Alternative to static IP address?

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Charles L. Cotton
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Alternative to static IP address?

#1

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Wed Jul 29, 2020 3:45 pm

This is a ham radio repeater linking problem. I have two Yaesu DR-2X repeaters that are capable of Internet linking to other DR-2X repeaters via the Internet. There are several other of the same repeaters in Texas that would like to be able to link their repeaters. (Not that it matters, but this linking is not full-time. It is user-activated for a limited time.) The software that handles the linking requires a static IP address for obvious reasons. Unfortunately, it requires numerical numbers which means we can't use DYNDNS type services.

Is there an alternative that uses numerical IP addresses? BTW, static IP address are too costly for most of the clubs because their Internet providers either require a business account, a one-time fee of $500, or a grossly exorbitant monthly fee for Internet service.

Chas.


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Re: Alternative to static IP address?

#2

Post by FastCarry » Wed Jul 29, 2020 3:59 pm

No not really. DNS probably wouldnt even work since you would need to either provide your own public DNS server, which would need a static IP, or pay for DNS services. Then, once your dynamic IP changes, you would need to update the DNS servers and wait for propagation.

Im not sure there is an easy way around this one.


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Re: Alternative to static IP address?

#3

Post by HD76 » Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:40 pm

Charles,

I am a bit of a noob still on HAM radio, but I am an IT professional. I remember reading that HAM radio had a dedicated IPv4 address block. I looked it up, and 44.0.0.0/9 is dedicated to HAM radio, and it is controlled by AMPRnet. Will you be using Allstar to link the repeaters? If so it is accessible through AMPRnet. You could look at requesting an a single IP allocation, and setting up a gateway that will run over your Internet connection.

https://wiki.ampr.org/wiki/Services
https://portal.ampr.org/

If you would like assistance in trying to figure this out, and get it working, I would be happy to volunteer some time to assist, and possibly learn more about ham radio repeater linking.


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Re: Alternative to static IP address?

#4

Post by BigGuy » Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:14 pm

I've been out of IT for several years and I'm rusty, but maybe somebody else here can pitch in with better info.
There is a thing called "Virtual Static IP." The one I used years ago was a for profit service. A quick google search found a site that charges a little more than $8.00/month. There may be better alternatives. Basically, you install a piece of software on a server on your network that continually sends an updated IP to the service. The service gives you a static IP on their site that redirects traffic to whatever your present IP is.
Again, it's been years and I'm rusty, but maybe you can find a white knight with a static IP who would be willing to host a similar service. Find a Good tech. Check with whoever runs the NRA website. That should be a knowledgeable individual. I'd be glad to help but again, it's been a while.
Let me know if you can't find a good tech, and I'll see what I can find out. I maybe can call in some old favors from some friends in the business.

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Re: Alternative to static IP address?

#5

Post by G.A. Heath » Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:17 pm

Another option might be to setup a VPN, additional hardware maybe required if your existing gear doesn't support it. The problem with that is you will be introducing additional latency into the system.
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Re: Alternative to static IP address?

#6

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:33 pm

G.A. Heath wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:17 pm
Another option might be to setup a VPN, additional hardware maybe required if your existing gear doesn't support it. The problem with that is you will be introducing additional latency into the system.
That would require a computer at the repeater site and that would be problematic due to the heat. Also, can repeaters in different cities be part of the same VPN?

Chas.


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Re: Alternative to static IP address?

#7

Post by seph » Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:42 pm

Charles L. Cotton wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:33 pm
G.A. Heath wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:17 pm
Another option might be to setup a VPN, additional hardware maybe required if your existing gear doesn't support it. The problem with that is you will be introducing additional latency into the system.
That would require a computer at the repeater site and that would be problematic due to the heat. Also, can repeaters in different cities be part of the same VPN?

Chas.
Physical location does not matter for the VPN, so the sites could be anywhere in the world. As to needing a computer at each location, there are better options. A single board computer like a Raspberry PI or a router with VPN client capibilities built in could be used instead of a computer.

