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Author Topic: Are digital modes practical for prepping?  (Read 37286 times)

WA4STO

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Re: Are digital modes practical for prepping?
« Reply #60 on: February 10, 2013, 06:06:48 PM »
For Emergency communications, in my opinion WINMOR and PACTOR are simply amazing!

I've been trying (struggling) to 'ignore' PACTOR.

Then I discovered today, almost by accident, that Pactor I (but not 2 thru 4) is being used by the National Traffic System on all levels from Section up through Area and Transcontinental.  Wouldn't surprise me one bit if the vast majority of formal message traffic is going through those nodes, rather than the traditional CW and SSB nets.

And, since the holy grail of amateur radio success is FLEXIBILITY, I've finally decided to add Pactor I to my stable of tools.  It didn't take a very large 2X6 up side the head to bring me to that conclusion, since I failed to step back a few steps and was immediately appointed as a Digital Relay Station for the Central Area of NTS.

Now I have no choice.  Got an old Kantronics KAM from a neighbor ham, found a guy to give me an EPROM update to the pathetically old chipset in the KAM, so now I should be able to get the old gal on Pactor I.  Coupled with the new full-wave loop on 80 and above at the new house in a couple of weeks, I should be rockin' if not rollin'

Ray, is Pactor error-free?  I would think so, since it's ARQ in nature, but it's such an old mode that I wonder.  I remember doing Amtor 25 years ago and I seem to recall some garbage getting through but that might not relate to PACTOR, dunno.

73 de WA4STO

RadioRay

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Re: Are digital modes practical for prepping?
« Reply #61 on: February 10, 2013, 08:29:30 PM »
PACTOR (any variant) is essentially error free.  Even old PACTOR 1 , the calculated odd of an error getting through was something like 1x 10 to the -17th. essentially the same odds of a politician telling the truth twice in a row! // NOT going to happen.  ha ha

WINMOR is FREEware and has largely taken the place of PACTOR 1 on the WINLINK system.  However, PACTOR 1 modems are inexpensive now and frankly they will ore your traffic for you.  However. WINMOR being free and hveing the ability to tie into the global WINLINK e-mail servers is really handy.

However, when in doubt -pound it out!



Yes Gil, your Morse skills are now 'owned.  You use them dailiy and have seen that if out camping, your flashlight used to find your rig in the dark, uses more electrical power than likely will be required to span the 800+ miles between us using your transceiver!  I've kept a laptop and military messaging devices alive in the field, transported them on my back and etc. - but always prefered Morse. I had one device lock-up because it was -22F and in the time that it took to remove it from my parka, hook-it up wait for sked time and hit the button - it locked-up.  I reverted to Morse to send my SITREP.  The manufacturer of the 'sexy' little messaging terminal later said that their chips were only good down to freezing and even then - no guarantees.  The Army did not think that WE should be able to stay home when it was below freezing, so why would our equipment have such considerations?  Soldiers always had fewer safeguards than pack mules (animal should be treated humanely) and electronics (delicate & 'sensitive') so this is why I was not surprised.


de RadioRay ..._ ._
« Last Edit: February 10, 2013, 08:42:21 PM by RadioRay »
"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry

gil

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Re: Are digital modes practical for prepping?
« Reply #62 on: February 10, 2013, 10:40:28 PM »
Quote
Yes Gil, your Morse skills are now 'owned.

Not quite but it won't be much longer... Sure, I can have a 7wpm QSO (10wpm on a great day) copying in my head, but that doesn't qualify as 'owned' in my book. I have started using RufzXP to improve my speed. It is a great tool. That and of course our skeds  :D

Well, it's time for me to wipe out the Rock-Mite 40 and see if I can make contact using my magnetic loop... I tried the PAR but all I got was blasting Rock 'n Roll in my earphones  :o The mag loop filters it out...

Gil.

gil

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Re: Are digital modes practical for prepping?
« Reply #63 on: February 11, 2013, 12:31:40 AM »
1043 miles tonight with the 1.5W Rock-Mite into my magnetic loop. Ah the good old digital mode  ;)

Gil.

