The PMRC Digital Education Net


A voice and data net to discuss digital modes

Every Tuesday evening at 1900 (7:00 PM)

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving and early start to the holiday buying season :-)

So last week on the DEN we had a few successful attempts at sending emails through the Winlink system using NY3J-10 as a gateway to the Winlink servers.  Some of the successful attempts, N3PPE, KC8HFH, KA3TSJ, W3AFV, K3EUI, N2ADD, KC3ECE and AJ3DI all sent emails through the system.  The reason for the success of Winlink is the ability to send emails through the commercial email networks originating from radio stations.  Just as Hams can set up station in a disaster zone to replace the infrastructure that may be damaged during a disaster, just as they did in Puerto Rico, during the storm, to send and receive health and welfare traffic in and out of the area.  This can be done on FM for a small area or HF for a large area.  This can greatly support voice nets to pass large amounts of data.

We had a few problems which may have been caused by using a voice repeater to handle the handshaking characteristics of Packet radio.  Normally, Packet radio would be used on a simplex frequency and a digipeater designed to handle Packet communications.  Hopefully everyone learned a little about Winlink and will learn more about the protocol by reading some of the information at the winlink.org site.  The book of knowledge on that site has a lot of advanced information.  For this week's DEN we would like to explore more about traditional Packet radio and the concept of running a PBBS program.  PBBS stands for Public Bulletin Board System.  When Packet radio started PBBS or BBS stations were set up so that Hams could connect with a station to send and receive messages to other Hams, going back even before the email and Internet systems were popular.  Running a BBS required a computer program running BBS software or a hardware TNC with the internal BBS function turned on.  One of the townships in Bucks County has something called a BBS in a box which consists of a TNC, radio, antenna and a battery/solar power setup running full time.  If there is an emergency officials can send and receive messages to each other using the BBS network.  For the DEN we are going to setup a simple BBS using the following software.

We are already using the Soundcard Modem from the UH7HO site.

http://uz7.ho.ua/packetradio.

Look for and download the program called soundmodem97.zip and easyterm39.zip.  With Windows 10 you can right click these zipped files and choose extract all.  Create a folder in the root C: directory and call it packet_radio.  copy the files in the easyterm 39 and soundmode97 directories into the packet_radio directory.  Create a shortcut for soundmodem.exe and term.exe executables.  First start soundmodem.exe and set the configuration using the following screen shot as an example.








Be sure to match the output and input devices that you will be using.  In my case I am using a SignaLink.  The soundmodem main screen should look like this.



Leave soundmodem running and start term.exe and set the configuration using the following screen shot as an example.  Be sure to enter your callsign.



Since these programs do not install in the Windows registry, just deleting the shortcuts and the packet_radio directory will uninstall the programs.

Now you are ready for further instructions during the DEN.  We will start with a voice check in followed by each station sending a test tone.

73, Ron NY3J