Do I Really Need a Radio?

Hi All,

Firstly I will explain my scenario. I am over from Australia and spend a lot of time now in Camotes Islands, which is about 30km NE of Cebu, Philippines and I’m the only Amateur over here.

With that said, to get onto AllStar, do I really need a Radio or can it be done Radio-less?

I run MacOS for interest sake.


Yes, you can go radioless. Looks like there is an app for the Mac, but extra setup is required. These days, mobile access can be easier.

I’ve used a couple of apps to access AllStar nodes. On iOS, Repeaterphone is a good choice. It’s a paid for app, but works well. I suspect it uses the web transceiver functionality to connect to nodes.

For Android users, DVSwitch Mobile works well and has a couple of modes of operation - web transceiver mode, which requires that functionality to be enabled by the node owner (most do). The other option is node mode, where DVSwitch Mobile is registered with the AllStar network and has its own node number. In this mode, it looks like another AllStar node to other nodes.

Alternatively, if you have a node yourself, you can use the Transceive app on your Mac to connect to your node, then send commands to your node to link it to the eventual destination. You will need to add a stanza in iax.conf to allow your Mac to connect.See https://wiki, for more details.

Incidentally, the “web” part of the web transceiver used Java and appears to be very obsolete. Definitely looks like you’re best off using one of the phone clients mentioned above.

Transceive will also connect to other nodes using the web transceiver just as the other solutions you mentioned will. I generally use it in the way you describe though, by connecting to my node and then from there to wherever. That way I can connect to any node I like. To make life easier so I can connect to my personal node whether I’m at home or away, I set up using Zerotier on my Mac, my node, and my iPhone.

G’Day Tony & Buddy,

Thanks a lot for your replies. Yea, I would prefer to build my own Node and would prefer to use RF to access, which is what I do with my DMR & Wires-X nodes.

I have a spare Baofeng UV-16, Quansheng UV-K5 & Motorola GP999+ that I can use but will need schematics to understand where I need to go.

I guess I need to ask the question before I go much further, are there any advantages going AllStarLink when I already have a Wires-X node and DMR?


Howdy Pete,

Well, besides “enough radios/nodes/whatever is N+1”, sure. … Analog audio is a lot nicer than any of those digital modes. And some systems are linked by ASL and not by other things, so there’s that.

If you want to build a node to access with another HT, there are plans for that which I’m sure you can modify for your own use. Look at Dave’s work on for some ideas.

Vy 73, de KB5ELV

Hey Buddy,

Thanks for that mate. Yea agreed, Analog sounds more pure, that’s for sure.
I have decided to tear apart the Quansheng and convert that.
Stay tuned.

Take it easy Buddy & May 73’s


Missed this reply, but the main advantage is simply being able to talk to other AllStar nodes (only a minority are bridged to other networks, besides Echolink).

The relative merits of analogue vs digital is a personal one. Analogue can sound nicer, if properly setup and signals are fairly strong, but it lacks the metadata that digital has (who’s actually transmitting?) and digital can carry other information like GPS positioning data alongside the voice.

Plenty of ways to get your own node up with a radio. I use a SHARI myself, which comes in a kit from the USA and plugs into a Raspberry Pi. The SHARI contains a USB audio device and low powered radio transceiver. It’s a bit like a hotspot for AllStar. Only issue with the SHARI is shipping can be expensive for a one off, but if you can get a few hams together for a group purchase, the shipping costs can be divided among the buyers.