[nos-bbs] some timid questions

Sky (Jim Schuyler) sky at aa6ax.us
Tue Jul 21 17:08:29 EDT 2020

One nice thing about Raspbian and Raspi is that the "hard drive" resides
on a cheap SD card. And there's an easy way to clone the SD card. So one
could give you a fully-functional OS with JNOS installed and operating,
on a cloned SD card, and you'd have to buy the Raspi, but then just plug
in the SD card, turn it on, and go through some minor discovery and
configuration to "make it your own."

I just did this here in San Francisco with a friend (KJ6PTX Richard) and
we're still struggling with a few aspects of the configuration, but
largely it worked.

We have not told JNOS about the Internet. Instead the Raspi hooks in to
our wi-fi (in the house). I have interfaced JNOS to outbound email,
inbound email, and have automated the pickup of email and packet
messages using Python scripts that run every few minutes. (So there was
no need for us to configure a mail gateway or 44-net within JNOS.) We
use regular ol' email apps to send and receive our packet messages as
well as our Internet-based email (gmail, etc.) All from the little
Raspi. (Ah, and we also don't have any keyboards, mice or displays on
the Raspi. We view a virtual (VNC) Raspi screen from any other computer

The things I personally find more channelging are the radio and the TNC.
I use an MFJ TNC-X which is the same as the TNC-X ... plugs into USB on
the Pi. It requires wiring a cable to the radio, which I found almost
more challenging than the software, as the pre-configured cables didn't
work for me and I had to wire up one of my own. And you gotta put up the
radio and antenna. But that's what hams do, I guess.

Here's another suggestion. You might want to get a cheap SDR to do some
on-air listening. These SDR's can hear 2m radio pretty easily. I have
one here in San Francisco that can hear N0ARY (BBS) on Mt. Umunum about
60 miles away. Using the SDR you can perhaps gauge whether you already
can hear some stations somewhere. 2m is propagation-challenged, of
course, but maybe there's somebody in range.


A little more detail available at https://aa6ax.us/p just to give you a

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"Sky" (Jim Schuyler)
—Amateur Radio AA6AX

On 7/21/20 12:34 PM, MJ Inabnit wrote:
> Hi all,
> I ran a Jnos network here in Eureka(!) California into the early 2000's.
>  I think I was issued six IP's then.  I recall the HUGE learning curve
> to make them function well with the great help of Bob in Sacramento--no
> longer recall his call sign but I think he was a professional truck
> driver and great Jnos guru then.  Activity completely stopped with hams
> switching to the Internet, and I couldn't justify keeping a computer
> running 24/7, so I turned it off.
> I've moved into a little house and now there is a new resurgence of
> packet activity, but we are now completely isolated beyond any usable
> mountain top nodes.
> Getting new nodes on our mountains will take a huge effort.  So I'd like
> to revisit using Jnos on a Rpi since a local ham has gifted a version 3
> pi to me.
> The problem is if I can get it up and running.  The program is not an
> easy thing to configure and I find a lot of traffic on this reflector is
> quite above my head.
> What I would like to do is find a second station that is capable and
> willing to link via Internet a gateway to the I-5 corridor for users to
> find more activity.  But the hurdle of getting a simple configuration
> has me concerned--would I be able to do it, or even keep it running??
> Perhaps there is a simpler way--maybe not Jnos but some other program?
> I could sure use some suggestions and guidance.
> PS  I think my old IP's may have been given away or possibly sold?
> Thank you, 73
> Jaye ke6sls

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