ping again? -f wetnet.net
Steve Stroh N8GNJ
n8gnj at n8gnj.net
Fri Aug 26 09:19:00 PDT 2005
For years, I've been distracted away from Amateur Packet Radio by the
incredible things going on in the Broadband Wireless Internet Access
There's been some amazing stuff going on in Amateur Packet Radio too,
but I haven't been participating.
It's time for me to devote some time back to Amateur Packet Radio (APR).
Here's some of what I personally find to be of interest, and what I
hope to be doing.
* APR had mesh networking before almost anyone knew what the heck it
was. I think that mobile mesh networking is one of the more fascinating
things going on, and it's worth getting involved with. There are
versions of the Net/ROM protocols for Linux, it is more possible than
ever to build/buy small, dedicated computers to embed this stuff into.
Most of us are familiar with the Jeepgate concept (APR radios in the
car, gatewayed into a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi radio to allow unmodified laptop
access to APR systems via Wi-Fi; think parking the car outside the
coffee shop and accessing it via Wi-Fi)
* One area of research that I'd like to work on is forming up "Amateur
Packet Radio HotSpots"; returning to the future somewhat that every ham
has a PBBS; in my scenario, every ham would have a node online one one
or more channels for localized access; to the Internet (slowly), with
distributed resources and services. Much more research needs to be done
* I think that I've finally come around that a "pure" TCP/IP network
isn't necessarily the best approach, especially for doing mobile,
ad-hoc mesh networking. The link layer / MAC needs to be something that
addresses (better than "pure" TCP/IP on AX.25) a dynamic networking
environment - both the network AND a unit/node's PLACE(s) in the
* Watching mesh evolve in Broadband Wireless Internet Access, I've come
to believe that model is better suited for Amateur Radio than the
"repeater" model that we've used for the past 50 years. When a (fixed)
node is built, the builder should have the expectation that it will be
used opportunistically and tactically, not "strategically" (IE a "key
system") and won't necessarily be depended upon.
* For all its many... numerous... overwhelming faults, 1200 baud AFSK
works well enough for networking and message passing. 9600 was more fun
than 1200 baud ever was, and I will use it for those remaining
high-level systems that are on the air, and in some of my personal
experimentation, but 9600 baud just didn't make it as enough of a
widely-embraced standard to try to base a lot of networking stuff on.
* With all the progress made on small, embedded radios for telemetry,
* D-Star... well, I don't expect to be wealthy enough for quite a while
to be able to afford even one D-Star radio. It makes some sense, but
the inane networking and lack of lessons learned with it cripple it
perhaps to the point of not being useful enough to implement.
* Bill Vodall continues to make the point that Ricochet radios are very
usable for short range links. Not enough work has gone into hacking
them to support better antennas, and they're about the only way to get
some "Amateur Radio" reasonable usage of 902-928 MHz.
* TNC's of all kinds are a serious impediment to making packet things
work. I think they're neat and fun, and I'm full of nostalgia about
them, but I plan to treat them the same way as many hams treat old tube
gear... largely of historical use. My TNCs will be on the air, but
mostly my work will be done with non-TNC devices; dedicated single
board computer hardware, software, better-than-TNC radio interfaces,
etc. Mostly I want to figure out how to make use of inexpensive (under
$200) single board PCs to run Linux as routers.
* Bill Vodall makes the point that JNOS is "good enough" glue to tie
together many disparate Amateur Radio systems, and I've come to agree.
Use what works and can be replicated by others that are motivated to
participate in what you're doing.
* It's just amazing to me the ingenuity and resulting usefulness that
is APRS. One thing that puzzles me is that there doesn't seem to be
much integration of APRS into other systems. It's long past time for me
to get fully up to speed on APRS.
* What more do I need to say about this. The only HF radio that
interests me in the least is the Flex-Radio SDR
* Life's too short. If some people don't like what I'm doing... I'll
just route around them.
A major failure that's really, REALLY hurting Amateur Radio is that the
most interesting stuff, that I touch on above, ISN'T being made
accessible in more usable forms... IE, people aren't writing it down
and making it accessible. Every interesting article that's published in
CQ or QST is in essence "locked away" from general view, to inspire and
educate others. Once I get back into packet, I intend to make good use
of a weblog to document what I'm doing and what I'm seeing that's of
On Aug 17, 2005, at 10:41, Bill Vodall WA7NWP wrote:
> Ok. So where do we (Wetnet as a group) stand these days? Dead?
> Simply OTB? (Old, Tired and Broke?) Signs of life?
> The Winlink train is picking up speed and more and more folks are
> hopping on. At the same time they're designing in more holes and NIH
> technologies. ( http://nwp.ampr2.net/jnos/WinlinkProblems - that's a
> start of some notes. )
> I have to write a note to Ed/SCM and the other section folks here in a
> bit and it would be good to say "we have a TCP/IP network that's
> "better" then Winlink." Right now, all we got is a couple stations
> Is anybody on here interested in investing a few hours to bring Wetnet
> back or should we just blow it off?
425-939-0076 | Skype: stevestroh2 | steve at stevestroh.net |
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