Frequently Asked Questions
General items describing this site
"Vell, Zaphod's just zis guy, you know?"
Oh that wasn't the question was it.
WETNET is a group of hams from the Pacific NorthWest who have been building and experimenting with radio and computers for over 25 years.
We started off as amateur radio operators interested in TCP/IP and packet radio. During the 1980's we developed an extensive TCP/IP based radio network. The network sites were primarily located at various cell-sites and consisted of 9600 baud repeaters on UHF frequencies with 1200 baud simplex ports on the two meter band. As the Internet became more prominent and access to the cell-sites was lost the network languished and our interests moved on.
Currently our members are active in APRS, amateur satellite operations and just about anything involving computers and/or radios.
We have a history of contributing to the development of Amateur Radio related progams such as JNOS, XASTIR and the Linux AX.25 utilities.
In 1996, with the help of the ARRL, we sponsored the TAPR Digital Communications Conference in Seattle.
WETNET stands for 'Washington Experimenters TCP/IP NETwork' after the network we used to run on radio.
We have no organization, dues, or officers. We prefer to have fun and not get bogged down in organizational details.
Help using the features available to registered users.
Every user has his own private gallery, just click on the"Photo Gallery" link and you will find a "My Album" link in the upper right corner of the photo area.
Initially your Album will be empty but you can upload images and create sub-albums with the links on the left side "Gallery Navigation" menu.
Outside of creating albums and uploading content the most critical navigation button is "Edit Permissions". Initially you are in your top level personal album. By default no one is able to view or change anything in your album. This is fine if all you want is to store personal items but most of us wish to share the images we upload with others. In order to do this you need to grant the appropriate permissions. The following are the steps necessary to grant access to either 'Everyone' or just to 'Registered Users'.
- Select 'Edit Permisssions'
- Carefully read the text ( I mean it, read and understand)
- Pay particular attention to the 'Apply changes' block. By default everything you do effects the album you're in and everything below it. This is often 'NOT' what you want. Deselect the check box to make sure changes apply only to the album you're in.
- 'Group Permissions' Notice that the default is only the Gallery Admins, The change most often desired is to make a given album or image available to everyone or to registered users only. To add additional groups type in either 'Registerd Users' or 'Everybody' in the New Group Permission block, then select '[core] View item' from the action list. Be careful, selecting the wrong action can make you're whole album editable by anyone.
- Click on the "Add Permission" link.
- Skip the 'User Permissions' block unless you really want to share an album with someone else.
- Please be careful, granting 'All Access' or 'Add Comments' to 'Everyone' can leave you open to a lot of link spammers.
- If you're careful and pay attention to the 'Apply changes' check box you can grant access to only those albums you wish to make available to others.
You're album should now be available to others.
Some additional notes:
- The photo gallery we use is called Gallery 2 and can be very confusing, especially in the area of setting permissions. The authors acknowledge this and promise the next version (Gallery 3) will be simplified.
- The Wetnet gallery structure is that of a tree with a top level album (called gallery) with various sub albums. Anyone can view the top level by clicking on the 'Photo Gallery' link. Within the top level album are sub albums that are in general available for anyone visiting the site to see with one exception and that is the 'Wetnet Users' album which contains the personal albums of every registered wetnet.net user.
- All personal albums start out invisible to everyone except the owner who is responsible for organizing and setting permissions.
Packet Radio (7)
Questions related to Amateur packet radio
Most of the major TNC manufacturers (MFJ,Paccomm, Kantronix) have 9600 baud capable TNC\'s. Any TNC-2 clone (MFJ-1270C, etc.) will work with the TAPR/G3RUH 9600 modem added. The Timewave PK-96 (formerly AEA PK-96) is my (N7IPB) favorite simply because it seems to work well. The YAM modem works well and is inexpensive ($75). Baycom, Symek,and Wimo are all selling 9600 baud TNCs. It is important to remember that you cannot connect a 9600 baud TNC to a microphone connector on a radio as you can for 1200 and 2400 baud TNCs. The 9600 baud modem requires a direct connection to the radio\'s modulator and discriminator to work.
Most hams get their introduction to packet radio via 1200 baud and tnc' s connected to standard voice radios. Unfortunately when you go to higher speeds voice radios just won't cut it.
Higher speeds require that the radio have a wider bandwidth, clean unemphasized output and rx and tx turnaround times that are well under 100ms. Despite what manufacturers claim, none of the '9600 ready' amateur radios work well at all.
That's not to say that there aren't radios out there that work, just that it's unlikely you will be satisfied with any of the typical radios provided by ham manufacturers.
So, what do you use?
First, there are numerous older commercial radio's that can be converted to the ham bands, and that will work well. Radio's like the GE MVP, GE MASTR II, Motorola MITREK, Motorola MICOR, Motorola MAXTRAC and others. A little bit of web searching and you can find all kinds of conversion info.
Second there are radios designed for data that we've determined will work well.
- The TEKK KS series http://www.paccomm.com/tekk.html data radio was among the first to be used. We have a lot of them inuse and they work well. It's a crystal controlled 2 watt UHF radio that originally sold for around $150. They are no longer being sold by the manufacturer but can be found on Ebay occasionaly.
- The TEKK http://www.tekkinc.com/products/data/sd-5200.html synthesized radio will also work, although we don't have a lot of experience with it.
- The MAXON SD-125 synthesized radio when modified with wider IF filters also works well. You can either do the mods yourself, or buy it already modified from PACCOM, or unmodified from outfits like RFWIZ http://www.rfwiz.com/Maxon/DataRadios/SD-125V_SD-125U_DataRadio.htm. Their latest price was $181.
