CB RoIP?

A place to discuss internet linking of radio equipment, such as eQSO, FRN, iRLP, Echolink, and other such systems.
26mb04
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Re: CB RoIP?

Post by 26mb04 »

By GPIO do you mean serial/PTT options? You can do that in the free Zello program, you just need to configure it. Obviously though there is no support from Zello because it's the free version... To set it up:

1: Select the channel you want to gateway into
2: Go on "create group"
3: Enter "Zello Gateway" for the name (without quotes)
4: Exit Zello
5: Find the configuration file called zello.conf
6: Open it, scroll down to the bit that says SetGatewayMode=false
7: Change it to true
8: Open Zello again and configure the new port settings, volumes etc.

If you want to change the groups, you will need to change SetGatewayMode to false again so you can sort the groups out, before changing it back.
Sent from my GP300 using DTMF
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Re: CB RoIP?

Post by rpcomms »

hi
yes know about that,way ahead on zello configs here

GPIO control ,meaning when zello looses connection or system down
it triggers a usb to parrall I\O or a serial port say RTS activation to control channel change of radio
to switch it from ch1 "gateway mode" single CTCSS to
ch2"Parrot fallback mode" split CTCSS

GPIO can be 1 bit Hi (ch1) or Low (ch2)
OR
Use parallel binary data 4 bit

8421
0001=ch1
0010=ch2

the base (mobile unit) gateway radio will support 1 bit,some brands use 4 bit binary

Im concentrating on redundancy systems at the moment to ensure system robust,and fully automated plus adding in any addition hardware needed on the interfacing pcb from radio to pc for channel change control

A bog std Zello CB roip gateway is fine but found during tests in "meshed linking"nodes you have to improve reliability of overall system including CTCSS use esential and Parrot mode fallback,plus having the ability to change change modes could be handy if want to reconfig your Gateway to Parrot mode manually via a manual overide switch on the interface,as well as fully automated control.

Unfort Zello is a little limited in I\O alarm control,GPIO output control to an event tab.

so looking at other approaches currently

We now have a live Zello CB test gateway up running now this week and working well with iphones,tablets,laptops hooked up

Yes Zello config with
CTS=Busy COS hi=busy 5V lo=Not Busy=0V from radio
RTS=PTT


something i found when windows reboots (a we tested this on a few pc hardware and win xp/win10)
ull get 6 pulses from of tx from comm port RTS,but your hardware must have pull up resistors on a permement supply to prevent TX jam up on a PC reboot
also Transmit TOT set for about 3mins as a additional safety on base gateway jam ups.

Regards

Rob
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Re: CB RoIP?

Post by rpcomms »

Demo CB ROIP now running in my local area as a tester
so far working well and positive responses from users

Biggest issue is some CB users do not understanding fm deviation on there radio kit if using export radios and ham kit really,some users running 5khz wide fm dev,not the MUlti-Norm ETSI specs 2.00khz or old UK MPT-1320 2.5Khz specs seems to be the only technical issues
Lot of old HF ham kit generally runs wider deviation\RX recovered audio(shows up as low audio when using with normal cb radios),some can switch to Narrow FM elevating over deviation issue others need readjusting tx dev to cb legal specs
and sometimes a resistor change of value in the fm discriminator audio to boost up audio recovered ,also fitting the 455HT filter in some cases.

FM-Wide being 60% dev=3.00khz RX audio-TX dev max 5.00khz (25khz spacing system)Ham Mainly USA ONLY now
FM-Narrow MPT-1320 specs 60% dev RX audio=-TX dev max 2.50khz (11.25/12.5khz spacing system)EU\UK and other parts of world Ham & CB UK
FM-Super Narrow ETSI specs 60% dev=1.20khz audio RX-TX dev max 2.00khz (10khz spacing system)EU\UK current system Ham & CB HF

General filters used
455E-25khz spacing system
455D-11.25/12.5 spacing system
455HT-10khz spacing system CURRENT Multi-Norm ETSI CB system,while UK band is in there,the fm specs remain same as EU,this why new radio may sound a little low on tx levels to older cb kit or ham HF kit sometimes,
Mulit-Norm cb to cb should be no noticeable differences at all.only when you start intermixing old,new and outta spec kit together it becomes a bit of a battle and complaints happen.

