[aprssig] Multi control station situational awareness - How's this supposed to work?

wa7skg wa7skg at wa7skg.com
Mon Mar 30 22:59:33 EDT 2020

Old and slow? "news gateway over a leased-line Internet connection at a 
screaming 19.2 kilobaud. Yes, _that_ slow." You don't know what slow is.

Most of the BBS I dialed in to were 300 baud. When I got my first 
Internet account in 1986, it was on a 1200 baud dialup. Now *THAT* is slow!


Michael WA7SKG

Andrew Pavlin via aprssig wrote on 3/30/20 7:49 PM:
> Hi, Steve.
> Re-reading your email on this as I got restarted on my own effort in 
> this area reminded me of some other ancient technology that we might 
> want to resuscitate for this problem.
> Does anybody remember Usenet (otherwise known as the InterNetNews)? It 
> was a powerful means of implementing a distributed world-wide collection 
> of thousands of bulletin boards of discussion threads, back before the 
> World Wide Web, hosting service providers, and (nearly) ubiquitous 
> broadband replaced Usenet with world-accessible single-server web forums 
> and blogs. Like email in those days, Usenet only carried plain-text; 
> like email, it could carry anything that could be bundled into a 
> plain-text email message, such as binary files encoded by the useful 
> uuencode and uudecode programs. It would automatically synchronize all 
> the distributed copies of any given discussion group. And it could work 
> over (by today's standards) ridiculously low-bandwidth links. In 1991, I 
> was running a corporate Usenet news gateway over a leased-line Internet 
> connection at a screaming 19.2 kilobaud. Yes, _that_ slow. Yes, we had 
> dialup modems that went faster than that before broadband.
> These days, the Usenet news server software is still available in most 
> Linux distros (I just checked, and both Fedora Core and Raspian Buster 
> still have it as an optional distro package). Many email clients still 
> support NNTP (Network News Transport Protocol) as well as SMTP (Simple 
> Mail Transport Protocol). And NNTP can transfer over any TCP/IP link 
> (including TCPIP-over-AX.25 and HSMM, as well as the global Internet), 
> and over batched low-level links (it used to use an old package called 
> UUCP [Unix-to-Unix CoPy] to transfer updates over dialup links) at 
> barely more infrastructure than the KISS protocol.
> So, we could set up NNTP servers on Raspberry Pi computers (or anything 
> else) and use any sorts of links to connect them together: Internet, 
> HamWAN, AREDN, TARPN, heck maybe even fldigi file transfers (not much 
> different than what UUCP did). Because NNTP uses a flood-fill algorithm 
> to distribute messages over multiple paths, if one link goes down, the 
> target at the other end of the failed link will eventually get it via 
> several relays on other links as long as every news server has links to 
> more than one other news server, and the topology doesn't have any 
> Single Points Of Failure. No particular network topology is required; 
> just like amateur radio, Usenet doesn't need a central control office 
> (unlike cellphones). We can certainly get sufficient TCP/IP speeds over 
> AX.25 packet with the 9600-baud TNCs (hardware and software) that are 
> readily available now for a TARPN-style VHF network for areas where we 
> can't do HamWAN/AREDN, but NNTP will still work over those networks as 
> well. And, if we keep our Usenet separate from what's left of the old 
> Internet Usenet, we don't have to worry (as much) about illegal content 
> putting transmitting stations at risk or excessive traffic volume. After 
> all, most public service events that use APRS put their event traffic on 
> a different frequency than the national APRS frequency to avoid congestion.
> So, if what is needed to solve the problem is a distributed bulletin 
> board, Usenet solved it for us decades ago.
> Just my $.03 (inflation, ya know).
> Andrew, KA2DDO
> author of YAAC ("Yet Another APRS Client")
> On Wednesday, December 4, 2019, 12:11:44 AM EST, Stephen H. Smith via 
> aprssig <aprssig at lists.tapr.org> wrote:
> On 12/3/2019 6:26 PM, chiefsfan2 at cox.net <mailto:chiefsfan2 at cox.net> wrote:
> Since you had a analog landline phone still working that would be a 
> reason to bring back some phone patches like we used to have. And now 
> you can run a BBS on a rasp pi computer which makes for great 
> portability and low power consumption
> Funny you should bring this up at this particular time.  Just last week, 
> I was experimenting connecting an old Heathkit HD-1515 phone patch I 
> found in my junk box to the 6-pin mini-DIN data port of a Yaesu FT-857D. 
>    It worked perfectly both on FM for 2 meters and on SSB for HF.   I'm 
> now going to add a 6-pin mini-DIN jack to the back panel of the patch, 
> in parallel with the existing RCA RX and TX audio jacks.   I can then 
> use a standard off-the-shelf 6-pin DIN to 6-pin DIN cable to connect the 
> patch to any radio with a standard 6-pin data port.   Finally, I will 
> add a double-throw center-off   locking-one-way  / 
> momentary-the-other-way toggle switch to the front panel to key the 
> radio transmitter.
> I'm now thinking about getting one of those Bluetooth gizmos that links 
> to a cellphone and and produces a couple of classic RJ-11 analog phone 
> jacks. I could plug the patch into one and a classic desk phone set into 
> the other.  This would allow phone patches either via  a "real" phone 
> line, or via a cellphone connection if needed.
> Another variation on this theme:  With a sound card interface setup 
> normally as you would use for digimodes on a PC,  start up Skype instead 
> of a soundcard digi-mode app. You can then run "phone patches" from 
> radio users to users on Skype instead of a POTS line.
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com
> Skype:        WA8LMF
> EchoLink:  Node #  14400  [Think bottom of the 2-meter band]
> Home Page: http://wa8lmf.net
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