• Re: Packet Radio

    From JF@21:1/139 to JF on Sat Jan 23 08:21:44 2021
    An afterthought...

    like AREDN, AMPRNET and HF ALE; I don't know much about them, but I
    think some of them can provide you with IP connectivity. So yes, below

    I believe AMPRNET is not that easy to setup, because you're using directional antennas that need to be lined up properly. (GHz range)

    I've read something to the effect of IP being used over AX.25 (don't really know what I'm talking about) but apparently it's excruciating slow.

    There's also Winlink that is interesting... though that doesn't provide
    you with an IP-layer, it's just straight up messaging.

    There's satellite, but that's probably far-fetched.

    JF

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  • From tenser@21:1/101 to Andre on Sun Jan 24 03:05:39 2021
    On 21 Jan 2021 at 03:44p, Andre pondered and said...

    But I think there's room for experimentation with data
    and digital modes. Things like NPR ("New Packet Radio")

    Hadn't heard of it before now, but it looks pretty fascinating. A hell
    of a lot more interesting then AX.25.

    Indeed. I think there are some folks who want to double
    down on old technology like AX.25, but ... why? I mean,
    I got it running here at my QTH and that was kind of fun,
    but no one uses it for anything.

    lot more sense) much of the argument is against the proposal
    and much of the reason for that are septuagenarians and
    older mad about PACTOR III. "What's wrong with AX.25?!"

    That describes literally every aspect of the ham radio community. ARRL
    and every club are so worried about losing the old guys with outdated interests that they keep wasting all their resources on that fear. Talk
    to any of the kids under twenty-five and they couldn't care less about EmComm, packet, Facebook groups, etc. They want to experiment and tinker and innovate and build, communicate about it on Discord... and send
    memes on SSTV.

    It was telling to me that KB6NU noted that there was too much
    emphasis on public service in the ARRL's latest mission on the
    purpose of amateur radio. I agree with him: we are simply too
    focused on that as a mission, without understanding that the
    agencies that are being served frankly don't need us.

    Much ado was made about the 50 hams who went down to Puerto
    Rico after Hurricane Maria and passed traffic, but it's
    important to note that they exclusively passed health and
    welfare traffic.

    The places where amateur radio really serve the public as a
    communications of last resort mechanism are almost entirely
    in the developing world, and that's certainly useful, but in
    order to participate (at least from the US....) you pretty
    much have to have HF privileges.

    The kerfuffle around the league proposing expanded HF privileges
    for technicians is so representative: it's mostly gatekeeping
    by old guys who fear that their contesting stations are going
    to be drowned out by a bunch of lids, but what I think all of
    these things fail to understand is that most techs have no
    interested in HF: "talking on the radio" just isn't that
    interesting. What _is_ interesting is telemetry, remote
    instrumentation control, interfacing with computers and robots,
    and tinkering with radios. All of that can be done with a
    tech license, but why bother jumping through the hoops and
    getting yelled at by a bunch of angry old men when you can just
    buy a Zigbee hat for an arduino or raspberry pi and avoid all
    of that, instead?

    That "when all else fails" mantra is fear-based too. "Please don't take our non-profit tax-free status and don't sell off our freqency allocations." We should be selling governments, youth, hackers, makers, and whoever else on the notion that we can be innovators again.

    I totally agree. The innovation is just not there.

    I don't know why I'm ranting. I started this reply merely to mention
    that I find your posts, Tenser, to be really valuable.

    Thank you! I appreciate that. I'm afraid I succumbed to the rant
    urge myself.

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  • From tenser@21:1/101 to Vk3jed on Sun Jan 24 03:14:31 2021
    On 22 Jan 2021 at 09:29p, Vk3jed pondered and said...

    Another issue is that the node software has bitrotted to the point
    of often not working. I've fixed lots of bugs in mine; it now "works", to a point, but is disappointingly fragile. It's clear
    that that code hasn't gotten a lot of love in the modern era.

    Which software exactly?

    Approximately all of it, but I'm referring specifically to
    the AX.25 tools and apps for Linux. An interesting example
    is, "axspawn": this lets hams log into the local (Linux)
    host, automatically creating accounts for them if such don't
    already exist. The issue is that it's broken, and loses
    data: the Linux AX.25 stack in connected only supports sending
    data using the SEQPACKET socket type, which means that
    individual write(2) calls must limit the amount of data they
    send to fit into a single AX.25 frame. But the `axspawn`
    program doesn't do that; it spawns a pseudo-TTY pair and
    runs a shell on the child end, and just writes whatever comes
    down the parent side to the socket. It's easy enough to fix;
    one simply chunks those writes up in a loop. There was also
    some hokey rate-limiting stuff built around alarm(3), but it
    seemed straight up broken.

