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Jan 26 2017

AMPRNet Public IP Space

For those who are unaware, public IP space (44.0.0.0/8) is available to licensed amateur radio operators.  This space is available in standard CIDR blocks (/29, /28, /27, etc).  It can be utilized in one of four ways:

  1. Radio
  2. Tunnel
  3. Direct
  4. Children

For a detailed description of each of these types, please visit the AMPRNet website: www.ampr.org

In my case, I applied for an received a /22 block of IP’s, which amounts to 1022 usable addresses.  This space can be subnetted down to smaller blocked and distributed throughout your Amateur Radio IP Network as needed.

I chose to go the Direct route (pun intended) which utilizes BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) to host the IP space.  This process involved requesting an LOA from AMPR, locating an on-line cloud provider who will support BGP peering (I used www.vultr.com at the recommendation of a fellow ham), configuring a router (I used vyos, https://vyos.io/, on a virtual machine), and then configuring BGP for my space.

Once this was complete, I built a VPN tunnel to another router in my home network.  In this case, it was another vyos instance and established an OpenVPN tunnel between the two.  Once the VPN tunnel was up and running, I built out an OSPF (Open Shortest Path First) router instance to bring the IP block in via the tunnel.  Most ISP’s that service the home will not let you peer BGP directly, hence all of the above.

As the project stands right now, I have a dummy interface configured on my home router and I’m able to ping it via the internet.  The plan is to replace all of my public-facing internet resources that are dedicated to Amateur Radio with one of these AMPRNet IP’s.

It’s been a lot of fun and a lot of frustration getting all this up and running.  Special thanks goes out to Stephen Brown (K1LNX) and Brian Walls (KD9GFX) for their assistance in figuring out exactly how to do this.  Until today, this was merely an idea we’d all shared and now it’s a reality!

More to come…….