[OT] Re: On the air easy thanks to the Magic of Direwolf
n7xy at n7xy.net
Tue Apr 17 15:10:18 PDT 2018
IMHO, Windows 10 has become more difficult to use than MacOS or most
forms of Linux. I hadn't really used Windows much in recent years but
since most (non-Chirp) programming software is only available for
Windows I picked up a recent laptop for that use. I have now reached an
age where forgetfulness is becoming a regular thing and I don't expect
to recall everything that I have learned since I started using computers
53 years ago (actually I punched a bunch of data cards 61 years ago).
Still, it is taking me a lot longer than I would have expected to come
up to speed on a number of points. A few minutes ago I was attempting
to download a codeplug for my latest DMR radio and in the midst of
typing in the URL in Edge, suddenly I was on some Bing web page and had
to start over. Whatever happened to good old CLI where I always felt
that I was in control of the process?
Pardon my ranting.
On 4/16/18 2:07 PM, Scott Currie wrote:
> Thanks Steve!
> For the cool kidz who want to play with this stuff outside of the
> EMCOMM environment, I'm fine with that, have fun, pledge allegiance to
> the penguin and trash Windows all you want (I've done plenty of that
> myself) For the life of me, I can't figure out why any cool kidz would
> actually want to do /_anything_/ with such slow data rates, but I
> present my test results here for you to ponder (or laugh at).
> Like it or not, the typical EMCOMM volunteer these days is a Tech with
> an HT, runs a Windows laptop, and can barely unzip a file (and won't
> know what to do with it after that). God bless them, they /_do_/
> volunteer, take the ICS classes, come to the training sessions, the
> public service events, and the drills, and will probably be there when
> disaster strikes. I can (maybe) teach them to get Winlink Express
> running with their radios and send some useful digital comms. No way I
> will get them functional on Linux, or even a Mac. We got another bunch
> sending 1200b packets at the workshop this weekend, and a handful
> might even play at faster speeds somewhere down the road.
> Winlink Express is by no means state of the art, but it does work, is
> easy to learn, and will be useful in a disaster. If y'all come up with
> something better, I'll test it, and even adopt it if I think I can
> train the masses on it.
> On Mon, Apr 16, 2018 at 1:34 PM, Steve Stroh <steve.stroh at gmail.com
> <mailto:steve.stroh at gmail.com>> wrote:
> I had a small epiphany (actually many, but only one I'll address
> below) at Communications Academy 2018 this past weekend.
> Apologies, Scott, for my past participation as one of the "cool kidz".
> In defense of Scott... and even though I'm guilty of the same thing
> the same thing I'm going to address below...
> If you're serious about promoting the use of Amateur Radio for
> Emergency Communications, I think we should drop the "Windows only"
> purity test, that if a particular system is "Windows only" it's not
> worthy of consideration in consideration of higher data rates in
> Amateur Radio VHF/UHF.
> The reality is Windows is THE platform for many / most average users
> at the moment, until someone is successful in developing an
> "appliance" that is as "easy" (yeah, I know that's a loaded term) to
> use as a TNC and can be widely / easily supported, including peer to
> peer training.
> The primary driver for Windows usage in Amateur Radio, other than the
> fact that everyone... literally everyone... knows how to use it (yes,
> even you Linux / BSD and Mac folks - you can muddle through it if you
> have* to), is that Winlink is a dominant force in Amateur Radio
> Emergency Communications. For a LOT of formal Emergency
> Communications, it is THE environment. Closely coupled with that is
> that the most polished, best supported, best available training, to
> ACCESS Winlink is Winlink Express... which is Windows only.
> (There could be comparable software to Winlink Express for other
> platforms... there just isnt
> Scott is doing an amazing job evangelizing "better than 1200" data
> rates. He did an exhausting set of presentations this weekend at Comm
> Academy. He (and others) can only do that because he's using Windows -
> a platform that nearly everyone is comfortable with and doesn't have
> to teach a whole new platform before he even gets the new paradigm of
> a software modem. It's hard enough to get the idea across that the TNC
> needs to be abandoned (after 30 years). The Windows-only UZ7HO
> software is reasonably well polished. Given the dominance of Windows
> in general, and Winlink Express in particular, the fact that UZ7HO is
> Windows-only is a non-issue.
> But trying to evangelize "faster than 1200, don't use a TNC" AND
> debating "the cool kidz who don't like Windows" is asking too much.
> * Scott convinced me that if you are one of those who hate Windows...
> get over it, and get in the game, by buying a reasonably-priced
> Windows appliance like this:
> https://amzn.to/2ER3rRS (Amazon Associates link that would credit me
> if you buy from that link)
> Buy a Windows appliance. Firewall it if you need to and never let its
> Internet bits transit your home network. Take it to the library or
> Starbucks when it needs to periodically update itself. Install
> software from a USB flash drive. Etc. Point being, it's a MANAGEABLE
> issue to treat it like a dedicated appliance.
> I'll reserve judgement on the merits of Dire Wolf vs UZ7HO overall - I
> just haven't used both enough to have a qualified opinion. Yes, kudos
> to Dire Wolf for being open source and thus port-able to other
> platforms (like the above fantasized "appliance"). But equal kudos to
> UZ7HO for making software modems polished enough to the point where
> people like Scott can consider bearing the pain and effort to
> evangelize the concept of advancing beyond the TNC to our fellow
> Amateur Radio operators who don't live and breathe packet radio,
> Linux, Raspberry Pi, etc.
> Also, if you're a REAL cool kidz, you can use UZ7HO on a Windows
> appliance with your "more pure" platform. The various bits of UZ7HO
> are modularized, coupled together using IP addresses and sockets. By
> default, they're set to 127.0.0.0, but if you're really cool, you can
> change that to let the UZ7HO software operate as a modem, and the
> higher levels of the stack can be on your favorite platform.
> Steve N8GNJ
> On Mon, Apr 16, 2018 at 12:46 PM, Bill Vodall <wa7nwp at gmail.com
> <mailto:wa7nwp at gmail.com>> wrote:
> >> OK, next test.
> >> This is running VARA FM, the HF modem optimized for VHF FM links.
> > Windows only?
> >> First test, running the radios in "1200" mode on 145.030MHz.
> Ideal path,
> >> radios are 15' apart. VARA FM stayed in 3rd gear, but still
> very good
> >> *** Sent 1 message. Bytes: 30800, Time: 01:19, bytes/minute:
> >> Next with the radios set to "9600" mode. VARA FM shifted all
> the way up to
> >> 5th gear (top gear). This comes very close to 9600 packet!
> >> *** Sent 1 message. Bytes: 30828, Time: 00:47, bytes/minute:
> > 9600 was less than double the 1200 mode... I sure wish they'd
> > standardize on CPS..
> > Was this with Discriminator flat audio or 'real' audio?
> > Is there a middle mode that would work with radios that don't have
> > flat audio? To get something (3600? 4800?) better than 1200.
> > Bill, WA7NWP
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> Steve Stroh (personal / general): stevestroh at gmail.com
> <mailto:stevestroh at gmail.com>
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