WAPR News - October 2000

By Andy Nemec, KB9ALN

Welcome to October - the pumpkin, ghost and goblin month. Hope your ghosts and goblins are nothing more than the trick-or-treaters coming to your door. In the past couple of months, some of us have not been so fortunate.

The goblin that we have been dealing with in September was really Zeus Yes, nodes in Clintonville, Rudolph, and Meteor Hills have all been victim of lightning in August and the early part of September. So far, technical people (and there are precious few) have been trying to find the time to make repairs By the time you read this, all should be back up and running - we hope. If you've been trying to connect up to some of these nodes and have not found them on the air, now you know why.

We're still attempting to make arrangements for a WAPR meeting. We do know that it will be held in Pittsville, where we have had a meeting in the past. We held the meeting in a quaint little restaurant that not only served the purpose well, but also had good food and an atmosphere conducive to great discussion and a generally good time. I am looking forward to this one and hope you can make it as well. As soon as details are available, we'll get you the news through the BBS network and whatever manner we can

Other news has come my way that is pertinent to a topic of discussion that was seen here in this space last month If you remember, we talked about packet radio operators relying on the Internet to help complete the packet network. Once again, the amateur packet routing on the Internet was not available to us for part of last month (September). Apparently, an equipment failure was responsible for our lack of access this time. In August, Amateur packet routing through the Internet was voluntarily suspended in an effort to reconfigure servers so that they would not be used to relay Spam (unwanted commercially-oriented E-Mail.

Because the network was inaccessible, we didn't have the ability to forward packet mail any place we could not reach via radio. Which did put Wisconsin out of the mix, as all routes leading to us come via the Internet. Of course packet mail marked for distribution only in Wisconsin, and originating in Wisconsin, was not affected.

Both these episodes underscore the point made last month - In order to have a truly effective network, we need to "wean" ourselves from the Internet. Otherwise, we may not be able to live up to the promise of providing complete emergency communications capability when we need it most.

On another area, I have in the past mentioned that there is a small group of hams here in Northeastern Wisconsin who have been experimenting with wireless Ethernet. They have been experimenting at both 900 MHz and 2.4 GHz. These were originally intended to be "Part 15" devices; intended for unlicensed operation. However, the operating frequencies also fall in bands that we, as hams, are authorized to operate in. Their most recent experimentation has been taking place at 900 MHz.

These folks have put up a web site that relates the results of their experimentation. Look for it at:


Incidentally, GBPPR means "Green Bay Professional Packet Radio". Why that name? They felt that the "Amateur" in "Amateur Packet Radio" was misleading. They wanted to let everyone know that they were looking for professional results. If you look at this page, you will find that they are well on their way to this goal. I have seen lightning-fast file transfers when a good path was available. These spread-spectrum wireless Ethernet cards are certainly professional, and could be just what is needed as a basis to form a very good Ama....errr... Ham packet radio network!

That's it for this time out. I am always looking for news of interest to the packet radio community. Feel free to send them in whatever way you find convenient. My addresses are at the top of this page.

Until next time, 73 from Andy.

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