1. What advantages does TARPN offer over a typical packet network?
    Years ago, packet networks consisted of packet nodes and user stations with TNC’s. To provide connectivity to a large area of packet users, packet nodes were often located in a high building, tower or mountaintop, and hardware and operating costs were quite high. Also, packet networking using this method was often quite slow due to packet collisions on the overpopulated frequencies.

    With the TARPN networking scheme, each station acts as a node and are connected directly to neighboring nodes on dedicated frequencies, usually using yagi antennas for point-to-point connectivity. This increases data throughput by virtually eliminating packet collisions.

    Costs are greatly reduced as a TARPN Node consists of a Raspberry Pi, at least one TNC (Nino N9600A TNC’s costs under $40 each), at least one radio, which can be found on the used markets for well under $100, and an inexpensive yagi antenna.

    As the TARPN network grows, packet messages are automatically routed through the network to the destination.

    Lastly, each user is now an active part of the packet network, instead of just being an end-user.

  2. Does a TARPN node have a PBBS?
    Each TARPN node features a full-service BPQ BBS and Conference Chat.

  3. How do I access the node, BBS and chat? Do I need a terminal program or Putty?
    Each TARPN installation includes a built-in web server that runs the TARPN Home Web Application for accessing the Node, BBS, and Conference Chat. Node/BBS/Chat configuration is done via the web browser user interface. Putty is used to connect for installation and node maintenance. There is also BPQTermTCP terminal which offers a split-screen terminal for node and BBS access.

  4. Can I use my old hardware packet TNC with TARPN?
    Yes, any TNC capable of being placed into KISS mode can be connected to a Raspberry Pi running the TARPN node. However, connection must be either I2C or USB. In most cases, USB to RS-232 converters work well. Kantronics KPC-3’s have been used without issue. Feel free to use your existing TNC hardware, if compatible, but keep in mind that the costs of the Nino TNC is the most inexpensive solution, and works the best.

  5. Can a software TNC be used?
    TARPN does not support Software TNC’s. Software TNC’s, such as Direwolf, have been tested with mixed results and are not recommended.

  6. Can a TARPN node support multiple TARPN neighbors on the same frequency using a single radio and antenna?
    No. TARPN port configuration requires a single neighbor node to be configured. The advantage here is greater data throughput. Visit http://tarpn.net/t/network.html for a view of existing network maps to see how station nodes are connected.

  7. Can a TARPN node send/receive messages via email?
    No. Each TARPN node is connected strictly via RF-Link and is not connected to a commercial network or internet. Each TARPN sysop may copy and paste content from other sources, but automatic handling is not supported. More details are available at http://tarpn.net/t/faq/faq_rules_for_tarpns.html

  8. How is mail forwarded?
    Each TARPN node is capable of running a full-service BPQ BBS and Chat Conference that is capable of automatic network-wide forwarding rules between TARPN neighbors.

  9. Does TARPN support HF Packet?
    Not at this time. TARPN users have experimented with 300 baud HF packet connections, but HF packet has not yet been established using TARPN nodes.

  10. Is there an email group to post questions?
    Yes! There are two email groups that are recommended. The TARPN email group at http://tarpn.net/t/builder/builders_tarpn_email.html and the Nino TNC email group at https://groups.io/g/ninotnc. Also, be sure to visit the TARPN website, http://tarpn.net, for complete information.