Packet Experimentation and Node Development

I’ve always been interested in packet due to the fact that I’ve been into computer networks since I could walk. I would love to have a TCP/IP link over radio that could run long distances or start up a radio bbs at 1200 baud and bring back the glory days I never had a chance to see. Yeah packet has been dead however, I think that can change.

I’m planning to get a packet node on the air sometime in the near future with any luck. I want it to be easy to use and accessible for new operators as well as those who just don’t have the money to drop on new gear. The introduction of soundmodem software has dropped the barrier to entry yet I never see any packet nodes, not to mention the fact they can run faster than 1200 baud without the cost of the tnc.

Does anyone really want classic bbs and chat? well, sure.. I do! However, I think we can do better than that. For starters I want to look at the fact that soundmodem supports 2400 baud and even 4800 baud which should run on most transceivers without the need to have a 9600 baud capable radio.

I’ve been playing around with a bit of python which I’ll link to or paste below. It’s just a modification of some demo code but it allows you to run a telnet server and create your own commands. The idea here being that sysops could then use bpq32 (or whatever variant) on their node and allow them to develop or download modules (servers) that would allow you to easily add functionality to the traditional bbs.

IF you use this code snip, change the callsign please.

In addition I’m working on ironing out issues with a telnet server connection on my linux machine to bpq32, if successful I could setup user accounts allowing access to more sophisticated software and take advantage of internet access on the node.

Stay tuned for more updates.

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About the Author: Sarah Rose KR0SIV

Avid Amateur Radio Operator and Experimenter.