Packet Radio


Windows Applications that Work with Packet

These fall into several categories:

  • GPS related applications

  • Applications that use a TCP/IP network server (Mail, Web, FTP etc)

  • Terminal Emulators

  • User to User Network applications (Peer to Peer)

  • Applications that need high speed packet (> 25K bps)

GPS Related Applications

Many Windows applications that work with a local GPS (Global Positioning System) handset can work using APRS over packet, or be a source of GPS information for APRS on packet. Some of these can connect by Serial port (COM Port) or TCP/IP networking (on the same machine or elsewhere on Internet or LAN). Real COM ports are not required. The MixW virtual multiport loop back adaptor can be used.

UIView and Radio Mobile are two popular programs. UIView is a GPS mapping system. Radio Mobile is primarily a radio system planning and prediction system. While MS Mappoint can connect direct to a GPS unit, it can't use Packet or APRS.

Applications using a TCP/IP server (Internet type applications).

Originally the Internet used 300 Baud and 1200 Baud dialup connections, so if "Plain Text" is used for Email and Newsgroups and fairly basic HTML files without pictures and Scripts are exchanged on FTP and browsed via a Web Browser (HTTP), it can be similar on 1200 packet to modern "bloated" Attachments and Multimedia Webpages on a 28K dialup Internet. Certianly setting up a Web, News, Email and FTP "virtual server" as a "Server Packet node" is easier than configuring most packet BBS systems. Free software exists for server side for Mac, Linux and Windows. The Windows, Mac and Linux users already have all the client or user applications needed! (Outlook, Intyernet Exporer). You just start the Packet software and connect to the Rig and the applications work as if on broadband or LAN, just a LOT slower at 1200 Baud. But faster than Broadband speed Packet could easily be installed in Ireland quite cheaply.

Terminal Emulators

Hyperterminal and Telnet etc can be used. AWGPE and MixW both come with "Terminals" for basic text QSO and BBS access. Some remote Digipeaters outside Ireland do use "Telnet Servers". Also a user to user TCP/IP link can be made. In these two cases Telnet or Hyperterminal can be used. Note that earlier versions of Hyperterminal only work on a serial port and not on TCP/IP telnet mode.

User to User Applications

This can be anything really, even some network games! The only requirement is that TCP/IP or AX.25 can be selected for communication. A few programs that use serial ports can even work via virtual COM ports once a regular packet connection is made. The main limitation is the speed of 1200 Baud packet.

Applications that need High Speed packet (> 25 K bps)

Unfortunately we are 10 to 15 years behind many countries in Packet. While we still discuss if an upgrade to 9600 Baud is worthwhile others are routinely using 38,400 bps (38.4K) and 1.2M (Approx 1,200,000 Baud) or even higher. Images, program file exchange and multimedia including Voice over IP (like Echo Link) or video streaming needs 28K to 200K bps. EchoLink and IRLP CAN run over packet, but not the packet system currently in Ireland. We will separately consider WiFi links.