
htpasswd -d .htpasswd account2
Note: After the repeater owner finally got his Allstar and Echolink accounts setup and a node created we changed the node to reflect his accounts. I ran
and it basically took care of all the hard work and just had to change our preferences again. The thing that did not come out completely right was allmon. Everything worked but it did not display anything after 42546 – on the node status. I found the astdb.txt file had not been updated. I manually added our new entry in the file and everything is now working fine. Alternatively you can update the astdb manually by
One annoying thing I found is that DIAL mounts /var/log as tmpfs which removes your logs after every reboot. I find logs to be very useful and setting /var/log as tmpfs just doesn’t work for me. You can change this by commenting out the tmpfs line in /etc/fstab. The other thing is that if you install apache2 for allmon and then reboot it will remove the apache2 log directory and apache will not start. You will have to manually add or set a job to add it if you are using tmpfs.
rpt.conf coming soon
echolink.conf coming soon
If you have any questions feel free to contact me.