3.975/7.275 MHzGeorgia A.R.E.S.  144.390 APRS

Please E-mail, Mark Foley, NA4V (GA ARES DEC Digital Communications) if you can operate packet radio/APRS/other digital modes as GA ARES plans to incorporate these modes of communication also.

PACKET RADIO FREQUENCIES (FROM W4GBU)

Here are some additional Metro Atlanta and North Georgia packet radio frequencies (1200 baud):

145.030    SNELLV (Snellville)
145.070    W4PME (Metro Atlanta)
145.510    JASPER
145.630    C SAW5 then  C SAW 1 then C KS4Q-1 or C DX (DX Packetcluster-Cumming)
145.750    ATL1
145.770    (SEDAN NETWORK) CONNECT TO THE FOLLOWING NODES: (For Emergency Communications)

    Location        Node Alias
    ------------    ----------
    China Hill      CHILL
    Conyers         CGA
    Douglas         DGA
    Fayetteville    FTV
    Folkston        FGA
    Forsyth         FOR
    Griffin         GRIF
    Hartwell        HGA
    Irwinton        IRW
    Jasper           KE4R-7  (Good node from Metro Atlanta)
    Lagrange        WLAG
    Lawrenceville  W4GR-7  (Good node from Metro Atlanta)
    Macon           MCN
    Milledgeville   MLJ
    Newnan          NWN
    Tennile         TEN
    Thomasville     TGA
    Warner Robins   WRGA
    Watkinsville    WKV
    Waycross        WAYX

And here are some links for additional information:

Tucson Amateur Packet Radio (TAPR)- FAQ, etc.
http://www.packetradio.com/

Event Summary:  GA ARES Packet Event, Sun May 20, 2001

Hello All,

Participation in the May 20th packet event was *very* strong and I'm really
encouraged that we have such a solid core of digital operators to augment
the existing ARES communications channels.  My thanks goes to each of you,
and especially to those who stuck it out in Exercise #2-- it was most
revealing (read on)!

I'm already working on plans for a follow-up event which will build upon
what we learned this month and deepen our collective experience in digital
operations.  Please take a moment to read this note fully (it's long, I
know) and drop me an email with your impressions, suggestions, etc.  I
relied on many people to bring this event together, and that will be even
more the case as we go forward.

I'm looking forward to seeing you at the ARES forum of the Atlanta Radio
Club hamfest on June 2.  Keep your TNC's going now that you know the drill!
FYI-- the ATL node will be off the air for several days this week as we put
it into it's permanent location.

Vy 73,
Barrett / KE4R
KE4R@arrl.net
(770) 461-7600  [home]
 

Event Description
==================
Event Name : GA ARES VHF Packet Drill
Event Date : May 20, 2001.   Noon-3PM, and 4PM exercises
Operations : 1200 baud packet over SEDAN, 145.770 MHz
Net Control: KE4R

Numbers Overview
================
- 30 stations took part in this event in one way or another
- 17 stations completed exercise #1 (read bulletin; leave message)
- 13 stations took part in exercise #2 (check in to the directed net)
-  8 stations desiring to participate were not within range of SEDAN
-  1 station suffered lightening damage to TNC before the event

Geographic Coverage
===================
- 12 Georgia counties were represented on packet: Baldwin, Cobb, Fayette,
Fulton, Greene, Gwinnett, Hancock, Henry, Houston, Jones, Pickens, and
Turner.
-  5 Georgia counties have interested stations but no SEDAN access at the
moment: Bulloch, Carroll, Columbia, Effingham, and Richmond.
- Local access to SEDAN was concentrated thru the MLJ (Milledgeville), CGA
(Conyers), MCN (Macon), FTV (Fayetteville), and ATL (Atlanta) nodes.
 

What Worked, What Didn't
========================

<< Exercise #1, Observations >>

Reading a bulletin and leaving a message proved to be a very smooth and
effective means of both one-to-many communications and many-to-one
communications.  Note that our use of the BBS was centralized on one node,
and access was "on-demand" (you had to login personally).  These are the
keys to keeping traffic load to a manageable load on the network, as opposed
to automatic store-and-forward mechanisms used on full service packet email
networks.

