SOUND CARD PACKET RADIO
Many of you have heard some
of us talking about packet radio. For the "OM's" they
may think "That's
so old, and I tought packet died!" Well, not really.
Sure there is
other stuff out there that is "better?", but, packet
radio is getting a
good makeover, and is a great "last mile" messaging
read on...this page is going to give you tips, links,
setup and the
in's and out's of what's new in packet radio!
First, the title says "sound card" packet radio...I
thought you had to
have a TNC? You do..your computer has a fancy DSP TNC
built right in.
No, it's not your modem...it's your sound card! With a
piece of software called "AGWPE" your sound card can
be a TNC for
packet (among other things!)
Second...did you know you can send email to an
internet address via
packet radio? You sure can. There are some "telnet"
nodes around that
connect to the WinLink system and allow you to send
AND recieve email
messages! All you do is connect, send or receive a
Third...did you know you can send small files via
packet radio? There
are some really neat add ons to a program called
WinPack that allow you
to receive htlm web pages, jpg pictures, and text
files with no problem.
Fourth...and of course there is the BBS system...for
the "newcomer" BBS
means Bulletin Board System. But with a new twist. You
own station can
have a PMS! (nope, not the stuff your wife or
girlfriend has, a
Personal Message System!) Works just like the old
Now...still interested? Well, let's dive into the
"what does it take"...
You will need the following:
A good 2M mobile radio capable of 25W or more output
that is stable on
frequency. You will not need CTCSS tones.
A reasonably fast computer (I am running a 1.8GHz
processor with 756MB
memory and Windoze 98SE.)
A sound card interface (don't worry, you can build one
OK the radio and computer are self explanitory. So
let's look at the
The interface has to do the following...connect the
autio output of the
rig to the LineIn of the computer and the Line Out or
Speaker Out of
the computer to the audio in or mic jack of the radio.
It also needs to
provide a circuit to key radio using the serial port
of the computer.
So here you go...
For the audio lines, just build a set of cables to go
from the rig to
the computer as described above. For VHF and UHF
are not needed. Build the cable so they use the "left"
side of the
sound card, in other words, wire only the "tip" and
"sleeve" of the
plugs going to the computer. If you need ideas, see http://www.kc2rlm.info/soundcardpacket/
Now for the software. Download the following file:
Once you have done that, unzip (install) AGWPE. Crank
it up. Click the
little twin tower Icon at the bottom right of your
screen and select
"Properties" and "New Port". A message window will
appear: "A New
TncPort File Has Been Created". Click OK to go to this
Setup your comport, and choose "SoundCard" for TNC
Type. Select Single
Port and put a description in the Port Description
box. When you select
SoundCard, you will probably get this screen:
Self explanitory as to how to set up this one...all
you really need to
do if you only have one sound card is hit OK...
Hit OK until it asks you to Restart AGWPE and then
click the twin tower
icon and select exit. You will need it running
to fuction as a sound card TNC.
One of the softwares we recommend is Outpost Packet
Massage Manager. It is located at http://www.outpostpm.org/.
There are help files on that site you can use to get
it set up and running. It can also be used with
regular hardware TNCs.
If you wish to use the
Winlink Packet RMS system, we recommend RMS
Express, found on http://www.winlink.org.
It will not use AGWPE directly, but you can use it
by following the instructions on this page: http://www.soundcardpacket.org/PDF/Linking%20AGWPE%20to%20RMS%20Express.pdf
We recommend using the TNC-X KISS hardware TNC for
RMS Express packet connections. (http://www.tnc-x.com/)
packet frequency is
Local stations on are:
KG4FZR-1 Mailbox (The MCARC Club Shack)
KG4FZR-10 WL2K RMS Packet Server
KG4KII-1 (Meigs Co ACS Mailbox)
KE4ACS-1 (The Bradley County ACS group mailbox)
WM4RB-10 WL2K RMS
Other stations are coming online. 145.550 will
be used accross the
Homeland Security District 3 as a digital EMCOMM
frequency, but all are
invited to use it for daily chats, practice and
Local Digipeaters and Nodes:
MCARC Digi (McMinn County Amateur Radio Club)
KG4FZR-7 Node (McMinn County Amateur Radio
KE4ACS-11 / BRADTN Digi (Bradley County Auxilary
KE4ACS-5 Node (Bradley County Auxilary
KE4ACS-7 Node (Bradley County Auxilary
KG4KII-11 / MEIGTN (Meigs Co ACS)
W4GZX / CARC Digi (Cleveland Amateur Radio Club)