Newsletter Notes - November 1985


GRAYSLAKE ILL. . .Regional packet meeting was under way at 1:15 P.M. at the county fairgrounds, scene of the RADIO EXPO Swapfest. The meeting was opened by Gary-Kaatz, (W9TD), and I might add that the event was well attended. There was good representation from Wisconsin and Illinois, and a sprinkling from Indiana.

A variety of concerns were discussed. Most folks would call them problems rather than concerns depending upon where you live, and what kind of packet activity you are experiencing.  Yes, there is a difference.  Just as certain as there is a difference between metropolitan smog and fresh mountain air, there is a difference.  Probably the most significant thing that evolved from this meeting was that there is an overcrowding of 145.01 in some areas.  I know that seems ludicrous to most of us in Wisconsin, but the fact remains that there are multi-packet-collisions going on.

You probably feel like this mode has just been launched and somebody comes along and tells you that we are encountering a disaster. Well not quite, maybe we, can head this thing off before it mushrooms. Understanding and cooperation may be the real name of the game here.. Most operators can live with the idea that -145.01 should be -a "call frequency" and maybe someday it will be just that. However, there are numerous packet; operators that would not encounter packet contacts if it were not for the current stations and digipeaters on 145.01.

So, before we destroy our TNCs or run off to some isolated frequency, lets look at our options. There have been numerous good, sound suggest ions made, to reduce the collisions on Packet Radio. Lets look at some.of- the recommendations.

1. CW IDs are no longer required by the FCC. Using them only provides valuable transmit time collisions,

2. Only send beacons when there is a valid use, or need for then. Use your better judgment in using beacons. Space them out significantly, and in most cases, be at your terminal to answer any response to your beacon.

3. If you are within a reasonably close distance to the station that you are in QSO with, move to another, frequency so you can provide distant stations use of 145.01.

4. Digipeaters are currently very vital links to our packet communication network. Some day, overcrowding of these stations could cause a problem themselves. Plan them, out very strategically to find the best and most useful, location for them.

5. There are numerous options that, can - be used by system operators of a BBS or MSO. Dwait. & Retry length, file length, operating time, and operational procedures can reduce overuse of such systems.

Like anything else, this thing will work its way out of trouble. We have the chance to help this situation........ Think, about it.... Maybe you have a better idea..


At present there are three Packet Radio stations in Green Bay.

WD9EKU Frank Fournier , KD9PR Bob Curry and N9PBO Frank Davis.

At the time of this report Green Bay remains isolated from the network, but hope springs eternal . Someday there will,,,.be the necessary digipeaters to link us into the network. Until that happens, N9PBO plans to be on the air 24 hours per day at 80 watts with a.22 element array aimed at WB9WRW in order to take advantage of any band opening. This should also set up, a target for some of you located to the south to shoot at.

I have heard some talk about a digipeater in the Chilton area. Maybe come spring we can get things started along those lines.

The Packet Radio tape was shown at the Green Bay Mike and Key Club meeting, in September. It was well received, and interest appeared high. A short question and answer session after the tape yielded some good questions.

-- Frank, N9BPO


The N9CLE-1 digipeater is back on the air-as of October 20, 1985. Thanks to Rich, KC9NW, and Bill, KC9UC, for all their help. It is still on low power (25 Watts). However a 100 watt transceiver will be installed as soon as the crystals come and a suitable power supply (20 Amp.) is begged, borrowed, stolen, or as a last resort purchased.

Thanks to Dave, KD9NV, in Stevens Point, for getting on packet with an excellent system. He has filled the void in the path to Illinois.

We definitely have a need for more strategically located digipeaters around the state. Anyone with ideas on the subject should contact a member of the WAPR steering committee so they may be discussed at a meeting of the committee.

Wally Dieter, N9CLE Tomahawk, WI (715) 453-2661

Capra Experimental 220 mhz Packet Link

Chicago Area Packet Radio Association is working on an experimental link between the digipeater site and WA96KA's site using 220 MHz. This is intended to free up local air time by not hearing all the digipeats from the digipeater. The digipeats will go out over. 220 and acks come back the same way.

Their initial link will work this way, but they are working on a RWAL Networking Software to handle routing and flow control over a high speed backbone link. The 220 MHz link will operate at 9600 baud using K9NG modems. This networking software will run on fairly high-powered single-board computers and make it easy for local areas to link together without headaches of digipeaters.

Comments from the regional meeting indicated that 220 operation is proposed for 221.1 MHz.

K9IZV, WA9CXG Et. Al. will be giving a packet radio demonstration on Saturday, November 9 at 7:30 P.M.

This is for a meeting of the Lake Area Amateur Radio Club. Meeting will be held in the basement of he the municipal building in Delavan, Wis.

Back to the WAPR Home Page and Index

Browse the News Archives