[nos-bbs] self-intro and pointer help...

bill - K7WXW k7wxw at arrl.net
Sat Jul 8 15:08:18 EDT 2017

GM all,

First of all... this is long. Completely understand if it is TL;DR...

I am new to the list. As you all probably know, the packet radio network around Portland has fallen apart, but I am really interested in packet modes, so I am going to roll my own, albeit small, version.  I am starting from scratch.

While I am trained as a EE, and have done a fair amount of networking and digital stuff over the years, this is a whole new area for me.  I built a winlink/APRS capable VHF station around a signalink soundcard, which works, and I am learning a little about combination of RF and packet technologies from that. I will build winlink and APRS gateways next, which should teach me more. 

My goal, however is to build a more reliable, old-fashioned VHF packet gateway with mailboxes, a BBS and the like. And then get some other people to use it then build them, too.  To that end, I have acquired and repaired a PK-232MBX and a Kenwood 2 meter transceiver for my TNC/radio combination.  Since I want to make small steps, I am not going to dive into Pi/Linux quite yet and so will work in Windows. 

And here is where I get overwhelmed... I've found websites and instructions that give "cookbook" approaches to getting a packet gateway going or very high level overviews of packet but little that really steps through the various protocols, what the various pieces of software do, or how to actually maintain a system and be a sysop. The books available in the 90s are out of print and so far, impossible to find.  And there aren't any packet gurus in my neighborhood.  Most of the stuff you all talk about here is, unfortunately, gibberish to my untrained ears. 

So... where to start? websites or books that I might find helpfu? Youtube videos?  Wizened packet gurus lurking in the Cascade range? What's a beginner to do?

73 de bill K7WXW

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