November 5, 2018
Apparently starting blogging again after several months of being scarce results in a rash of inquiries. Since I have a rare Monday afternoon off after unpacking the car and running errands this morning I’ll tackle a couple things.
Frequency wise nothing has changed this year other than the addition of APRS to the six meter port of the Jonesville node. Below should make a good quick reference:
BPQ32 Node KYJVL - Jonesville, KY EM78PP
Port 1: 441.0500 MHz 9.6k (primary user port)
Port 2: 145.6900 MHz 1.2k (user port)
Port 3: 223.6600 MHz 1.2k (user port, low speed linking)
Port 4: WAN (intrasite Canopy/VPN links)
Port 5: 28.1480 MHz USB RP (user port)
Port 6: 50.6200 MHz 1.2k (user port, APRS Digi/Gate)
NODE = K4KPN-4
BBS = K4KPN-1
CHAT = K4KPN-13
RMS = K4KPN-14
Some have asked if there will be an 80m RP port? Maybe a temporary one next Fall, but it will involve whether or not some spare gear becomes available. I’m not going to go “buy” gear just for an 80m port because it’s not going to be a viable band at the future site. Problem revolves around space constraints, local noise floors (80 is nasty there), and control op privileges.
10 meters may have to be it for HF depending on who eventually takes over daily control op responsibilities of all K4KPN gear. The two most likely future control ops are still “techs” so that plays into things – I’m doing some nudging LOL. The trustee/control op questions will be part of the decision making on what bands move to the future site. Technician class licensees can both use and be control ops of that 10 meter robust packet port above so NBD there.
November 5, 2018
On Tuesday October 30, 2018 N0KFQ Kenneth Oscar Higgs became a Silent Key at age 88. The country, his family and the Branson Missouri community lost a good man. The packet radio community lost a good operator and a well known fixture in and long time contributor to the HF Packet BBS scene.
His obituary can be found here.
Ken, who went by “K.O.” was one of my early packet BBS mentors and helped me with the conflicting documentation out there on BBS HA when I was setting up my first full featured BBS. Years later when I worked with John (G8BPQ) on getting NTS forwarding added to BPQMail, K.O. was a source of good input as his FBB based BBS frequently handled NTS traffic.
To this day I’ve always kept an account on his BBS and would stop by occasionally, but not nearly as much as I should of. We all know how it is with us guys, we want to stay in better contact but “life” happens with family, work, etc.
KO’s wife Billie was also a ham (KB0WSA) and was also active in packet radio and ran one of the area packet nets for a long time. She passed away a few years ago. They both had a good life and witnessed a lot of history.
A comment from a friend’s email regarding KO’s death “We packet guys are all getting old and dying off.” As I do my best to ignore the proliferation of gray hairs, I can’t disagree that attrition is doing a number on the packet radio community. We would all be wise to try and better engage the younger members of our hobby. Let us try to get more of them interested in and active on APRS and other packet radio applications. They are the future.
Well 88 years was a good long life. On behalf of KYPN and myself…. Rest in Peace K.O.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4
June 9, 2018
KYPN would like to announce the full availability of the KYPN Dry Ridge BPQ32 based packet radio site as of June 9, 2018.
The following packet radio applications are available:
K4KPN-13 Chat/Conference Server
K4KPN-14 RMS Gateway
The above packet radio applications are normally available 24x7x365 to appropriately licensed amateur radio operators on the following frequencies/modes:
441.0500 MHz 9600 baud *
145.6900 MHz 1200 baud
223.6600 MHz 1200 baud *
28.1480 MHz USB dial, 28.1495 CF, Robust Packet “NET10R” *
50.6200 MHz 1200 baud **
* High availability, primary port.
** Dual-use port, both general use & 6m APRS WIDE1-1 Digi
All 5 bands and 3 modes are published to the Winlink channel listing.
Recommended user software:
KYPN recommends Outpost Packet Message Manager version 22.214.171.1243 for BBS access. Full installer is available for download here.
KYPN recommends Winlink Express v126.96.36.199 or newer for RMS access. Available for download from here.
More details can be found on the K4KPN-1 packet BBS under messages #1 thru 8.
More details in future blog posts and the work in progress draft KYPN System FAQ.
The KYPN team.
June 21, 2017
As of June 20, 2017 the KYPN sponsored K4KPN-10 30 meter Robust Packet APRS I-Gate is now a RX only I-Gate.
During recent maintenance at the site, the PA in the Yaesu FT-100D radio there was found to have failed. This is the 2nd Yaesu FT-100 of mine that has suffered PA failure and I gather this is very common failure for that radio. You would think it was a post-2001 era ICOM radio LOL. In fairness this radio was purchased used and with unknown TX hours/treatment in the past. I did do the fan modification to it and it was in a cool climate controlled environment, but again I have no idea of how it was treated in the past.
I obtained this radio cheap off the used market due to a damaged display so I’m not shedding any tears over it. Since it is remote operated via CAT control the display was a non-issue. It was well suited to a “tower site” 24x7x365 radio versus putting a more expensive HF radio at a tower site that takes a few lightning hits each year.
Even if replacement parts can be found I don’t plan to fix it for several reasons. We can’t run much more than single digit power at that site and it has always suffered from “big ears, tiny mouth” syndrome (RX range far exceeded its TX range). I’m gone from the area most of the time and a friend has been helping me keep an eye on it since transmitters operating under the “automatic” rules need to be closely monitored. There has been some past concerns with digi/beacon rate abuse on the 30m channel from 2-land and we had recently discussed just running it as a receive only I-gate. Guess you could say this event has sealed the deal on that particular discussion.
I’m not a huge fan of RX only I-Gates, but given the increasingly sparse 24×7 gate coverage here in North America the pros outweigh the cons. Maybe some dedicated soul will put up a 24×7 30m RP I-Gate in the southeast sometime. If that happens I’ll probably pull the plug on this gate or run it on another band for tinkering. We have had it on 80/40/17/6m briefly a few times for tests, but I feel the HF RP APRS network is best served by NOT “fragmenting” all over the HF bands.