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Old 13-04-2013, 04:01   #1
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2-Blue Radio setup

Hi,
I am currently setting up the SSB/CW radio station on 2-Blue our 37ft Elite Prout. I had extensive experience of using the KAM modems years ago
(in the 1990's from my home) so I am a little behind the times with later technology.
After much thought I am thinking of using a Windows7 O/S Laptop running "RMS Express" connected to the "Kantronics KAM XL". The radio will be an
Alinco SR8 and the antenna a Shakespeare vertical with EDXII tuner.
I am going to use AX25 packet over HF instead of Pactor, mainly because other than emails I only wish to download GRIB files and provide position reports.
To read the GRIB files I download I am going to use UGriB.
I assume the RS232 lead from the KAM will requires a Serial to USB interface to operate with the Laptop.
Can anybody see any potential problems or concerns with this setup?

All comments welcomed.
Aye
Stephen.
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Old 14-04-2013, 20:14   #2
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Are you not limited to 300 baud with AX25 on HF? That is pretty slow compared to more commonly used Pactor 2 & 3 protocols and Winmor. An even bigger problem may be the paucity of stations even handling AX25 on HF.

I have no experience with that mode, so educate us if those impressions are off base.

Chip
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Old 15-04-2013, 01:22   #3
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Re: 2-Blue Radio setup

Hi Chip,
I agree AX25 at 300baud is slow to use over HF but when you are time rich another few minutes downloading GRIB files or uploading position data really isn't that important. AX25 offers lots of features namely Personal Mailbox, Personal Beacon all of which can be accessible by family and friends from home if they have a suitable Amateur Radio License. The amateur network is free to use and is staffed by volunteers. Land based servers are all listed within RMS Express. The only weak link in the chain I can see is the amount of time the landbased servers are active per day. I am looking for the most cost effective way(169 for a KAM XL modem, 499 for a Alinco SR8, 160 Shakespeare Antenna) and the amateur radio way is just that but not much good if nobody is listening for connects anymore.
Many thanks for your input Chip.
Stephen.

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Old 15-04-2013, 03:37   #4
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I would recommend looking in to using Winmor. This is also sourced and maintained by the amateur radio community and being a sound card mode may require no additional expense for you to implement. Many RMS stations support this mode as well.

73
Chip
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Old 15-04-2013, 06:42   #5
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Re: 2-Blue Radio setup

Agree with SoonerSailor. Look into Winmor. Also consider pskmail. Both are ways to send and receive e-mails via HF. Neither requires the recipient of your e-mails to have an amateur license. Both allow others, who don't have an amateur license, to send e-mails to you. Both require only a sound-card interface between the radio and the computer, so no need for an expensive TNC, nor for an even more expensive Pactor modem.
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