In Part one of our series, we discussed what digipeaters and nodes are, the different kinds of nodes, and what makes them so special. In Part Two, we will continue our discussion. Let's review.
Using the Wisconsin Network - Part 2
by Andy Nemec, KB9ALN
A digipeater is a simple repeater of packets. A node is a more sophisticated repeater of packets, it knows if a packet was received, and can often allow you to send your packets over a very long distance. A network node is linked to other nodes and is often capable of doing more than just repeating your packets. We've talked about using nodes to pass our packets a longer distance. However, the need for a network of nodes grew out of another problem closely related to this need for distance.
You may have found that not everybody in the packet community is on
the same frequency in different parts of the state. This was done on purpose,
so that people would not crowd up on one frequency, making it useless.
Different areas of the state are divided up into seperate Local Areas.
This is usually done by region, county, or even parts of a city. Each division
is called a "LAN", meaning "Local Area Network", having a separate LAN
frequency. Some way had to be devised so that different areas could communicate
with each other, and that is where the network of nodes comes in.
If you guessed that the people operating on the Green Bay LAN can connect to the people operating on the Appleton LAN even though they are on different frequencies, you are right. Other LANS can be arranged so that they, too are on the backbone. This is the basis of a packet radio network. In the next part of this series, we will put this knowlege to work. We'll use information you can get from a node in order to explore the network.
On to Part 3 - Node "Broadcasts" and route quality
Back to Part 1 - What is a Node?
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