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Author Topic: BSS? e_mail gateway to INET?  (Read 1741 times)

Posts: 40

« on: April 30, 2009, 08:14:52 PM »

I know packet is an old mode.  We want to set up a local BBS for emergencies.  What would you recommend?
Also what is the best software from packet -> Inernet e-mails??


Posts: 213

« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2009, 05:57:49 AM »

Legitimate Packet BBS stations participate in an HF *Amateur Radio* network.

There are some clowns who misuse BBS software by hooking it up to the internet, but these are primarily European CB operators.

No real ham would do something that stupid and counterproductive.

Have you ever stopped to think how dumb it is to have ANY so-called 'ham radio emcomm' related activity set up to be utterly dependent upon the internet?

If you do not like amateur radio or can't get it together enough as a ham to use amateur radio, maybe you should consider another hobby.

Go away, and don't come back.

Charles Brabham, N5PVL


Posts: 166

« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2009, 01:25:44 PM »

The days of using VHF packet for longer distance traffic are long gone with the demise of many of our packet networks but you could set up a local group for casual messaging use.

One of the easiest might be to use the built in BBS's in some of the old packet boxes. The downside is that packet requires very good signals to work well compared to some of the newer technology now available with low cost sound card modes, e.g., Domino EX and even MT-63. VHF packet, can be quite fast at 1200 baud, but if signals are weak the throughput can go to zero when other modes are solid at "only" 50 to 200 wpm.

The new modes don't have a good BBS structure, but do you really need this for public service/emergency use?

You must have phone (voice) for primary tactical communications in those kind of situations. Digital modes are nice to have, especially when sending large amounts of traffic. Unfortunately, very few hams are remotely interested in this based upon my experiences over many years so it is quite a challenge to motivate a critical mass of local hams. You need to have a cadre of competent operators before an event occurs.

Thankfully, there are some newer paradigms that have been working well for some public service oriented groups and you will be reading about this soon in a major publication from what I have heard. This is particularly true of NBEMS which is a free (as in beer and as in speech) open source system that solves many of the problems we face. And often not even requiring an interface for VHF as long as a computer is available.

For VHF interfacing with e-mail for casual use, you could use packet to Winlink 2000, however this assumes you have telpacs or the newer RMSpacket servers in your immediate area. You will likely not want to build any kind of infrastructure that requires nearby internet access since it will not be reliable enough during a communications emergency. In my area there are only a few such servers in the entire state, mostly in a couple of high population areas.

While e-mail is not as important for public service/emergency use, it can be useful, so you might consider some HF connectivity. At this time, reasonable cost connections are only available through the PSKmail system, however it is quite nascent here in the U.S. That may change if they add more server stations, using improved modes, on more bands. The Linux client version is being ported to MS Windows so it is much more viable now. And they plan to eventually port all the Linux features, including the critically needed ARQ peer to peer feature.

I might mention that FAE400/FAE2000 modes (available only with the free Multipsk software), has the ability to provide ARQ chat mode and ARQ messaging mode in one package. It does not have any e-mail.

The Winlink 2000 system will be adding the WINMOR sound card mode protocol in the near future. This will provide low cost HF connections with an adaptable protocol, however it is not clear if it will provide the needed peer to peer connection that is critical for practical public service communication within one system.

Posts: 10

« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2009, 07:03:14 PM »

Look into JNOS 2.0 by VE4KLM

It should handle what you want.

I've always pondered how well a bootable USB flashdrive with a linux OS on it would handle emergency situations. With a laptop and a mobile rig you could have portable nodes. No need for a TNC now, with the advent of soundmodem.

Food for thought.

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