FAQ

How is COVID-19 affecting ClearNode shipments ?

Our hearts go out to the families, individuals – and particularly – the first responders and front-line health workers impacted by COVID-19. Much respect.

And so … we have good supply of components that should carry us for many months. Our suppliers are quickly working on business continuity plans – so we’re cautiously confident.

We have implemented best practices at the shipping desk to ensure everything that goes in the box is properly disinfected. We ask that customers also take good precautions with the exteriors of incoming packages – all packages.

We use USPS for shipping and our impression is that they are taking these matters very seriously. Respect to the folks on the line at the Post Offices – mail carriers are burdened with an elevated risk as well.

How do I disconnect a connection !??!

Short story – in iOS, swipe left on the connection and tap “Disconnect” – in Android, long-press the connection and select “Disconnect” from the popup.

How do I allow people to connect to my AllStar node ?

Your WiFi/Router/Firewall device protects you from the malicious folks trying to break into your home or office network. So by default it blocks IN-bound connections to your network and devices. In general all OUT-bound connections are allowed. So AllStar works OUT-bound by default. To allow folks to connect IN-bound you must create a Port Forwarding rule for UDP Port 4569 to the IP address of your ClearNode. Most Routers have instructions along with the username and password either printed on the case of the device or in the documentation that came with it – generally you use your web browser on a computer inside your home network. Once you’re logged in, look for the “Advanced” section that refers to “Port Forwarding”.

We’re here to help – get in touch if you need more detailed information on this process.

I have Echolink configured on my ClearNode, it connects to other nodes but no traffic passes – what’s wrong ?

Unlike AllStar, Echolink requires port forwarding for both IN-bound and OUT-bound connections – see above, but you need 2 ports – one for UDP Port 5198 and one for 5199. Some routers allow forwarding a range of ports so input 5198-5199 UDP forwarded to the IP address of your ClearNode.

I’m an experienced Linux Op – can I SSH into my ClearNode ?

Absolutely ! ClearNode is based on the Raspberry Pi 3B running Linux. We set the root password to your ClearNode Key before shipping. When you receive your node, feel free to reset that password to whatever suits you. We keep the SSH port at the default – Port 22. One caveat to point out – if you decide to configure your node the legacy way using the various “.conf” files – be aware that if you subsequently use the ClearNode mobile app to change configuration – ClearNode will recreate the “.conf” files from templates – potentially overwriting the “legacy” changes you made. Get in touch – there are workarounds !!

Can I connect my ClearNode to my high-power repeater ?

Not yet. ClearNode is intended as a personal, portable low power node. It has a built in 500 mW UHF (or VHF) transceiver – there are no connections for Spkr, Mic, COS, PTT.

Is there a VHF version of ClearNode ?

Yes ! Drop us an email when you order and let us know you want VHF. There’s a limited supply since we don’t get many requests for VHF. We are going to assume you want UHF unless you state otherwise.

Can I power ClearNode of my vehicle USB outlet ?

Provided you know the USB outlet can supply better than 2 amps at 5 volts. Observe the Red LED at the end of the node (not the one on top). It should always be on solid Red. If it starts occasionally flashing thats the “under-volt” warning. This is a bad thing – you could end up corrupting the SD Card.

Also be careful that you COMMAND the node to shutdown before you turn off the ignition – that can be done in the mobile app, there is also a DTMF signal to achieve same. Beware powering up the node and then engaging the starter motor – it’s very likely that the vehicle’s voltage will sag to the point that power to the node will be cut off – again that can be a problem for your node.

My personal preference is to power my ClearNode from a 5V USB PowerBank battery. ClearNode will run for 4 or 5 hours on a 10,000 mAhr battery. Such batteries are less than $30 these days.

If Node-Ventures LLC goes out of business is my ClearNode a “brick” ?

Absolutely not ! ClearNode is a standard AllStar node, currently based on the HamVoIP.org distribution.  You can control it with DTMF commands, you can edit the various “.conf” files, and you can use the excellent configuration utilities created by the team at HamVoIP.  Supermon is installed and configured by default and we test it before shipping to make sure all is well. That is all independent of the added convenience and simplicity that the ClearNode Mobile Apps bring to the picture.