WE tried to balance the audio feeds from the base gateway as best we can to cope with this "User Kit problem",but really its down to users to ensure TX deviation does not exceed the max 2.5khz on cb bands.
This will becomes more critical when CTCSS type ROIP gateway come into play,as its CTCSS dev+Maax audio dev=Total max deviation for bandwidth system.
example 350Hz max dev CTCSS+2.100khz audio=2.45khz max close enough to CB bandwidth limits.

Id thought id share this information for others planning CB ROIP gateways,as it is something you may come across,so also use known correct radio sources when setting up audio levels,if its new Multi-Norm CB radio radios ,well you should be bang on the money as most are set up right from factory (assuming your using a Modern legal multi-norm cb base as a gateway)
Other kit like ham HF,or USA export radios could present "issues"in some case or require switching to NFM mode.
A radio test-set or fm deviation monitor can help in most cases to check any suspect equipment.

Not a lot of technical info on this subject so posted here,hope that helps,as we experienced these "Issues"on tests.

Currently the test gateway is running via Zello and so far all's looking well but further system improvements in redundancy systems will be add\improved as time goes by to further improve reliability.
And until we happy to make it fully\semi open system.
CTCSS will probable be one of the upgrades at some point ,including "meshed linked CB gateways "to extend ranges.
Keep you posted.

Merry Christmas All

Rob 73's
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Re: CB RoIP?

Post by rpcomms »

Little update on ROIP

work progression on new Radio Interface Card coming on well as we update improved features to schematics.
tests done on CB work,but showed up vunarbilities or roip in demo testing system
one being loss on internet connection-abackup extra router maybe required to improved realiability
and brown out or loss of Ac power onsite-EXtra backup AC\DC sources need to added into gateway system
Use of CTCSS is vital when "meshworklinking" base gateways on a cb or pmr UHF system
Abackup system should ALL fail to connect,this has been addressed and being worked on toensure,the gateway part still can function on a local traffic basis(non roip mode)
Voice encryption is another feature for "secure private systems"ie paying groups to sub costs of system or for some users requiring a little privacy than open system network

these are being addressed one by one

biggest crux is lack of support from CB manufacteurs to push ROIP projects-like a dedicated base CB base module unit built specifc with hardware interfacing in mind,higher duty cycles,CTCSS etc
Getting a suiatable robust CB mobile unit that meets my specifications in roipgateway use and interfacing

Yes I could hack old cb to do the job,but i require new uptodate cb radios with interfacing,CTCSS simplex and CTCSS semi duplex operation (most cb will one dosingle TX\RX tone not split tones)
and yes type approved with having to hack them isthe real problem herefor 27mhz,im currentlylooking at possible solutions.

Meshed base gateway testing proved it can work very well both 27mhz for long range Line of sight and UHF usedfor short local comms

Cost is also another issue
running it and system redundancy and reliability are key to getting 100% rugged realibability 24/7 yearly usage ,anyone can build a roip gateway,BUT get realiability and robustness is another thing and that can cost is something we found on demo tests.

Each base gateway must have a certain level of redundancy built into unit,NOT just he radio,ariel systems,power systems,routers inc back up routers,low cosumption PC ,sim cards,etc etc, thats all got to be paid for by some one to get a good success rate.

