RasLink: A Distribution For The PTTLink Network

Updated on February 12, 2024 18:03 U.S Mountain Time

If you’re an amateur radio operator, and want to use the Raspberry Pi (models 2B, 3B, and 3B+) to power your PTTLink node, RasLink will let you do just that.

Quick Links

Notes For Node owners
Overview
Enhancements
What’s Included In RasLink?
Requirements
Download RasLink
Extract RasLink
Flash RasLink
Boot RasLink For The First Time
Forward Ports
Connect To PTTLink
Update RasLink
Use Fail2Ban
Use Uricheck
Set Up Wi-Fi
Use End
Use Nodenames
More Documentation And Help

1. Notes For Node Owners

To use RasLink, you need to have a server configured at PTTLink.
If you are an existing RasLink user, your AllStarLink node numbers will work. You can request that your AllStarLink node numbers be made active on the PTTLink network by following the instructions on the PTTLink Wiki.
For the moment, there is no interconnectivity to the AllStarLink network. It’s being worked on.
If you choose to use the AllStarLink network, make sure that RasLink is up-to-date before configuring your node. In /etc/asterisk/rpt.conf, remove the ; (semicolon) from the front of the extnodes = /var/lib/asterisk/rpt_allstarlink line.
RasLink will self-expand to fit your micro SD card on the first boot.
You may need to run system-update before bringing your node online. Please read the information displayed when you log in. Information about how this works is found in the Update RasLink section.

2. Overview

Here’s a video made by Skyler W0SKY showing how RasLink works.

Note: A lot of the commands shown in this video have changed. See /etc/asterisk/rpt.conf for more information.

3. Enhancements

RasLink is a moving target. For the latest enhancements, please see The RasLink ChangeLog.

5. Requirements

To use RasLink, you will need a Raspberry Pi 2B, 3B, or 3B+, 8GB or larger class 6, 8, or 10 micro SD card, and a USB interface.
The URI (USB Radio Interface) can be found at DMK Engineering. If you cannot, or do not want to build your own cables, they can be purchased from uricables.com.

10. Forward Ports

You need to forward the following ports to your RasLink server, if not using it mobile.

  • PTTLink: 4569 UDP
  • EchoLink (if you use it): 5198-5199 UDP
    5200 TCP
  • Your TCP ssh port (if you want to control your server from outside your network)

13. Use Fail2Ban

Fail2Ban is used to block brute force attackers from gaining access to RasLink.
You have 6 (six) attempts to send the correct login information to RasLink over ssh.
If you don’t send the correct login information within 6 (six) attempts, you will be banned for 2 (two) hours.
After 2 (two) hours, if repeated failed login attempts continue from the same IP address, the IP address will be banned for up to 1 (one) week.
To regain access to RasLink if you get banned, you should Fill In The Contact form.
When filling in the form, you should request to have your IP address unbanned.
The default RasLink rules for Fail2Ban are loaded from /etc/fail2ban/jail.d/00raslink.local. Do Not Edit This File.

If you would like to create custom jails (for example: apache2 for allmon), you should edit /etc/fail2ban/jail.local.

To find out what jails are loaded, run:
fail2ban-client status

You can learn more about Fail2Ban at the Fail2Ban Wiki.

14. Use Uricheck

You can use uricheck to insure that your USB Radio Interface (URI) is working properly
Uricheck can be run by typing:
uricheck

You need to build a loop back circuit to use uricheck.
Your radio cannot be connected while running the tests.
You can download the pin out from the DMK Engineering Website.

15. Set Up Wi-Fi

If you want to use wifi with your pi, do the following.

15.1. Raspberry Pi 2B

Plug in your USB wifi module.
Then, log in using ssh.
Next, type:
wifi-setup

15.2. Raspberry Pi 3B and 3B+

Log in using ssh.
Next, type:
wifi-setup

Wifi-setup will ask which Wi-Fi card you want to use. If you do not enter a card name such as
wlan1, wlan0 will be assumed.
After choosing your Wi-Fi card, Wifi-setup will scan for networks.

When the first scan finishes, you will be asked if you want to scan again.
This is useful if the name of the network that you want to connect to isn’t listed in the results of the first scan.

After scanning completes, you will be asked to type the name of the network you want to connect to, as well as the password for that network.
Wifi-setup will setup the connection, and connect you to the network.
After a connection is established, your IP address information will be displayed.

Note: You cannot remove a network with Wifi-setup. To remove a network, edit /etc/wpa_supplicant/ wpa_supplicant.conf.

The block of code for each network starts with:
network=

and ends with:
} (right brace).

16. Use End

You can use end in two ways. If you type only the node to control, end assumes that you want to drop all connected nodes from that node.
The node to control must be on your RasLink server.

example:
end 12345

If you type the node to control plus another node number, end will drop that node.

example:
end 12345 67890

17. Use Nodenames

Nodenames are short messages that play whenever a node connects or disconnects. Instead of hearing “Node XXXX”, you will hear a custom message if one is available.


Nodenames accepts the following options:

  • [on] enable nodenames
  • [off] disable nodenames
  • [status] show status of nodenames
  • [help] show this help message

Example usage:
nodenames status

Nodenames are synced once an hour from the
Nodenames Repository.

If you would like your Nodename added to the repository, please fill in the Contact Form.
In the subject field, please include your node number.

Example:
Node 12345

Your Nodename should be in the following format:

  • Length: 15 seconds or less
  • Number of channels: 1
  • Sample rate: 8000
  • Bit rate: 16
  • Header: RAW (header-less)
  • Encoding: U-law
  • Name: Your PTTLink Node Number
  • Extension: .ulaw

A good audio editor to create Nodenames with is Audacity.

If you have trouble getting your Nodename in the correct format, please upload a high quality mp3 or wav file, and it will be converted for you. All Nodenames will be reviewed before being added to the repository. Once your Nodename has been added, you will receive an email from JL Applied Technologies.

18. More Documentation And Help

For more documentation on PTTLink/AllStarLink and the many things you can do with it, go to the PTTLink Wiki.
If you have any questions about RasLink, ask in the RasLink group.

Enjoy RasLink on your Raspberry Pi!

JL Applied Technologies