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#78 - Station Updates

Over the past few weeks I have made a few changes to my station to assist in conducting my tasks as the Pacific Region Hub for Radio Relay International.

The BPQ32 computer program, written by John Wiseman GM8BPQ who happens to be another brilliant Scot, is the backbone of the RRI-DTN system. With the addition of BPQ32, it offered me the ability to add a few additional resources for amateur radio operators on Oahu like the addition of an APRS Digipeater and IGate, and a VHF Packet-Radio system.

The APRS Digipeater & IGate uses a Kenwood V71A VHF/UHF radio and a Kantronics KAMPlus TNC. The VHF Packet-Radio Gateway uses a second Kenwood V71A VHF/UHF radio along with an SCS Tracker/DSP TNC. Both systems are then connected to the HP Z400 Workstation that is running the BPQ32 program that runs everything.

The VHF Packet-Radio system can be used to access my Winlink VHF Packet Gateway to send and receive emails via 2-meter VHF radio just like how the Winlink system works over HF radio. To access the Winlink VHF Packet Gateway simply use the Winlink Express program and select Packet Winlink, then select WH6FQE-10 as the RMS station to connect to.

By using a packet-radio terminal and calling WH6FQE-2 a person is able to access my BBS system which is linked to over 100 amateur radio stations around the world. By calling WH6FQE-5 from your packet terminal you are able to access the BPQ Packet Chat system where other amateur radio operators from around the world are able to have conversations in a roundtable fashion. Every Sunday evening there is an active chat session where 20 to 30 other operators check in.

I am also considering adding additional packet-radio gateways to the 220MHz, 440MHz, and the 1.2GHz bands to give an additional options. These additional packet-radio systems will only be turned on during a disaster or other emergency.

In other areas the 1.2GHz band is very active, especially on the west coast, but here in Hawaii the band is currently unused by anyone. It would be good to have a packet-gateway already setup on the 1.2GHz band ready for people to use as more hams start to add on 1.2GHz capabilities.

Icom is about to release the brand new IC-9700 2-meter, 70cm, and 1.2GHz radio which is made to look identical to the IC-7300 HF radio.

I think the IC-9700 will look perfect sitting beside my IC-7300 on my desk. I have already paid to have my name on the list for one of these beautiful radios when they are finally released.

Another reason for adding on the 1.2GHz packet-radio gateway to my system is that it gives me a perfect excuse to buy this new radio. Like I really need an excuse to add on another radio, lol.

Until Next Time

Aloha & 73 from Hawaii


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