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Re: Alternative to static IP address?

#8

Post by G.A. Heath » Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:46 pm

I would think so, but I would suggest contacting yaesu to find out. If you want to get in touch with yaesu, it can be a pain but I do have an email address for someone in customer service. Some old wifi routers used to act as a vpn gateway, that or a raspberry pi might be an option.
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Re: Alternative to static IP address?

#9

Post by bbhack » Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:12 pm

I'm trying to find out if you can assign an IPV6 persistent public address without the provider helping. Is IPV6 an option?
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Re: Alternative to static IP address?

#10

Post by Lynyrd » Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:13 pm

Mr. Cotton, check out this website. https://portal.ampr.org/

All IP addresses in the 44.xxx.xxx.xxx range are reserved for ham radio operators. This organization is the one that administers those addresses. I don't know if there is a fee, but this just might solve your problem.
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Re: Alternative to static IP address?

#11

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Fri Jul 31, 2020 4:53 pm

Lynyrd wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:13 pm
Mr. Cotton, check out this website. https://portal.ampr.org/

All IP addresses in the 44.xxx.xxx.xxx range are reserved for ham radio operators. This organization is the one that administers those addresses. I don't know if there is a fee, but this just might solve your problem.
It appears that this service will give you an IP block, but the last segment ends with a slash/number. (Rx. 44.xxx.xxx.xxx/28). The repeater software will not accept the slash format. It must be numbers. That's a shame, because this would be good.

Thanks for trying,
Chas.

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Re: Alternative to static IP address?

#12

Post by DocV » Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:15 pm

The slash indicates a network range of several IPs. A /28 would be 16 IPs. 44.x.x.0 - 4.x.x.x.15.
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Re: Alternative to static IP address?

#13

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Fri Jul 31, 2020 6:57 pm

DocV wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:15 pm
The slash indicates a network range of several IPs. A /28 would be 16 IPs. 44.x.x.0 - 4.x.x.x.15.
That's a game-changer. I'm going to apply for an IP block.

Thanks,
Chas.

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Re: Alternative to static IP address?

#14

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:11 pm

seph wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:42 pm
Charles L. Cotton wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:33 pm
G.A. Heath wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:17 pm
Another option might be to setup a VPN, additional hardware maybe required if your existing gear doesn't support it. The problem with that is you will be introducing additional latency into the system.
That would require a computer at the repeater site and that would be problematic due to the heat. Also, can repeaters in different cities be part of the same VPN?

Chas.
Physical location does not matter for the VPN, so the sites could be anywhere in the world. As to needing a computer at each location, there are better options. A single board computer like a Raspberry PI or a router with VPN client capibilities built in could be used instead of a computer.
I understand VPNs from a high level. It's a server/client configuration that creates a tunnel with encryption and allows computers from anywhere to connect to a LAN. The example often given is a company with offices throughout the U.S. and even foreign countries. (I know that individuals use VPN subscriptions both for security and anonymity when surfing the web.) That's the extent of my knowledge. (As I noted, the repeater software will only accept numerical IP addresses,)

Here is an example of the ham radio linking system I need. Let's say we have a repeater in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin. I'll call our VPN the Texas Repeater System. I presume that once every repeater logs into the same VPN account (Microsoft, Cisco, OpenVPN, etc.), each repeater could be accessed using a LAN IP address something like 192.168.10.15. If I am correct, this will work. So the big question is, am I correct about?

Thanks guys,
Chas.

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Re: Alternative to static IP address?

#15

Post by DocV » Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:00 pm

I would start on the ampr wiki. https://wiki.ampr.org/wiki/Main_Page
That explains the basics. You would not, necessarily, need to use a commercial VPN. You do, however, need some way to get traffic to your gear. That would entail a router. Routers can be built from old pcs or a small system such as raspberry pi.
There is already a 44 net in Texas. See, https://portal.ampr.org/networks.php?a=region&id=196.
I expect someone there can fill you in on the details.
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