    I ended up rewriting it to `telnet` to the Dragonfly machine
    on my local AMPRNet subnet, so when users connect to my host
    they're really `telnet`ing into my host machine, and had to
    fix all of that.

    Another issue was in the `ttylinkd` daemon: this is basically
    an interface to the venerable talkd(8), and speaks the same
    weird undocumented protocol. But its handling of that protocol
    was broken (it didn't talk to the local daemon on the right
    interface) so I had to fix it. That was really annoying.

    I attribute all of this to this software being overly complex
    and essentially unmaintained. I could fix it locally, but
    its tedious.

    Who knows what bugs are lurking in the kernel AX.25 implementation?

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  • From Vk3jed@21:1/109 to SetiOp on Sun Jan 24 07:32:00 2021
    On 01-22-21 15:48, SetiOp wrote to Vk3jed <=-

    charges. The same could be done with RF: transfer FTN messages from o VHF station to the other (or maybe even HF), so that we don't necessarily depend on the internet in case of an emergency. Mail coul be routed via different mediums, and there would be a mechanism in place to avoid duplicates and figure out the best path (Internet, phone, HF, VHF, etc.).

    Now that sounds like an interesting project.

    I agree. This type of project is something I could jump on board with.

    I'm not sure of the legalities of passing non ham traffic (third party trsffic rules apply?). But as a test, there's a simple option, setup a dedicated ham network to test out the technology, sort out the legalities later. :)


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  • From Vk3jed@21:1/109 to tenser on Sun Jan 24 08:07:00 2021
    On 01-24-21 03:14, tenser wrote to Vk3jed <=-

    Approximately all of it, but I'm referring specifically to
    the AX.25 tools and apps for Linux. An interesting example

    Yeah, the kernel stuff looks well and truly bit rotted. I have been playing with LinBPQ, which seems to work

    Another issue was in the `ttylinkd` daemon: this is basically
    an interface to the venerable talkd(8), and speaks the same
    weird undocumented protocol. But its handling of that protocol
    was broken (it didn't talk to the local daemon on the right
    interface) so I had to fix it. That was really annoying.

    Hmm, yeah that would be a problem. :)

    I attribute all of this to this software being overly complex
    and essentially unmaintained. I could fix it locally, but
    its tedious.

    Who knows what bugs are lurking in the kernel AX.25 implementation?

    A lot of people use non kernel implementations like JNOS and LinBPQ these days.


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  • From Vk3jed@21:1/109 to SetiOp on Sun Jan 24 08:22:00 2021
    On 01-22-21 12:41, SetiOp wrote to Andre <=-

    The nostalgia is briefly interesting, but then people move on. The only reason APRS is so popular is because it's built in to radios and takes zero effort to setup. On the other hand, packet radio is a absolute nightmare just to get the hardware/radio working right, even more so to

    Yes I agree with you. There are enough of us still interested to build
    a network, but it does need to have a new twist to keep people
    interested. Packet has always seemed a bit complicated to me and it
    didn't seem to evolve like other technology, maybe because of the limitations on VHF radio bandwidth.

    There just isn't any benefit or usefulness to packet radio anymore...

    I would agree partially with that. The same could be said for phone
    modes as well now that we have cell phone technology. It isn't really a fault of the technology as much as what we choose to do with it. APRS
    is a good example.

    Maybe packet of the future needs to leverage modern SDR hardware, and ditch the limitations of VHF voice radios altogether? Could start playing on 70cm. This might also help improve SDR software, which often lacks poor integration with legacy systems - for example, try building a SDR based repeater or linking a SDR transceiver to something like Echolink, without jumping through a heap of hoops.

    No reason the system can't be capable of being run in voice mode or data - it would be SOFTWARE defined radio, afterall. :)


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  • From tenser@21:1/101 to Avon on Sun Jan 24 15:05:56 2021
    On 21 Jan 2021 at 07:35p, Avon pondered and said...

    On 20 Jan 2021 at 03:10p, deon pondered and said...

    I would love to get data flowing over the air - with no ongoing costs a 3rd party, even if it was a slow speed. Building out (or optimising protocol to support this slow speed would be fun...

    I too would like to do this. I'm hot on building communications
    resiliency and I like the idea of a ascii BBS running contemporary bbs software available to folks to access over RF.

    I've not really played with the older 'built by hams for packet radio
    bbs' software but from what I've seen I'm not sure I would really like
    it.

    My ideal would be (as part of a wider plan of communications resilience) to have bbs FTN running over RF packet as a wider option for people to connect should TCP/IP over 'mainstream' internet channels be taken down due to act of god or man etc..

