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New Illinois Packet Radio Group

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  • Mark Thompson
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 8, 2009
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      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
      software applications.

      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
      home:  618.439.9262
      cell:  618.435.0213
      SMS:  6184350213@...
      email:  w9fx@...

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