<< Exercise #1, Conclusions/Recommendations >>

Activating a centralized BBS is a reliable way to issue information
bulletins to the field from the SEC/EOC/NCS during emergency incidents, or
to collect status reports & requests for assistance from the field.

Recommend GA ARES identify and publish the network path and SSID of one or
more BBSs dedicated to GA ARES incident management.  These BBSs may be
activated at the time of ARES callup if ongoing operation is not feasible.

<< Exercise #2, Observations >>

The directed net using the "talk" facility on one node held its own as a
means of many-to-many communications while we had the first 3 or 4 stations
logged in.  However it quickly became overloaded as 6 or 7 stations joined.
At the peak of 10 stations logged in, the "talk" facility was completely
unusable and in fact a major portion of the network was effectively shut
down as multiple Info/ACK packets collided and retried again and again over
the same paths to/from the FTV node.

Note that this behavior is not a function of the baud rate (1200 baud) but
instead is a result of the network topology,  and the AX.25 protocol
itself-- it guarantees 100% error free communication but that comes at the
price of full round-trip acknowledgements.

Note that if all stations were uplinked to the same local access node (that
means, they all made their original "connect" to the same node, which
implies they are in the same local geographic area) it *might* be feasible
for a few more stations to join "talk" because packets wouldn't travel
node-to-node on the network but would instead be effectively digipeated on
the local access node itself.  There is also a "UI broadcast" facility that
will broadcast a packet for all to hear but has no ACK, hence you might miss
one if you are marginally in range of the node (similar to APRS digis).

<< Exercise #2, Observations/Recommendations >>

This approach ("Talk") would be a useful way for a *very limited* set of
stations to keep a digital roundtable but should not be used beyond it's
capabilities or the entire network may become paralyzed.

Recommend further tests to determine if a larger set of stations connecting
to the same local access node can engage in "Talk" facility, or the "UI
broadcast" facility.

Recommend discouraging the use of "Talk" for more than 3 persons across the
network.

Operator Experience
===================
In addition to the seasoned packet operators among us, we also had several
stations who are relatively new to packet participate in this event (Some
operators were setting up TNC's for the first time).  From their phone calls
and email, and from watching at the operators console as they made their way
into the PBBS, etc. I see the need to pre-test the mechanics of an event in
order to provide succinct, relevant tips for all operators.  These tips will
be delivered by email for future events as was done for this event.

If you are willing to be involved in pre-testing or can be available to walk
someone else through a basic TNC setup over the phone, please let me know so
I can call on you at the proper time.
 

Needs to be Addressed
=====================
There is a sizeable concentration of digital operators in the Savannah,
Statesboro, and Augusta areas who want to participate but are out of SEDAN
range at present.  I am in discussions with these stations and others to
determine how we can include them in upcoming events.  No firm plans yet,
but this probably means extending the reach of the network by one of several
methods:

A) Using conventional digipeaters to span the gap between local station and
network access point.  This can be done by any ham who has a TNC and lives
mid-way between the outlying station and the network.  Probably should limit
this approach to single-hop digipeating for technical reasons.  If you are
in a good location for 2m work (you can hit many repeaters far away from
you) and you can reach a SEDAN node, please drop me a note and we'll talk
about getting your help with digipeating for others.

B) Installing (or re-activating) SEDAN nodes in these areas.  This is easier
and less expensive than setting up an FM repeater, but more difficult and
costly than simply digipeating from your shack.  If you would like to become
a SEDAN SysOp I can tell you how (I found out it's easy as 1-2-3).

C) Cross-linking HF Packet to the VHF net for emergency traffic.  This can
be done by several of the Kantronics TNCs (even my old KAM+) and should
allow us to hear all parts of the state.

Special Recognition
===================
I must express my sincere appreciation to a few persons who spent hours
installing, configuring, and testing the many HW/SW components used to
prepare for this event.  The most important lesson learned is that teamwork
is required to make an impact that extends beyond your own backyard.

* Tom Haskins, W4WXA, who encouraged me to get involved with packet and
SEDAN in the first place
* Dave Carter, WA4PQK, who let me experiment with his FTV node (for months
now!) and answers all my technical questions on how to run a first rate node
* Darren Pierce, AG4BF, who took on the nuts-n-bolts of installing the ATL
node
* Steve Reynolds, W4CNG...
* Tom Fuller, KE4QCM...
* Tom Soulsby, W4MX... all three of whom were my eyes-n-ears in the field as
we perfected the coverage of the ATL node.

