Packet Radio WITHOUT a TNC (Terminal Node Controller)!
There are at least a few modern Windows Sound Card software systems that provide very good packet radio operation without a TNC:
AGWPE (By SV2AGW)
(NOTE: The free version seems to work just as well as the $50 version)
Multi-PSK (By F6CTE) a very good multimode soundcard system
If you find either of these systems useful, you might consider either purchasing the paid versions or making
at least a small donation to these authors; these are very good programs and as such should result in some benefit to their authors!
I have used both simple homebrew cables and commercial interfaces to good effect with these programs.
Buxcomm provides a very good interface for $29.95 kit style or $39.95 factory wired
and ready to plug and play.
Several other manufacturers are around that can be found with simple internet searches.
However, most are extremely expensive by comparison. Cables, connectors, and other necessities for homebrewing interfaces
can also be ordered at very reasonable prices from Buxcom. I don't know how he sells these systems so inexpensively-
Let's hope he prospers and stays in business and stays affordable!
HISTORY:Version 1.52 (First version I saw): Allowed digipeating, single port connects, crossmode packet (required 2 C64's) as well as one of the best (if not the first) split screens for packet. I had a KPC2 at the time and 1.52 Digicom with a thrown-together homemade modem literally ran circles around it!
In the mid to late 1980's TNC-less packet radio was pioneered by the German "Digicom" Team that created software that allowed the lowly Commodore 64/128 to operate as a full featured Terminal Node Controller using only a simple and inexpensive modem to interface the computer to the radio.
There were many legitimate and illegitimate versions of this software including:
Version 2.10 had 4-port connects, separate screens for each port, binary and text file transfers, remote control of all parameters except disk actions such as scratch, format, etc, and node functions also accessible by outside users.
BAYCOM versions, to my knowledge, have never approached the capabilities contained in these early versions of C64 software. Digicoms were POWERFUL, even including a machine-language monitor allowing remote or keyboard users to modify the program AS IT RAN as well as remote and keyboard access to the C64/128 Userport, allowing remote control of external devices via relays such as lights (Porch or otherwise), RF amplifiers, piezo beepers to alert the local user, anything the imagination dreamed up to operate via the magic of remote control radio!
Version 3.51A, possibly the most versatile packet system ever developed, with security level-protected access to all disk functions and memory locations, remote control/monitoring via the full 8-bit userport, BBS-like functions such as customized greetings for individual calls, and extensive node functions including automatic path selection for distant calls or nodes outside the local LAN.
3.51A also has a powerful CONverse mode that allows true packet roundtables between multiple ham packeteers, something completely unavailable in other packet platforms until the first PacketCluster systems came on the scene.
BBS-dedicated versions too many to list, but including 4.01; I never liked any of them because they "lost" my FAVORITE functions: Full disk and userport and memory location access.
Soon, hundreds were whining "We hate the C64, can't stuff like this be written for PC's and clones?" So several of the original Digicom team and others founded the BAYCOM team and wrote Baycom V1.2 (now up to V1.6) for the IBM PC and other MS-DOS clones. Other than providing 7 ports for multiple connects this sofware (in this author's opinionated opinion) has not approached the power and versatility of the older Commodore versions. But they STILL outperform other, commercial and higher priced, packet platforms.Here's a schematic for a simple packet modem
for your IBM PC or Commodore 64/128
Note: The Baycom software will now run in Windows (Win '95 only)!
Digicom-64 Download packet TNC software C64/128
BAYCOM V1.4 FTP Similar software for PC's and Clones, also Windows '95
Parts sources for above simple packet modems
Here's a simple RS-232 Interface for PC's requiring "true" RS-232 levels from your modem; also works as a PC-to-radio control interface for Kenwood, Icom, Yaesu, etc.
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