    I think people make a bit of a mistake here by throwing
    the proverbial baby out with the bathwater. The Internet
    was _designed_ for resiliency; it's not like the phone
    company that had to engineer in massive redundancies and
    controls because it was centralized; by design it's
    decentralized and packet routing allows one to get around
    broken links etc.

    I can understand the desire for communications infrastructure
    that doesn't rely on commercial providers: the providers
    themselves can fail, and if that's the only provider, then
    redundancy at the protocol level is just a distinction
    without a difference.

    But the solution here isn't to revert to ancient technology
    (AX.25 and packet BBSes) but rather to build something
    better that provides IP routing on top of autonomous,
    redundant RF links. AMPRNet is a step in the right direction;
    things like AREDN and Hamwan are existence proofs to emulate.
    The next step is a framing format for putting IPv6 datagrams
    directly on the air and doing something with globally
    routable IP spaces.

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  • From Pepper@21:1/187 to lu8fjh on Fri Feb 12 06:18:09 2021
    On 14 Jan 2021, lu8fjh said the following...
    I have F6FBB via radio and internet telnet lu8fjh.dyndns.org:6300 lu8fjh.dyndns.org:3694 Uronode Netrom tcpip Node

    What's the differences between UroNode and JNOS? There does not seem to be
    much documentation that I can find.
    I like how you've tied them all together, via the BBS.
    I had a quick look last night at your BBS, I'll have a wander more around
    this weekend.
    de k1ymi

    -=Pepper=-

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  • From lu8fjh@21:1/209 to Pepper on Fri Feb 12 19:14:16 2021
    Hi. The difference between JNOS and URONODE is that jnos is a BBS with
    the TCPIP protocol over ax25 and uronode is a netrom node that also supports the tcpip protocol wich allows you to do this type of communication via
    telnet for example.

    73s

    Juan (lu8fjh)

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  • From Roen@21:4/10 to SetiOp on Sun Mar 14 11:25:00 2021
    Boy, I wish I had linked up fsxNet sooner, I missed a great conversation! I spent all evening last night reading this thread. All great, valid points.

    Packet is alive and well here in Maine, and we're linked into New Hampshire and Canada via Houlton, but you're right: it's a very niche market. It's primarily EMAs and hospitals linked with club ECTs and ARES groups. Most of the folks around me in Southern Maine that are tinkering with it here seem to be retired folks with the time to constantly tweak audio levels and mail forwarding rules. I'm one of a few exceptions, age-wise, at 41 years old. However, I'm in it for the emcomm as well.

    I brought up the idea of AREDN out here, but was told the elmers had already done the path studies and found we're too hilly. If we could get to the top of a couple commercial / emergency services towers on a couple of choice mountains, we may be able to set up an AREDN backbone, but then it gets political. I think things are shifting a little in our favor, but who knows when we'll see the results.

    I also found on Facebook that North Carolina has a massive network with guys chatting with each other over the nodes. I'm not sure what their core purpose is, but they are having fun with it. For an introvert like me, and an insomniac that "plays radio" at night when the family is asleep, digital text is a great tool. I wouldn't mind seeing it come back to what I'm told is packet's original glory.

    For giggles, I set up a security level for known hams on my board, and set up telnet links in the Doors menu to the nodes I'm a sysop for: WS1EC at the Cumberland County EMA, and W1YCA at the York County EMA; and their respective emergency communications teams (ham clubs). I'd love to have a radio link into my BBS, but sadly it'd just be me, and it def needs 9600 to be barely tolerable and still color ANSI.

    Anyway, fun chat - it's great to see others out there with similar interests!

    73 de KC1JMH
    Brad

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  • From Starstorm@21:3/140 to Roen on Sun Mar 14 17:52:47 2021
    On 14 Mar 2021, Roen said the following...
    Packet is alive and well here in Maine, and we're linked into New Hampshire and Canada via Houlton, but you're right: it's a very niche market. It's primarily EMAs and hospitals linked with club ECTs and ARES groups. Most of the folks around me in Southern Maine that are tinkering with it here seem to be retired folks with the time to constantly tweak audio levels and mail forwarding rules. I'm one of a few exceptions, age-wise, at 41 years old. However, I'm in it for the emcomm as well.

    There's not much around here, though I saw somewhere in the next county over from me (Clay county, I'm in Duval, Jacksonville to be specific) there is Winlink, but that's about the extent of it.

