WETNET News Request (i.e. what's new?)

Ken Koster koster@seattle.css.mot.com
Sun, 25 Oct 1998 19:30:13 -0800


Thanks Bill f, I've been meaning to comment on most of this
so you've just succeeded into kicking me into action. :-)

On Sun, 25 Oct 1998,
William Bytheway wrote: 
>
>Since I missed the October meeting held at the Kent 
>Mitzel's Restaurant, I curious about the latest news with  >the following:
>
>1.  Upgrade of the 224.56 MHz repeater to 9600 baud 
>     with current schedule.  Some of us with 1200 baud-only 
>     radios and TNCs will probably want to set up a temporary 
>     LAN to at least be able to use our old equipment.  But
>     for many of this, this means the retirement of our
>     existing equipment.

Originally the crystals for the new machine were expected to arrive early last
week, they were supposed to ship on the 15th.  Instead they didn't ship until
the 19th via ups ground and I have yet to see them.  I expect they'll show this
week but will be doing some calling tomorrow.

Once they arrive we need to tuneup the repeater and give it at least a week to
burn in.

Right now the repeater is ready, the tnc is here, the TAPR 9600baud modem has
been built.  

The following needs to happen:
	1. Install the TAPR modem in the TNC and check it out.
	2.  A small amount of metal work to mount the repeater and TNC in the
                        rack mount chassis.   (A few holes drilled and such, an
                        evenings worth of work)
                   3.  Tune up the repeater and adjust the modem deviation.
	4. Burn in
If the crystals arrive this week, next weekend will be spent doing the above
items.  With a little luck they can all be accomplished then.  However just to
give us some room to wrestle Murphy lets say we get it all done the following
weekend, that has us starting burnin on the 9th of November.  Thus the earliest 
we can actually do the install is the 14th.

So, for now lets say it could happen the 14th,  no sooner.

We'll do our best to shoot for that goal.

 >
>2.  News of activity (or lack thereof) on the 100 LAN and other 
>     LANs as well. One always wonders what is happening on
>     once popular and very active LANs like the 101 LAN.

I can't speak for all the lan's but here's what I do know.

Most of our lans have relatively low activity,  much of the traffic is email to
seatcp such as this, and bulletins forwarded in from a number of other mailing
lists.     Some lans like 103 are very active, but this is primarily due to
ax25 bulletin forwarding and not any other activity on the part of the users.

100 lan (Lake Tapps VHF) and 101 (Northgate VHF)  lan are operational, but 
low activity.

102 lan (camano simplex) is operational but only ax25 users connect, no tcp/ip
traffic.  I do have users in Skagit county who want to connect to Camano 
because the 112 lan (skagit) is dead. Right now it looks like the best way to
do this is to switch the Camano port to 112lan and drop 102 all together.
Camano is now only connected to 103 lan, and 102 (soon to by 112) lans.  It's 
main link used to be 110 lan but this was dropped when we installed the 56k
link to Canada.  Details about the Canada link and what is reachable via that
route will be given later, after we've had a chance to tweak everything a bit.

103 (224.56 repeater)   very active.

104, I don't know.

105 lan (Issaquah VHF) is awaiting a new TNC and the replacement of the Issaquah
switch with a Linux box.   I'm not sure when we'll get to this, but I really
want it to be soon.

106 lan (aberdeen)   unknown

107 lan,  (146.98 repeater on Baldy)  functional and active via several
gateways.

108 lan, (Issaquah UHF) very low activity.   Fixing 105 and installing the 
Linux box could help this.  Routing is now via w7mcu on 109 lan.

109 lan,  (Lake Tapps UHF) , up and running.

110 lan,  (Northgate UHF), up and running routing from the wetnet gateway. 
Ever since we started routing the appropriate lans via n7nei the traffic on
this lan is about one third of what it  used to be.   The Northgate switch
between 101 and 110 lan is a Linux box.

111 lan, Unknown

112lan  (skagit)   Dead for many local reasons.  I'll probably be able to 
resurrect this one by switching Camano.  I've got quite a number of users
interested in getting back on.

113 and up??????


While there appear to be a LOT of users active on the whole network,  very 
few of them ever seem to do more than just receive bulletins.  We've got to find
a way to stimulate interest in makeing a little noise of our own.

     a.  More email to seatcp?
     b.  Conference bridge activities?
     c. ???

