Re: RF access point application confirmation

Jim Kusznir <jkusznir@...>

One more comment on "we already have that" line:

Yes, 9600 AX25 has been readily available for some time.  However, the existing solutions are both expensive and difficult for many hams to get into.  I've been running one of those 9600 Winlink RMSes for several years now.  So far, the only user that comes in on 9600 is also me.

I bought a PK-96 back in the 1990's, and have used that with my Yaesu radio w/ the "data" port on the back.  Cost: about $700.  I could have bought a less expensive radio. Today's cost: $450.  I would still need to borrow test equipment to properly set my deviation.  And even then, the radio would not be "mountaintop safe".  I also know these things, and thus have a "realisitc picture" of what it takes to do 9600 in today's environment.  My local user group just sees the "difficulty of 9600" as too great, and sticks with 1200 packet.

The UDR offers to fix that.  In one black box, one gets a radio that today can do 9600 with all the magic levels pre-set/calibrated, with a web-based GUI to configure.  In fact, for winlink applications, it comes with everything you need to offer a winlink to POP/SMTP gateway so users can set this up on their home network and use standard mail clients like thunderbird to read/write winlink mail!  While that can be done with current technology, its a lot of complicated "gluing stuff together" and either borrowing (and knowing how to use) expensive test gear, or buying very expensive radios.  The UDR brings a revolution to packet radio environment by:

1) Making 9600 more accessible to "the masses"
2) providing an interesting "tinkering" platform for those interested
3) Building momentum into further development into ham radio digital

Will it buy you capabilities that didn't previously exist when it ships?  Probably not.  But those capabilities will very likely be notably less expensive and much easier to use.  And the potential of future capabilities is very real (unlike most other hardware).

For the initial application listed, it would be possible to remove your serial-connected 9600 baud radio, put this in, connect it to ethernet, then perform some "additional" / "semi-advanced" configuration to set up a AX25 node over 440Mhz, that when a user connects to a specific call/ssid or alias, they will end up on your BBS.  Its not intended to run like a traditional 802.11 device with access point, clients, and pure IP at high enough speeds that people just run it as an "ethernet bridge over 440".  You probably could do that, but I wouldn't do that until more software is developed after release.

Note that the makers are intentionally NOT being the sole software writers...Like the raspberry Pi, they created a hardware platform, and allow the community to write the software for it.  Like the raspberry pi, the community software did not explode or even started getting written.  Not that its impossible, but for an open source community, they don't tend to get excited about a platform and start writing software for it until they have it in hand.

--Jim, K7LL

On Mon, Feb 2, 2015 at 1:23 PM, Matthew Pitts daywalker_blade_2004@... [UniversalDigitalRadio] <UniversalDigitalRadio@...> wrote:


1) High speed has been worked on, since it is currently locked to 56kbps on the 70 cm band in the US, and will likely remain that way until something happens with RM-11708 to break it loose from whatever is holding things up. I have little doubt that they could easily have done simulations with the higher data rates, and chose to code the modems to only run faster based on callsigns (like how the Winlink stuff locks out Pactor 4 if you're a US ham, but allows it for other countries and services that use the system).

2) API calls such as what you're asking about could very well exist already, simply waiting for the hardware to be finished; given that they are using websockets for a lot of their stuff (it's been mentioned at various times, and in various groups), I'm sure they have the desired hooks in place.

3) It already is, simply by supporting the D-STAR Digital Data mode on a band other than 23 cm; that it doesn't yet support the high speed data rates that you want isn't entirely the developer's fault, since the rates you're asking about aren't yet legal to use (in the US) anyway.

Matthew Pitts

From: "'Michael E Fox - N6MEF' n6mef@... [UniversalDigitalRadio]" <UniversalDigitalRadio@...>
To: UniversalDigitalRadio@...
Sent: Monday, February 2, 2015 1:33 PM
Subject: RE: [UniversalDigitalRadio] Re: RF access point application confirmation

I don’t disagree with what you’re saying COULD BE the future.  Indeed, the UDR is great because of the stuff that MAY come later. 
But that’s betting on the come.  And the problem with that is that the radio has been “about to ship” for at least a year now, and yet still, there is evidently no one working on the high speed modem function.  (If there was, I expect we would have heard them say something by now). 
No, the hardware does NOT have to be built before the software can be started.  That’s the whole point of building on an open platform.   As just one example, Juniper built the entire JUNOS operating system, routing protocols, user interface, logging, diagnostics, etc., before it had a single piece of hardware built.  After that, it was a matter of the drivers for the particular serial or Ethernet or optical cards.  We did the same thing at my last startup.  The developers built the overall functionality, and then plugged in the specific API calls for each new card as it came out.  In fact, the reason I have asked more than once about what test capabilities will be available is because that data needs to be available from the hardware via an API, and that’s something the NWDR guys will need to provide to developers.  But answers there haven’t been very clear either, indicating that it’s still not defined and, at this late stage, it’s evidently not a priority.
So, maybe there is a large enough market of folks who want to buy this to tinker with in their garage.  But for someone who has been talking this up as a potential real-world, deployable solution for a couple of years now, it’s very concerning that work has not already begun on the one thing that will make the UDR different from what we already have now:  the high speed modem. 

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