[aprssig] Suggested replacement TNC for WIDE digi

Stephen H. Smith wa8lmf2 at aol.com
Fri Sep 2 18:50:04 CDT 2005

smithb at bpsmicro.com wrote:

> One of the major WIDE digis in our area is overdue for an update to 
> the new paradigm. Coincidentally, the owner of the digi wants to 
> reclaim the TNC (not even sure what it is, but it's old) for his 
> personal use. So this gives us an opportunity to update the digi by 
> buying a new TNC and upgrading.
> I'm well aware that the KPC-3+ is the defacto-standard, but they're 
> still a tad expensive. One ham pointed me to Elcom's line 
> (http://www.elcom.gr/), but these are only in Europe (though I'm sure 
> they'll ship here). Their TNC-plus is US$128, which seems like a 
> decent price.
> I'd be interested in other comments as to options or opnions on the 
> various TNC options (note: PC-based isn't an option in this 
> situation). Also any tips on vendors selling (who will ship to Canada) 
> the various units.
> If you don't want to post to the list, e-mail me directly at my 
> callsign @rac.ca.
> Brad.
> P.S. I'm not particular interested in a huge discussion on which is 
> "best". Just options on what can be used as a stand-alone New n-N digi 
> at a decent price.

Currently, unquestionably the CHEAPEST way to get such a digi is give an 
old TNC2 clone (MFJ127x,  PacCom, etc) a "brain transplant"  by 
replacing it's original firmware with UIdigi firmware.    Old 1270s can 
often be had at hamfests for US $30-50.     UIdigi replaces the current 
firmware and converts the TNC into a dedicated stand-alone APRS-only 
     One of the attractions of this approach is the eprom is customized 
with your callsign, beacon intervals, beacon messages, etc.   This 
literally "freezes the custom settings in stone" so that accidental 
resets, power failures, etc won't cause your settings to be lost.

More info at:

An alternative is the TNC-X kit.  By itself, it is a KISS-only TNC that 
can be interfaced either via serial or USB, and is available in kit form 
for $49 .   A piggyback daughterboard is available now that converts it 
into a standalone smart-beaconing tracker.   In the near future, a 
daughterboard that converts it into a standalone New Paradigm digipeater 
will be availble. 

More info 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
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