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Local Access Fidonet like BBS using older WiFi technology

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KG4JPP, Jul 27, 2016.

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  1. KG4JPP

    KG4JPP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi All, I was in computer networking up until the early 1990s when Windows was first being used. Before the internet and in the early internet days, there was a dial up local/national BBS system known as Fidonet. I'm sure some of you remember this. For those who don't, Fidonet was a piece of software that you would run on a PC of the day that acted like a local Bulletin Board. You could exchange messages, download shareware game programs, and also text talk on Forums about particular subjects. Depending on how the software scheduling was set up, at one or several times a day, each local node would use its modem (no internet) to dial up other Fidonet notes, hopefully within its FREE local calling area. If not, the transmissions were fairly short and mostly text so the long distance charges were negligible. Then the "mail" would be "tossed" to other like stations. Though not instant, this provided users with many of the communication features we take for granted today, though at much slower speeds. 14.4 or 28.8 bbs if I remember correctly.

    I am wondering if anyone knows of, or is working on, software to re-purpose old WiFi equipment to turn it into a WIRELESS version of a FIDONET like system? This would be limited by the RF range of current routers and PC WiFi adapters, unless there were bridges to the internet.

    But in the event of some kind of local or national emergency, where the internet was out of action, as long as you had power and were in range of other units, communication could be maintained. Please contact me here or at if you have any on this subject. I am thinking, if enough nodes within range of each other could be established, a program like Echolink could be run WITHOUT using an internet connection.

    On preparedness.... Better 5 years too soon than one day too late.

    Gary DePietro, Florida USA
    KX4O likes this.
  2. K7FYI

    K7FYI Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    What you're looking for is here:

    This started using Linksys WRT54G WiFi routers (look here:, but for many reasons that you'll read about on the AREDN site (range / power being big ones), most development is on newer Ubiquity hardware. With the Ubiquity hardware, the antenna is located with the radio - no coax so much less loss.

    From my QTH, I have a constant 20 mile 2.4 GHz link and a 17 mile 5.8 GHz link, both shooting all the way across the Las Vegas valley. You can run messaging software ("MeshChat" and "HamChat" are popular), e-mail servers, file servers, VoIP, live video (bandwidth dependent of course)...
    KX4O likes this.

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