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Is Packet Radio Still Active?

Discussion in 'Survey Center' started by W4XKE, Oct 3, 2009.


Do you operate a packet station?

Poll closed Oct 6, 2009.
  1. Yes. I'm active.

    4 vote(s)
  2. Yes. But only occasionally.

    11 vote(s)
  3. No. I lost interest and no longer do packet.

    22 vote(s)
  4. No. I have never been interested in packet.

    7 vote(s)
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  1. W4XKE

    W4XKE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I kind of miss playing with packet but the last time I was on, there wasn't enough activity to keep me interested. I just came from the Picture Packet web site and saw nothing new. Also, the registration sites are offline. So I'm just wondering if there's still life or if it's terminally ill? Do you still do packet?
  2. VE3PP

    VE3PP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I was quite active in VHF packet and also some HF packet back in the mid to late 90's.

    I remember my first VHF packet station consisted of an AEA PK-64 and a Commmodore 64. :D

    Then I had one of those Digiprom, or something like that.

    Then I lost interest ;)
  3. AG3Y

    AG3Y Guest

    Packet radio was a very active activity some years ago, with frequecies from 146.01 to .09 FILLED with packet nodes and BBS systems, sending and receiving messages back and forth !

    Packet was never quite that successful on the HF bands, because the protocol was actually a bit too aggressive, and the thruput rate was often abismally low. There were ways to set the parameters so that message forwarding was a bit quicker, but most operators never did get it figured out, so interest quickly wained.

    Packet was generally supported by those external boxes, such as the PK-232 and the Kantronics AllMode setups. But they had fixed filters and could only handle two different audio tones.

    Now, on the HF bands, there are many soundcard digital programs that will get data from point A to B just as reliably, and with much less hassle. They have multiple data streams running symultaniously, which is beyond the ability of the original external boxes, although I understand that Timewave and perhaps others, have provided ways to demodulate multi-tone protocols using external soundcards.
  4. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Well, if you count APRS as packet, I'm active. Otherwise, no...
  5. 2E0WHN

    2E0WHN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would not knock packet off as of yet. It is still a good mode for information sending. Not many are going Dstar and the sending of digital with Dtar is good, packet is a good alternative in case of emergency (as paranoid theorists like to speculate attacks on internet and we all revert back to stone age man hihi) packet with the right program can still be used as a email based system on VHF, UHF and 6mHF including satellite.

    Although we do have BPSK and other modes, it is one that can still work when needed.
  6. KC9IUX

    KC9IUX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have to vote, looking forward to trying.
  7. W0HU

    W0HU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Packet is alive!

    A number of hams in the Salt Lake Valley are still using packet, and some are still building backbones and adding equipment to existing, old networks. Although it is currently difficult to connect over a great distance, there are those of us in CO and UT who are actively working on solutions.

    For anyone who doubts that packet is still alive, I would ask, "have you tried to buy a good used TNC lately?"
  8. KB2FCV

    KB2FCV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I still have packet capabilities but I am almost never on - not much going on. I think APRS brought packet back in it's own ways, but gone are the days of manually logging into a packet bbs looking for dx cluster info or picking up your messages off a packet bbs. Much is automated these days. The last time I really used packet was during field day to send NTS messages. I will probably use packet again next year.

    Many years ago when packet was one of the 'in' digital modes, I had a Commodore 64 and a PK-64. Sold both at a hamfest a long time ago. Nowadays its a rigblaster and software. Once in a while my friend and I will mess around with it.
  9. KB1NXE

    KB1NXE Ham Member QRZ Page

    There are also many WinLink stations up on Packet (and PACTOR). This is a very limited use of it, and you are unable to make live QSOs via the system.

    Seems the sound card modes, particularly PSK on HF have replaced it as a protocol. You may look into the available modes that do indeed provide the same QSO experiences.

    I can recommend the SignaLink USB for Hardware. Not expensive at only $100 (the AEA PK-232 is still made and for sale at over three times the price in comparison). There are many free and very feature rich software apps for digital sound card modes.
  10. G1STQ

    G1STQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Quite a bit of activity in Europe at the moment.

    PSK popular too. Recommend the Signalink and you can download all software free. The Signalink comes with a mini disc which is full of all the software you'll need to do the lot.

    Have fun
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