    For giggles, I set up a security level for known hams on my board, and
    set up telnet links in the Doors menu to the nodes I'm a sysop for:
    WS1EC at the Cumberland County EMA, and W1YCA at the York County EMA;
    and their respective emergency communications teams (ham clubs). I'd
    love to have a radio link into my BBS, but sadly it'd just be me, and it def needs 9600 to be barely tolerable and still color ANSI.

    That sounds cool, will have to check that out.

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  • From Vk3jed@21:1/109 to Roen on Mon Mar 15 19:22:00 2021
    On 03-14-21 11:25, Roen wrote to SetiOp <=-

    Boy, I wish I had linked up fsxNet sooner, I missed a great
    conversation! I spent all evening last night reading this thread. All great, valid points.

    Sounds like it's all happening out your way. Other than APRS, there's not a lot of packet around here that I know of, but I would like to get something up, just for the hell of it. :)


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  • From Nkeck72@21:3/122 to Vk3jed on Thu Mar 18 07:47:16 2021
    In article <60531E2D.149.fsx_ham@finalzone.ddns.net>
    "Vk3jed" <vk3jed@21:1/109> writes:

    Other than APRS, there's not a
    lot of packet around here that I know of

    I'm sort of in the same situation, we have APRS and WinLink on VHF, but
    not much else in the way of packet.

    Having an RF BBS sounds like it would be awesome, though.
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  • From Vk3jed@21:1/109 to Nkeck72 on Fri Mar 19 17:01:00 2021
    On 03-18-21 07:47, Nkeck72 wrote to Vk3jed <=-

    In article <60531E2D.149.fsx_ham@finalzone.ddns.net>
    "Vk3jed" <vk3jed@21:1/109> writes:

    Other than APRS, there's not a
    lot of packet around here that I know of

    I'm sort of in the same situation, we have APRS and WinLink on VHF, but not much else in the way of packet.

    Having an RF BBS sounds like it would be awesome, though.

    Yeah, will consider my options. I may be setting up a system for a club, in which case, I could make it accessible via packet radio and ham mesh
    etworking.


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  • From SetiOp@21:4/140 to Roen on Fri Mar 19 21:29:22 2021
    Boy, I wish I had linked up fsxNet sooner, I missed a great
    conversation! I spent all evening last night reading this thread. All

    Always happy to continue the conversation where packet is involved! :)

    Packet is alive and well here in Maine, and we're linked into New

    Not much in my area of Canada, but across the lake in Ohio there appears to
    be some activity. I just ordered a couple of very nice but pricey TNC cables
    so I can start setting something up. I am hoping to link into Ohio since I am only 5 minutes from Lake Erie.

    For giggles, I set up a security level for known hams on my board, and
    set up telnet links in the Doors menu to the nodes I'm a sysop for:

    Thats pretty cool. I have a radio telescope in my back yard so I wrote a door to access statistics and get the status of it. At one point I had it so I
    could move the dish elevation remotely.

    I thought about maybe setting up a door as a ham gateway myself, even if it
    is just me that uses it. :)

    Nice to her from you!

    73
    Scott VE3CGN

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  • From mobbyg@21:1/101 to All on Mon Mar 22 04:23:31 2021
    Is AMPRNet still a thing? I thought I had seen somewhere that it was kind of going out.

    I did love playing with NOS on my Amiga 500 back in the day using my
    Kamtronics KPC-3 with some of my friends. We had one guy in the next county over helped us getit up and working and we did a lot of cool stuff with it. I had the software which I downloaded from Aminet, but n clue how to really use it.

    I wouldn't mind doing something with packet again. I have an MFJ TNC-2 just sitting here under my Zoom v.32bis and USR 56K modems just itching to get on the air.

    73.
    de Rich, KB2MOB

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  • From Roen@21:4/10 to SetiOp on Mon Mar 22 23:01:00 2021
    Re: Re: Packet Radio
    By: SetiOp to Roen on Fri Mar 19 2021 09:29 pm

    Hi Scott,

    A pleasure to chat with you and these other fine hams as well!

    so I can start setting something up. I am hoping to link into Ohio since I am only 5 minutes from Lake Erie.
    I'm certain they'd love to have a Canadian on their network. We used to get a thrill seeing DX contacts crawling our nodes from New Brunswick, and they loved seeing us make our way up.

    Sadly, the infrastructure between Southern Maine and them had been taken down, but others are starting to rebuild. Midcoast Maine is still going strong, we just need to reconnect to them, and then northward!

    Thats pretty cool. I have a radio telescope in my back yard so I wrote a door to access statistics and get the status of it. At one point I had it so
    A radio telescope? Cool! Most I've done with space is download SSTV from the ISS and images from NOAA, and the one contact via the ISS repeater.

    73 de KC1JMH
    Brad

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