- The WIMO http:www/wimo.com/frameset_e.htm PRD-70 synthesized radio is our current best choice. It's a 16 channel radio, with power selectable as 1 or 10 watts. It sells for 195 EUR (about $240 US), has fast turn around times and works great. RECOMMENDED
- Then for those that have a big budget there is the SYMEK http://www.symek.com/g/index-g.html TRX4S High Speed Data Tranceiver http://www.symek.com/g/trx.htm. This is an excellent example of a radio designed for data from the ground up. It has various filters to allow it to operate from 9600 to 153,600 baud. It's tx/rx turnaround times are under 200 usec. The downside is the price, currently it's going for 936 EUR for the UHF model which is about $1150 US. This might be just the thing if you're building a repeater and have a big budget, but is just a little out of line for the average station. The KeyTower site uses a pair of these for the repeater so we know they work well.
OBSOLETE: Refers to the old packet network.
From a posting on the seatcp mailing list
1. RIP for NOS users
WA7NWP, KA7PBI and myself have been experimenting lately with a unix program called ZEBRA that manages various routing protocols including RIP. We finally figured out all the appropriate commands to make it work on our rf links and have started to bring it up on various lans.
The new parameters broadcast a little more often, (once every two minutes) but in exchange we get a more rapid response to network changes.
Most of the Linux boxes have been configured with ZEBRA and email outlining the settings for those remaining will follow in a later posting. This email is for those running NOS and outlines the changes you need to make in order to work with the new settings.
For a refresher about the NOS RIP settings I found my original email outlining everything about the use of NOS and RIP for both end users and those acting as routers. Those emails are now in the seatcp archives.
OBSOLETE: This refers to the old packet network Since we have a subnet addressing system in use, we need to know what Local Area Network (LAN) you're going to use in order to issue the proper address. There are several ways you can determine which LAN is best for you. Probably the easiest way is to use your existing Terminal Node Controller (TNC) firmware to make AX.25 level connects to several of the stations on a given LAN. In particular try to talk to one of the gateway stations. Send several messages and verify that you have a good path for long messages. A good test is to issue several 'help' requests and monitor how well you receive them. If you find out that you have trouble, try another LAN if possible. Washington Area TCP/IP LANS
Subnet LAN served/Baud Frequency Geographic area
100 South 1k2, 145.67 MHz, South King, North Pierce Counties
101 North 1k2, 147.60 MHz, South Snohomish, North King Counties
102 Camano 1k2, 147.40 MHz, Arlington - N Everett
103 220 9k6 RPTR, 224.56 MHz, Rptr on Gold Mtn, East of Bremerton\
104 West Seattle 1k2, 144.41 MHz, West Seattle
105 East 1k2, 144.95 MHz,NE King County - Gtwy-Pine Lake
106 Aberdeen 1k2, 144.91 MHz, Aberdeen/Hoquiam, Gtwy Cosmopolis Hill
107 Baldy 9k6 2M RPTR, 146.98 MHz, Rptr on Baldy Mtn near Enumclaw
108 East 9k6 UHF RPTR, 441.975 MHz, Rptr on Pine Lake Plateau near Issaquah
109 South 9k6 UHF RPTR, 442.125 MHz, Rptr at Lake Tapps, near Sumner
110 Northgate 9k6 UHF R,441.825 MHz, Rptr on Roosevelt Hill in Seattle
111 Bellingham 1k2, 144.95 MHz, Greater Bellingham
112 Skagit 1k2, 147.44 MHz, Skagit Valley
113 West 1k2, 145.65 MHz, West King County - Gateway in Ballard
114 Bothell 1k2, 144.97 MHz, Greater Bothell/Woodinville\r\n
115 Tacoma 9k6, 145.09 MHz, South Tacoma
116 Aberdeen UHF, tbd MHz, Aberdeen/Hoquiam - rptr proposed
117 Ocean Shores 1k2, tbd MHz, Saddle VHF
118 Kent Valley 1k2, 145.03 MHz, Renton-Kent-Seatac-Auburn
119 Olympia LAN, 147.40 MHz, Greater Olympia area
120 Poulsbo, 430.55 MHz, West Central Puget Sound
121 Clallam County, tbd MHz,North Olympic Peninsula
122 SE Snohomish, tbd MHz, SE Snohomish Co, gateway near Monroe
123 Seattle ACS 1K2 441.025 MHz, Seattle, hub at Space Needle
124 Port Ludlow, 145.05 MHz, Port Ludlow area
The following temporary IP addresses may be used for testing. You may use one or more of these until a permanent address is issued officially:
Use the appropriate subnet number for the LAN/subnet you will be testing on. Use these addresses at your own risk since someone else may have picked the same temporary number. Address numbers 44.24.[subnet].0 and 44.24.[subnet].255 are RESERVED for broadcast and network use, as per TCP/IP conventions.
"AMateur Packet Radio\".org is the top level domain registered along with the class A IP network 44.x.x.x by Brian Kantor, WB6CYT. When you get an ampr.org IP address assigned to you the local IP address coordinator will generally also create a host for you in the ampr.org domain that is maintained to this day by Brian. Usually something like callsign.ampr.org although there is no requirement that it be your call, nor that it be assigned to a net 44 address.
Select the 'IP Address' entry from the Navigation menu. Then click on the 'Automatic IP Address Request form' link and follow the directions.
Services provided - such as the Jabber server or the Key Server
The public keyserver provides access to the public encryption/authentication keys for over 2 million individuals worldwide. It supports both PGP and GnuPG (GPG) public keys and is synchronized with other public key servers throughout the world. Public key systems allow you to have secure communications and data storage, as well as the ability to digitally sign documents, files, e-mail, etc. For more info on public key systems start with the FAQs at the Gnu Privacy Guard site.