[aprssig] Embedded pcs as KPC3 replacement

Dave Baxter dave at emv.co.uk
Fri Dec 7 04:48:27 EST 2007

Small industrial embbeded PC's are common (PC-104 cards etc, but sadly
not cheap) items, unless you find someone upgrading some industrial
plant, who has old DOS based things to chuck out.  You'd be surprised
what gets thrown by industry, some of it very nice to use.

They can run DigiNed very well, booting off a floppy, an IDE drive (hard
or optical disk) or solid state disk, so having low power needs compared
to a regular PC.

I don't think that DigiNed (as standard) can use the internet, but I'd
hazard a guess that functionality could be added.

Of course, once you have the hardware, the OS and program could be
anything within reason.

Older laptops could be another option, but they can be relatively power
hungry, and sometimes flakey too (not always a fault of the hardware
though!)  But they do have the advantage of small size (relatively
speaking as they are "All in") and a built in keyboard/display for when
someone has to go and mess with it.  Plus, if the battery is any good, a
built in UPS in effect, or (if you check the DC ratings plate) many of
them can run just fine from a 12V battery, fed into the battery port, so
maybe no mains adapter needed.   It's worth checking though, that
battery -ve is the same as system ground.  I've found one or two that
are not, with smokey results!...

Older Acers and Tosh's seem good in this respect, for life on DC only
that is.  But the Acers do seem to gobble power, especialy if you run
Linux (Mandrake 9) on them.  Power management driver issues perhaps?

Many of the older T series Tosh's are built like brick outhouses (some
say they look like them too) and are suprisingly reliable in temperature

And often a built in modem so you can call them up to fiddle if needed.

Just ideas...

Dave G0WBX.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jim Lux [mailto:jimlux at earthlink.net] 
> Sent: Wednesday, December 05, 2007 11:56 PM
> To: aprssig at lists.tapr.org
> Subject: [aprssig] Embedded pcs as KPC3 replacement
> Message: 26
> Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2007 17:07:07 +0000
> From: "Bill Vodall WA7NWP" <wa7nwp at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [aprssig] Regional Voice Alert VHF/UHF Plan B.
> To: "TAPR APRS Mailing List" <aprssig at lists.tapr.org>
> Message-ID:
> 	<5abd436b0712050907x742b6ce3ne27108cbf595e5d8 at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
> > Still pondering...
> > .. and
> > KPC-3+ TNC is to configure them for this arrangement:
> Forget about the KPC-3.  Think instead what can be done with a real
> (embedded) PC.  USB Soundcards are $20.  TNC-X is $50.  We 
> can build a complete dual port "modern" fully functional 
> (programmable) server with packet and full audio for about 
> the same price as a new KPC3.
> No more artificial limitations...
> Bill - WA7NWP
> ---
> But, but, but...
> What will I do with all those Bell 202 modems I bought at the 
> hamfest 20 years ago?   <grin>
> Jim, W6RMK
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