Greetings from the Land of Uncertainty. Hey, it is what it is.
An update to deal with some of the FAQs in the inbox. I’ll “may” go into more detail over the weekend if I get enough downtime.
K4KPN-14 RMS Gateway:
Early this morning I re-enabled the K4KPN-14 RMS (Winiink packet gateway) on the Jonesville node/app stack. I received some “nudges” about bringing it back considering everything going on now. While we don’t particularly need it for our local needs, I do get the case for it possibly being handy due to being located between two major cities. I was out of town and originally denied the latest request, but a family issue brought me back to 4-land briefly.
To be clear I don’t foresee this COVID-19 disaster becoming a real communications emergency that will require a major ham radio response. But there are a lot of unknowns here that only time will answer. Plenty of room for “oops, we never thought about that biting our backsides” problems to develop.
Plus there is always the possibility of another natural or man-made event developing on top of this virus disaster and cause failures or serious overload of existing strained systems. Let’s face it, the earthquake in Utah reminded us that we need to avoid getting “tunnel vision” on the COVID-19 threat.
K4KPN-14 is back on the air for a roughly 6-month probationary status. Later this summer I will review usages levels and decide if it remains available after that. #UseItOrLooseIt
I did a quick stress test of all the RF ports below except 220 as I don’t have 220 in the truck. All looked solid.
Port QRG Mode
1 441.050 9.6k
2 145.690 1.2k
3 223.660 1.2k
5 28.148 USB RP
6 50.620 1.2k
I’m leaving to catch a ride back west here in a bit, but will try to test the 220 port on remote this weekend when I have some downtime. The guys also wanted Serial-over-IP PWAN access to a Pactor and 1200 baud modem so we have some redundancy into the digital side of NTS if needed. That will be worked on over the weekend as/if time allows.
K4KPN-10 30m RP APRS Gateway’s Future?
Lot of inquiries regarding the future of the K4KPN-10 30m RP APRS Digi/Gateway’s future due to SCS announcing the EOL of the SCS Tracker DSP TNC. Rest easy, we have no plans to shut down K4KPN-10.
The underlying component availability problems that impacted the Tracker will eventually impact some of the other older SCS models. I suspect at some point we’ll have a Gen 3 Tracker, but nothing official yet. With the Coronavirus mess on top of the lingering NYU/Rappaport mess it is safe to say SCS has other priorities for now. How all that plays out will certainly have impact on their future product lineup.
The EOL of the current SCS Tracker DSP TNC does not mean RP is dead. Plenty of existing Tracker TNCs out there along with other modems that do Robust Packet. There is ZERO indication that SCS is abandoning Robust Packet. The SCS Tracker DSP TNCs have proven to be reliable workhorses.
KYPN has at least one spare Tracker TNC on hand, preprogrammed, and ready to plug-n-play at the K4KPN-10 station if something happens to the current TNC. That said, we use RP elsewhere and the one on our 10m port is considered “essential” to local needs. Thus if something happened to the current K4KPN-10 TNC before a replacement model becomes available then we would have to debate utilizing our spare TNC on 30m RP APRS or keeping it for the non-APRS 10m RP port. We will cross that bridge when and if we get to that point.
Obviously everything just got flipped on its head overnight….for all of us.
As far as KYPN’s future? If you don’t read it here or on the BBS then give it the credibility of your typical Wash’ DC politician LOL.
We are considering getting a 2nd “spare” RP TNC so we don’t get stuck with the tough decision previously mentioned. Obviously other higher priorities are at play right now, but KYPN will do it’s best to make it across the long haul ahead.
Remember KYPN is not some large formal club with a big member dues funded bank account. Unless you are super wealthy (hope you have copious liquidity right now LOL) we all are going to have to tighten up the budgets going forward for awhile.
Endless uncertainty about so many things right now.
I join many in deep concern (understatement of the year) about what we are likely to see happen to the NYC area and parts of the west coast here in the coming weeks. It is what it is, denying reality doesn’t change reality. The math is what it is and none of the models look pretty. That said, we will get through this.
A good one for the “It’s no worse than the flu bro” folks….
