The VK6ANC packet radio system.

One of the latest projects the club is still working with is the VK6ANC packet radio system. The original system was put in service by Phil VK6KS in 1993 after the VK6XPS/VK6KS BBS was no longer able to be operated full time and a decision was made to donate some of it to the NCRG in order to keep a very useful service operating. At this stage, there were two 1200bit/s ports, a BBS forwarding port to the rest of the Perth Network (PERLAN) on 147.575MHz and a user access port on 144.900MHz using an IC28H. In 1995, the radio's on the 2 ports were replaced with Philips FM828 radio's with crystals. In 1998, the NCRG decided to add a 9600 bit/s high speed packet port on to the BBS and this was done with a third TNC and some changes in the radio's. Then in 1999, it was decided (due to Y2K problems and packet services in general) to replace the whole machine with something a bit more up to date. The old 386 DOS machine was retired in preference for a 486DX4-100 machine running the Linux operating system. Some of the NCRG members also wanted a DxCluster set up, so under Linux, this all became possible. The old 386 PC has been rebuilt into a 586 to put at another site. The system was recently expanded when the non-Y2K motherboard was replaced again with a 6x86PR-200 processor board and a few more bugs in the Linux software ironed out. Another FM747 has already been modified as a fourth port on a UHF in order to link to a gateway computer with a live DX feed to the rest of the world.

An FM92 UHF radio was being used on the fourth link between VK6FJA and VK6ANC to provide DxCluster updates to the packet radio system. Also telnet,  ftp and POP3 mail clients are used with UDP messaging over AX25 to provide remote system control of VK6ANC. An FM747 runs 9600bps on 439.100MHz to provide high speed access. A multiport serial card was sourced from a computer swapmart with 8 ports on it and so now extra gear has been added. A laptop has been put in the VK6ANC shack with logons for the DxCluster and BBS so that the HF operators can view the DxCluster right next to the radio.

Latest news:

In early 2004, a lightning storm caused a power outage to take out the power supply and UPS for the PC. Gavin VK6HGR has recovered all the data and is running a temporary replacement BBS, until the VK6ANC BBS can be replaced into the new NCRG club shack which is under construction.


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Click on image for full size layout.

Here are some pictures of the packet setup..

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The equipment shelf built by Bob VK6TRA. From the bottom, there is the 9k6 70cm port, then the 1k2 2m port, the 1k2 forwarding port and a 1k2 link radio to the network. At the top right of the rack is a new 70cm cavity filter.

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The PC with tape backup, CD and 12v UPS. The main console with user manuals.

The 2m/70cm antenna at the station. (Brainer GST1). There are 2 of these in service.

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The DxCluster and BBS laptop (running from a serial port console on the main computer) next to the club HF rig. (Click on the screen to the right to see the screen)


This page is part of the NCRG current information pages. It will be updated to provide more details as the project gets improved upon. Last updated 29/08/2004.