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[aprssig] Using Digi_Ned

John Kraus jfkraus3 at cox.net
Sun Feb 20 17:24:14 UTC 2005

At 09:04 PM 2/19/2005, Wes wrote:
>Digi ned offers the most flexible options for digipeating and can use any 
>of the
>rule sets which have been dreamed up in the past week on this sig.
>The problem it seems is that no on wants to put a PC at a digisite due to 
>problems... those are over now!
>Goto http://store.yahoo.net/ituner/posoformi.html and spend $35 for one of 
>ATX 12v power supplies.
>Install the power supply in your run of the mill 100mhz pentuim ATX old 
>PC, remove the HDD from your PC and download the digined boot floppy from here

My problem is that all 12 of the donated NCR Pentium 133's that I currently 
have on hand use AT  power supplies.

Please note I have used Digi_Ned for several years but was never able to 
get remote access to work.  I also decided that I wanted these digis to be 
able to work right through power outages using a 95 amp/hour AGM battery. I 
do not want to run an inverter/computer.  I tried adding a large external 
battery to to an old UPS but run times were poor. Measured in hours not days.

I am directly responsible for two digis in Macon Georgia.  I converted both 
these to VER 9 KPC-3+'s  simply due to power issues.  Both have mains 
available but have suffered power outages in the past.  In several cases 
the power outages caused the system to fail on reboot and required a trip 
to the digi to get them going.  Yes, both use Ram drives and turn the hard 
drives off via bios 5 minutes after boot.  The problem seems to be surges 
or spikes when the power is restored as a trip to the site simply needed a 
power off reboot to fix the problem.  These systems spread the NWS warnings 
in Central Georgia and need to be able to stay on the air for several hours 
minimum during a power failure.  During the Hurricanes last fall we lost 
power at my house for about 4 days. The LVD failed and the battery was 
eventually damaged but the digi stayed up for 3 days and was a good 
resource for me to be able to see the big picture.  I wish I had thought to 
go out and reduce the transmit power as it might have helped some.

I was more worried that the big oak was going to come thought the living 
room roof.

My current plan for these computers is to eventually install Debian and set 
them up with Digi_Ned, F6FBB BBS and Node software. They will then be 
handed out in  the ARES or MARS communities as ready to go boxes.  Just 
have to get the round-2-its in line. Ideally I would like them to have a 
monolithic kernel since they all have the same hardware. What I want to 
accomplish is a standalone box with a simple user interface to pick 
programs from much like a simple dos batch file menu.

All of this aside Digi_Ned is a great piece of software.  I like it and 
will use it in the future when the need for power loss survival is not a 
critical issue.

I highly recommend that anyone who has never used it should download the 
Digi_Flop program and give it a try. I is very well documented and is easy 
to setup.  It can be copied to a hard drive if you edit the files to point 
to C:\ rather than A:\

If you decide to run from a floppy, which is a very viable option, I 
suggest putting tape over the front of the drive to keep dust out.  The 
advantage to this method is that you can update the digi simply by swapping 
disks and rebooting.  You can also test at home before the swap.

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