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Author Topic: Looking to start packet  (Read 6245 times)
KC9DRE
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Posts: 18




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« on: March 28, 2013, 09:28:51 AM »

Eventually I want to get a new transceiver but I am curious if I can get my old 2m up and running somewhat cheaply.  I have 2 Alinco's one DR110T and the other is a DR610.

Idealy the 610 is the one I want to get running if it is feasible and relativly cheap otherwise I may look for an upgrade...

My ultimate goal is to have remote control capability and HF Cheesy
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WD4ELG
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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2013, 10:42:19 AM »

1. Can somebody explain what packet is used for these days?  I know we have APRS, but is packet even used?  I thought ALE had replaced it on HF?

2. There are already some great remote control options out there for HF.

I guess I am missing a piece of the puzzle.  I would like to help you with the remote stuff since I do that a lot, but please help me understand the packet dimension.  Thanks.

Mark Lunday, WD4ELG
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KC9DRE
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2013, 02:31:36 PM »

Ok the remote control thoughts that I have I already will probably not work with the Alinco's

I live in an apartment complex and have antenna restrictions in place meaning nothing permanent.  However my parents live about 1/4 mile away and I was going to use a corner of the garage to setup my gear, but I would like to sit at home at night and talk and or whatever digital modes that are out there.  But for me to be able to do that I will need a more current transceiver and I am ok with that and I am looking at the Yaesu FT857D so that I can also pack it in the truck and go as well.

But in the mean time my current 2m gear, is it worthwhile to try to get either of them to run in any of the digital modes via external devices?  Or should I look at going for the upgrade?
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N4CR
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« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2013, 08:06:17 PM »

What are you trying to accomplish with packet? There's not much packet activity these days.
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73 de N4CR, Phil

We are Coulomb of Borg. Resistance is futile. Voltage, on the other hand, has potential.
WD4ELG
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« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2013, 08:30:40 PM »

What model of Alinco?  Is it a 2 meter version?

Your idea is a great one, as this will allow you to operate without the restrictions.

RCFORB is complete remote control software including audio.  http://www.remotehams.com

You can get a digital external device like SignaLink (which I have, and love it) or RigBlaster.  This will allow you to send/receive APRS and anything else you want, as long as you have the computer with the software located near the rig.

SignaLink is very plug-and-play.  Cables for connecting your rig to the SignaLink are ordered on their home page.  A USB cable connects the SignaLink to your PC.  All you need after that is the software on the computer.

What else are you looking to do on 2 meters besides APRS?  Or is that not even your goal?
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W8JX
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« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2013, 07:22:57 AM »

What are you trying to accomplish with packet? There's not much packet activity these days.

Packet was big in 90's but is petty dead these days. Internet and cellphones likely contributed to its demise.
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All posted wireless using Win 8.1 RT, a Android tablet using 4G/LTE/WiFi or Sprint Note 3.
KC9DRE
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« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2013, 11:24:23 AM »

Ok so "Packet" is dead/dying What other digital modes are out there to toy with that are worth a look at?  I suppose when I said packet that I was referring to digital as a whole, not just one protocol.

I'll be in my corner Cheesy

I did take a look at RCFORD today and was able to connect to others systems here in the states and well as other places around the world.  Though I have to be careful where I transmit when I connect to the HF rigs being a tech and all.  But once I upgrade to General in the near future that will be less of an issue.  It the signalink and cables it 127 shipped for my application and that will give me ablility to do digital, however will that allow for remote control as well with full control as if I was sitting in front of the radio or is it a limited control?  I suppose I need to read more on it.

This being the case my most functional transceiver is the DR610 though I am looking REALLLY hard at the FT-857D or 897D as a reward for going for my general Cheesy
« Last Edit: March 29, 2013, 11:39:36 AM by KC9DRE » Logged
N4CR
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« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2013, 03:04:02 PM »

Ok so "Packet" is dead/dying What other digital modes are out there to toy with that are worth a look at?  I suppose when I said packet that I was referring to digital as a whole, not just one protocol.

Well, you're in luck then. Digital is far from dead, RTTY, PSK-31, JT-64 and WSPR are all very popular and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

I recommend the SignaLink USB. It's a great sound card interface.