Many thanks also to Robert Tyler, KF4VBR (DEC GEMA) who suggested that a
packet net in May would be a good way to kick things off, and to Lowry
Rouse, KM4Z (GA SEC) who continues to drive the vision of excellence for
Georgia ARES and supports our digital efforts as far as we will take them.

That's it for now.
/ex
 
 

A last note to bring you up to speed for Sunday's VHF packet event.  If you
need a copy of the instructions, email me at KE4R@arrl.net.

ATL node hears better now
=========================
If you have tried to connect to the ATL node this week but were
unsuccessful, you owe it to yourself to try again.  Antenna improvements
that went into effect Friday at 7PM have resulted in clean access for ops in
Cobb, North Fulton, and Gwinnett counties, running 10 to 20 watts.

PBBS commands to know
=========================
The PBBS to which you will be connected at KE4R-10 has a command set that is
slightly different that what is found on many TNCs.  Here's a quick summary
of the most useful commands for this event.

"LB"  (no space between characters) will list the bulletins.

"R 1" (one space between characters) will read bulletin number one.

"SP KE4R" will send a private msg to the NCS.  If you only type "S", you
will be prompted for the message type (P=Private, B=Bulletin, T=NTS
Traffic).  Choose "P".

"H" for help, in case you get stuck or just what to see what else is
available on that system.  Unfortunately, "?" is not an alias for the help
command and the PBBS will complain that it doesn't understand it.

"B" to say 'bye' and drop the connection to the PBBS when you're done.  You
will be returned to the FTV node from which you came.

TALK procedure-- just like a directed net
==========================================
At 4PM when you execute the "talk" command on the FTV node, consider it to
be a directed net and only transmit (type on your keyboard) when requested
to do so by NCS.  When you join the roundtable, other ops will see a short
message saying that you joined so don't announce yourself with "anybody
there?".  You will get the initial message "Type /ex to exit" and then a
blank line.  There is no prompt of any kind.  If you are invited by NCS to
send a message, type the text and press 'Enter' to send the packet.  Please
try to keep messages brief (one line) to avoid sluggishness on the net.
"Talk" mode is intense because it sends every packet to every user logged
into Talk.  I'm not sure how where the saturation point lies...  <grin>

Stay sharp-- during the net I expect to put questions to the group as a
whole, and measure the response time when you all reply at about the same
moment.  If synchronized replies drags the network down too bad, I will ask
all "Alpha" prefix stations to respond, then I'll ask all "Kilo", then all
"November" and "Whiskey", as a means to spread out the traffic by 30-60
seconds.

Type "/ex" at the beginning of the line to exit Talk mode when you are
dismissed from the net.  I may choose to dismiss stations individually as
often done on HF traffic nets, or perhaps as a group at the end as commonly
done on 2-meter FM nets.  You may exit the Talk mode when dismissed or
remain in that mode if you want to monitor the rest of us.

In closing...
==============
I'm excited by the response of so many of you who are dusting off your
packet gear and going digital for the sake of serving the public interest.
We will have a memorable event on Sunday, one which will lay a foundation
upon which we can learn and build.  Take care.

73,
Barrett / KE4R
Fayetteville, GA

KE4R@arrl.net
(770) 461-7600   (h)

Subject: Nodes Update: GA-ARES VHF Packet Event

Hello again.  A brief update on additional SEDAN nodes.

Node "ATL" is installed but doesn't maintain a solid connection to the rest
of the network after dark (probably VHF propagation changes).  I am
attempting to relocate the antenna to improve on this situation.

Albany is active!  While exploring the network last night, I found that two
nodes are operating (again) in the Albany area.  The aliases are "ALB" and
"RELAY".  Try to "connect" to each of them and go with whatever works.

Thanks to all of you who have dropped me a note at KE4R-10 as you're
checking out the network.  Looking forward to seeing you Sunday.

Vy 73,
Barrett / KE4R

Subject: More Technical Hints: GA-ARES VHF Packet Event

Hello again.  If you are not planning to participate in the May 20th event,
or you are an experienced user of packet networks, you may delete this
message now.