Technically there is NO real issue of getting ROIP that cannot be fixed and it works,my concern is for CBbeing a open system
abuse of the system (from test demo conducted)were a problem sometimes,most CB users respected the gateway roip demo,but as usual some wanted to abuse it,why i feel amore locked down system maybe better approach with a paying group to help towards maitaining the system and gateways to ensure a good standard of site installations and equipment installed meets good engineering practise levels,instead of lashed up roip systems of varing standards levels.
Then only keen users who really want roip with maintain better radio prodcedure and not abuse it,compare if its free for all roip system
we have found other methods of controlling abuser on ROIP system

lack of CTCSS control access was another issue on 27mhz which can be addressed for gateway mode,but some radios do not support split CTCSS tones for the Gateway "Fallback Mode" unfortually which from testing I feel vital to have .
neor two cb mfrs I have approached (NOT Giving names outs)have got it and understand it and will hopefully suport it in next gen CB radios 2020+

WE looked at dtmf ID accessing ,1750hztone burst etc etc but after trail testing ,CTCSS made best sense on FM and hands down best method.

Optimised ariel installations are also key in tests conducted on 27mhz for "Line of sight" gateway testing.
Being that most sights for base roip gateways will be in most cases not ideal places like Urban,Low sea level,surrounded by hills and most gateway roip users could not affored a hilltop site location fees,ariel type,height and feeder quality systems become more relevent,as ROIP gateways are specifically NOT designed for DXing!
DX ARIELS and low level mounted ariels are NOT the way to get best results,as this really is line of sight

So you must design your roip system based on optimising LOS working and terrain surroundings we have that data now
to get best performance ( in tests a 1/4GP and 1/2 GPwave peformed best when mounted 50ft asl from ground in enclosed urban\hills (use high angle radiation pattern)surrounding and a 5/8 GP when located at very high ASL having a lower angle radiation pattern),this is also where mesh linking the base gateways come together as each site will generally not be in ideal conditions.
And as stated a hilltop site logistics\cost very high on a private site,I think this is one of the main issues logistics
most wont or could not afford the high fees of maitaining this type of system in most cases.
Unless deep pockets or leave on a large hill!
most dont,so tookthe view worst case locations and get around it be linking bases together to get a meshed system to get te coverage area needed.

typical foot print of around 20-30+ miles on average depending on surroundings or more was the average based on min usable signal strengths of S4,pointless just staic background noise coming through on FM transmissions.
Some sites in tests provided much longer ranges 50miles+
this why "mesh linking" the base roip gateways proved a better way to fill the empty gaps your local gateway cannot cover
Tests have been conducted and it works very well and not to hard to do once you know the basics.

Like most of the projects takes time and money to do them right
If I can get more funding options I can speedup the process quicker,we only a little R&D team at the moment but are making progression and ironing out a lot of system bugs\hardware issues

A univeral radio interface card I am also working one to help ease connection of radios for base gateway uses.
Im unsure at this point if this willbe released or part of a package setup as a whole yet,too early to say and also depends on responses from cb radio mfrs too in support CTCSS and CTCSS semi duplex and addingthe additional function pins to access radios busy and fixed Audio levels and GPIO TTL channel change control of memory channels (with alpha text)stored in radio for Fallback mode option
I have retro fitted UK cb radios as a test units to see if can be done and yes it can as a very basic roip gateway,BUT its not for non electronic people to attempt or just a plug and play thing,its pretty specifc,plus test gear required and right tools.
The current hobby gateways Ive seen so far I feel are not upto good standards for robustness,realiability,system redundancy for a 24/7 service as a whole ,not all but most are best lash ups or homebrew,Not knocking it but commercially we need to step up the standard levels to make the service reliable and practical.

The other issue of CB ROIP meshed gateways systems is demand by CB\PMR users?
the demo tests over christmas did show a promising demands\responses ,but how much would you pay or donate to a CB roip system to keep it running 24/7 yearly ?

OR would CB users prefer to buy a complete roip base system and installation done?

oH we also tests phones,ipads and kindle fire tablets linked into the roip system and they worked a treat with radios!
That i thought was partly the missing link (very cool),including the base linking from city to city area.

CTCSS also help in prevent the dreaded QRM issues when driving around Noisey RFI shops,helping keeping that squelch muted!

Another advantage using a ROIP CB gateway shows modern CB handhelds became a lot more practical as well in tests conducted.
unfort at the moment CTCSS is not used until new units like the GPE Randy III become available to do further CTCSS CBHT trails.

