TKNet map

Interactive map of the TKNet network covering the island of Corsica :

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Migrating to AMPRNet IP addressing

TKNet team is working on migrating the network to AMPRNet / HamNet public IP addressing. The subnet corresponding to the whole island of Corsica will be announced directly in BGP from our data centers of Ajaccio and Bastia. Two central firewalls will control traffic inside TKNet, but also from/to the outside of the world, in order to respect local regulations.  The use of public IP addressing will facilitate the operation of D-Star and DMR digital repeaters, because it won’t be necessary to use dual-addressing or address translations anymore. Moreover, local announcement in BGP will ensure lower latency for VoIP flows with our D-Star and DMR partners. Our TKBox system (OpenWRT / OpenVPN) will remain unchanged, and will facilitate “Plug and Play” connections of remote sites and end-users (compared to old AMPRNet techniques such as IP-IP and modded ripd).

This project is under heavy work in our labs, with the help of many other people involved in France and in the world. Please be patient 🙂

Ultra-compact access router : TKBox Mini

TKBox Mini  is based on a  TP-Link WR710N router. It’s very compact, and has only one Ethernet LAN port. It’s best suited for use on “low-points” to drive a 5 GHz link, or in locations where discretion is required (Internet access hosted by a third-party).

Features are nearly the same as TKBox Standard, which has a bigger enclosure, more LAN ports, and more memory for OpenWRT additional software.

Access router : TKBox Standard

The TKBox is a router running the free operating system OpenWRT. You can connect it behind any Internet access (whatever the operator, whatever the technology : fiber, xDSL, cable, satellite…). The TKBox establishes a connection to the TKNet core via an OpenVPN tunnel. You do not need to have a fixed IP address, and you do not need any special configuration on your Internet box (ie, “port openings”). Connection is fully “Plug and Play”.

Every TKBox uses a dedicated subnet in the TKNet addressing space (10.44.x.y). Every machine connected behind a TKBox can talk with any other machine in any other TKNet location. Thus, two high points connected to TKNet can communicate with each other.

A TKBox can also provide a tiny local WiFi network, with SSID “TKNET”. Any client (PC or smartphone) is automatically connected to the network.

TKNet network uses a “star” or “Hub and Spoke” topology : every TKBox connects to a central gateway located in Ajaccio, and this gateway does the routing job between remote sites. A second gateway is being installed in Bastia, so that the network and routing is fully redundant.

Basically, a TKBox is a low cost commercial router which has been re-flashed with the free open-source operating system OpenWRT. It uses OpenVPN for tunneling to the gateways, and OSPF as a dynamic routing protocol.

Our current model, called  TKBox Standard, is based on a  TP-Link WR1043ND router. It has 4 LAN Ethernet ports, one WAN port, and external WiFi 2.4 GHz antennas. It’s best suited for a QRA or a high point.

We also use an ultra-compact model, called  TKBox Mini .

PS: It’s possible to use any other hardware compatible with OpenWRT. TKNet specifications only involve coordinated IP addressing, special OpenVPN settings for VPN Pass-Through, and OSPF for routing.

ADS-B receiver on FlightRadar24

Our high points being connected in IP, we installed an ADS-B aircraft position receiver. It receives beacons transmitted by the aircrafts on 1090 MHz, and sends them to the site FlightRadar24.com. There, it’s possible to follow positions of aircrafts in real time.

The callsign of the “radar” is F-LFKJ2. It’s installed on the high point of Coti-Chjavari, over the bay of Ajaccio

To follow aircraft traffic over Corsica :

http://flightradar24.com

To know more about how the system works, click here.

Legal


TKNet network, and this WEB site, are maintained by :

TK5KP – Radio Club d’Ajaccio
Terra rossa – Le pinson D1
20090 AJACCIO

The “Association des Radioamateurs de la Corse du Sud” is a non-profit association of type “law 1901”. It’s a member of the “Réseau des Emetteurs Français”, which is an Association of Public Utility.

President : Patrick EGLOFF (TK5EP)
Vice-president : Alexandre PELLEGRINETTI (TK5NJ)
Secretary : Toussaint OTTAVI (TK1BI)
Treasurer : Raymond VILLENEUVE (TK5DG)
Bureau members : François MILANO (TK5AE), Jean-François ORSONI (TK0NL)

Our general-purpose WEB site is available at :

http://www.radioamateur.tk

TKNet Team

XLX multiprotocol gateway

TKNet now has its digital multiprotocol reflector (D-Star and DMR for now).

