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#75 - New BBS Message Board & E-Mail Server

I recently became the Hawaii Regional Liaison for Radio Relay International (RRI) and am responsible for the efficient, and timely relay and delivery of message traffic being sent to and from Hawaii over HF radio. These messages are sent by amateur radio operators across the country and around the world to both other amateur radio operators and ordinary people.

Message traffic handling is an extremely useful service after disasters and in situations when normal modes of communication are no longer available. Message handling is a skill that takes lots of practice sending many, many messages over and over again so that copying and sending the messages becomes "second nature" and almost automatic so that you do not have to think about what you are doing.

Now that I am handling RRI message traffic for the Hawaii Region it is time to take it to the next level. We have decided to set my station up as a Digital Traffic Hub for the Pacific Region. This way it will be easier to pass message traffic between the Continental US and other countries and islands throughout the Pacific Region.

I have already established a reliable digital link between Hawaii and Australia, and will begin working on setting up similar links with the Philippines, Fiji, Tonga, Japan, Korea and other locations throughout the Pacific.

I am in the process of installing a new HP Z400 Workstation that is running BPQ32 which will allow me to do two things;

First, it will allow my station to act as a Digital Traffic Hub for RRI and as well as a Winlink RMS Gateway so that RRI stations and other Winlink users can access their email sent over HF radio through my server.

Second, it will allow me to set up and operate a Bulletin Board System for the Honolulu area where announcements, notices, and public messages can be posted for everyone to read.

For the past few days I have been programming the configuration of PBQ32, trying to wrap my head around how it operates and how to get it to do what I need it to do. Finally I can say that our BPQ32 Server is coming to life. It is now controlling my IC-7300 HF radio and PACTOR 4 modem which is now scanning through a set of pre-programmed frequencies listening for other stations trying to connect to it.

Once the HF side is complete and operating, in the future I will also be adding on VHF & UHF access to Winlink for amateur radio operators that do not have HF radios so they can also access their emails sent to them through the Winlink system.

This system is going to take a lot of work to get setup properly, but once it is finished I think it will be worth the effort. I will keep you updated on it's progress.

Until Next Time

Aloha & 73 from Hawaii


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