Potential packet activation - advice please

I have an idea to pop up GM/SS-171 tomorrow with my new Tait 8110. As well as being a decent voice rig on 2M it was also primarily purchased for packet use - the fact that it is light enough for SOTA is a bonus.

I have my laptop and NinoTNC ready to go and tested, and I have BPQ32 configured and tested with a few local stations - it can accept incoming connections. If I was to sit in the chat on the local laptop and exchange RST in there with the summit reference part of the connect text so people see it on-join would that be enough? I could keep the squelch off so I can estimate the S and the T parts manually.

Other idea is for individual stations to log BBS messages but that’s a lot of faff on my side. Keeps QSOs tidy and separate from each other though.

I’ll do voice as well, obviously, but I like to try new things. 0800-0830Z start time if I can get up Allermuir quick enough.

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Perhaps Wednesday morning isn’t a good time for this…

Edit: I got 2 hours sleep and my wife isn’t very well, so this will be tomorrow now.

I can’t recall mention of packet radio on here recently although a search throws up a few links from the past. I think FT4/FT8 has taken it’s place.


Given I’ve delayed a day I’ve set up a portable node on a Pi Zero with a typical USB battery. Slightly less to carry than the laptop!

If this works it’d be really cool. Could leave this working away while having a voice frequency going too (if they don’t interfere). I will be in the chat too to do it manually, it won’t be automatic connect, copy summit ref and then go.

Would appreciate some friendly thoughts or criticism, anyway.

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As long as connections are direct and not “repeated” then that is a valid QSO. You should exchange signal reports but it doesn’t say RST. As AX25 is fully error correcting ( a packet is rejected if in error ), then being able to exchange a message is sufficient, in my view, for it to be a valid exchange.


Yeah, that’s a good point, I may have to warn people in the banner text to connect direct, one hop RF-only.

In which case per your last sentence them connecting direct to my node, reading the summit reference off the node connect text, and then immediately quitting would, technically, count as a QSO?

I mean, I’d rather try and shell in and chat to folk, but also I am having problems setting my Pi up for that.

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Scratch that - with the help of a great package called ComItUp my Pi now loads up, gives me a captive portal webpage to connect to an AP if it sees networks, or I can leave it in AP mode if not. Then I can shell in using Terminus on my iPhone after connecting to the AP.

So I can chat to folk tomorrow morning!

One small issue is the inability to get the time on-boot. I’ll look into maybe a small GPS system for that. But I’ll log myself too EDIT: now fixed, wifi priority either makes it join home wifi first or phone hotspot second.

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Aaaaand I didn’t sleep again. Sorry folks. I’ll have to just try, try again tomorrow.

OK, I am feeling much better this week, the weather is also super nice tomorrow. Dry, calm, cool. So I’ve popped up an alert for GM/SS-171 10:00Z tomorrow to finally give this a go. It’ll be 1200 bd AX.25 @ 12 Watts from the mighty Tait 8110, you can connect to 2M0IIG-7 and then either disconnect upon getting the summit reference in the banner text or use the “chat” command to drop into the chat room - hopefully I’ll be waiting on the other end of my terminal client on my phone.

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We’re up! I have a connection already…