You need to think about a sound card interface (digital modes) and rig control as two different goals. While there are a few solutions that are packaged together, by far most of the solutions target one or the other.
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73 de N4CR, Phil

We are Coulomb of Borg. Resistance is futile. Voltage, on the other hand, has potential.
K0JEG
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Posts: 669




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« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2013, 09:04:52 AM »

Ok so "Packet" is dead/dying What other digital modes are out there to toy with that are worth a look at?  I suppose when I said packet that I was referring to digital as a whole, not just one protocol.

I'll be in my corner Cheesy

I did take a look at RCFORD today and was able to connect to others systems here in the states and well as other places around the world.  Though I have to be careful where I transmit when I connect to the HF rigs being a tech and all.  But once I upgrade to General in the near future that will be less of an issue.  It the signalink and cables it 127 shipped for my application and that will give me ablility to do digital, however will that allow for remote control as well with full control as if I was sitting in front of the radio or is it a limited control?  I suppose I need to read more on it.

This being the case my most functional transceiver is the DR610 though I am looking REALLLY hard at the FT-857D or 897D as a reward for going for my general Cheesy


Also take a look at the more recent Icom units. They have been moving to a USB interface that emulates a sound card and serial interface built right in. It makes for a one-cable solution and nothing else to buy. I used an IC-7200 during field day last year at the club PSK-31 station and it worked very well. Icom also has a remote control program that will control nearly (if not all) functions of the radio. I don't know of any program that will control 100% of the FT-897's functions.

Nothing really wrong with them, but keep in mind the 857/897 aren't the best for computer control, and some of the tech is getting long in the tooth. The price is right though. Understand, I own an FT-897d and an FT-817 and have been happy with them, but there's better stuff out there today, even from Yaesu.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2013, 09:15:47 AM by K0JEG » Logged
KC9DRE
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Posts: 18




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« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2013, 03:36:30 PM »

Quick question.... can you run digital mode through RCFORD?  I don't have my rig on there but can I attach to another or do I need the tnc directly connected at my end?
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N4CR
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Posts: 1672




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« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2013, 05:50:59 AM »

Quick question.... can you run digital mode through RCFORD?  I don't have my rig on there but can I attach to another or do I need the tnc directly connected at my end?

Back to the tnc? It won't do other digital modes. Just packet.
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73 de N4CR, Phil

We are Coulomb of Borg. Resistance is futile. Voltage, on the other hand, has potential.
AC0MG
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Posts: 5




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« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2013, 09:51:09 PM »

I think it was Mark Twain that made some comment about the "rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated."  Packet radio is alive and well with some ARES groups in CA.  Using the Outpost software, it is perfect for passing ICS-213 information.  Don't give up on packet.  Besides the APRS side of it, there are other uses as well.  That cell phone is a great idea, until it doesn't work!!
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KC9DRE
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Posts: 18




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« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2013, 04:16:52 PM »

Ok so where is where I am at now.  I did upgrade my radio to the FT-857D.  I made and audio cable that connects to the back of the radio's mini DIN that I have directly input into the sounds card of my PC, no TNC used at this point in time as I thought with the CAT cable and HRD that it was pointless...  the results so far have been mixed as I am still trying to decode what I am receiving into a valid signal.   Using DM and watching the waterfall I scan slowly looking for signals in my area and I find blips of information but I have yet to decode anything that makes sense on 2m/70cm.  I have attempted looking at the other bands for receive only at this point in time until I go get my General update (which I am planning in the coming weeks).  I do need get/build a quality HF antenna before any serious transmitting begins anyway. However right now I just want to get familiar with decoding then start to transmit later. Unless I find something on a band I can transmit on...
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W4KYR
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Posts: 567




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« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2013, 07:39:49 AM »

What are you trying to accomplish with packet? There's not much packet activity these days.

With Packet one can have instant messaging, mailboxes and set up a BBS without relying on the internet or cell phones. Some of the vintage Packet Multi-Mode TNC's such as MFJ 1278 and the PK 232 can be had for $50 or less and run with older but still functioning Windows, 95,98,2000 and XP machines. Unlike the internet, if it is obsolete for the internet it still can be used for digital communications on amateur radio.

One could just put spare equipment to good use and having it run in the background. Also you can use "Hyperterminal" in XP (and other older windows operating systems) instead of the older DOS proprietary TNC software.

Packet still has its place 20 - 25 years later after its heyday for good basic everyday communications independent of the grid and independent of the cell phone.  For emergency applications, having a packet station with a BBS and mailboxes would prove invaluable for storing messages for retrieval later on when needed.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2013, 07:42:52 AM by W4KYR » Logged

Still using Windows XP Pro.
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