New Illinois Packet Radio Group
Over the last couple years there has been a resurgence in interest & activity in packet radio.
The interest is not in creating the former BBSes & networks of the 1990s, but instead in doing things packet radio is uniquely good at.
Packet radio's resurgence started with the new application, APRS which uses packet radio. In some areas the application
DX PacketCluster provides access via packet. More recently applications like Output & Winlink are making use of packet radio.
As is indicated in the attached email, Illinois ARES is planning to implement the Winlink application state-wide using packet radio for user access.
However, the Illinois ARES Digital Working Group is apparently more focused on the ARES implementation of Winlink and
is not the appropriate forum for general discussion of packet radio or other digital modes.
So I have created a new group, Illinois Packet Radio. The focus of the group will be to discuss packet radio usage in Illinois
including applications using packet radio, such as APRS, Outpost, Winlink, DX PacketCluster, etc.
We hope to also create a database of packet radio usage in the state.
The Illinois Packet Radio group is available at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/IllinoisPacketRadio/
Look foward to your participation in the group.
73, Mark, WB9QZB
By the way, the Illinois D-STAR yahoo group, is also available at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/IllinoisD-STAR
----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Brad Pioveson W9FX <w9fx@...>
To: IL_ARES_DWG@yahoogroups.com; Illinois_ARES@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Wednesday, August 5, 2009 7:30:18 AM
Subject: [IL_ARES_DWG] Once again. . .
With apologies for the dual reflector post, it is important that this
message get out to all concerned.
Regarding the Illinois ARES Digital Communications Network initiative:
Let's go through the motions one more time. I have been
given to understand that there are those who have misunderstood the recent
efforts to develop a digital EMCOMM system for Illinois.
Here are the facts, plain and simple:
The effort underway is to develop an Illinois ARES digital communications
network. Note the acronym - ARES. That acronym refers to the Amateur Radio
Emergency Service. That third word is the operative term in the phrase.
This will be an emergency digital communications system. This effort is
neither intended to supplant, extend, nor change the frequency of operation
of any existing digital activity anywhere in this state (or, bordering
states). We are neither trying to usurp nor hinder a resource for DX packet
cluster users, nor are we trying to provide a digital outlet for those
without high-speed Internet systems to obtain their daily dose of email.
The network we are building is for the expressed purpose of providing a
digital conduit by which emergency communications traffic - data - can be
moved between any two points in Illinois.
This network will be on a discrete frequency. This frequency is far from
any of the current packet radio activity of which I am aware in the state of
Illinois. The frequency assignment we have been handed can be found in the
IRA's 2006 document, available online, at http://www.ilra.net:80/Band-Plan-2006.html
If you take the time to follow the link, you'll see '145.610 ARES
Statewide Packet.' I didn't attend the meeting that preceded that publication, and, it is not
an issue for me. As far as I'm concerned, it's as suitable a frequency for our purposes as
any other, and, it meets the criterion of being well removed from 145.01,
145.05, 144.39 and 147.555. Users of those particular frequencies need not
worry about interference from the ARES network.
We're not looking to develop a system of BBS's. We're not looking to move
routine email around the state. We are not putting a network together to
facilitate classified ham ads or hamfest announcements. We are developing
an emergency digital communications system. We hope that it will be used
enough on a weekly or daily basis to ensure that the network operates
properly, but, again, we're not building a replacement for the Internet.
This network will offer 1200 baud VHF packet radio connectivity as a minimum
standard. If node operators (RMS Packet/Relay stations) have 9600 baud
capabilties, so much the better. But, 1200 baud is the least common
denominator. Joe Ham can get on 1200 baud packet radio with any 2 meter FM
rig and a sound card equipped PC running AGWPE TNC-emulation software. It
isn't the prettiest lash up, and, certainly not the most efficient, but, it
will work, and, that gives us our starting point and minimum standard.
The network will operate using Winlink 2000 RMS Packet/RMS Relay software
and the current iteration of UIView software. These can be run
simultaneously on a Windows XP/Vista platform using AGWPE software running
concurrently. I understand that RMS Packet/Relay and APRS applications can
also be run under the Linux OS.
Individuals will use client software suitable for use with the Winlink 2000
and APRS servers. Client software for messaging with the Winlink systems
can be either Airmail or Paclink. Those are the only two client appications
that are currently supported, to the best of my knowledge, but, I am not a
Winlink guru and cannot speak with authority to that issue. I defer to the
APRS crowd as to what soft/hard-ware applications are currently in vogue for
use with that system.
RMS Packet, RMS Relay, Airmail, Packlink, AGWPE and UIView32 are all free
Will this network be state of the art? Not likely - we're using existing
technology and assets; some of the hardware has been around for a couple of
decades, in fact. 1200 baud is a slow crawl compared to modern Internet
broadband connections. Even 56k dial-up connection speeds leave 1200 baud in
the dust. But, we're talking about an emergency communications system - a
'when all else HAS failed' system. And, compared to voice or CW, 1200 baud
is pretty speedy.
Brad Pioveson, W9FX
ARRL Illinois Section Emergency Coordinator
301 Kirsch St.
Benton, IL 62812-1706