John's Musings

Yeah, Me Neither

SharkRF IP Connector Protocol Server

Here's a cool little trick that took me a bit to catch on to. I kept hearing about people buying 2 SharkRF OpenSpots (at $240 a piece) and doing something cool with them. Never quite caught on. Then one day I'm reading around the internet about OpenSpot and found out that SharkRF had created a Linux Server for SharkRF.

In the name of simplicity it works like this. You run the server, then connect to it. Then you give someone else with an OpenSpot your IP address and port that you are running the server on and they can also connect to it. The two of you are in a private talk group that no one else can hear because they aren't connected to the server. No one can hear. NSA and FBI proof (ha ha, probably not).

The server stats are viewable on a web page as well so you can see who you are talking to, etc. Thanks to W4EKG for helping out with the testing.

So, it's a bit geeky to install. Way geeky but really just a series of cut and paste commands. Start here at the Project Github page.

fire up a terminal on your linux machine. Yep, you need a linux machine. Clone the following 3 repositories

mkdir /var/sharkrf
cd /var/sharkrf
git clone
git clone
git clone

Then Compile.

cd srf-ip-conn-srv/build

SRF_IP_CONN_PATH=/var/sharkrf/srf-ip-conn JSMN_PATH=/var/sharkrf/jsmn ./

First you need to install Apache2 and PHP. Then configure it.

On his web page though he directs you to a web page to configure Apache2. When you open this page though it is a problem someone had. The solution however is further down the page. This was a head scratcher for me. Scroll down until you see this part. Don't do what the person who had the original post did. The screenshot below shows what you need to do.

Now go to this web page for configuring the server. Follow HIS directions. He did this. Not me.

So essentially you need to

- Follow the Github

- Install Apache2 and PHP

- Follow the directions I just posted above to configure Apache2

- Follow the directions on this page

I would have love to have cut and pasted his directions and added mine in but I think it is a little disingenuous to just cut and paste without attribution.

Once the server is working you can connect to it locally on your own network. Configure like this on the OpenSpot Connectors page. Obviously use your own IP address and whatever simplex frequency you want to use:

Now to let someone in internets land connect to your server you probably have to open some ports in your firewall or router. You will probably have to open port 65100. In the case of my server my ISP blocks servers on Port 80 so I moved my Apache2 instance over to port 90 and then went to my ISP configuration page and set an URL redirect up. So if you type (I'm making this up) in your browser it redirects you to and you never even know it. So in addition to opening port 65100 up I also had to open port 90 up. With your firewall just close them when you aren't actually using it. Security first.

Once connected both of you need to be on the same "Channel" you can use any pre-programmed talk group. It doesn't matter the folks on that talk group can't hear you, you are talking on a private server only.

Ok admittedly this install is a little tough. If you don't know much about Linux nor have ever configured Apache2 it might really suck and when you crack that code then you have to be a network guru to open ports and forward traffic to them, but the payoff in the end is pretty cool. Your own your own private Digital Radio Chatroom that only you can talk on. Got a buddy on ham you have long winded conversations with? Perfect place to move to once you connect on TAC 310 or something.

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