The idea of setting up your own AllStar node can seem very daunting at first. Many people are scared off by the thought of using Linux. But, the real fact of the matter is; With the latest developments within AllStar you do not need any understanding of linux. I personally had never seen linux before I started down the path of VoIP systems and AllStar.

A good website to help with building your own personal hotspot set up by Scott DU9/G6OJB

What’s needed?

Here is a list of the hardware you will need to get started.

These are relatively cheap to purchase and are widely available on the internet. At places like the they are on sale for around £30. Plus postage and packaging. 

You will need to fork out another £5 for a power supply and £3 for a nice cool case while you are at it.

  • Micro SD Card 16Gb 

There are many different brands of Micro SD cards available on the market and it is alway tempting to purchase a cheap one. But in this case I recommend you pay a little extra and purchase yourself a SanDisk Ultra Class 10 16Gb Micro SD Card. Again widely available on the internet for around  £6 to £7

  • Sound Fob (CM108 Chip)

The sound fob enables you to link the Raspberry Pi to your radio. I suppose it is effectively a DAC for those audiophiles out there!

If you are into your fine soldering you can modify one yourself. There are various guides to do this:

Other ready made sound interfaces are available:

  • A radio to act as you node gateway. 

An easy way is to get a radio with an 6 pin din data socket on the back. Like an ICOM, Yaesu or Kenwood Radio. But these are obviously an expensive option for a node radio to sit there doing nothing other than transmit on your node frequency. But if you have an old Yaesu FT7900 sitting around not being used then this would be an option for you.

Today most node operators opt for using old Motorola mobile radios. They are well built, sturdy and can easily handle the the duty cycle of being connected to a large network.

Great options for these are the Motorola GM 340, 360 and 380. The GM 340 is the most common in use. You can get these for around the £60 mark from websites like ebay.