Allstar node from Motorola CDM 1250 radio
Building an Allstar Node using Motorola CDM1250
Honestly this took me a week to figure this out and I am still learning new stuff. If you follow these instructions you can probably get things working in about a day. There are several items needed.
Motorola CDM1250 radio
Motorola data cable https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08CRBT3XM?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2_dt_b_product_details
Mini UHF to UHF connector https://www.amazon.com/dp/B011KJ7RAK?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2_dt_b_product_details
Raspberry Pi version 3 is better for this due to heat issues with ver. 4.
RIM-Maxtrac http://www.repeater-builder.com/products/usb-rim-lite.html This comes with a connecting cable for the Raspberry Pi
Micro SD card, 32GB or 16GB
That’s all the hardware. Now software.
Professional Radio CPS for Motorola Version R04.00.00 works. My file was CPSPRO04 from Paul, AC5S The 06.12.05 also works well.
HAMVOIP Asterisk from Allstar HamVOIP.org **This file includes PuTTy and Win32Diskimager and the disc image for the raspberry Pi.
Next you will want the schematic from the RIM-Maxtrac. It has a few instructions in the margins needed to make the PTT work.
YouTube is your friend. Look up KG4FJC 220MHZ and find his 6 video series on how to put this all together. He is quirky to say the least and hates flies, but he really knows his stuff. He is using a different radio and building his own cable so you can skip videos 1,2,3, and 4. Start with Video 5 and 6. These tell you how to set up your Allstar software on the Pi. Also he sets up PuTTy for remote access and runs through the INITIAL Allstar setup. This will get you most of the way there but IT WILL NOT WORK YET.
The Motorola radio also need to be programmed with the CPS software. Here are the settings you need. Some of these settings come from the RIM-Maxtrac Schematic page.
Radio configuration tab. Accessory Pins tab. Pin 3, set to DataPTT (input), low. Pin 8 set to PL and
CSQ Detect… Set active level to high.
Accessory Configuration tab, set Rx Audio Type t= Flat Audio and Data PTT Audio Source t= Flat Tx Audio
Next go to the Conventional Personality tab. Set your preferred alias and channel bandwith to 25 khz. Also set your desired frequency according the CCARC- Colorado Band Plan. I set up the same frequency for both Rx and Tx and squelch to CSQ for both, essentially a simplex node. Under the options tab I changed it to infinite time out and low power Tx (recommend 20 w due to heat). Under the advanced tab I set Emphasis to none.
That’s it, write to back to the radio and hear the annoying tone.
Almost there. Log into your Pi with PuTTy. Go to the Admin list #12, run simpleusb… Settings
RX boost enabled
Pre and De emphasis disabled
DCS filter disabled
PTT mode low
COSFROM=no The usb setting also worked for me
After setting this up MAKE SURE TO WRITE CURRENT PARAMETERS. Then you can go back and set the audio levels as KG4FJC discussed. I set Rx voice to 400 but your voice will be different. I have gotten excellent audio reports during QSO’s to date.
Go to the V menu to confirm you are keying the Allstar node. There is a little delay. That’s it , the node is ALIVE.
I highly suggest installing Supermon for controlling the node from your computer. KG4FJC has a setup video for that too. You can use DTMF codes to access nodes, *3[node number] to connect and *1[node number] to disconnect but I have found this to be a little wonky. I am still learning this stuff. BTW, I did NOT remove the SJ1 from the RIM-Maxtrac board (see schematic)—too nervous. Also this radio gets HOT at low power 28 watts. I have dropped it to 20 w but it may need a fan.
Brad, AMAZING write up and incredible details! THANKS you are saving me and others a lot of headache and time.
Elecraft KX2 KX3 K3, Icom IC-705 Yaesu FTD3, VX8
Follow up. I have now set the radio time out limit to infinity instead of 120 seconds. Otherwise on nets the radio times out. I also changed the RXAUDIODELAY=0 instead of 5. I have no idea if this makes a difference. Finally I measured the radio temperature and it peaked at 150F at 20 watts during a fairly lengthy net. A fan would be beneficial. Ray N0KEG found this: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4760057
I have the Allstar node working with the Motorola CDM 1250 using the above settings. However. the repeater kerchunks every 5 seconds. No idea why and I haven't been able to fix it. I suspect it is a Motorola radio setting but no ideas to date.
