PI-REPEATER FAMILY OF CONTROLLERS
All of the PI-REPEATER-X family of controllers are designed around the Raspberry Pi computer system. The PI-REPEATER-X controllers utilize the 40 pin GPIO expansion header on the Raspberry Pi< Zero/2/3/4> as the interface to the computer. This leaves the USB ports, HDMI interface, etc. all still available for your own expansion ideas. Additionally, by using stackable headers, the header pins that are left over, and the expansion buses like I2C and SPI<1> are still available for your own custom expansion projects.
The PI-REPEATER-X family accepts radio level signals for COS/CTCSS and provides a 2A rated MOSFET driven PTT signal so you can control either modern radios with digital logic level controls, or radios with relays that require more drive capability with ease.
In addition to interfacing with the radios, there is also a GPIO expander that provides an additional 8 digital logic pins. For analog sensors, there is also 8 channels of analog sensing, very useful for measuring things like temperature sensors, wind sensors, voltage sensors, whatever you need that provides an analog output can be fitted (custom code may be required to handle the data).
Since the PI-REPEATER-X family of controllers only uses the GPIO and standard logic buses (I2C, SPI, I2S), the hardware is compatible with any operating system you want to use, and any controller software that can interface with the logic buses and GPIO pins.
We have chosen SVXlink as our operating controller software, so we know the most about this platform, but certainly others will work with some configuration. For the audio, the Raspberry PI is known to have less than desirable audio, so included is an on-board stereo codec to keep the sound input and output sounding great.
GPS support has also been built into the PI-REPEATER-2X/8x designs so you can have a precise time source. We have chosen an off the shelf GPS module from Spark-Fun that utilizes an SMA interfaced antenna, so you can have the freedom to put the antenna where-ever suits your installation. Note that the hardware supports the GPS, but software has not enabled this feature yet in available images.
The PI-Repeater-8x is the biggest work-horse you could ask for in a controller. This box is a full 1 Rack Unit enclosure, and features 8 ports of fully configurable radio interfaces that can be mixed and matched as you desire. 8 single repeaters, yep, 1 repeater with 8 voting receivers, yep, how about 4 cross-band repeaters, yep. It can and will do whatever mix you need.
Since this is a work-horse machine, we gave it the latest and greatest Raspberry Pi 4 with 4GB of memory, as 32 GB SD card, GPS-build in, access to the USB ports (X3), access to the HDMI display port (x1), an 4 channel relay card, 8 channels of Analog input, 8 channels of GPIO, and a user programmable LCD for displaying repeater status.
On top of this comes the great SVXLINK software platform that also allows you to use SVXREFLECTOR for VOIP style linking your repeaters together, and updates are always free since this is an open source software package. Due to the high feature set of this device, you will need to use the console for configuration initially, the Open Repeater software just isn’t ready to support this design. This is a work in progress, and we expect the support to be built in eventually, but the entire OR platform needs retooled to bring in the flexibility of this design.
Designed for serviceability was a key consideration. The key circuitry including GPIO interfacing and audio conversion are field replaceable with inexpensive replacement boards so you can keep a set on the side for a quick swap should anything ever fail.
With the GPS built in, you can get yourself a stratum 1 time server to keep all your equipment time synchronized with GPS level accuracy; no more counting on variable network delays and good enough time sources.
INCLUDED with the PI-Repeater-8x, single port controller
- QTY 1 – Controller system
- QTY 8 – Cable to interface your radios (This is DIY)
- 12V power source, we provide the connect, you provide the voltage
- Ethernet Cable
- HDMI monitor
- GPS antenna
INCLUDED with the PI-Repeater-1x, single port controller
- QTY 1 – Dsub-9 interface cable
- QTY 1 – Raspberry Pi Zero/2/3 computer
- QTY 1 – 2.5+A MicroUSB power source
- QTY 1 – Cable to interface your radios (This is DIY)
INCLUDED with the PI-Repeater-2x, dual port controller
- QTY 1 – Raspberry Pi 2/3 computer
- QTY 1 – Ethernet Cable (for setup)
- QTY 1 – 2.5+A MicroUSB power source
- QTY 2 – Cables to interface your radios (these are DIY)
- QTY 1 – 1 Rack Unit Tall Enclosure
- QTY 1 – 1 Rack Unit Tall Filler Panel
- QTY 1 – 5V GPIO Level Adapter
- QTY 1 – Spark-fun GPS module (See manual)
- Fully assembled controller and case WITHOUT 19″ rack spacer
- Fully assembled controller and case WITH 19″ rack spacer
Raspberry Pi Software
We encourage users of the PI-REPEATER Family to visit our friends over at OpenRepeater.com, who build a Raspberry Pi image preconfigured with a web interface that goes over SVXlink, that has built in support for our controllers with a quick setup option in the settings wizard.
Direct Radio Integrations
We have developed a few boards, and work will work on more as the requests and development time allows, that allow you to directly mate the PI-REPEATER directly to your radio without cables. These are very compact solutions that are designed to mate directly to you radio where possible, utilizing the existing infrastructure for power, audio access, and etc where available.
Daniels/Codan MT3 Chassis
Currently there are 2 versions of the PI-REPEATER that will mate directly to your Daniels MT3 chassis. We have the PI-REPEATER-1X-MT3 and the PI-REPEATER-2X-MT3, which offer single port integration and dual port integration respectively. To learn more about these, hop over to the Daniels page, https://ics-ctrl.com/daniels-codan/.
We are currently prototyping a design that mates to the MTR2000 natively. This design is still in early prototyping, and will be available as soon as we can work out the details to get it all up and running and secure sourcing for the Raspberry Pi Zero computer boards. To learn more about these, hop over to the MTR2000 page, https://ics-ctrl.com/mtr2000/
We offer a number of useful accessories and replacement parts for the PI-REPEATER family of products, visit the PI-REPEATER ACCESSORIES page to pick up things like USB POWER Adapters, replacement cables, predesigned cables, made to order cables, and etc. based on availability. If you have a specific need and don’t see what you need listed, contact us and we will be happy to help get you what you need.