Unsure how CB users would respond to getting CTCSS activated CB radios either ,took a while for PMR446 users to catch onto benifits of CTCSS use.
Something maybe TM1 users like to discuss a standard CTCSS CB Tone codes like PMR446
ie CB UK CH19-19 or ch9-9 tones
gateways tones
Voice security on "closed system roip cb"??
Open ROIP systems Good Idea or Bad idea (i have my own personal views on this)for CB user?
DIY or packaged ROIP systems?
Tech Support?
System costs of a base gateway system including all the trimmings and ariel systems?

I would be interested in any sensible responses from TM users interested in CB\PMR446 gateways and meshed gateway systems and User features for the mobile and handportable kit for ROIP use
to help get some feedback.

Icannot release videos or detailed techincal info on public release for certain reasons,so please dont ask,some within my contact circles have seen parts,concepts and demo vids done and are in the know,currently this is all R&D at the moment,I can answer certain generally techinical questions if CB ROIP is your thing or way see Personal radio move in this direction and adds another additional tool in the box for Users.

ROIP systems wont replace ssb,dxing,direct simplex normal cb (non ctcss),so lets not go there,the idea is to give Users additional functionality on top of what you have way already,a wayto link IT kit like phones,tablets,pc into radio adding flexability,plus a way to extend the range coverage reliable day to day communications uses by interlinking base gateways like a web radio network
is the way I see CB ROIP used for personal communications assuming there is enough demand,it may change the way cb is used as well openning up other possibilties you could not do before?

work is still ongoing but moving forward and will post from time to time progression,currently for a cb mobile ROIP unit Ive hit a issue im working on for a base unit but until it can meet my specifics delays are a problem,but other solutions to test system are being used ,modified to help keep things moving forward in testings system side of things.
keep you posted ;)

Kind regards

Rob
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Re: CB RoIP?

Post by 26mb04 »

I remember looking into the apt_rpt (asterisk) pre-made PCI radio interface cards a while ago but they were a bit more pricey than I would have liked, given that I know nothing about it. There's a good presentation on similar problems with an AllStar system design, it's sort-of in the same vein:

https://www.n4hsv.net/assets/asterisk_a ... tation.pdf

A proper radio interface card is definitely something I would like to get my hands on, but they are really expensive and (unless you want DTMF) they still rely on having PTT/COS lines available on the rig. Until they get cheap, self-build is still the way to go for me.

CTCSS is good because it's constant, unlike a DTMF/Selcall burst which might be missed by the gateway. In such cases the whole tx would be ignored, rather than a transient dropout with CTCSS. It's also universal, whereas DTMF/other Selcall limits you to rigs that support it.

From my end, it's basically down to price. I'm happy to build stuff myself (and learn about it!) if it keeps the cost down, but others will want a turnkey solution they can plug in. This probably adds to the cost because the components need to last, as:

a) It'll be left on forever, get buried in junk, forgotten about;
b) the user probably won't know how to replace the caps etc;
c) it needs to NOT make fire, at any point, ever.

Currently my system uses either Android handsets (Zello), or bog-standard 446 with CTCSS. I was going to use a non-standard CTCSS tone for testing purposes, but there's no point as my location ensures the total RF range is about 200m and there is NOBODY else around. The handhelds probably tx further than the base does. For a while I had a second Zello PC instance with timed announcements for ID, low battery, etc. but that got really annoying, fast.

I have yet to interface to CB, mainly because I don't have the antenna space here anymore.
Sent from my GP300 using DTMF
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Re: CB RoIP?

Post by rpcomms »

Hello
thanks for links

Little updates

Yes working on a new revised Radio Interface Card MK2
this will support most commercial Mobile PMR radios like Icom\Kenwood and 19" Rack models for VHF Low to UHF High bands

It will support via a universal connector what ever mobile you wish to hook up
TYT Retivis 9000D (with special cable fitted)
TYT TH9800 (after mods and I\Face cable ftted)
Hera\Team\Jopix MK2 set with mods
Possibility of CRT Mega Pro after mods??

VOX is useless and dropped,NO HT either as these were found to have issues using.

