Tag: allstarlink

IRLP is Back on 146.700 MHz

Recently you may remember, we took Internet Radio Linking Project (IRLP) nodes off our repeaters and replaced them with Allstar Link.  One of our interface boards (146.700 MHz) repeater was left with a hum.  We made the decision to put the IRLP node 3013 back on this repeater and leave the Allstar Link on the 443.300 MHz repeater.

We have not updated our user guide with the old instructions on how to use the IRLP for those that don’t remember. We’ll get to that as we have time.  At present, the IRLP and Echolink are on the 146.700 MHz repeater.  As usual, if you don’t remember the IRLP usage and control, just send an email to club at delcityars.com and we’ll send it to you.

Is anyone else enjoying this rain?  It is a true blessing.

Allstar versus IRLP


We have recently converted our 443.300 MHz repeater from IRLP to Allstar Link.  We turned off IRLP node 3013.  We have started building a new Allstar Link node for our 146.700 MHz repeater as well.  I am looking at ways to see if we can salvage one of the IRLP nodes and have both connected to the repeater where we can choose which system to use.  There is a reason that we changed from IRLP to Allstar Link and it wasn’t because we didn’t want IRLP but rather our Internet Service Provider (ISP).

IRLP, like most linking systems use certain ports to communicate, whether it be audio or control signals.  Like systems, require the same ports.  If you are going to be able to run a node effectively on a local area network, you need to be able to change the node to a static IP address and then forward the necessary ports to that computer.  If you are going to have two IRLP nodes at the same location, you have to have two external (WAN) IP addresses.  This is because if packets arrive over the Internet and reach your router, you need to be able to forward it to the correct computer.  Unfortunately when you have two nodes, they both use the same port. The router cannot forward the same port to more than one computer at the same time.

For years, we have been paying for an extra IP address for this purpose.  Recently we received a letter from our ISP saying they would no longer supply a second IP address for residential accounts. If we needed a second IP address, we would have to subscribe to a business account.  A business account is more than double the price.

We were left with a decision to either shut one of the nodes down or try other options.  Allstar Link allows many nodes on the same computer, so it allows you to assign specific ports to each node. You can have each node using a separate port, eliminating the need for two external IP addresses.  We have one node working very well and a second node  under development.  I know we only needed to change one node but our trustee, W5QO likes it so much, he wanted to do both repeaters.

Many of the IRLP reflectors are also connected to Allstar Link. We have already verified that the WIN System (IRLP node 9100) is also on Allstar Link (node 2560).  The East Coast reflector (IRLP node 9050) is Allstar (node 27339).  The Alaska reflector (IRLP node 9070) is Allstar (node 27597).

Currently we don’t have a way to connect our old IRLP node in parallel with the Allstar Link node but if we can figure out how to do that, we’ll certainly do that.  Our 443.300 MHz repeater is now Allstar Link node 28941 and soon the 146.700 MHz repeater will be Allstar Link node 46810.

This will require a new user manual to be created so that people know how to use it.  I have started this project but not yet complete.  Once this is complete, then we’ll have to make some significant changes to our frequently asked questions (FAQ) page.  We’ll let you know when the new node is on the air.

Our First Allstar Link Node

We’ve been working on a project for the last couple of weeks and now we can reveal it. Our 443.3 MHz repeater is now Allstar Link node 28941.  We removed IRLP from this repeater and used most of the same hardware to convert it to an Allstar node.

What drove this change was an email from Cox Communications that forced our hand.  Since we had two IRLP nodes, on the same Internet service, at the same location, it required us to have two external IP addresses.  The reason for this is two identical nodes require the same ports for control and audio.  When inbound calls arrive at the router, we have to have set pre-determined port forwarding.  The signal has to know which computer to go to.  Unfortunately we had two nodes vying for the same ports and you cannot forward packets to go to the same port on two computers.  This is why we paid extra for an additional external IP address.

Well Cox seems to have changed their policy on issuing out extra IP addresses to residential service accounts. They will no longer do it and will not grandfather you in, if you already have one.  They wanted us to subscribe to Cox Business Services account.  To do this would vastly increase the price for a service that we already had.  This is just not a feasible option.

As a result, we had to come up with an idea to maintain two nodes without using the same ports.  Allstar was a natural choice because they only require one computer (server) and can have many nodes attached to that one server, with only one external IP address.  We had already requested a node number several years ago but had never put a node together.  This situation forced our hand on doing something.  Since we already had most of the hardware on hand, we decided to build one.
As of yesterday, September 21, 2017, at 2:00 PM, node 28941 signed on the air.

Allstar is a completely different system and the operating procedures are not the same.  We are currently working on updating our User Guide to include operating instructions for our new Allstar node.  Many of the IRLP reflectors are now on Allstar Hubs, like the WIN System.  Where they are node 9100 on IRLP, they are node 2560 on Allstar.  We are hopeful that you will like using it and we are trying to quickly get some instructions on our web site.

Special thanks to our Trustee, W5QO for once again, hosting this site for us.  If you have any questions, please direct them to club [at] delcityars.com.

Thank you!