Thursday, March 25th, the Wireless Society of Southern Maine held a training net to coordinate a training exercise utilizing the Southern Maine Packet Group’s Cumberland and York County EMA nodes. We passed Winlink and BBS mail traffic, and communicated via packet Chat. Two members worked from new setups, and this allowed them to work out the kinks.
Brad here, KC1JMH. I did a presentation this evening after the Wireless Society of Southern Maine business meeting, about what packet radio is, what it’s used for, and demonstrated how one connects to a node to send and receive BBS and Winlink mail.
Our discussions lead to stories about the marine stations we have contacted with Winlink as a training exercise from our region’s traffic coordinator, Steve KB1TCE. They have made for some fascinating contacts, a view into another lifestyle!
There was a lot of information to absorb, but this was meant to be an introduction. We’ll certainly have some practical hands-on training in the coming weeks. 73!
Sam KC1LII, a former Police Officer, lives in Ogunquit, ME and is establishing a new node with the help of Jim KC1ETT of Wells Beach. Sam’s node with be a spoke to Jim’s hub network, and may be able to provide a good path into NH for emcomm and hospital traffic.
The Southern Maine Packet Group and associated EMA nodes WS1EC and W1YCA have QSY’ed to 145.730 MHz to avoid some local QRM or RF interference, and we’re already seeing paths that were weaker working much more efficiently!
We are also working on an uplink to the Midcoast Maine Packet Network due to the path loss to KS1R, and another potential link into New Hampshire.
The York County EMA node W1YCA was down this morning due to an SD card failure. Roger N1XP acted quickly to investigate and replace the SD card with a USB drive. He supplied instructions on how to make the Raspberry Pi boot from a USB mass storage device, which can be found in the Files section.
After a hiatus of the Southern Maine Packet Group’s W1YCA node at the York County EMA in Alfred, its return delayed in part due to COVID-19 restricting access to the EMA building, it has returned as of January 10th, 2021. Some further adjustments are being made to stabilize its connectivity and applications.