White Tiger

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Are digital modes practical for prepping?
« Reply #64 on: February 11, 2013, 01:09:13 AM »

He's a known, reliable guy.

73 de WA4STO

Excellent advice, I contacted him, told him I knew you and briefly explained my radio, the modes I wanted to work on...he gave me a couple of options (do it myself with his help, or charge me to wire one up for him). I decided to buy the first one from him and see where how it goes. He even offered to make sure that if the cable needed a mode, he would do that too!

And you know some pretty interesting guys..the entire alphabet was after his name - this guy plays marbles with ball bearings!

Thanks again my friend!
If you're looking for me, you're probably looking in the wrong place.

WA4STO

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Re: Are digital modes practical for prepping?
« Reply #65 on: February 11, 2013, 01:40:05 PM »
I decided to buy the first one from him and see where how it goes. He even offered to make sure that if the cable needed a mode, he would do that too!


Aha, interesting.  Glad that's working out.

I wonder if you got any warm/fuzzies from him about the possibility of success with the Omni and the Signalink.  Did he seem to think that it might just work?

And, in the same topic, which method (mike jack or phone patch jacks on the back) was to be used, and who suggested that?  If it was him, that would tell us that the warm/fuzzies just might play out.

73 de WA4STO

White Tiger

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Are digital modes practical for prepping?
« Reply #66 on: February 11, 2013, 11:21:33 PM »
I decided to buy the first one from him and see where how it goes. He even offered to make sure that if the cable needed a mode, he would do that too!


Aha, interesting.  Glad that's working out.

I wonder if you got any warm/fuzzies from him about the possibility of success with the Omni and the Signalink.  Did he seem to think that it might just work?

And, in the same topic, which method (mike jack or phone patch jacks on the back) was to be used, and who suggested that?  If it was him, that would tell us that the warm/fuzzies just might play out.

73 de WA4STO
Warm fuzzies were positively crackling in the ether...

Here is a quote from his email: 

"...a cleaner option would be a CAT-5 network cable with an RJ-45 on one end, and on the other 3 RCA plugs for the rear of the radio, RX (phone patch in), TX (phone patch out), and PTT jack.  The phone patch jacks parallel the mic and phone jacks on the front....My pref would be number 2 (the one outlined above) and would include the SignaLink internal jumper settings..."

I took it from this communication that he definitely seems to think it would work, and gave me the best/preferred option for best performance.

I'm busy scanning the eBay's for a SL!
If you're looking for me, you're probably looking in the wrong place.

WA4STO

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Re: Are digital modes practical for prepping?
« Reply #67 on: February 12, 2013, 11:24:20 AM »
Tim -- thanks for sending along the thread between you and Randy.

I was talking yesterday, via SKYPE, with a fellow from Jersey who keeps an equipment bank (mostly of TNCs that can still do PACTOR I) and we got talking about about cabling and such.  He had to outlets for cables.  One was Randy and the other was Buck Rogers, K4ABT.

I agree, Randy has his head on straight and understands -- from the experience of having built zillions of cables -- what needs to be done.

73 de WA4STO

White Tiger

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Are digital modes practical for prepping?
« Reply #68 on: February 12, 2013, 02:29:35 PM »
Tim -- thanks for sending along the thread between you and Randy.

I was talking yesterday, via SKYPE, with a fellow from Jersey who keeps an equipment bank (mostly of TNCs that can still do PACTOR I) and we got talking about about cabling and such.  He had to outlets for cables.  One was Randy and the other was Buck Rogers, K4ABT.

I agree, Randy has his head on straight and understands -- from the experience of having built zillions of cables -- what needs to be done.

73 de WA4STO
Again, thanks for thinking of me Luck!
If you're looking for me, you're probably looking in the wrong place.

Radio Preppers

Are digital modes practical for prepping?
« Reply #68 on: February 12, 2013, 02:29:35 PM »