Vy 73,
Barrett / KE4R
 

To those who are reading this far, I'm getting good feedback from my
beta-testers who've checked out the network and mailbox this weekend.  A few
of the more subtle points of packet operation might be unfamiliar to you and
we hope this information will make your packet experience more satisfying.
 

Command Prompts
===============
If you've spent a little time operating packet through your TNC, you've no
doubt become accustomed to the command prompt that your TNC displays when
it's ready, something like "Cmd:".  In many TNC's, the command prompt can be
summoned by typing "Ctrl-C" or similar.  But on packet networks, we change
the rules a bit... you still use the "Cmd:" prompt to make the first
connection from your TNC but from that point forward, prompts are not
displayed!

When you connect to a packet network, you will typically see a message that
confirms your connection and then "blank"-- no prompt of any kind.  This
feels odd at first but you get used to it.  When you see that blank line,
it's an invitation to type in your command(s).  For example, when connecting
to the ATL node you will see the following (the 'cmd:' prompt is from your
TNC; the rest is from the node)

  cmd:*** CONNECTED to ATL
  ATL:KE4R-7}
  (this is the blank line)
  <my first command goes here...>

  [results appear here, no prompt given when results are done]
  (this is another blank line)
  <my second command goes here...>

If you inadvertently type "Ctrl-C" once you're connected to the net, your
local TNC will put the network connection on hold (so to speak) and take
over the display with the familiar "Cmd:" prompt.  Whatever you type from
then on will be processed by your local TNC and *not* be sent to the network
as you desire.  In such a case, to return to the network connection you
should type "k" or "converse" and your TNC will return you to the live
network connection (check your TNC manual to confirm the exact command).  No
prompt will be given when you return to the network except for that nifty
blank line  :-)

By the way, once you connect to the ultimate destination (my mailbox at
KE4R-10) things look more familiar and you will see the prompt "BBS>"
appear.  You're welcome.
 

Patience is the Key
===================
The latency in network operation can be downright frustrating if you're not
ready for it.  Depending upon the network load, the available routes, and to
some extent the VHF propagation at the time, your response time when sending
commands to a network node might range from a few seconds to a minute or
more.  For example, when you connect to KE4R-10 to read the bulletin, the
first 10 lines might appear on the screen in a few seconds, and then you
wait... for perhaps 30 seconds until the next ten lines appears.

Your mileage will vary but the point is this: if you wait long enough, the
network will keep it's commitments to you.  If you ask to connect to a node,
it will either connect you (eventually) or inform you that it cannot do so,
but it won't leave you hanging without any reply.  Likewise when you are
sending/receiving a message from the mailbox, just relax and give it a
chance to come back to you.  If you see the beginning of a message, you will
see the end of it, too, if you are patient.

Tip for sending the message to me in Exercise 1: Once you have entered the
Subject line, and see the prompt "Msg?", don't bother to wait for any kind
of response as you type each line of your message ('cuz their isn't any
response)-- just go ahead and type all the lines you want and press Enter on
each one without waiting.  Send "/ex" all by itself at the beginning of a
new line (then Enter) to end your message.  If you're typing faster than the
network can send and acknowledge the data, you should expect to wait for a
short while as the network "catches up" to you.  When it does, it will tell
you "Message filed..." and you know it got all of your message.  Then you
will see the "BBS>" prompt again and you can logout with "Bye", or see other
commands with "?", etc.

As more tips come to light, I'll send 'em your way.

/ex

Subject: Update: GA-ARES VHF Packet Event in May

Dear OM,

I hope this note finds you doing well.  I'm looking forward to your
participation in the GA ARES VHF Packet Event next Sunday, May 20th and
believe you'll find this update useful.

***  New SEDAN Node ***
=======================
If you live in the North Metro Atlanta area and have been unable to access
the SEDAN network, please give it a second try this week using the newest GA
SEDAN node.  Beginning Monday evening May 14th, the node alias "ATL" will be
activated on 145.770.  This node is located near Cumberland/Galleria at the
intersection of I-285 and I-75 in Cobb county.  Antenna height is
approximately 350 feet above surrounding terrain with unobstructed views to
the horizon 20 miles in all directions.  Coverage should be strong into
Cobb, North Fulton, and Paulding counties, perhaps into parts of Gwinnett,
Forsyth, Cherokee, and Bartow as well.  Use "connect ATL" to attempt logon,
and please let me know if you can/can't connect to this node, and your
location.

