Amateur Radio Data Communications: Chattervox

Amateur Radio Data Communications: Chattervox

NOTE: We (SONAR) are developing a custom version of this software in Python. It will be more user-friendly for operators who are not comfortable with a command line interface.

What is Chattervox?

Chattervox is an AX.25 chatroom application which utilizes trusted key pairs to sign messages. Think of a "group text," but on packet radio.

Chattervox uses the KISS protocol over TCP/IP to communicate with a TNC. Sound card modems like Direwolf (packet) and fldigi (many modes) work well with this software, but Direwolf is likely the better modem to use on a VHF/UHF repeater frequency due to speed.

Why use Chattervox?

Keyboard-to-keyboard softwares like fldigi may work well for "flash traffic," but they to not keep good tabs on who is sending a particular message; that task is left to the operator. Other softwares also do not have any method of verifying message origin, which is crucial in an emergency communications situation.


Installation

The installation process is relatively simple, but has a few tricky steps.

You'll first need to download Chattervox on GitHub, regardless of your operating system (if you have Git installed, it's easiest to run "git clone https://github.com/brannondorsey/chattervox").

Linux

This method should be distribution-agnostic (Ubuntu, Raspbian, Mint, etc.).

  • Place the unzipped package in an appropriate location. I use my home directory for portability.
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