Packet progress…

I actually achieved something. Makes a change!

At this stage I must state that I overlooked the fact I have an FTM100 and it has a suitable interface! Ok, no way I am going to fiddle soldering a 10-pin mini-DIN plug even if I had one, so I ordered a CT167 cable from  which arrived within two days. I already had a stock of D9 plugs. With the NinoTNC connected to the Windows PC the APRSIS32 software could send and receive APRS to/from my FT2D (no APRS activity round here other than a receive-only igate).

But packet was a tad more problematic. I wanted to use the Windows PC + Signalink + FT817 setup which means using QtSoundModem on the PC, but I also needed a program to talk to the TNC. QtTermTCP will via KISS but neither the Mac or Linux version had KISS anywhere to be seen, only AGW. And any mix of QtSoundModem and QtTermTCP on the Windows PC generally resulted in nothing talking to anything, which is probably my fault but it definitely got in the way.

So… I set up an old Pi 3B with the LinBPQ software, connected the NinoTNC / FMT100 to that and set up a test configuration. I then ran up QtSoundModem on the Windows PC talking to the FT817, and QtTermTCP on the Mac talking to the Windows QtSoundModem via AGW. And… nothing! The node sent broadcasts which were picked up by QtSoundModem etc. but connects to it all failed.

I noticed that if I sent APRS from the FT2D the OK LED on the TNC would light, but if I sent anything via QtSoundModem only the DCD flashed, no OK. Data issues then. It was then that I realised that in my earlier fiddling about with QtSoundModem I had all the various options in weird modes. Turning off FX25 and IL2P in the modem setting cured it (and no, I have no idea why I had them switched on!), and I could then connect. Success.

So, packet radio across the shack, using two radios, three computers and a NinoTNC.

Next steps… in theory anyway… I have a Tait TM8110 on order via eBay and a cable on order, I already have the programming lead and software. If all goes to plan I may even be able to build a packet node and get a NoV for it. As there is nothing at all round here then this may be a start if I can get others interested. I am to far away from other nodes in the progressive national packet network, but, early days…



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