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[aprssig] AEA TNCs and NEWn-N

Stephen H. Smith wa8lmf2 at aol.com
Sat Oct 22 23:35:11 UTC 2005

lists.nospam at bpsmicro.com wrote:

>Are any of the AEA TNCs (specifically the PK232MBX but the question applies
>to all) capable of being run as NEWn-N digis? It seems they're not UIDIGI
>compatible, and I can't find any information to tell me whether they can be
>"persuaded" to work properly as WIDEn-N digis.
>If the answer is No, then I can tell the owner to hunt around for something
>else (preferably a TNC-2).

No AEA TNC has APRS-aware firmware. They completely lack support for 
modern APRS digipeating; particularly N-n decrementing, callsign 
substitution, and duplicate packet suppression.    Furthermore, the 
PK-232, while having an excellent modem, is a real power hog that runs 
hot and consumes over 1AMP continuously.   This can be a real issue if 
you are trying to run digi sites in remote locations on non-grid power, 
or on battery backup during emergencies.

All you can do wtth AEA TNCs is either configure them as a dumb home 
fill-in digi;  i.e.  simple RELAY (old paradigm) or WIDE1-1 (new 
paradigm) by setting MYALIAS to one or the other of these two paths
Place them in KISS mode and allow an external computer program (DigiNED, 
UIview, etc.) to provide the WIDEn-N "smarts". 

An interesting alternative to an old TNC2 with UIdigi firmware,  at less 
than half the cost of a new KCP3+,   is the low-cost TNC-X kit with  the 
new piggyback  X-Digi add-on module.   X-Digi is designed from the 
ground up to support the new paradigm N-n digipeating conventions.   
Total cost is about $70 for the two kits.  The total current consumption 
at 12VDC is less than 30mA compared to the 350mA or so a TNC2 consumes 
(or the 1000mA a PK232 consumes).     Details at 

Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com
EchoLink Node:      14400    [Think bottom of the 2M band]
Home Page:          http://wa8lmf.com

"APRS 101"  Explanation of APRS Path Selection & Digipeating

Updated APRS Symbol Chart

New/Updated "Rev G" APRS     http://webs.lanset.com/wa8lmf/aprs
Symbols Set for UI-View,
UIpoint and APRSplus:

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