OK I think I fixed the kerchunking problem by setting up a TPL tone on the radio under the Conventional Personality tab. I set one for both Tx and Rx because that seemed to work. Having it set to CSQ worked but the radio activated PTT every 5 seconds. This resolved with adding TPL tones. FWIW, I used 100.0 1Z . I have added a fan to keep temps down. Everything seems to be working. I did find with my switching power supply the fan turns off while transmitting. This is not a problem with my linear power supply.
Thanks Brad for all your help. I have a few notes.
1) You will need to Port Forward 4569 in your router to accept incoming connections.
2) I am not using CTCSS on initial set-up but will add those to the radios to get some security.
3) I tried using the Pi image from the AllStar ASL site because they have very clear set-up screen shots and was 99% there but just could not get it to work so I followed Brad's suggestion and got the image from Ham VoIP and it went smoothly. Note: We both had issues with setting up the time. It appears you need a Wired mouse to click on the "America Denver" time zone. My wireless mouse did not work on that screen. I'm still set to the default of New York.
4) Some people on-line suggested to set up everything on a wired LAN connection first, then after everything is running, move to wireless. I did it that way with no issues but I understand some used the wireless settings up-front and had no issues either.
5) I am not using "Putty" but I see how it would be a nice option.
6) See attached picture of my crude setup. I will get a separate outside VHF antenna this week as well as a Pi enclosure and clean up the build somewhat. I plan to move the power over to my solar battery system as the main power supply.
7) Some have indicated that the CDM1250's that most are using are running hot on low power. Motorola limits the low power setting to a minimum of 20 watts on the high power versions. Ray has built some fan brackets and plans to make a few more for those who didn't get one of the 1st runs. The bracket and fan option will cool the CDM radios down enough to run continually at 20 watts but the radio will still get hot, as designed, but don't' worry about the heat if you are using a fan. If the higher power is not a good fit, you can look on Ebay for a CDM750 "Low Power" radio that is 30 watts on high and goes down to one watt on low. These are running about $75 without accessories, which you don't need anyway. It has also been suggested that the "PA" be disconnected on the 1250's and then you would only be running the "exciter". I need to do more investigation on this or Ray can chime in.
8) My Pi 3B+ runs semi-hot but I assume that is the case with all Pi 3's. I am planning to test the set-up on a Pi Zero. Make sure your power supply is sized correctly for the Pi you are using. Now that I see that nearly all accessories available at Micro Center are for the Pi 4's, I may go ahead and get a 4 and try it out even though many suggest it my run too hot and need a fan. Most of the 4 enclosures I looked at had a fan as part of the enclosure however.
9) For me, connecting to 410460 is "hit-and-miss". I noticed this with some other nodes as well. Maybe my touch-tones or something else. I simply try again in few minutes and I connect no problem.
Forgot two things: I am on 145.800. John (N4SJW) is doing some research on VHF frequencies that can be used and possibly don't have and activity on them. He will put something out at some point. Please list your frequency here as a reply so we can track and get a good handle on what frequencies work well for future builders. Also pictures of your initial builds and final builds would be appreciated.
My Allstar node is on 147.465, TPL tone=100.0 It still gets warm but the fan is sufficient. I'm using a small switching power supply and an Ed Fong DBJ-2 portable UHF/VHF antenna in my basement. I also strongly recommend setting up Supermon 6.2+ to control your node. With it, I am able to add favorite nodes and monitor which nodes are active around the world.
My portable node is on 445.800, DCS 025. PA transistor has been removed from the on-board radio so it only outputs about 10mA. My shack Allstar server, which is still in a rebuild, has two nodes - one radioless and one driving my Kenwood TM-V71A on 440.800, DCS 025.
AB0L (Formerly N0KAI)
Kenwood TM-V71A, Kenwood TS-590S, Icom ID-4100A, Yaseu FT-891, TYT MD-UV380, TYT MD-380, Kenwood TH-D7A, BTECH UV-5X3, µBITX V5, µBITX V4, QRPGuys 40/30/20m DSB Digital Transceiver