Since becoming involved with Radio Relay International (RRI), along with handling message traffic to and from Hawaii to the Continental US (CONUS), we have been making plans to utilize my station as a digital message hub for the entire Pacific Region. This way amateur radio operators on other Pacific Islands, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Asia have an easier route for their messages to and from the CONUS.
Their messages would be downloaded from the CONUS to my station which would be easier for them to reach now that radio propagation is so dreadful, then they would retrieve their messages from my station and deposit any for me to forward back to the CONUS.
A lofty goal since I don't know the first thing about setting up or running a Bullitin Board System, otherwise known as a BBS, which is how the system would work. Luckily there are a lot of other people in the RRI community that are already running systems just like this that are helping me to get everything set up here in Hawaii.
We passed the first hurdle tonight in seeing if this will be a viable option or not. We had a station 4,723 miles away in Australia log into my radio station in Honolulu aand download messages for him, and he left messages for me before he disconnected.
I will admit that we had been trying this for the past two or three days with little success. We were able to connect to each others stations, but we were not able to pass any messages, which was the whole point of the exercise.
Finally tonight we figured out our mistake. ok, I can't take credit for that one, Peter VK4QC in Australia figured it out. We had forgotten to change a setting in the message system which was preventing the messages from being transferred. Once we made the change, everything worked as smooth as butter.
We will continue to test out the link over the next few weeks at different times of the day and various conditions, but as strong as the link was today which allowed us to have PACTOR 3 speeds, I don't see an issue with this being a reliable HF link to Australia.
I feel confident that I can start working on testing HF link connections to other locations throughout the Pacific Region so that we can move on to phase two of the endeavor and start setting up the BBS.
Until Next Time
Aloha & 73 from Hawaii