[aprssig] Re: Smart TNC's vs. KISS and computers was (no subject)

Ron Stordahl ron.stordahl at digikey.com
Thu Feb 24 15:15:28 CST 2005

John...thanks for alerting me to these developments.  I did a little 
checking and VIA computer (a manufacturer of processor ic's and 
motherboards) has released their 'Nano-ITX' motherboard measuring 12 cm 
by 12 cm, less than 5 inches on a side (height unknown, but its small), 
provides a complete pc with on board video, audio, serial, LAN, USB and 
a lot more!  As such it would seem one could do sound card TNC, thus 
eliminating an attached TNC.  Don't know the prices, but eventually the 
manufacturers seem to be able to make motherboards for amazingly low 
prices.  Tiny PC's here we come!

I guess there is hope after all!

Here is a link:


Ron Stordahl, N5IN

John Ronan wrote:

>> VIA Computer makes a series of tiny highly-integrated all-in-one PCs,
>> the EPIA Micro-ITX motherboards that are only about 8" square.  These
>> devices were originally intended for use in home multimedia systems and
>> automotive entertainment systems as Windows-based MP3 players, etc.
>> These boards already have a Celeron-equivalent 600 MHz or 1 GHz CPU
>> soldered onto the board, video, sound, serial and parallel ports, PS/2
>> kbd/mouse support, HDD and FDD controllers, an on-board compact flash
>> connector, and a slot for a single 168-pin DIMM ram module and a single
>> PCI expansion slot.  Several of these boards use low-power FANLESS CPUs,
>> and have FOUR (!!!) real serial ports (no more  USB-to-serial dongles!)
>> and TWO Ethernet ports.  The power connector is the standard ATX-type
>> molex.  An optional header that snaps directly onto the power connector
>> contains an DC-DC converter that will run these devices directly off 12
>> VDC at about 1 amp.
>> The total cost, including 256MB of ram is about USD $200.
>> Note that for DigiNed-type operation, these boards can boot and run DOS
>> from a flash card plugged into the motherboard CF socket (the
>> motherboard BIOS treats the CF socket like a hard disk and makes it a
>> bootable device.).  Around here, at least, 512MB CF cards now sell for
>> around USD $40.   [And to think I once paid USD $1000 for a 200MB hard
>> disk!)
> If anyone is interested, I've being doing exactly this recently, i.e. 
> building a cf based linux distribution.  Its built around the cqure 
> linux wireless access point distribution/build system.  I've gotten to 
> the stage where I think I know what I'm doing, so I've stopped and I'm 
> documenting how I got this far. Its for work so I'm being paid to do 
> it :) I'm using M10000 boards.
> Regards
> de John
> -- 
> John Ronan <jronan at tssg dot org>, +353-51-302938
> Telecommunications Software &  Systems Group,  http://www.tssg.org
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