Allstar – Round 1

So yesterday, me and Roland got the NMO soldering back together in the jeep and we got the UV5001 all set up. Just to learn the transmit was barely three blocks! 😛 Going to try and sync up with Drew or Matt and test some random antennas and see if we can get a better signal. Also on my list this week is to purchase what Roland affectionately calls a Chinese Tape Measure antenna. I ended up ordering one of these last night so that I could attempt to check in to the Monday Night Weather net for HotArc, which for 10$, if it works better than the Nagoya I bought, I’ll be super happy!

 

Late last night I started working on the next project which was to get All star set up at our office and to begin planning it’s path, which just devolved into me and Matt cursing the futility of trying to research this system. Lots of documentation everywhere, but none of it is actually… HELPFUL. So finally after much much digging, we found a small link that seemed to indicate an Alinco DR135T / EMkIII was compatible, in stock “locally”, and inexpensive.

 

SO, now we had our radio, time to find out how to connect it!

After much digging and browsing through some very old HTML websites that were built in 95 (not a joke), I came across K5TRA’s website on Allstar where he had several pictures of custom rigs he had built. Viewing these made the AHHA! light turn on and I started understanding what needed to happen. Shortly after that I came across kuggie.com, across kuggie.com, this turned out to be Kevin K. Custer  W3KKC’s website that linked to  his other websites. After reading a few of those, which were still hard to browse, but MUCH easier now that I had the AHHA moment, I decided to simply e-mail him, as his site didn’t necessarily tell you what you needed. His response to getting the Alinco hooked up to Allstar was to purchase the DRA-50, DRAC-12, and the Alinco-6 Adapter. If I understand it all correctly in the line up, my PC connects to the DRA-50 via USB-B, the DRA-50 connects to the DRAC-12 cable which is just a 6 pin basic mini-DIN cable (Could be had for cheaper on Amazon but at the risk of not all 6 conductors being actually wired), and the DRAC-12 plugs into the Alinco-6 which converts DSUB-9 (Serial) to mini-DIN-6! Voila plug and play, or as plug and play as I’m going to get with this project!

So I went ahead and ordered the components from Master’s Communications (Which cost me 111$), and I’m going to drive up to Plano Friday and visit Ham Shack Outlet and pick up the Alinco, and maybe lose a little more money looking around 😉

The software component is something we’re working on currently. We moved our Broadcastify server over to Linux and using Darkice and a dedicated box, but have developed a most annoying whine inside the audio feed, and haven’t been able to isolate it yet. I suspect simply a crappy motherboard and sound card, and that if I move it back to the USB Sound card the whine may clear up. But, because of this, we do add a little extra complexity to our deployments. Which I will have to remind Roland to post the documentation or at least link to the different articles we’re using so that we don’t lose track and forget how to take care of these systems in a month :P. The final intent with this system is to have multiple inputs that we are streaming to multiple locations. Ideally we will connect the allstar node to hamshack hotline, AND to our company PBX so that we can access it from anywhere, and I would like to get the Waco PD feed and the China Spring Fire feed listed as broadcastify feeds that I can also hook up to Hamshack and to our PBX as Music On Hold classes. We have about half of this done, we have the darkice program running which is streaming the input to broadcastify, and we have ice cast installed but have made no progress on making it work :(.

 

Anyways that’s today’s update, I know these are coming out weirdly spaced, but honestly, I’m just updated this as I go so that if/when we forget what we were doing we can look back and see where we were at!

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