It runs in a virtual server hosted in the data center of Ajaccio

Its callsign is :

XLX755

The dashboard can be reached at :

http://xlx.radioamateur.tk

Repeaters and VoIP

TKNet synoptique VoIPAnalog repeaters are connected in “Voice over IP” (VoIP). Voice is digital, and is transported between sites by computer networks using TCP/IP protocol.

We choosed Asterisk as the central element of our system. Asterisk is a free and open-source software that was originally built for enterprise telephony systems. A team of developers wrote a driver to connect an analog repeater to Asterisk. It’s called app_rpt. It’s widely used in the US, where there is a national network of Asterisk analog repeaters (AllStar). But it can also be used to build standalone systems. That’s why we choosed Asterisk / app_rpt for building a radioamateur VoIP network on our island.

The system is composed of

  • A central hub (TKNet-VoIP) : This is Asterisk software, running on a virtual server in the data center. The hub is the central node of the VoIP. All remote VoIP systems (VHF/UHF repeaters) connect to the hub.
  • Several VHF/UHF analog repeaters : Each repeater is composed of an receiver, a transmitter, an USB sound card, and a Raspberry Pi running Linux, Asterisk and app_rpt. Each repeater can work in standalone mode, or can be connected to the hub.
  • An Echolink gateway (TK5KP-R) : Internet users can connect to the TK5KP-R Echolink entry point. If it is connected to the hub, Echolink users can be heard on any repeater also connected to the hub.

Connections between Asterisk nodes are using Asterisk native protocol (IAX2) over TCP/IP on TKNet. As it is a “closed” network, traffic is never transmitted to Internet, and no Internet user can connect to it.

There are other ways to connect to TKNet-VoIP :

  • Android “IaxRPT” application : This dedicated app can connect to the hub from any Android smartphone. An OpenVPN Android client (with valid authentication) is required.
  • Any VoIP application : Any VoIP application (initially designed for remote access to business telephony systems) can be used from any smartphone (Android or Apple). Some succesful tests have been made using Zoiper Android app. An OpenVPN client is also required to enter TKNet.

Thys system has the advantage of using only standard protocols (IAX2, SIP). Most of the software are also free and open-source. HAM network manager has full freedom about what he can do, and how he wants to build his network. No agreement from any third-party business or group is required.

Interconnections are also being developped between Asterisk (Analog) and pure digital systems (D-Star, DMR, etc…). More to follow…

TKNet network infrastructure

TKNet schema infrastructure v1.1TKNet is a closed network for Corsican HAM Radio operators. It’s built over TCP/IP. All software are free / open-source.

TKNet network is made of  :

  • Two data centers, in Ajaccio and Bastia. Those DC host various virtual servers : DNS, Firewalls, VPN gateways, WEB server, VoIP server (Asterisk, XLX), monitoring, mail, etc…
  • A TCP/IP transport network using 5 GHz radio links (commercial equipment configured to work on the amateur radio bands, according to the HAM specific regulations) and VPN (“Virtual Private Network”) tunnels allowing secured communication between sites.
  • Many TKBox routers on various sites. TKBox are low-cost routers flashed with open-source “OpenWRT” firmware. A TKBox connects behind any Internet box (xDSL, cable, fiber, satellite, 3G…). TKBox establishes VPN tunnels to data centers, thus allowing communication between all TKNet sites. VPNs are using OpenVPN technology. Connection is really “Plug and Play”. No specific configuration (or “port opening”) is necessary on the Internet box.

TKNet is not a public network. Accessing it is restricted to licensed Amateur Radio operators. Accessing TKNet is possible through sereval ways : a direct radio link (2.4 GHz or 5 GHz), a TKBox connected to any Internet access, or a software “OpenVPN client” to be installed on a computer (PC, Mac, Linux) or smartphone (Apple, Android).

Once connected to TKNet, you are on a private, internal network linking all sites and servers together.

Several services are available on TKNet. Examples of services are VoIP, and this WEB server.