A Hailing Channel for Packet Radio

Just gave a presentation here at DCC on declaring a single channel on 440 as a hailing channel, then QSYing to one of the other packet channels to handle traffic like email.

I thought this might be a natural way to bridge APRS and Winlink, but was nervous about the response from APRS users about using their channel.

Imagine my surprise when I asked the audience what frequency we should use, and none other than Bob Bruninga said:

“Use the APRS Frequency, that’s what it’s there for.”

Be sure to read Bob’s comment as posted on the APRSsig.

The video of the presentation was done by Gary at HamRadioNow and will be posted on the TAPR website.

10 Responses to A Hailing Channel for Packet Radio

  1. nwdi0786 says:

    From the APRSsig mail list:

    DCC in Atlanta is really exciting. Im going to summarize some exciting things relative to APRS in subsequent emails.

    First was Bryan Hoyer, K7UDR “A Hailing Channel for Packet Radio”.. What I took away was that we have LOTS of digital bandwidth on ham radio and we are not using it well. THe big users are APRS and WinLINK and we all seem to gravitate to the APRS channel and the local Winlink channel and then complain about the congestion. Yet we have hundreds of Kbps of capacity available.

    If we used APRS as it was designed to be, as a single resource channel, where knowledge about everything going on locally in ham radio could be found, then we could dispatch users instantaneously to one of the other digital channels to transfer data at 56 KBps and then return to APRS to be ready for the next application. THey are making 25 Watt UHF bricks with built in modems and freq agile radios to make this plug-and-play.

    It can serve as a Winlink gateway, APRS Igate D-Star gateway, freq agile digipeater or point-to-point link or a node in the AMPRNet (44 Net). It can serve as a DD/DV radio with the optional AMBE card) or as an Email clinet at the EOC. It can be controlled over the air for every function.

    You can build your own MESH networks. We have the bandwidth. lets use it!

    Bob, WB4APR

  2. Marc says:

    I am intrigued by the reference to MESH on 70cm. Where can I find more information on this?

    • K7UDR says:

      The reference to Mesh is in the generic sense, that a computer controlled radio that is listening on a common channel can discover resources such as IGates or RMS Gateways in a given area and then make connectivity decisions based on that “situational awareness” as opposed to any specific mesh protocol.

  3. K6DPY says:

    “We have the bandwidth. lets use it!”

    Is there a product ‘road map’ to greater bandwidth (and speeds) beyond 56k? That would mobilize the Ham community!

    • K7UDR says:

      For our first release we are focusing on existing standards which go up to 56K.

      There are a lot of things that we can do to increase the effective thruput as well as the raw data rate.

      I hope to engage the amateur community in a discussion and experimentation phase next year to investigate different alternatives.

      I have talked to the folks at TAPR about sponsoring such a discussion in order to keep it vendor neutral.

  4. K6DPY-Dan says:

    How so I sign up!?

    Thanks and 73.

    • K7UDR says:

      The sign-up is on the upper right corner of the site. Unless you’re viewing it on a small screen, then it moves to the bottom.

  5. Dennis says:

    What suggestion for a UHF packet or APRS messaging system on UHF frequency (ie. 446.1500Mhz)?

    Like others we need to use our bandwidth.

    • K7UDR says:

      I assume you mean client software?
      Please post this question over on our yahoo groups forum.
      I’m sure we can get some input on what Hams are currently using.

  6. Jeremy Hall KB7QOA says:

    This is great. This is essentially how commercial “trunked” radio systems work. One of the available channels on the system is a control channel. When a radio makes a request to transmit to another through the repeater, the control channel tells the transmitting radio which frequency to use, and tells the other radios in the talk group to listen on the same frequency. There is quite a bit more that goes on, but in a nutshell this is how it works.

    I’m looking forward to the radios being available in production. I also hope that you make different models for different bands, or even make it modular so changing bands means placing the control board into a different chassis with the appropriate radio and amp.