Why Wait?
==========
Dates, times, frequencies, and activities for this event are unchanged.  If
you have misplaced the instructions please drop me a note and I'll email
them to you again.

You needn't wait until next Sunday to get your feet wet.  Go ahead and get
onto the SEDAN net this week to become familiar with navigating the network,
etc.  I have my personal mailbox running on KE4R-10 (access via FTV node) as
described in the instructions-- make my day and drop me a note!

Technical Hint
===============
If you receive the message "Failure with FTV" (or any other node) when
trying to connect from your local access node to FTV, you may create a route
to FTV manually.  This is easy to do by issuing a series of "connect"
commands to the nodes between you and FTV.  For example, if you accessed
SEDAN via MLJ but the network couldn't find a route to FTV, you would take a
look at the list of nodes in the instructions and note that MCN (Macon) and
FOR (Forsyth) are approximately 'between' MLJ and FTV (a little South, but
hey...).  So then you type:

"connect MCN" and when you successfully get connected, type
"connect FOR" and when you get connected there, type
"connect FTV"

Because the routing tables in the network have both static and dynamic
entries, routes sometimes "decay" and are lost from the route tables if
traffic hasn't traveled that path recently.

Call or write if you experience any technical difficulties as you warm up
for the event this week.

Vy 73,

Barrett Thompson / KE4R
Fayetteville, GA

Email: KE4R@arrl.net
Phone: (770) 461-7600
 
 

Packet Radio Training Drill- Sun May 20, 2001, 12:00pm-3:00pm and 4:00pm-4:45pm

Dear all Georgia ARES members:

My name is Barrett Thompson, KE4R, and I'm a member of the Fayette
County ARES.  Georgia ARES is committed to expanding its use of
Digital modes to better support the served agencies in Georgia.
Under the leadership of GA SEC Lowry Rouse, KM4Z and GEMA DEC
Robert Tyler, KF4VBR, I am coordinating a statewide VHF Packet
event in the month of May.  The purpose of this event is to gauge
the interest of the Georgia ARES community in digital modes and to
evaluate the effectiveness of digital modes for ARES work.

Date of Event: Sunday, May 20, 2001
Time(s):       Exercise 1, Noon - 3:00 PM  (approx. 15 minutes
                                            req'd of you)
               Exercise 2, 4:00 - 4:45 PM  (net in session)
 
 

***  New SEDAN Node ***
=======================
If you live in the North Metro Atlanta area and have been unable to access
the SEDAN network, please give it a second try this week using the newest GA
SEDAN node.  Beginning Monday evening May 14th, the node alias "ATL" will be
activated on 145.770.  This node is located near Cumberland/Galleria at the
intersection of I-285 and I-75 in Cobb county.  Antenna height is
approximately 350 feet above surrounding terrain with unobstructed views to
the horizon 20 miles in all directions.  Coverage should be strong into
Cobb, North Fulton, and Paulding counties, perhaps into parts of Gwinnett,
Forsyth, Cherokee, and Bartow as well.  Use "connect ATL" to attempt logon,
and please let me know if you can/can't connect to this node, and your
location.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you are equipped to operate a packet radio station on the
2-meter band you are eagerly invited to join us in this event.
No prior experience with directed nets or packet networking is
needed.  Read on for the details of this event and watch for
further updates via email over the next few weeks.

I look forward to seeing your callsign on my screen during the
event!

Vy 73,

Barrett Thompson / KE4R
Fayetteville, GA

Email: KE4R@arrl.net
Phone: (770) 461-7600
 

Description of Activities
=========================
All activities will make use of the SEDAN packet network.  This
network, which has been built specifically for use during
emergencies, spans almost two-thirds of Georgia and provides a
readily available communications channel for keyboard-to-keyboard
packet communications.  It is also very easy to use.  Instructions
for connecting to the SEDAN network are presented later in this
message.

