In development news we picked up five more nodes for connectivity to the Allstar Link Network.   These five nodes will be used in the Communications Transportable Systems (CoTS).  Also they are beneficial in understanding the proper procedures for setting up multiple node servers both for the Asterisk Radio Network – ARN and Asterisk Amateur Radio Network – AARN.

Already have CoTS-1 configured and interfaced into the PBX, still need to configure up some HSMM wireless links that can be used for point-to-point and point-to-multiple point applications.

Remote Base

Remote Base:

What is the function?

What will it be used for?

How will it connect to other stations?

What is the function:

A Remote Base provides a method in which locations outside the normal range of a Base Station or Repeater can be accessed. Thus providing additional communications coverage area.

What will it be used for:

Provide additional communications coverage area; also can be used to augment communications resources in emergency situations and special events.

How will it connect to other stations:

Depending on the complexity of the Remote Base (and the amount of funds available) the ideal situation would be to have a combination of RF and Internet backhaul capabilities. If Internet access is available this would be the ideal method for connectivity. Once again if funds are available use of Satellite Internet services would provide some additional remote accessibility.

When using RF backhaul capabilities there are number of methods that can prove to be beneficial. When possible consider VHF Links and for full-duplex A VHF / UHF combination. We cannot forget about the flexibility of HSMM on 2.4, 3.3, 5.8 GHz and even 902 MHz has some promising potential.

Can HF be considered a viable extension of the Remote Base Link? Depends on the mission objective. Looking back to some of the applications in the past couple of years where HF Remote Base Links have been used as a method to receive emergency traffic from distant locations out of normal range of EOC there may be some practical usage for HF.

The way the Amateur Radio licensing is set up it is rather tough to test a station in a non-emergency setting. Especially for those holding a Technician Class license. There are some that have taken the test for the General and Extra class license and passed the test yet don’t have a clue about the technology that they were tested on. It appears that some don’t really care about the technology just the fact that they can now “talk voice on HF.” In some instances voice on HF will not be the best approach for getting the necessary information from those that have it to those that need it.

Okay back to the Remote Base chatter …

So what do we need to create a Remote Base?

What do we need to create a Remote Base:

Determine the type of terrain in which the Remote Base will operate;

is it urban, rural, forested, hilly, mountains, etc.

What resources are available;

  • Internet; Dial-up, Broadband, HSMM, Satellite;
  • RF Equipment – HF, VHF, UHF, Microwave;
  • Power – Grid, Solar, Wind, Battery, Generator
  • Antenna Structure – Building, Tower, Mast;

What is the distance that needs to be covered between the Remote Base and Base / Repeater Site:

Will the distance require additional enhancements via extenders, cross-band repeaters, etc:

Once the above information is available we can start working on creating the actual Remote Base

Digital Integration to PSTN

A new digital project is coming up that will provide a method to push digital radio traffic to SIP / IAX2 phones as well as PSTN. Testing is in progress now, more details coming soon.


Forward-Thinking Digital Imagining

1) HSMM capabilities at least in the 70cm band and even in 1.25m band.

2 ) Long range HSMM networks with data/video/voice capabilities. (With products like the Ubiquiti Networks Bullet [] should be able to get some decent range)

3) Low-cost Digital Interface that can plug into any radio with a data port (most new radios have a data port present, plus by regulation {at least for Part 90 equipment} they have to be able to handle at least 4k8 baud data – definitely not high speed, but it lets messaging take place).

4) Compact Rapid Deployment Links (cRaDL) based on Asterisk that can be quickly delivered to any location thus providing phone and radio connectivity. ** Come up with a way to do it with the Gumstix Overo boards everything could fit in a radio. Add a Ethernet pigtail on the back of the radio one would have access to local SIP/IAX2 phone capabilities plus the radio could provide long-haul capabilities for at least one call to the outside world. Instant dispatch capabilities with the package too, along with intertie to other radio systems.**

The radio itself would work as a link/remote base anyone in the local network could connect through the LAN/wLAN to the RF side to transmit/receive via the radio itself. Plus they would still have local network capabilities. Since the original gumstix/Asterisk package was able to handle 10 to 15 calls, the new package should be able to increase that by at least to 15 to 20 calls.  Attach another wLAN to the cRaDL would create another sub-network as well as capability for a second RF Gateway channel.

DARN is near

The Digital Analog Radio Network is near.

DARN defined as “to mend by weaving thread across a gap” this is being done. Those that want to see flexibility will go with the DARN approach, as a improvement while there will be others that find it to be just annoyance. DARN definitely fits the new Digital Analog Radio Networks.

Sometimes logic can indeed be simple (send in most potentially linkable exchange).

The Digital Analog Radio Network web site is located at

DARN is near

The Digital Analog Radio Network is near.


DARN defined as to mend by weaving thread across a gap that is what is being done.   Those that want to see flexibility will go with the DARN approach, as a improvement while there will be others that find it to be just annoyance.    DARN definitely fits the new Digital Analog Radio Networks.

Sometimes logic can indeed be simple (send in most potentially linkable exchange).

Elastix Server eMail Problem

If you use Elastix as your Asterisk toolkit and have a problem with inbound email be sure to check Postfix – General Options.   You may need to set the “What domain to use in outbound mail” to <your domain name>.

High Speed Multi Media (HSMM)

High Speed Multi Media (HSMM) is often referred to as being the Hinternet (Ham Internet), as it is primarily used under FCC Rules & Regulations Part 97. Under Part 97 commercial off-the-shelf equipment can be used at higher power and higher gain than the more common Part 15 802.11a/b/g operations.

The primary purpose for HSMM and Hinternet is to augment emergency communications via long range high speed wireless data networks that can handle voice, data and video communications. HSMM can also be used in the day-to-day aspects of Amateur Radio Communications.

The Fit:

With the rapid expansion of Asterisk PBX into the realm of radio communications the added flexibility of having a wireless linking system has also expanded.

It is now possible to have a network of repeaters and link stations that never touch a standard public switched telephone network, yet at the same time this network of repeaters and link stations has all the standard features one will expect to find with any telephone system.

By integrating HSMM along with Asterisk PBX a truly transportable network can be delivered to any location where communications is needed, with voice, data and video all being available to the agencies and organizations being supported.

Learn more about High Speed Multi Media (HSMM)

Dynamic Paths

Just like other living things there are good and bad times for dynamic paths that are taken.

One can opt to be static yet knowing dynamic paths will move you.


What does this mean to those that work in the area of emergency response?

Be flexible with the methods that are used, yet maintain the basic standards that allow a incident operation to be conducted safely. Standards which remain static can be used as a basis for operation integrity and also represent a road map to a successful mission.

Standard Operation Procedures provide the static portion for operational planning yet they should also be dynamic so that when new methods are presented they can be placed into the Standard Operation Procedures as soon as possible.

Every situation, every incident is different, thus the need for being dynamic in operational style. At times incidents will take place that are not amongst the normal operational situations. This indeed is one of the times that we need to be dynamic in readiness and response.

Flexibility is a key ingredient to readiness and the “all hazard” approach to emergency response and planning.

As a organization which path are you opting for: static or dynamic flexibility?

Key Words used in Voice Operations


The following words should be used by all voice operators  during an emergency or exercise. Note that all use of jargon or “Q” signals is STRICTLY PROHIBITED. All voice communication must be done in plain language ONLY. Please observe the following key words. Typically, most communicators use these words every day however, if you are not in the habit of using them then please be mindful of them when using voice during an event or incident operation. Continue reading