[aprssig] (no subject)

scott at opentrac.org scott at opentrac.org
Sat Feb 19 17:57:57 CST 2005

Industrial single-board PCs are used all over the place.  Granted, if you
need tolerance of extreme environmental conditions you're going to pay for


-----Original Message-----
From: aprssig-bounces at lists.tapr.org
[mailto:aprssig-bounces at lists.tapr.org]On Behalf Of Ron Stordahl
Sent: Saturday, February 19, 2005 3:33 PM
To: TAPR APRS Mailing List
Subject: Re: [aprssig] (no subject)


Do you really think for one minute that it would be wise to put a PC at
a remote site that runs 40 F below in the winter and 100 F above in the
summer and is subject to regular power failure/restores?

If so, come here and take over the maintenance of 15 remote sites please!

Ron, N5IN

Henk de Groot wrote:

> Mark Conner schreef:
>> I agree that if one is installing a new digi and has new hardware
>> purchased,
>> a KPC-3 may not be the way to go for future flexibility.  However, a $30
>> refit kit for existing digis might be more palatable for KPC-3 owners
>> than a
>> pricer replacement.
> I wonder, why spend $30.-- for a refit kit? This thing can already
> talk KISS, so you can turn it into an excellent digipeater as is!
> The big problem to advance into the future seems to be todays need for
> a PC in a state of the art digi, eventhough the software runs fine on
> a scrap 286 machine. I'm talking about PC's for which people almost
> pay you if you take them away.
> Old laptops are ideal, they use not so much power (approx 15 Watt,
> much less than the transmitter) and are small. Most of them still
> operate at 12 Volt and you can run them from battery to cover power
> outage. Yesterday I saw a ham advertize, this ham wants to get getting
> rid of his old 90 MHz pentium laptop because the screen is defective;
> cost $0,00. These are great machines to use in a digipeater!
> Our own digipeater, PI1APK, runs from an 486 HP Omnibook (also a gift)
> and PI1APA ran from a 80286 Tulip PC. PI1APA used a harddisk and last
> year the disk died, the machine was donated to the garbage collector.
> Now it runs from an old 166 MHz Pentium 1 I had laying arround after
> my daughter (7) got a better machine (800 MHz Pentium II).
> Both PI1APK and PI1APA boot from floppy and run in ramdisk - no moving
> parts at all while in operation. PI1APK has run non-stop over a year
> without any maintenance, it only stopped for replacing the software
> and relocation. The floppy acts as persistent storage with all the
> settings, it doesn't ware out since the drive is always idle during
> operation.
> I can't imagine that these kind old machines are not available in the
> US, its very cheap and very reliable. The PC's are outdated but by no
> means worn out. The only real extra expense compared to a KPC box is
> maybe energy. Even that is only a few Euro's per year. Better spend
> those $30.-- on that.
> When you have this setup, you have plenty of options to play with.
> Trapping large WIDEn-N for example, not only WIDE7-7 but also all the
> others. The number of aliasses is limited only by memory size.
> Why was this solution, or any other solution, not implemented in all
> those 1000's of sites that Bob keeps mentioning? Simple. 4 years ago
> we, or more accurate Bob, didn't have the guts to move away from
> todays limited TNC implementations. And eventhough we have not
> progressed an inch since then, still the same argument is repeated. So
> after then next 4 years we will still have todays limited TNC
> implementations operating everywhere (in the US). All the people with
> great ideas will have moved on into other parts of the HAM radio hobby
> that give them more rewarding opportunities.
> In my opinion it is not a cost issue. The PC's you need for this are
> give-away machines and I bet a lot of Hams already have these laying
> arround collecting dust.
> Of course there are sites depending on solar pannels, they would have
> to use something like an UIDIGI prom. But when we start moving into
> the future I'm sure these solutions will become available.
> Building something new and something better als gives energy to start
> working on new TNC designs or to build extensions that work in
> conjuction with for example a TNC-X. What kind of incentive is there
> today to work on that?
> Maybe even Kantronics will add new features to their TNC's as soon as
> they realize they are going to loose market share if they keep sitting
> on their hands.
> Worst case is keep the current Kantronics boxes at those solar-powered
> sites and have the surrounding digi't be aware of that and adjust the
> route by explicitly using this box's callsign in the path.
> Start upgrading those 1000 sites and you will have a better network
> tomorrow.
> If in The Netherlands, Germany, France and Italy its not a problem to
> deploy PC's in digipeaters, why is it such a problem in the US? I
> don't get it, but maybe that is because I'm European.
> Kind regards,
> Henk.
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