The current role of Svxlink, is as a package of softwares providing connectivity between amateur radio users and nodes in the following ways:
1. A duplex and simplex repeater controller, based upon the small size factor computers such as the raspberry pi, using as few external components as possible.
2. A reflector controller providing a server for a group of duplex or simplex repeater nodes to link passively with the server and dynamically with other nodes similarly linked.
3. A remote link controller for remote receivers and transmitters, providing fill-in sites for black spots on an existing repeater coverage.
Each node can be its own EchoLink controller, with other facilities built in such as Metar Information, propagation information, and audio messaging, subject to configuration within the node itself.
Primarily for FM mode (frequency modulation), advanced facilities exist permitting connection to other digital modes. Some nodes have been modified for HF (high frequency) use.
With a passive connection to a server, users on a connected node can dynamically connect, using a stream of DTMF tones, to another node or nodes equally passively connected, on a system of Talk Groups, that each node can monitor within their configuration.
The current system provides that in a passive state, a node has talkgroup 0 or ‘off’ selected. By calling by DTMF 91235#, on a node… 91 meaning ‘standby, a talk group follows’ 235 ‘ talk group’s # ‘activate’, the node makes the reflector server open a dynamic path to all nodes that have 235 in their monitoring list. This a user can now be heard on all nodes that have 235 included. Materially each node has a built in fail safe that times out after a period of disuse, returning it to default passive state. Each repeater is independent and can be used locally, with the addition of regional or national capability as required, dependant on the prevailing talkgroups. More than one connection by different talkgroups can be achieved on the reflector.
There is a proviso that if any of the independent EchoLink or Metar services are in use, the passive reflector link is for the time being suspended, returning to default when those other services are terminated.
The obvious questions are: What do I need? How’s much does it cost? How do I do it? I already have all-star, why do I need this?
First of all SvxLink is designed by Tobias Bloomberg SM0SVX, first around 2006/7, as a means to access EchoLink via a Linux platform, but linking digital modes. AllStar is built around 2013 from Asterisk a PABX package for telephones. Linking the two systems together while possible is inadvisable.
In Svxlink, no node numbers are required, just the natural callsign, and password provided by the reflector keeper for the passive connectivity. The reflector maintains the callsign information in a dataset that is displayed by another software package called SvxPortal that can be viewed publicly, so users can view the available stations and the talkgroups available. Each node user can update an entry on the svxportal to describe his station for public view, to further enhance his/her presence. HubNet is already available on the UK portal svxportal-uk.ddns.net.
To build a node, all that is required is almost any spare transceiver, a raspberry pi and its power pack, a 16 Gb SD card, a CM108 USB sound card, a 10K 1/4 watt resistor, and a 2N2222 transistor.
The construction information is on the page also on this website. You will need access to a Mac/PC, with a card slot to write the operating system in the first instance, and an internet connection. Only a little knowledge of Linux is required, but it’s very simple, provided the directions are followed carefully.
Because there are so many different systems, it is not possible to provide a “one size-fits all” image, that is capable of being updated, so some techinal knowledge is required.
There are so many sources of the software that have been adulterated by others to fit particular devices, that I would recommend sticking with the main source of svxlink that of SM0SVX. Within my pages I refer to scripts of my own making that can help a user build his system, but I include this source everytime, except for that for the usrp Logic, which requires a different source and more attention to detail.
Firstly always follow the instructions, NEVER use root to run the software, and always follow the instructions…….. Yes I did say that twice because you ignored it the first time and wondered why it didn’t work.