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Reviews Categories | Books/Manuals/Videos/Pod-WebCasts on ham radio | Your Gateway To Packet Radio - Stan Horzepa (Second Edition) Help

Reviews Summary for Your Gateway To Packet Radio - Stan Horzepa (Second Edition)
Your Gateway To Packet Radio - Stan Horzepa (Second Edition) Reviews: 1 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $12.00
Description: Provides detailed information on how to set up and use your own Packet Radio Station
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You can write your own review of the Your Gateway To Packet Radio - Stan Horzepa (Second Edition).

W4KYR Rating: 5/5 Oct 23, 2013 07:54 Send this review to a friend
Good detailed information on how to set up and use Packet Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Your Gateway to Packet Radio by Stan Horzepa (Second Edition) 1989

Whether you just bought a used TNC from an online auction site or from a hamfest. Or maybe you have a Terminal Node Controller gathering dust in your closet. You might want to get a hold of this book. If you were looking for a detailed book dedicated entirely to Packet Radio, this could likely be it.

Granted, this book could be considered dated by 2013 standards. But so are the TNCs being sold today on E-bay and elsewhere. But what could be more perfect than a book from 1989 describing equipment from...1989.

From the birth of packet radio all the way to where packet radio was taking the airwaves by
storm, this book seems to cover it all. This now under utilized and unappreciated mode was much like the internet of it's time. Back in the day there were PBBS stations through out the country where you could download files, DX clusters, maps, information as well as mail boxes. If you wanted to send mail to another ham, all you needed was a packet station and needed to know your gateway and destination. Wanted to find out where all the DX was? There were "DX Packet Clusters" on packet radio. Some TNC's had built in mail boxes too, so you didn't always have to log into the local PBBS to get your mail if you set up everything properly.

Packet Radio was (and still is, to an extent) an important mode which has provided reliable digital communications in times of emergency and helped saved lives and property. It's ability to remain independent from the internet and the fact that it is not proprietary or specific to just a single manufacturer makes the mode worthy of rediscovering it's practical and useful potential once again.

Pages 4-23 through 4-26 mentions the specs of several TNC's that are sold today on the used market. Including: AEA PK-232, PK-88, Heathkit HD-4040, Kantronics KAM, KPC 1 through 4, MFJ-1270, 1274 and 1278, PacComm Tiny-2, TNC 200,220 and 320 and computer specific AEA PK - 64, PacComm PC - 110,120 and 320. In addition the book also mentions models that you might not have heard of. And if you are unsure about selecting the TNC parameters, well there is a whole chapter dedicated to that alone.

With Packet radio you do not need a Windows computer to get on the air. (As the book discusses). It is possible to use the Radio Shack TRS-80, Commodore C-64 and C-128, Atari (yes Atari!), Apple II, Apple Mac as well as many IBM PC's. (I knew someone years ago who successfully used a PS/2 computer with an AEA PK-232 TNC). Today you can also use Linux for packet radio.

This useful and practical book also covers how to log onto a PBBS, setup a PBBS (page 10-24), check your email (page 10-17), it fully explains the differences of HF packet versus VHF packet. (Page 3-13 through 3-15) explains digipeaters and multiport digipeaters. And to top it off there is a whole chapter on Network Comms that covers much of what we use today on the internet.

Today with the proliferation of used TNC's on the market, inexpensive and ('obsolete for
the internet') computers available for a song, the big interest in ecomms, the ability to communicate and to send email (or even files) without depending on the internet, and with free programs such as 'hyperterminal' available in Windows XP as well as earlier Windows Operating Systems makes Packet Radio a good inexpensive addition to your ham shack. So dust off that old TNC, Windows 98
computer (or IBM PC) and your vintage but still functional Shack HTX-202 and get reconnected today.

If you run across "Your Gateway To Packet Radio" for a few dollars, I suggest in getting it for your ham library. Especially if you just acquired a TNC and want to get it up and running. The book reviewed is the Second Edition and has a Red Cover. I'm not sure how many editions there are. I believe the Blue Cover is the first edition.

There needs to be an update to this book. It would have great to cover the 1990's into the 2000's with the newer TNC's on the market, the rise of APRS, sound cards, USB versus serial ports, Windows 3.1 through Windows 7, Linux, Android, iPad, and 'all in one' radios with built in TNC's such as the Kenwood TM-D710, TH-D7G, TH-D72 and Alinco's DR-135.

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