Universal Contact by Callsign

Bob Bruninga, WB4APR

Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere with any device being able to contact any other ham anywhere, anytime, any device.

Related Links:

Why AVRS? Slides - Background
Universal ConnectivitySlides - Background
AVRS, Automatic Voice Relay System
Universal Ham Radio Text Messaging Initiave
VK5ZEA video shows DStar, IRLP and AllStar cross connected
AllStar implements APRStt
HFlink.COM ALE Callsign Connectivity
AVRN Automatic Voice Relay Network for SSTV Camera Radios

Universal Connectivity-by-callsign Workshop: This workshop was held 18 Sept 2011 at the ARRL/TAPR Digital Communications Conference and WOW! was it an exciting event. Just some of the existing connectivity is shown here to the right.

There are many pieces to this challenge, and so this particular web page will simply be a directory to other areas involved in this project. If you know of others, let us know!

Universal Connectivity by callsign: WB4APR, Bob introduced the concept of Universal Connectivity by callsign. (Both Text and Voice) His two talks were Why AVRS? and the other showing all the Universal Connectivity support available in APRS.

D-Star Considerations: WA4KFZ, Mark Braunstein followed through from his D-Star introduction talk the previous day about all the potential for D-Star to evolve in support of greater connectivity and user friendliness.

ALE and HFlink.com WB4AKK, Ken Heitner explained how ALE for HF provides another contact-by-callsign system that couild join this concept. In particular the global status of the ALE HFNET is also available on line. See HFlink.COM.

Automatic Voice Relay System, AVRS: AB0OO, John Gorkos from Atlanta then blew us all away by demonstrating his working version of AVRS. AVRS! is the signalling and contact establishment part of the ham radio Universal Voice Contact System equivalent to the Universal Ham Radio Text Messaging initiative. Both of these initiatives attempt to cross connect all ham radio systems so that only a callsign is needed to establish TEXT or VOICE contact. For Voice, we are trying to cross connect all of the VoIP ham radio link Programs (IRLP, ECHOlink, WIRES, D-STAR, Asterix, etc)! .

D-Star VOIP CrossConnects: Other information was presented showing how D-Star callsign-to-callsign connectivity can be used for making these Voice contact, not only within D-Star, but also across gateways and joint-nodes so that D-Star can talk to Echolinks and IRLP's and ALE and jsut about any other voice network. This web page shows how VK5ZEA and VK3VA built a node stack that interoperates between D-Star, IRLP and AllStar networks.

AllStar Network Support: WB6NIL, Jim Dixon, WB6NIL has jumped on board with an APRStt decoder in his AllStar code that will identify his voice users to APRS and the Univeral Contact scheme when they send their DTMF callsign. He is now in the testing phase. Zoom in on his activities in California and see his DTMF tests near his local AllStar nodes.

Mobile and HT User Interface: For 5 decades, the universal mobile operator's human interface to networks has been the DTMF key pad. But for now two-decades, the APRS mobile operator has much greater flexibility in his abiilty to send and receive, capture and display text. Part of this initiative is to make use of this greater flexibiilty in the Mobile User Interface. There are two directions here.

  • APRS Touchtone, APRStt: This allows all other hams to participate in the APRS system by initially allowing them to report their PRESENCE by sending their pre-stored DTMF callsign on any existing DTMF system.

  • APRS Radio Terminal: This part of the initiative concerns modification of the user interface of all the VOIP and other ham radio mobile network interfaces to allow the APRS mobile radio to be used as the end-terminal-equipment with its text TX and Display capabilities to set up the calls. This is basically the foundation of AVRS!

    Please help me keep this site updated with pointers to all the other projects working towards this univeral connectivity goal.

    Bob, WB4APR