Also,  I've developed a new graphical map of the network and as soon as I'm
sure it's accurate I'll make it available on the Web site as well as probably
as a PDF or postscript download.

 >3.  Affect the Boeing closure of Kent Space Center East has  
>     on the 118 LAN that services Renton-Kent-Seatac-Auburn  
>     on 145.03 MHz.  This property is up for sale.  What about 
>     the new repeater that I hear about once in a while? 
> 

Glen will have to comment on this.  All I know is that the repeater project is
still under way with plans for it to be installed on Tiger.   Glen said
something at the meeting about having finally obtained the appropriate keys.

>4.  Plans to get the rest of us on the existing 9600 baud repeaters   
>     at a cost that won't break the average users (including those   
>     on fixed-retirement incomes).  

It boils down to Modems and Radios.   Some of us have been investigating
some of the alternative 9600 baud modems that are available.  So far the 
cheapest is the YAM modem for about $70 U.S.  We're waiting for them 
to arrive so we can report to the rest of you.   The YAM modem works with 
just a standared serial port and is supported by software for both Linux and
Windows.   If you have  an existing TNC-2  type modem the next best is still the
TAPR kit which goes for about $80.

Radios are still a bit of a problem.  The cheapest way is still to get hold of
old commercial rigs and convert them.  Lots of info on this is available via
the Internet.  We also have a number (more coming soon) of GE MASTR II
VHF radios available.   These can also be converted to 220Mhz.  Instructions
and details on how to obtain one when we have the new ones in our hands and
have a good count of how many.

New radios still start at about $140 and go up.  The TEKK and MFJ radios are
available for several bands and will work well.  For 220 Mhz the TEKK looks
like the best bet.  KB6LE is our guinea pig on this one. :-) 

 > Maybe a workgroup is in order   
>     to make this happen.  Simple things  like deviation, frequency  
>     twist, etc. require equipment the average user doesn't have. 

Here there is lots of help available.   Several of us have access to all the
equpiment necessary to do this and will be more than glad to make it
available.  Maybe some Tuneup parties can be scheduled?


>5.  Who is providing Internet gateways (like N7NEI) and what one
>     has to do to make his JNOS connect to the outside world.
>     Simple instructions would be helpful, I'm linked, but there are
>     others that may benefit from this information.   Of course, 
>     when the 103 LAN goes 9600 baud, I'm loose this link.

This would be a good topic for the seatcp mailing list.

WETNET is still up and running and just doesn't seem to want to quit.
Aside from a couple of TNC lockups that seem to have been solved 
it keeps going and going and going......

I'm doing my best to make sure that the rest of the lans that I have access
to get good routes to both N7NEI and the WETNET gateways.  If anyone 
sees route problems let me know.  We're currently using static routes on 
much of the system and I could have things set wrong.

>
>6.  Lessons learned by those that are using LINUX and setting it
>     up to use AX.25/TCPIP links to our network.  LINUX may
>     breath some life in older 386/486 machines.

Since I've done this setup on a number of machines lately I'll
try to find time to write it up and post it to the list.
It's actually pretty easy, once you wade thru all the steps.

>
>7.  News about the new VE link on 56K and what that means to
>    us down here, maybe a link to local bulletins on their network.

See above,  I'll try to flesh out a detailed response soon.

>
>I know that this sounds like a TALL request, but many of access 
>SEATCP bulletins via "http://wetnet.wa.com", and even though we
>may not get updates regularly, this is our main information center
>for news in the Washington Experimenters TCP/IP Network
>(WETNET).   Any news out there???????????????????????

I'm running into problems with the existing mail to web software so the
bulletins don't show right now.  I'm going to try a new install of the software
sometime Real Soon Now.

Additional News:
    The Camano site has recently added an APRS digi to it's list of systems. 
While this is currently a  seperate digi we'll be switching over to APRS
software running on the Camano switch.  This will open up some interesting
possibilities for combining APRS and TCP/IP.  

Stay tuned for more info.

>William Bytheway 
>bytheway@foxinternet.net 
>aa6ed@aa6ed.ampr.org (Ham Radio Only)

Ken,  N7IPB