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So, only partly. The modes I was referring to were "traditional"
packet radio, not APRS. APRS was certainly crafted without regards
to the OSI model's 7 layer Cake, but in spite of that it's held up
remarkably well and still serves a useful purpose.
On the other hand, the evolution of the Packet BBS network largely
stalled. There are still a few mailboxes on the air within reach of
my home station, but they are hardly swamped. The 2400 bps modem
that I have was never widely adopted (I may have the only one left),
and the jump to 9600 bps seems to have been the victim of a
combination of regulatory bandwidth limitations and the widespread
adoption of the Internet's NNTP servers. There are a few 9600
networks around, but not many, at least not around here.
I would argue that both developments - the success of APRS and the
relegation of other packet modes to a niche - are as they should
be. It's about meeting a need, and being flexible to evolve as that
need evolves, not about architecture for architecture's sake. I
think that having "old TNCs" still in productive service in parallel
with Raspberry Pi's and Direwolf is a testament that the Ham
community got something right. I have both running here in the
shack. The subject MFJ TNC is hooked to my "home server" (a Linux
PC that's always on) as an APRSIS32 APRS iGate, and a Raspberry Pi
with Direwolf that is cabled to the main shack radios for the other
packet stuff (Winlink, mostly), along with the Joe Taylor HF modes.
The Pi and shack radios are things I can run from battery backup
power, when all else has failed or been turned off (I'm in "Public
Safety Power Shutoff territory here), for remote email and such.
When not doing so, I use it to check into a UI Packet net every
Sunday. Why not? People still use Morse Code for much the same
Such is progress.
James Ewen wrote:
“but such is progress...“
You are of course being disingenuous here, right?
APRS is a protocol stacked on top of 1980’s
hardware, using chewing gum and baling wire.
Bob’s baby has squeezed a lot of life out of 40
year old equipment, there’s no denying that, but to think this
I guess the automobile industry in Cuba is also
making great progress as well.
I love APRS, it is probably my favourite part of
amateur radio, but is anyone here interested in investing in
actually making progress? Progress would mean moving to newer
hardware, hardware that would remove the limits of 1200 baud,
probably something with an SDR base, and a whole new way of
defining the protocols we use. Something designed from the
ground up, not something that uses clever tricks to make old
hardware work in a new way.
We are kind of stuck in a rut today because
there’s so much old hardware out there that we don’t want to
throw out. But that old hardware handcuffs us to 1200 baud.
I’m not going to be the one to lead the charge,
but there are some really smart cookies out there that are
building some cutting edge hardware that might be a base for the
next big thing to take over for APRS. For that to succeed, we
need to be willing to let the old hardware go, and embrace new
It’s up to all of us to be willing to help the
next big thing become that big thing.
Yep. MFJ-1278T in
use here. Seems a waste to run it in KISS-1200 mode,
given it's huge mailbox and added 2400bps modem, but such
work great for APRS, any program that needs a kiss
TNC. I still run my daily. The only time it’s not
ideal is when you need the TNC on a node site that
needs special firmware in the eprom. Only a few
TNC’s that are TAPR 2 clones (paccomm, MFJ 1270
series) are suitable for those chips. Normal
packet users can use just about any type of TNC.
The PK88 uses the same command set as a TNC2.
Where does an AES PK-88 fit into