London Hackspace Packet Radio bulletin for May 2018

(3) GB7CIP BBS (H for help) >
R 280212
From        : M6OSR
To          : HACKRS@GBR
Type/Status : B$
Date/Time   : 01-May-18 16:08
BID (MID)   : 18068_GB7CIP
Message #   : 280212
Subject     : London Hackspace Packet Radio: May 2018 update

(This message has been read 2   times so far in this BBS).

   \ | /    L O N D O N   H A C K S P A C E              May 2018 update
    \|/     P A C K E T   R A D I O                        to HACKRS@GBR
     |      ____________________________________________________________
 /    \\ \      We are working together to build and maintain an amateur
| \\,='\\ |     radio packet network in and around London, UK.
 \ \\    /
  '-...-'                               Internet email:
   __|__                          AX25 email: HACKRS@GB7CIP.#32.GBR.EURO
    ===                     Internet IRC: #lhs-radio on


        ..::[ NEXT MEETING: TUESDAY 19 JUNE 2018 AT 19:00 ]::..

A get-together, a  show-and-tell, and a time to discuss  our next steps.
Since the  former space at 447  Hackney Road is now  closed, the meeting
will be held at  an alternate venue yet to be  decided. The weather will
likely have improved by then, and a meeting on a nearby hilltop has been

             ..::[ A DIRE WOLF DIGIPEATER AND I-GATE ]::..

Marrold 2E0SIP  has built an APRS  node based on the  Dire Wolf software
soundcard AX.25  packet modem/TNC. It  consists of  an Orange Pi,  a USB
isolator and a  cheap USB soundcard interfaced to a  Tait UHF radio. The
soundcard has GPIO pins intended to be used for setting mute and volume,
but which has been repurposed for controlling PTT.

The  node  was  tested  very  successfully  with  Paul  M0OKE's  Baofeng
connected to  APRSDroid and Sam  M0SKF's Kenwood handheld  with built-in
APRS. It may be that such  software TNCs provide better decoding of weak
signals than traditional hardware TNCs.

                    ..::[ CLARITY ON LICENSING ]::..

So that we may continue with  our various projects, the group are trying
to get definitive  answers on licensing conditions for  various forms of
packet  operation and  specifically what  is permitted  at each  licence
level. We are unsure about whether  (i) APRS i-gates need to be licensed
and (ii) whether unattended RF-only  digipeating is permitted without an
NoV. Our  aim is  to compile  a concise list  of licensing  questions in
order to get a clear answer from Ofcom.

                   ..::[ PACKET ON THE 4M BAND ]::..

The group are interested in the  possibility of packet on the 4m (70MHz)
band,  and whether  it  would  give greater  propagation  than the  more
conventional 2m  or 70m bands. Phil  M3LVI and Sam M0SKF  are doing some
testing with  a crystal-controlled  single-channel radio, of  which they
have five. One possibility is that  such radios could form the basis for
robust links between nodes.

            ..::[ TOWARDS A NOV FOR A PACKET REPEATER ]::..

Equipment is being  finalised by Sam M0SKF for a  packet repeater, after
which  the group  will fill  out the  application for  a NoV  (Notice of
Variation). Even if rejected, this will give  us a better idea of how to
proceed when the hackspace has its new premises.

                        ..::[ THE TNC POOL ]::..

Any member  of London Hackspace  who would like  to try out  packet with
real hardware can borrow  a TNC from the TNC pool. You  can sign one out
on the wiki. If  anyone out there has a TNC at the  back of the cupboard
and would like to lend or donate  their old hardware to the pool, please
contact us.

We thank LHARC member WSPR for his donation of five TNCs which hopefully
will soon be added to the pool.

                        ..::[ NETWORK MAP ]::..

The network map shows the users  interested in connecting via packet and
the success with which they  have established connected between them. It
remains unchanged from last month. Reports of successful connections are

|                                                                      |
|                                                           .-+ M0SKF  |
|                                           M0OKE +     _.-" .         |
|                                            2E0TPS _+-"    .          |
|                                           M6OSR +"      .            |
|                                                 |      .             |
|  + M0PLL                                       .'    .               |
|                                                |    .                |
|                                               .'  .                  |
|                                               |  .                   |
|                                              .'.                     |
|                                              |.                      |
|   ----- reasonably reliable        (GB7CIP) +.                       |
|   . . . occasional success                                           |

                     ..::[ LINK OF THE MONTH ]::.. - a project, similar  to ours, to encourage builders to
build the largest amateur radio packet  network that they can. The TARPN
is based on G8BPQ nodes running on a Raspberry Pi computer with outboard
TNCs or TNC emulators.

                       ..::[ CONTRIBUTIONS ]::..

If you  have any contributions for  the June 2018 bulletin,  please send
them via mail  (internet or packet radio) to the  addresses shown at the
top of this message.


         --- End of message#: 280212 from M6OSR to HACKRS ---

This bulletin is also available as the text file lhpr1805.txt.