Asterisk Analog <-> digital bridge

Well, I’ve seen some new developments presented over the past number of months with respect to Asterisk and ham radio.  There’s a core bunch of guys who have worked on Asterisk and the app_rpt interface over quite a few years and it’s proven its reliability quite well.  With all of the new digital hotspots coming on-line it was only a matter of time where things became easier to interface from a purely software standpoint.

What does this mean?  Well .. I can take a basic asterisk installation (custom for ham radio purposes) and configure it to bridge, via software alone, to the ham radio digital modes.

My first foray into this is a well-published article from the dvswitch.org folks.  They have a good group discussion going on at: https://dvswitch.groups.io/g/main … I’ve used it recently to ask for help on the basic configuration to get it going.

So, what does this mean?  Well, I have a raspberry pi at home with an analog interface to a 2m radio on 146.475 simplex.  I use it to talk to other asterisk boxes and echo link nodes.  Works well.    With this new option, and using our VA4WAN hosting provider pegboardhosting.ca, I setup a new asterisk instance and configured it to bridge between an analog audio to a DMR format.  Connecting this to the brandmeister system, allows me to talk to other DMR folks in the world with my little local RF node.

With the software configurations, I can deploy a bridge between not just DMR, but also YSF, P25 and others — except not DSTAR.  Unfortunately, the DSTAR bridge requires a hardware solution to augment the software as there’s some proprietary stuffs in there.

So, it will be fun to see how much we can get going locally to offer bridges to the existing analog infrastructure and allow that older technology to interface with the newer technologies.  With our new RF sites coming on-line, we may well see this in the not-to-distant-future.

I’ll leave the bridge up as we test out some more functionality.  If you’re on the DMR English Canada talk group, see if we’re on.

73, Dan ve4drk