Hardware Interface Update

ORDER BY MARCH 31st: To be part of the first group order. See more information about the timeline below.

Well…we wanted to announce some hardware updates. You are probably wondering where we stand with our hardware interface that we posted here. It’s not dead just yet, just delayed while we work out some issues with onboard sound.

The First Interface Design – SVXLink Card

svxcard_featuresIn the meantime. Juan has been working on a bigger interface board. This uses mostly through hole components which will allow us to offer it in kit form. This board doesn’t have the onboard sound, so you will still need to use a USB sound card in conjunction with this; however, it has more features like relay control (see the list below).

Right now the card is going to be offered as a kit. You will be able to buy the PCB and the components separately. There is a wait in getting this, so be sure to sign up. This will be sent from France from the online storefront that Juan and his colleagues have setup.

Proposed Timeline:

  • Shop Open for Pre-Orders
  • March 31st – Bulk order to provider parts
  • April 30th – Receive Parts
  • Beginning of  May – all packages sent to customers

Here is an overview of the features of this interface board. 

  • Dimensions 5.9 in x 3.9 in(150mm x 100mm)
  • External power supply 12 Volts, regulator on board 5 Volts with LM2575 or KIM055
  • 2 -way radio repeater (RX and TX) port  and one-way to transponder or Link by radio
  • Audio level ajustement with potentiometers (In/Out)
  • Connections to transceivers by pin (Dupont) or by RJ12 connector (6P6C)
  • Audio isolation transformers
  • Connect to USB audio cards by stereo audio Jack or pins (Dupont)
  • LED Indicators for PTT and SQUELCH detection
  • Normal or reverse SQUELCH detection selectable by jumper.
  • 4 relays for external control with LED indicators
  • 4 digitals inputs
  • Protection by opto isolated on digital Input and Output.
  • 4 analogs inputs (0-3.3 Volts)
  • 2 1-wire ports, 1 temperature sensor DS1820 on board
  • 1 RS232 port
  • 2 I2C ports
  • External Watchdog with ajustable timer set by solder jumpers.
  • 40 pins connection for Raspberry Pi

Short video of bench testing relay functions (French)

What Features will OpenRepeater Support?

Out of the box, OpenRepeater will support the essential features such as interfacing the sound card connected to the Raspberry Pi to the radio ports via the onboard circuitry that includes audio isolation and level adjustments. It will also support the COS and PTT features of the ports. We are also currently working on our own implementation of relay control code that will allow operation of the relays via DTMF and possibly the Web GUI as well. We hope to role that into the next release and hopefully have it available around the time that the first  boards start showing on folks doorsteps.

Where to Buy

Juan will be selling the components and the board for user assembly at there ShopChip Store and you can also learn more about the board here.

As you will see the interface will be sold in kit form. Maybe not for everyone, but we need to start somewhere. Get yours today and stay tuned for more updates.

15 thoughts on “Hardware Interface Update

  1. Kiernan says:

    Love the look of this. A couple of thoughts.
    1. One repeater and one link is just not enough. Having minimum of three full duplex ports would be nice. Two would be ok, with the ability to gang minimum of two boards together. Three with the ability to gang minimum two boards together would be better.

    2. Integrated audio. Not sure what that would take, if possible. Would be pretty nice for a really clean project.

    • Aaron, N3MBH says:

      Thanks for your input. This is the first board design. We hope to eventually have a range of boards and/or get others involved in creating open hardware designs.

      1) It could be possible to add a second USB sound card for extra ports and have a secondary board for the PTT and COS control and audio isolation, but then it would probably be better to build an interface to suit. We are initially trying to cover most bases.

      2) We are already working on integrated audio, we just ran into some snags with implementation and drivers. We are looking at another codec chip. You can see the concept here.

      We are also working on documentation and creating a knowledge base. Soon after that goes live, we hope to add some base schematics in there for different interface blocks. This would allow folks to roll their own interfaces to suit their own needs.

      Hope that helps.

    • Aaron, N3MBH says:

      Here is the schematic if you’d like to role you own. It’s broken down into blocks so it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out. We hope to have multi port support built into ORP soon. But you can certainly modify the code to fit your needs.

  2. David says:

    Just ordered a SVXlink board… hopefully Openrepeater will work on my Raspberry Pi 3 by the time I get it.

    • Aaron, N3MBH says:

      We are working on some changes to incorporate some things like a Remote Relay Module in ORP. This will allow for DTMF control of the relays. When we build the next release, we will likely be using the most recent version of Raspbian Jessie Lite, which in theory should support the RPI3. Don’t know if I will have a RPI 3 by then to test on, so it will probably be built on the RPI2. My guess is the same image should work on the RPI2 & RPI3 with that version of Raspbian Lite. You’d be looking for something greater than version 1.1.0 for our release. If not, I can point you in the right direction to build your own with our install script.

    • Aaron, N3MBH says:

      Hello. The board delivery are not directly controlled by ORP. That’s an affiliated project that also support straight SVXLink headed up by Juan and his team. If you have a board on order it looks like there were some part delays. Looking at the blog it appears they are waiting on some components. Check out this page and see if it helps. https://shop.f5uii.net/en/

  3. F5UII Chris says:

    Good news for interressed OM to SvxLink Card.

    A new group puchased is now open and will stay open only 3 weeks.
    It will be closed Tuesday 20th September at 21 hours UTC

    Actually, we have a little stock of PCB and components SvxLink Card (SvxCard PCB, SvxCard components, USB audio sound card). So, if you are in the first reservations, you may have the chance not to have to wait the end of the reservation period to become your parcel.

    Shipment of parcels should take place between 4 to 8 weeks after the end of reservations.
    All parcels are send with tracking from France.

    73 !

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