Packet radio supports traditional "live" communications where an
operator is present at both ends of the QSO, as well as
"unattended" communications which permit a single operator to
initiate a contact and send or receive written messages via an
electronic mailbox.  Both modes are extremely useful during
emergency operations.

For this event we will have one exercise for each of these
operating modes.  You may participate in one or both exercises.

**********************************
Exercise 1  : The Unattended Drill
**********************************
Goals       : Read a general information Bulletin,
              Leave a message for the NCS, KE4R

Time Period : Anytime between Noon - 3:00 PM, Sunday May 20

Instructions: +-----------------------------+
              |  CONNECT TO KE4R's MAILBOX  |
              +-----------------------------+
              Connect to the SEDAN network via a local access node
              Connect to FTV node
              Connect to KE4R-10     <my mailbox program>

              +---------------------------+
              |   READ THE BULLETIN       |
              +---------------------------+
              Type "LB"  to see a list of Bulletins in the
                  mailbox.
              Note the number of the bulletin with the title
                 "ARES Packet Event Bulletin"
              Type "R <number>" to read the bulletin

              +---------------------------+
              |    LEAVE A MESSAGE        |
              +---------------------------+
              Type "SP KE4R" to create a message to KE4R
              For subject: "Packet Exercise 1"
              For message text: Please compose a brief message
                 containing your callsign, name, location (city &
                 county), SEDAN local access node, and whether you
                 have emergency power available to your packet
                 station and approx. how long you could operate on
                 that power.

                 Use a message format similar to the following,
                 and type "/ex" at the beginning of the last line
                 in the message to tell the mailbox you're done.

                   "Call:       K4XYZ
                    Name:       John Johnson
                    QTH:        Valdosta, GA
                    SEDAN node: TGA
                    Emer. Pwr:  Yes, approx 20 hours capacity

                    /ex"

              +--------------------------------+
              |   EXIT THE MAILBOX & NETWORK   |
              +--------------------------------+
              After sending the message, Type "B" and press
                 Enter to exit the mailbox.  You are now back at
                 the command prompt of the FTV node.
              Type "Bye" to exit FTV and return to your local
                 access node.
              Type "Bye" again to disconnect from your local
                 access node and the SEDAN network.
 

**********************************
Exercise 2  : The Live Drill
**********************************
Goal        : Check in to a directed packet net (Net Control-KE4R)

Time Period : Starting  4:00PM, Sunday May 20.
              Ending by 4:45PM, in time to join State ARES
                                net on 3975 KHz.

Instructions: +---------------------------+
              |   CONNECT TO FTV NODE     |
              +---------------------------+
              Connect to the SEDAN network via a local access node
              Connect to FTV node

              +---------------------------+
              |   CHECK IN TO THE NET     |
              +---------------------------+
              Once connected to FTV, type "Talk" and press Enter
                 to join the live discussion group.  Your presence
                 will be automatically announced to NCS and the
                 rest of the net by the node itself.

              Anything you type from this moment forward will be
                 sent to all stations logged in via Talk. As
                 with all directed nets, please do not "transmit"
                 (type) unless you are invited to do so by Net
                 Control.  Bandwidth is precious...

              +---------------------------+
              |   CHECK OUT OF THE NET    |
              +---------------------------+
              When the net is dismissed, type "/ex" and press
                 Enter to exit the Talk mode.  You are now back at
                 the command prompt of the FTV node.
              Type "Bye" to exit FTV and return to your local
                 access node.
              Type "Bye" again to disconnect from your local
                 access node and the SEDAN network.
 

Connecting to the SEDAN Network
===============================
If you are familiar with connecting to, and navigating through,
the SEDAN network you may disregard the remainder of this message.

This drill assumes you have successfully connected your TNC to
your computer and set the essential TNC parameters such as MYCALL.
Consult your TNC manual for specific cabling requirements between
your TNC and Computer, and proper setup parameters for TNC
operation.  To connect to the SEDAN network, take the following
steps:

1.  Set your VHF radio to a frequency of 145.770 MHz, Simplex

2.  Set your TNC baud rate to 1200 (this is the rate of the RF
    communication, *not* the speed your computer is talking to the
    TNC thru the COM port).  If your TNC only has one baud rate,
    then it is probably 1200 already.

