Thursday, July 6, 2017

Updating APRS with an Allstar Node

I had been reading that the Allstar system can update the site with location and station information for the node, but after searching around the net for a while it was not terribly obvious how to get this to work.  Hopefully this post will simplify the process for you.

The first thing to do is go into the asterisk folder on your Allstar server as root:  cd /etc/asterisk

You'll need to edit the gps.conf file to add the appropriate information for the APRS server.  You can use nano gps.conf to open the Linux text editor.

Below is the default gps.conf file.  Edit the yellow highlighted areas to reflect your APRS, Allstar, location, and antenna information.

; Configuration for app_gps

call = w6abc-1                  ; callsign (including SSID) for APRS purposes
password = 12345                ; Password for APRS-IS server for above callsign
comment = AllStar Node 1999     ; Text to be displayed associated with this station
server =       ; APRS-IS server to report information to
port = 14580                    ; port on server to send data
interval = 600                  ; Beacon interval in seconds
icon = r                        ; A CAR (default)   Icon do be displayed for station on APRS display (see below)
comport = /dev/ttyS0            ; Serial port for GPS receiver (specify this only if using GPS receiver)
baudrate = 4800                 ; Baud rate for GPS receiver (specify this only if using GPS receiver)
;debug = y                      ; set this for debug output
freq=145.000                    ; Display Frequency of station
tone=100.0                      ; CTCSS tone of station (0.0 for none)
lat=12.3456                     ; Fixed (default) latitude in decimal degrees
lon=-123.4567                   ; Fixed (default) longitude in decimal degrees
elev=123.4                      ; Elevation of Antenna in Meters (*NOT* HAAT)
power=1                         ; Power level (see below)
height=2                        ; Antenna Height in HAAT (see below)
gain=3                          ; Antenna Gain (see below)
dir=0                           ; Antenna Direction (see below)

Things to note:

  • If you do not have a GPS card on your Allstar PC, comment out (semicolon at the start of the line) the two lines referencing comport and baudrate.
  • You do not need to change the server, port, interval, icon, or debug settings as they work fine by default.
  • Frequency and Tone appear to only be useful when also updating Echolink, as they do not translate to info I can find on
The power, height, gain, and direction settings are set using the numbers from the table below:

DIGITS   0  1  2   3   4   5   6    7    8    9
POWER    0, 1, 4,  9, 16, 25, 36,  49,  64,  81  watts  SQR(P)
HEIGHT  10,20,40, 80,160,320,640,1280,2560,5120  feet   LOG2(H/10)
GAIN     0, 1, 2,  3,  4,  5,  6,   7,   8,   9  dB
DIR   omni,45,90,135,180,225,270, 315, 360,   .  deg    (D/45)

Once you've updated all the information needed, Ctrl-x to close and save this file.

In the same /etc/asterisk directory, type nano modules.conf

Scroll down 59 lines until you find:
noload => ; GPS interface module  

Then simply delete the letters "no" so it looks like:
load => ; GPS interface module

Ctrl-x to save and exit.

Finally, restart asterisk to load the updated settings into apt_rpt.  The easiest way to do this is by typing service asterisk restart

Check the website in a few minutes to see if your Allstar node is beaconing to their server.  If not, double-check your callsign and APRS password, and try restarting asterisk one more time.

A portion of the information above was captured from

Good luck and 73!

1 comment:

  1. Note. I found that setting power=0 will result in only having what you put comment= to displayed on usefill if you don't what all the other info displayed on