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Operator of an Allstar system callsign MB7AGF with node 28315 driving the link radio on 430.0125Mhz. This node operates on the HubNet UK network. The main HUBNet node is Allstar 41522 and the Echolink gateway is via M0HOY-L node 973498

See a bubble map (graphic) of all the nodes currently connected to HubNet here or the activity status here

This system was originally setup as an EchoIRLP system running on a Dell Optiplex PC using the ACID version of Asterisk with a separate machine running the EchoIRLP nodes. The IRLP node has now been retired and the Allstar/Echolink functions have been migrated (May 2015) to a pack of cards sized RaspberryPi 2 micro computer which is powered by a 5V cell phone wallcharger. You can find out how to make a similar node in the hubnetwork.net website or see a lot more info at Doug Crompton's (WA3DSP) website

ALLSTAR - Analogue Radio

I have been using Allstar for many years.  Initially it was running on a PC but I changed to using a BeagleBoneBlack pack of cards sized computer a few years ago.  This is still operational as G3SNA-L node 29761 with an Echolink connection on node 2586 using a dummy load.  More recently I acquired​ a RaspberryPi 2 which now drives MB7AGF on node 28315 giving a range of up to 10 miles from the QTH and covering several of the villages in Saddleworth.

DMR - Digital Radio

My latest exploit in the world of ham radio has been to try out digital communication using the DMR system. I purchased an MD380, setup the code plug with help from others including M3ZHI, 2E0XVX and G7RPG and then found that I could not access any local repeaters. The solution was to provide myself with a homebrew hotspot based on the DVMEGA /Rapsberry Pi 3 system.

   RPi 3 plus DVMEGA

This picture shows the newest addition to my DMR experiences.  This is a self contained personal hotspot which requires just power and an Internet connection either wired or wifi.  It consists of a Rapsberry Pi 3 with a DVMEGA board connected to the GPIO pins.  The SMA connector has been removed from the DVMEGA and a 433MHz wire coil antenna has been soldered directly onto the board.  This removes the need for a hole in the standard Raspberry Pi case and gives a package that fits easily into the pocket when out and about.  The software is from MW0MWZ and can be found at http://www.pistar.co.uk  It runs DMR, D-Star, YSF and P25 but in my case only DMR is enabled.  The software comes with a web based management / display facility but this is not required in normal use.  The Dashboard display is shown below.

    Pi-Star Dashboard









Portable Allstar microNode

This is a portable Allstar system produced by Peter G7RPG. This system is a low power simplex node built into a box 6 inches x 6 inches by 2.5 inches. This runs of a 12v supply and can be used with either a wired internet or WiFi configuration. The system is completely contained within the box and operates with low RF power output on 70cm. It has been used in the shack on a wired connection and in my car using WiFi. It should prove ideal for vacation use in hotels or wherever I can pick up a WiFi connection.

This is the complete node with power and wired internet connection

The RPi2 Portable Allstar node 29773














And this is the interior with the Raspberry Pi2 at the top and the Baofeng 888 txcvr at the bottom. The micro coax on the right feeds the external anntena. To the left of the 888 is the 5v voltage adaptor which allows any DC input voltage from 9V to ~30V to be used. To the left of the RPi2 are the USB radio interface in one port and the WiFi dongle in the USB port below. The transistor and capacitor arrangement at the left and end of the 888 generates the COS (yellow wire) for the USB interface and the GPIO(0) pin on the RPi2 provides the PTT (green wire) for the 888. I have also utilised those two signals to derive Rx/Tx lights fitted on the front panel to monitor activity .




In the past I have managed some of the technical aspects of the GB3PZ Internet repeater in Manchester - a dual node IRLP repeater - nodes 5400 & 5450 which also have Echolink capability on nodes 2591 & 472914 respectively. You can monitor the repeater via its streaming audio. See the listen live link on http://www.gb3pz.com or use Windows Media Player with the URL

GB3PZ also has an Allstar server with node 29775 connected to the 3rd port of the system's 3 port expander.

I have now retired from teaching computing and IT subjects at Tameside College and have more time for projects. Prior to teaching, my professional career covered computer and semiconductor design, PC manufacturing, technology support for small businesses and general IT suppport.

I received my amateur licence in October 1963 and have tried most facets of the hobby. I am QRV on VHF/UHF and computer (!) only these days.




This the village of Greenfield nestling down in the valley floor below. Not the best radio location in the area to be sure. HI.

The main street through Greenfield

Above - This is the main road through the village of Greenfield - Chew Valley Road. The site of G3SNA is located in the area forward of the church spire top centre in the picture.

Dovestone Reservoir

This is the lower reservoir in the Chew Valley group named Dovestone Reservoir after the rock on the skyline above.

The afore mentioned Dove Stone rock. This visible from the shack window on the skyline at the far end of the valley on most days. If I can't see it however I know that it's raining again. 

Across the valley there's another rock outcrop which I can see from the kitchen window known as Indian's Head due to the nose like protrudance on the left. If you use your imagination the rocks seem to form the head looking skywards. Here it is:

Indian's Head rock formation.


More Saddleworth information at:  http://www.saddleworth.org/saddleworth/index.asp

Places to stay (all within radio contact on 430.0125 MHz - Allstar node 28315 - Echolink 2586)

Pots and Pans Cottage - http://www.visitoldham.com/accommodation/pots-and-pans-p272901

Berry Cottage - https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/8029827

Dovestone Park Chalets - http://www.dovestonepark.co.uk/






8415659 Last modified: 2017-10-28 07:46:23, 10019 bytes

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