As for systems,redundancy is KEY for reliability for 24hr 7 days a week etc operation

Ive tested now a reliable 4G LTE router with system which seems a lot more "Internet stable" that cable routers due to "service outages"can cause issues and YES that did happen very often,BUT strangely not on GSM 4G based,so far lol.
Additionally adding battery backup 12V UPS for router,PC,Radio etc was seen as vital,again for system reliability due to AC outages,Brown Outs that did actually happen during tests!

I am how ever struggling to find a simple means of "internet detection" or loss of connection via software\hardware,I need some way of triggering a relay one loss of internet connection! HELP!
A simple bit of TTL via a usb RS232 and some form of coding needed?

so kinda stuck on that part of project

I can now get Zello and Simplex software to run together due to new interface will have two RS232 comm ports,so no clashes there now on hardware interfacing.

channel change support does work via simple BCD switching (currently NOT support on CB radios hint hint mfrs)but does on Moto,Kenwood,Icom commercial radios,so fully auto mated channel change can be done for Gateway Mode and Simplex Repeater mode[Fallback]Split CTCSS tones

On CB radios ,all I need is Memory channel 1/2 controlled by simple 1 bit GPIO control
allow split ctcss TX and separate RX CTCSS allowed\supported in radio firmware and we away!
CRT MegaPro looks promising to do Gateway Mode CTCSS RX\TX=1 tone and Simplex Fallback Mode CTCSS RX Tone 1 TX Tone 2 splits [Semi Duplex CTCSS instead of semi duplex split frequency NOT allowed on PMR446/CB]
So that gets around that problem,Ive tested that part works great!
some better PMR-446 sets do support split CTCSS tones,checked a few radios,commercial-grade radios most will do it 99% OK

CB mfrs need to start supporting a Acc socket on rear or at very least solder pads on pcb to gain access to various functions pins,so one can bring out a flying lead interface cable,it not exactly hard to do!

EXT PTT-Mutes front mic
EXT MIC Input 600Ohms
GND
EXT Fixed Audio [Squelched COR\TONE] Adjustable 10mV to 1V RMS 600-1K Z
Busy Flag TTL 5V=Busy 0V=NOT Busy
GPIO Input Mem ch1=0V Mem ch2=5V or reversed mode

pretty simple stuff to do if CB mfrs decided to support such a hardware interface,in most cases the function pins are all ready there on pcb,just need a easy way to connect or a simple Mini DIN socket added on rear of CB radios for ROIP uses,technically there's no issues,politics and approvals there is!


Onto ariel systems

These come down to one issues Line of sight operation for base gateways NOT DXing

50FT or more from ground gave best results for line of sight operation on UHF and low-band VHF (24-88mhz)
tests should ground affect around 36ft,one above that point ground planes become more important,mast height and low loss coax were far more important.

Coax types def double shielded with foil types low loss,money well spent in this area,in some cases induced noise from house rfi\emi can get into a poorly shielded coax feeder line,so opting high grade\braid and shield foil helped eliminate possible issues

Grounding loops on Earth to DC ground,I resolved this now by using a 1:1 fully isolated (dc resistance) transformers and fibre poles,this stopped SMP PSU issues,static,RFI issues
Metal masts are copper stake bonded to EARTH and mast for electrical safety.
I manage finally to get right ferrite materials mix numbers and build/Test sample versions

J pole Ground Plane we designed works great at UHF and ideal in Urbanised\Hilly surroundings,as most systems would not generally be positioned in ideal mountain top sites in most cases!
1/4wave GPA ground plane ariels gave very good results,not too big,less wind loading at 50FT+mast height[height was critical for optimised LOS working],easy to put up.

half waves were tested but gains,extra length 18ft,I felt didnt gain much about 2-3dB if that,we may look at a 27 or 66-88mhz version of J pole GP at some point in time,but not yet

Cost wise I cannot see this being "cheap"for a fully fledged ROIP Gateway system,more a investment or a group buys\runs it.
System wise there are many components to optimise best possible performance in average location,certain costs could be streamline if this takes off??

