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The Raspberry Pi Repeater Controller Project has a new name…the OpenRepeater Project. It’s the same project but as some things change like working on making the project open source, building a community around the project, and expanding out to other embedded linux boards, like the Beaglebone Black, besides just the Raspberry Pi, a name change was a no brainer.
I started this project as a small proof of concept idea but as I worked on it, it’s potential started to become more evident. I have spent the past few months deciding if I wanted to take a commercial route with the project or make it open source. GREAT NEWS FOR HAMS…I have decided to go the route of Open Sourcing the project!
Also, some of the code under the hood will be changing. I was originally coding my own Python program to handle the repeater operations. In the process of doing some research, I discovered SVXLink, an open source Linux based EchoLink program also capable of acting as a repeater controller with a slew of other features already built in. The OpenRepeater Project is going to wrap this up with my Web Interface in a custom Debian Linux distribution intended for single board computers like the BeagleBone Black and Raspberry Pi. The goal of the OpenRepeater Project is to merge the power of SVXLink with a simple interface and essential feature set making it easier for the average Ham to get their system up and running.
In setting out to develop this project my primary goals and features are to develop a low cost, low power, but feature rich duplex repeater controller suitable for setting up a temporary / emergency repeater systems with radios that can be run on portable power. However with a more complete feature set and a modular design, it could also be used as a primary or a backup controller for a permeant installation repeater. With the low cost, modular design, it would make it easy to keep backup hardware on site for easy service swap-outs.
The additional circuitry required to interface a Raspberry Pi or Beaglebone Black to the radios would ideally mount on a “cape” or “daughterboard” style circuit board that would mount on top of the SBC by plugging into the GPIO connector. This repeater setup is initially intended for use on Amateur Radio, but could be potentially useful on other radio services such GMRS, Commercial, etc.