Not mine, but makes a point. I’d add that in parts of Italy the bodies are piling up in churches. The Italian healthcare system is rated the 2nd best in EU. Yeah their healthcare system has it’s share of problems, but they are a first world country.
Not that anyone is going to escape the impact of this, sure looks like Spain saw the NY/NYC mess and said “hold my beer” and royally screwed its citizens.
While it’s not an end of civilization type of pandemic, it is going to kill a lot of people across the globe and here in the states. It is time for all of us to mentally prepare ourselves for a spell of endless bad news as we witness some dark history ahead. Don’t panic, but be prepared. Be prepared to take care of yourselves and not depend solely upon others.
Take care of yourselves and your family. Be flexible, be a team, be proactive vs reactive. We just spent the last 24 hours nearly moving heaven-n-earth to get a precious 92 year old member of the family out of a facility that we were not comfortable with him being in if things go seriously sideways in the NYC area. That after a weekend of my NYC and CT extended family turning the 4-land farm QTH into a busy B&B as they fled south to family places in the saner lands of Alabama and Tennessee.
Never imagined I’d see some of the things we’ve all seen in just the last week or so. Neighbor came over Sunday when I was packing the car, saw what I was taking and asked “you going to war or not planning on coming back?’ Told him that I usually pack against a known itinerary so this is kind of surreal. Had to pack for the possibility of having to stay and function from one of four locations for unknown periods of time.
Moving on… Maybe we will get lucky and going “whew, we dodge that one” in a few months. Suspect we best all start wrapping our minds around the concept that things are going to get worse. Then it’s going to get even worse before it gets better.
The news today was refreshing in a way, but we still have the immediate problem to deal with this Spring and none of the math or models look good.
WA4ZKO-7 HF Gate
Some have inquired about if I have the WA4ZKO-7 RP HF Gateway node active. It will be active at times on QRGs like NET40R and NET30R.
Sorry I can’t provide a live schedule or the like. It is a convenience node/gateway into the local packet WAN. May or may not be available on a day to day basis since it uses my 4-land shack radio which I may need for other remote uses at times.
We are entering storm season and I’m counting on others to disconnect/connect antennas based upon local weather there. Since I don’t have a spare for the Tracker TNC on it, no storm chances will be taken with it or all the associated hardware (IC-7300, ATU, PSU, TNCs, etc).
Bugging out to 4-land or 7-land?
Well actually we have several options including a 0-land option at the XYL’s parents farm in Iowa. Just got the XYL back in from Chile and she’s wrapping up work this week. What’s left of their decimated (thank you virus) Spring flight schedule can be handled by the younger pilot crews that are lower risk and need the flight hours/paychecks.
For a few days we’re going to be helping her family repair some farm equipment. Like so many farms out there they have had a couple rough years and need a good year. Going to spend a few days there helping them save some money on repairs by doing it ourselves. I was going to go out and do that in April, but too many unknowns now to wait that long. Life has to go on and the crops have to be planted this Spring….well that is if we would like to keep eating. #NoFarmsNoFood
I can Telecommute for 70-80% of what I do. We’re both blessed to be where we have some work from home-office flexibility for now.
Basically plans are open after we get done in 0-land. Maybe back to 4-land, maybe just camp out in 0-land to see how things look after a few weeks. At this point we just don’t know for sure. Obviously wise to be in a good spot in case a national lockdown occurs so travel comes with some risks. I suspect at some point we’ll see some state/regional lockdowns around some of our major cities. I really don’t want to think about what it would take to go “national” in scale and the damage that would be done.
The 7-land QTH is in a high traffic tourist haven with considerable supply chain risks, so probably not the best place to be in something like this. A friend’s QTH in S. Idaho has less traffic this time of year, but also considerable supply chain risk. We have open invitation to a friends place out on the reservation and frankly that may well be the best 7-land safe haven for something like this if it mutates again or everything really derails.
Seeing too much fear out there. For my American readers…. Prepare, not panic. Buck up, this is America and we WILL get through this. In the words of Sootch “Be Strong, Be of Good Courage. God Bless America, Long Live the Republic!” #LetsRoll