I think that in both the short and long run, we will be better off with
the embedded PC's than we will be with TNC's.
This, in light of the relative ease or difficulty involved in upgrading
the software side of things.
As it stands today, the only digital modes we would have to give up in
order to go completely over to free software over the PC/soundcard
platform are the TOR modes.
Another way of looking at this is that TOR enthusiasts are the one and
only group in amateur radio today who need to cough up big bucks for a
difficult to upgrade multimode TNC in a box.
The rest of us can go "out of the box" in our thinking and operate more
useful, advanced modes for free. ( Dumpster-diver or donated old
I don't think that this will happen on the networking side of things
overnight, but I do expect to see it happen as the price of embedded
PC's is dropping continuously, just like the full-sized ones.
In the mean-time, let us not forget that these single-board PC's can be
ordered with lots of COM ports or USB, whichever works best for you.
One situation that networkers should be aware of is that TNCs for home
use are rapidly falling out of fashion, but these units are still good
for building up ( some ) network resources and the prices on them only
have one way to go.
Right now I'm looking at an inexpensive SB embedded PC with three
usable COM ports for a PC-FlexNet node.
The development kit for these has dropped to half the price it was,
just a few years ago. I know this because I have previous experience
with this computer.
So, to cap it all off, I recommend that most hams go over to soundcard
systems and sell thier TNC's real cheap to me.
--- In Q15X25@yahoogroups.com, "Ken" <vk4akp@...> wrote:
> Hi Charles!
> Could you comment on how we can work towards getting Q15X25 or other
> newer / faster HF packet / ax25 compatable modes into smaller hardware
> TNC like platforms?
> Should we be looking towards TNC technology still? Or through lack of
> support / interest should we give up on TNC's and perhaps look towards
> embedded mini PC PCB's running linux and USB sound card dongles etc?