3.  Choose a local access node from the following list.  Generally
    speaking, the node closest to you will give the best access.
    Note the three or four letter node alias which will be used to
    make the connection.

    Location        Node Alias
    ------------    ----------
    China Hill      CHILL
    Conyers         CGA
    Douglas         DGA
    Fayetteville    FTV
    Folkston        FGA
    Forsyth         FOR
    Griffin         GRIF
    Hartwell        HGA
    Irwinton        IRW
    Lagrange        WLAG
    Macon           MCN
    Milledgeville   MLJ
    Newnan          NWN
    Tennile         TEN
    Thomasville     TGA
    Warner Robins   WRGA
    Watkinsville    WKV
    Waycross        WAYX

    Alternately, you may turn on your TNC's monitoring mode
    ("MON ON", "MALL ON", "MCOM ON", "MRPT ON", etc.) and check
    back in one or two hours to see which nodes you could hear
    when they send their periodic ID beacon or when the network is
    active with traffic.  From my home I can see the beacons from
    FTV and GRIF nodes:

        WA4PQK-7>ID/V: <<UI>>:TheNet X-1J4  (FTV)
        KE4UAS-7>ID/V: <<UI>>:TheNet X-1J4  (GRIF)

4.  At the command prompt of your TNC type "connect <node alias>"
    for your local access node.  For example, when I connect to
    the Fayetteville node, I use the following command:

        cmd: connect FTV

5.  Be patient.  Avoid the temptation to enter the command
    multiple times just because you don't see any response yet.
    Remember, you're operating at 1200 baud, and the backbone of
    the network is at 9600 baud.  It may take a few seconds for
    the network to respond to your requests.  When connecting to
    other nodes and stations across the network (hence across
    the state) you may have delays of 30-45 seconds.  This is
    normal-- don't expect to see the fast response you've become
    accustomed to with your new DSL line to the Internet!

6.  When you are successful in your connection request, you will
    see a response similar to this:

        cmd:*** CONNECTED to FTV
        FTV:WA4PQK-7} THE X-1J4 NODE AT FAYETTEVILLE,GA
        TYPE I FOR INFO OR C FOR MAILBOX

    If you are unable to connect to your closest node, try another
    node close to you.

7.  If you are unable to connect to any local access node,
    ** PLEASE ** send me an email message and let me know that you
    tried, and where you are located.  It's important to know just
    where we can and cannot reach with the current network.

8.  If you connect but then experience some trouble along the way
    during the exercises, send me an email message and tell me
    what happened.  If the network was not able to serve you
    during the drill, it won't be able to serve you during a real
    emergency.  We need to know this sooner rather than later.
 

Basic Packet Network Commands
==============================
If you are familiar with basic packet network commands such as
"Connect", "Bye", and "Talk" you may disregard the remainder of
this message.

CONNECT  <node alias, or station>.

   Forms a packet connection to another station.  This station may
   be a node in a network or an end-user station like yours.  Once
   connected to a node you may issue another connect command to
   reach other nodes or end-user stations which are also on
   frequency.  Each node will provide it's alias in the command
   prompt so you know where you are.
   Example (building a chain from FTV to GRIF to CGA):

      cmd:connect ftv
      cmd:*** CONNECTED to FTV
      FTV:WA4PQK-7} THE X-1J4 NODE AT FAYETTEVILLE,GA
      TYPE I FOR INFO OR C FOR MAILBOX

      connect grif
      FTV:WA4PQK-7} Connected to GRIF:KE4UAS-7

      connect cga
      GRIF:KE4UAS-7} Connected to CGA:N4XZV-7
 

BYE

   Gracefully exit from a node or mailbox by typing "Bye" and
   Enter.  If you have established a chain of connections to reach
   your current destination, you will return to the previous
   destination.  Each successive "Bye" will exit from the latest
   "Connect" remaining in the chain, until you finally unwind to
   your starting point and exit the network entirely.
   Example (unwinding the chain built in the example above for
            CONNECT):

      <assume I'm connected to CGA>

      bye
      GRIF:KE4UAS-7} Welcome back.

      bye
      FTV:WA4PQK-7} Welcome back.

      bye
      *** DISCONNECTED
      cmd:
 

DISCONNECT

   An alternate way to drop a chain of connections.  While still
   connected, return to the command prompt of your TNC (often by
   typing Ctrl-C) and type "D" and Enter.  Your TNC will initiate
   the disconnection from your end.  The network itself will take
   care of sending disconnect requests down the line to all
   stations in your connection chain.
 

