WAPR News - July 2000


Hello, everyone. Hope you had a safe and happy Field Day as well as the holiday on the 4th.

I do have some very sad news to report this month. In the early morning hours of June 20th, Ron Nelson, N9CFN passed away.

Ron was one exceptional human being. A WAPR board member, a- knowledgeable and pioneer packet operator, and mentor to many who spent time on packet in Green Bay (myself included). In addition to his freely given time spent helping hams, he also helped maintain the computers at his church, taught Sunday school and helped his many friends in whatever way he could. All of this while battling chronic Rheumatoid Arthritis, which kept him in pain a good deal of the time.

1 knew Ron not only as a packet operator, but through involvement in our local ham radio clubs. Any time he could help with a project, he was there. If anyone was involved in a conversation on the local repeater and had some kind of question concerning computers or ham radio, Ron would appear out of the silence, announce his call-sign, and help answer the question.

We have a lot to thank Ron for - even though he would not hear of such a thing as public recognition. He will be sorely missed.

This does bring up another situation that I mentioned last month. Ron was the IP address coordinator for Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. When he was first diagnosed with cancer a year ago, he made plans for some of the roles he had assumed in the event that he did not win the battle with this awful disease. One was the IP address coordinator position. He asked if I could take the job over if he passed on. I agreed, hoping that I would never have to do so.

So, if you need an IP address, contact me through one of the addresses at the top of this page.

There is other information that I do need to report this month. The first is a minor correction involving the instructions for filing a report with the Green Bay National Weather Service via the packet station. In those instructions, I said that you need to disconnect from the station before your message will be printed. I have since seen that this is not true. The message prints as soon as you sec a "Msg. queued" response from the station. You'll see this response after sending the Control-Z or /EX to close out the message. A minor point, I know, but knowing that does take a little pressure off the operator making the report.

This does not mean that operators should stay connected for long periods of time when it's not necessary (which it can be at times). Remember that maintaining a network connection, even if you are idle, takes up network bandwidth. So if you don't anticipate sending a message for a long period of time, please disconnect so that others may have an easier time.

Now on to some other news. Sad to say, but WAPR has lost it's Web site. Steve, KE9LZ has been kind enough to not only provide space for the site, bat has been taking the time to maintain it is well. Steve no longer has the time to keep it, and has switched internet providers.

WAPR does wish to have a presence on the World Wide Web however, and as soon as we can arrange a site to replace this one, I'll announce it here.

Also mentioned last month was the possibility of reactivating the 145.010 VHF backbone frequency at 9600 bps (rather than 1200 bps). This would be on a "point-to-point" basis, not a wholesale uncoordinated inhabitation of the frequency. Another prerequisite is to coordinate operation on a "non-interference" basis.

So far I have heard no comments at all on this. Joel, N9BQM has not either, and we are still looking for your comments. Please do not just set up a node on 145.010 without getting it coordinated, we do not wish to create another mess that we once had on that frequency. Contact myself or Joel with comments or questions. Yon can reach Joel via packet at:

[email protected]

Or by E-Mail at:

[email protected]

This does get us thinking about a related issue that we'd also like to hear your comments on - future usage and speeds on the VHF frequencies. The general trend in packet is to advance up to 9600 bps. Most 9600 bps operation is currently done on UHF, but there is no reason it can't be done on VHF. Do we want 9600 bps on our VHF user LANs? How do we proceed with an orderly transition that will allow as some backward compatibility if we want our user LANs at a faster speed? 9600 bps stations and 1200 bps stations do not coexist, nicely on the same frequency, so we will have to decide how we will handle this in the future.

Now a word about this month's Packeteer page. Due to illness, I was unable to finish a companion article for this month. So I beg your indulgence and will return with something next month. Until then, 73 from Andy.

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