The Delaware Packet Network (DEPN) objective is to promote and document the development of Community-Based RF-Linked Amateur Radio AX.25 and VARA Terrestrial Packet Network within the State of Delaware and surrounding areas.
Assistance with Packet radio networking using TNC Nodes, Winlink Gateways, Digipeaters, and NETROM Nodes is also available.
If you are interested in setting up and hosting a Network Node, or need assistance setting up a packet station, please contact us using the Contact page.
Packet Radio ‘Primer’ – Online presentation – Saturday Sept 23, 2023 – 23:00Z
Topic: Packet Radio ‘Primer’
Time: Sep 23, 2023 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topics will include:
1. What is Amateur Packet Radio – What was it like and what is it like today?
2. How to get started with little to no expense – If you own a Signalink, you may already have everything you need to get started.
3. Getting old equipment out of the closet and back on the air!
4. End user, PBBS, Digipeater, Nodes, Full Service BBS, Chat server, Winlink.
5. Rebuilding the network, one node at a time!
Meeting invitation available at https://www.depn.net/packet-radio-primer/
Building an AX.25 Packet Network
An AX.25 Packet Network is built using Nodes, such as network layer protocols NET/ROM, X1J, ROSE, K-Net, and/or Ka-Nodes and digipeaters. Most Kantronics hardware TNC’s, especially the later firmware versions, include Ka-Node and/or K-Net functionality. Other TNC’s offer node functionality with firmware upgrades.
The simplest method for an AX.25 packet station to add to building a local network is to enable the digipeater function of the TNC. This will allow local stations to digipeat through the packet station to increase range. However, there are some downsides to digipeating. Digipeating is good for short hops. Packets are acknowledged between each end-to-end sender and receiver. If a packet is lost between sender and receiver, the entire packet is lost and must be resent.
Popular NET/ROM Network compatible node software includes BPQ32 and JNOS. Both are relatively easy to get started, install and maintain. Versions are available for Windows, Linux, and even Raspberry Pi installations. A NET/ROM compatible node offers the greatest method of connecting to the rest of the world via RF-Linked nodes, AMPRNet, AXIP or HF packet. The advantage of a NET/ROM compatible node is that each node sends out a broadcast which builds and updates routes. Also, packets are acknowledged between nodes instead of requiring nodes or stations downstream to acknowledge each packet.
The KA-Node, featured in most Kantronics TNC’s, is a simple packet-networking node, when enabled, the station can be used by other stations, not only as a digipeater but also as a node, helping them to find pathways to other stations that they can not reach. KA-Nodes, like other networking nodes such as NET/ROM, operate more efficiently than do digipeaters as a link between two stations. End-to-end acknowledgement of received packets is not required with the nodes; instead they handle errors between each other, rather than from end to end (which can cause extra traffic when errors or interference occurs). A KA-Node, however, is “silent” in that it does not automatically connect to and exchange routing data with adjacent nodes, as do fully featured nodes such as NET/ROM, X1J, or Kantronics K-Net.
Active Packet Radio Stations/Nodes in Delaware
If you have questions, would like to participate in an email discussion group regarding packet radio operations within the State of Delaware, or get invitations to any packet radio networking meetings, please feel free to subscribe to our email group.
This site will be updated frequently – Last update: September 12, 2023