TALK

   When connected to a network node, type "Talk" and Enter to join
   the conference bridge of that node.  A conference bridge is a
   central facility that echoes your typed messages to all other
   stations currently joined to the bridge.  Your callsign is
   automatically prepended before the message text so the other
   stations know who said what.  Think of it as a round-table for
   packet mode-- many stations having one conversation.  To exit
   the bridge, type "/ex" and Enter.
   Example (I enter talk mode.  Someone joins me, we chat,
            he leaves.  Then I leave talk mode):

      talk
      FTV:WA4PQK-7} Talk mode. Type '/ex' to leave.

      WA4PQK-7>> AG4BF  has joined you.
      AG4BF>> Hello from Darren.  Who's on the bridge tonite?

          Just me (barrett) and you.

      AG4BF>> Okay.  The telephone is ringing so gotta go now.  73

          See you later Darren.

      WA4PQK-7>> AG4BF has left you.

          /ex
      FTV:WA4PQK-7} Leaving talk.
 

INFO

   Most nodes have some basic information about their location,
   equipment, and the SysOp who runs the node.  You can see it by
   typing "Info" and pressing Enter.
   Example:

      info
      FTV:WA4PQK-7} SouthEastern Digital Association Networks
                    {SEDAN}

      At Fayetteville,GA SYSOP is Dave
      Lat=33.27.689 N
      LON=84.27.935 W
      Elve= 943'AMSL
      Grid SQ = 73 SK
      TXCR Alinco DR-140 rFc2-417
      Node MFJ-1270B W/X1J4 Eprom
      Ant 2 M

NODES

   Interested in seeing what other nodes are available from the
   node you are currently connected to?  Type "NODES" and Enter.
   Each node is given first by its alias, then by its SSID
   (callsign-hyphen-number).  By the way, those nodes with aliases
   of the form 96XX are the 9600 baud backbone nodes.  Our 1200
   baud connections to local access nodes will automatically route
   across these high-speed nodes to improve performance.
   Example:

     nodes
     FTV:WA4PQK-7} Nodes:
     9602:KD4AOZ-9   9616:K4ICT-9    9618:W4OQT-9    9620:KU4OY-10
     9645:KU4OY-9    9653:KT4BT-11   9655:KE4YZI-9   9660:K4SEX-9
     9663:WD4KTY-9   ADEC1W:KE4YZI-5 BAL:KE4YZI-7    CGA:N4XZV-7
     CHILL:W4OQT-7   FOR:WD4JKH-7    GRIF:KE4UAS-7   HGA:KE4WTZ-7
     HMR:WD4HMR-7    IRW:WB4NFG-7    MCN:K4ICT-7     MLJ:KU4OY-7
     NWN:K4SEX-7     PCAL:KT4BT-8    RAL:WD4KTY-7    TEN:K4ICT-8
     WKV:KD4AOZ-7    WLAG:WD4KTY-8   WRGA:WB4OLD-7
 
 

Here are some Metro Atlanta and North Georgia packet radio frequencies (1200 baud):

145.030    SNELLV
145.070    W4PME
145.510    JASPER
145.750    ATL1
145.770    (SEDAN NETWORK) CONNECT TO THE FOLLOWING NODES:
    Location        Node Alias
    ------------    ----------
    Atlanta (North)  ATL
    China Hill      CHILL
    Conyers         CGA
    Douglas         DGA
    Fayetteville    FTV
    Folkston        FGA
    Forsyth         FOR
    Griffin         GRIF
    Hartwell        HGA
    Irwinton        IRW
    Lagrange        WLAG
    Macon           MCN
    Milledgeville   MLJ
    Newnan          NWN
    Tennile         TEN
    Thomasville     TGA
    Warner Robins   WRGA
    Watkinsville    WKV
    Waycross        WAYX
 
 

This page is still under construction 
Last updated Mon 4/1/03 4:06 UTC
Please send comments and updates to Webmaster: Tom Fuller, KE4QCM