Designed 2014, Steve Jones, VK2YLD.

Material Copyright 2007-2018, VL2YLD

Material on this site is for informational purposes ONLY, whilst all reasonable steps have been taken to ensure accuracy, errors and omissions do happen, but it wasn't me and I didn't do it!  ANY ACTIONS taken from this information is soley at YOUR RISK.  However, please feel free to copy, print, repost anything you find useful.




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Kurri Kurri,

New South Wales


email - vk2yld at

REAL radios glow without smoke.




Screen after editing /etc/issue

LEDs mount in spare floppy bay

LEDs connected to board

New GM-300 (don't forget fan!)

Setup in the garage

Complete node with UPS

  The PC is a standard mini-tower AMD now, as the heat in the 'Territory quietly fried the original machine, and everything in it.  The only survivors were the power supply and the IRLP board.  Everything else was trashed..  An old mother board from a previous upgrade with a 1200Mhz AMD Athlon, 512Mb RAM and a cheap AGP video card filled the vacant holes, complete with an 80Gb HDD, 500Gb HDD and a DVD Writer.  I fitted the IRLP board into a D25 slot on the back, and stuck the D9 connector through a similar type hole, hooked up the power and used a short ribbon to the parallel port... neat...  Lastly an SB Live thrown in as the on-board sound didn't work with ALSA and the audio was all chopped up incomming ONLY!, sent audio was ok....


One problem though.. the LEDs on the board are a pain to see when the machine is on, especially if the side of the case is also on.  So, as with everything else around here, I modified it....  I removed the blank panel from the 2nd floppy hole and printed up a sticky label to go on it, drilled 6 holes through it and wired 6 LEDs with their dropping resistors from the panel via coloured ribbon back to the IRLP board.  I picked the raw signal from the transistors as I had added dropping resistors so as not to cook the on-board dropping resistors.  Now I have a front panel display and can easily see what goes on with the system... I may have to change the LEDs to standard intensity though, these high intensity ones, you can read by them! COS-Green, DTMF-Blue and the rest Red..

  Click the pics at left for a closer look..

This process has been made easier as my node runs the 'backup for reinstall' script weekly.  (Don't ask why!!)

  Please note.. If you don't have at least the "basic" backup, you're up s**t creek in a barbed wire canoe if the hard disk crapps out!.. You NEED a copy of the security keys (PGP) from the old setup or you will have to generate new ones along with all the grief associated.. not to mention embarrasment of having to explain all this to the IRLP volunteers who will have to re-activate you new setup... 




  I also strongly recommend running a program like 'Mondo Rescue' to help out if your hardware takes a one-way trip to the silicon tip! Mondo makes a bootable ISO that you burn to a DVD, you then boot from the DVD and restore the system.  The bit I like about it is that it will backup a live system, so you don't have to shut down for the backup.  If you have a burner in your node, Mondo can use that directly.  Just remember to set boot priority in BIOS to HDD not CD/DVD as your node will try to restore itself if it reboots.


Some little 'nicities' I have done to my node....


  -  Goto /etc/boot/grub, find menu.lst, find the default menu choice and add 'vga=791' to the end of the 'kernel' line (this is a long line, don't break it!)

        (reboot is required to load the adjusted kernel)

  -  Alter the port for SSH access to system... (22 is too easy to crack) edit /etc/ssh/sshd_config & /etc/ssh/ssh_config, then 'service ssh restart'

  -  Bend the file /etc/issue to alter the login screen text.



  My node also runs this website, so Apache is loaded.  It handles the mail with sendmail and mutt and I have samba loaded as well, configured as a NAS for my local network, this uses an extra 500Gb drive alone mounted on /home/samba/hdd2.  The machine runs all this stuff and still has 95% idle CPU from the 'top' display, dropping to 58% when serving video with samba to the home entertainment PC (XBMCbuntu).

  The old FM-900 didn't survive the trip really well and only had an RF output of 8w.  Considering it was supposed to be 25w, I think it's sagged a little.  I got a second or more hand Motorola GM-300 from Mike, VK8MA to replace it, but this one had an output of 700mW and was deaf!.  Another radio in the junkpile was a Motorola M120, basically a 2 channel GM-300 but it's RF board was faulty so.... The RF board came out of the GM-300 and was dropped into the M120.  A reprogram of the code plug and quick re-alignment and the radio is ready to rip.

  All pieced back together, the PC has a 700w power supply and so it can run everything including itself.  I made up a power tail with a molex plug and three anderson power-poles that picks up the 12v rail in the PC to supply the radio and the controller eliminating the need for another external supply.

Building IRLP Node 6732