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[aprssig] MFJ1274 as a NEWn-N digi?

Stephen H. Smith wa8lmf2 at aol.com
Wed Sep 7 16:05:54 UTC 2005

smithb at bpsmicro.com wrote:

> I suddenly find myself rushed to clarify a few things with respect to 
> our local digi upgrade, so I'll make this short and sweet. :-)
> I have access to an MFJ 1274 TNC for free. I've been told this is 
> *not* a TNC2 clone so not suitable for the UIDIGI-ROM swap. That just 
> leaves me with the question as to whether I'm going to be able to make 
> this TNC work as a NEWn-N digipeater (fully compliant except the SSn-N 
> is optional in our area right now). Are there any special things I 
> need to know? I have some experience with the KPC TNCs, but the bulk 
> of my "expertise" is with UI-View-based digi operation.
> If the 1274 is not going to be suitable, I can easily look into the 
> other options. I'm just under some pressure to come up with a solution 
> fairly quickly. Any advice (up to and including specific programming 
> instructions (-: ) greatly appreciated. You can respond off-list to my 
> callsign @rac.ca.
> Brad.

The 1274 is a derivitive of the TNC2 with enhanced features. However, it 
has no APRS-specific firmware and is incapable of callsign 
substitution,  N-n decrementing and other features requred for APRS 
operations.  As-is, it can only implement a "dumb" WIDE1-1 single-hop 
home-fill-in type digi.  

I believe it can be made to work with UIdigi, but requires some 
motherboard hardware hacking as well as the firmware change. 

It can be given "APRS smarts" if used in KISS mode with an external 
program (digi-NED, UIview, etc) running on an attached PC. 

Off-the-shelf stand-alone (no PC required) alternatives include:

o     The ubiquitous KPC3+ (not original KCP3) TNC

o     The new SV2AGW micro-TNC.  This cigarette-pack-sized 
USB-interfaced TNC can run stand-alone as a smart digipeater.

o     In the near future, an optional piggyback daughter board will be 
available to convert the inexpensive KISS-only TNC-X (USD $50 kit) into 
a standalone new-paradigm digipeater.   Details at:

P.S.  you committed the common error of quoting an email address or URL 
at the end of a sentence, and then reflexively typed a end-of-sentence 
period immediately after the address.  This breaks the automatic 
live-link click-to-reply function of most email programs since the 
ending period gets quoted into the TO: address on the "send new message" 
form creating an invalid email address. 

One MUST leave plenty of white space around cited email addresses and 
URLs (preferrably quote them on a separate line for easy 
select-copy-paste) to avoid this problem.

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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