But from what im seeing bespoke packaged systems ill provide best reliability based on proper conducted test data ive gathered OR at very least recommended products that have been tested and work best.
,rather than hap hazard random products untested\vetted put together or in some cases lashed up,its just add uncertainty and unreliability of gateway system.
And Just adds more variables and uncertainty to a roip system,some standardisation in installations and equipment to some degree maybe required.

Rack mounted system im looking into,so can standardise some of the equipment parts.

Some thing else ROIP users should consider if going to commit to a fully fledge 24/7 "reliable"service is,once your up and running n installed site you cannot run on same site similar of close other radios!
Like in a shack scenario,we trialled this and we found ops turning kit off or interference problems ,so you have to choice wisely your site location,thats assuming you putting a "meshed gateway network "together and want a proper reliable service from a Zello based gateways over a wide area coverage


So RIC Mk2 pcb is in for checks at the moment,going into Mechanical CAD for 3D checks,hole mounting points,board tweaks to design.
The new interface should hopefully fit into a 19" rack track

Im constantly tweaking improvements to the radio interface design until im fully happy before committing to fabrication.
like internal pc connections and external pc connections
both Icom IDAS mobile and repeater have different 25W D type connectors dedicated
Busy Input 1 & 2 manual input switch
2 Port RS232 with C\O relay CTS and RTS controlled by DCD
DIP switch selectable loads on Audio IN\OUT to PC sound cards
Speaker in for CB radios with proper dummy loading of audio ,jumpers select reistive loads
12V DC powered externally-Doubled Fused and idiot diodes NO 12V NOT from Radios!
LED status indicators
Battery float system
PTT Fan Blower relay on-board and RF C\O relay(external box) EXT PTT GPIO for converting repeater racks to Simplex use
Standard consumer sockets plus addition Industrial grade terminal block push fit connectors for flexibility
Fully isolated ground system on PCB,Audio and GPIO control
"Passive"and discrete SMD parts,so NO complex special chips and RF getting into board causing RFI issues with active audio circuits"Squeal"!!
Mainly all that Ive learnt and debugged during system testing of roip first interface card,there's a lot of junk info out on internet Ive found out
Especially when designing\building your own radio interface cards ,so why i wanted to build a dedicated board verified 100% on ROIP software
FRN,Zello,Simplex

Im kinda in limbo mode until this board completed and resolve the "detection system"

Ariels systems pretty much set in stone now just finding right suppliers

plus im researching other radio compatible kit to form a list of recommended radios

66-88mhz is another area researching for ROIP Zello uses

Once I have sample boards Ill post up links

So far everything looks do-able and tests show mesh linking very practical without being too complicated,Zello is def first choice due to simple fact can interlink to phones,tablets,pc,4g network zello radios
very easy and manage it. Keep you posted

Rob
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Re: CB RoIP?

Post by rpcomms »

Oh so far def NO fires,thank god
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Re: CB RoIP?

Post by rpcomms »

PC Computers-To control the Radio Interface Card Im opting for 12V DC powered one as 12V UPS backup system (maybe monitored-Txt alerts}seem more effective and easier as radio,router and RIC run off same 12V DC system

THis two will more than likely go into a 19" rack tray,as once running and set can be left along,this is still WIP.

Rob
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Re: CB RoIP?

Post by rpcomms »

Yes a radio interface card is on way for PC interconnecting.

Little update,I resolved the internet detection system and now looking into this further details,as that was causing a few headaches.

As far CB ROIP CTCSS is a must have item when it comes to mesh linking radio gateway Nodes together and general use,test showed open system is prone to jamming the gateways out due to skip,qrm or un welcome attention.

Ive tried voice scrambling on 27mhz and it works fine in FM-N mode.

The hardest part now is getting support from cb manufacturers for the interfacing function pins needed to hook up easily radio to interface,some kind of ACC standardize socket or easy fly-lead fitment cable.

Split CTCSS becomes more important in repeater mode when gateway mode fails giving local comms only.

keep you post

rob
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