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)
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: L-MFJ
ad: abrind-2
ad: Subscribe
ad: l-BCInc
ad: Left-3
ad: Left-2
  1. KC9FSH

    KC9FSH Ham Member QRZ Page

    When I was first licensed I wanted to get into packet so I bought a used AEA PK-232MBX. I quickly found out that packet was very dead in this area and boxed up the TNC. Recently one of the guys in the area found out that I had this sitting around and asked about it. Later this week I'll be selling it to him for $40, which tells me that some people are still interested in packet.
  2. K4SAV

    K4SAV Ham Member QRZ Page

    The only use I ever had for packet was for DX clusters, before telenet came along. Other than that, my experience with packet was about as interesting as watching grass grow. Yes, I have done both. I was amazed at how quickly those little seed pods sprang up in the lawn and I calculated how much they were growing per minute. When I got the answer, I said heck, I should be able to see that, so I set up an experiment and observed a stem for a couple of minutes, and yes I could see the thing actually growing. That was very interesting - for about 2 minutes - but after that became pretty boring. Packet was the same way. APRS was the same also.

    I still watch the grass grow (from a distance) but I no longer find it interesting. Your opinion may be different since not everyone has the same interests.

    Jerry, K4SAV
  3. KD4MOJ

    KD4MOJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    'Bout to setup a HF APRS station on 30 & 20m packet. Previous experience has always been on VHF.

  4. SV2EVS

    SV2EVS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Packet is almost dead in Greece. I dont know if a couple of bbs's still work in Athens..and that is far from where i live.

    To bad, i loved packet radio.
  5. W5HB

    W5HB Ham Member QRZ Page

    VHF packet is still being used for emcomm use and in some regions of the US its still used some. I am in NW AR and there is an active network in Southerm MO and we have a few full time 2m packets stations here where I am. Its somewhat of an antique but its still useful for some purposes.
  6. K0CMH

    K0CMH Ham Member QRZ Page

    There is still some packet use in my area.

    The problem is that Hams are still using the ancient AX25, which by today's standards is about as fast as molases in a snow storm.

    What I don't understand is why WinDRM didn't take hold. It is particularly good on uhf/vhf. The digital voice function got lost due to the need of a propritary file that is not available any more, but for sending any kind of data, such as program files (Word documents, photos, etc.) it is great.

    The required bandwidth may be a little wide for the very lower HF bands. It also does not have 100% verification of correctness. But otherwise it is really great.
  7. RFhead

    RFhead QRZ Member

    Its about as archaic as crystal scanners and 23 channel CB rigs.
    Back in 1991/92 when i first was bitten by the ham radio bug it was all the rage and I even went to a hams house to see it in action. He had an old Commodore 64 hooked to a GE Phoenix ex police rig. Back then it was really cool but now it is almost dead here. I use PSK 31, RTTY, and other digital modes that blow packet out of the water.
  8. KD3YT

    KD3YT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Back in the 90's, I ran a Jnos packet node/bbs here in west central Pa. Jnos packet was neat in that it used ip addresses and worked just like the internet does. Took the station down when I moved in 1998 and sold all my packet equipment.
  9. K7KEV

    K7KEV Ham Member QRZ Page


    Oh yes, packet is still active-- very much so.

    Many Emergency Communications people are still using it as much as ever. There is a great program written by KN7PE called Outpost Packet that makes packet MUCH more user-friendly. KN7PE has been an EC manager in California for years thus Outpost is oriented towards EmmComm work. He included several capabilities in it to greatly simplify message and bulletin handling, including a rich scripting facility. Outpost Packet makes packet as simple to use as Outlook Express is for Email. Take a look at

    Packet is used all over the world. Bulletins can be found on loads of bbs nodes. As one example, FEMA sends out bulletins every day with a list of various goings on-- floods, storms, etc.

    Lastly, while you can still use a TNC (and I do) you can do packet very well using a sound card interface along with free software from SV2AGW-- . (I also use AGW software and a sound card-- it works well and is a lot cheaper.)

    Most V/UHF packet is done at 1200 bd but we have several nodes in Oregon running 9600 bd. Since nearly all traffic is in message form and automatically routed by the packet system, speed is not an issue unless you are trying to send very large files. While I have received photographs over packet, it isn't the best way to send video. Look into Digital SSTV with EasyPal software (see ).

    V/UHF packet is integrated with HF Winmor/Pactor/Winklink 2000 with the current version of SNOS (Small Network Operating System) by W0RLI. See for details. SNOS is a full service node system. Not trivial, but used world-wide.

    Send a note to me if I can help get started.

    Oh-- when you get up and running on packet send me a "SP" (send personal) message to K7KEV@K7IQI.OR.USA.NOAM.


  10. G4ILO

    G4ILO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Perhaps it isn't strictly packet, but packet radio technology is alive and well and in widespread use for APRS which is a very useful mode both for position reporting and text messaging over radio.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page