Getting Ready for GB7RMS Packet Radio BBS


It is all very well having a dedicated VHF 2m Ham Band radio sitting on the Packet Frequency of 144.950MHz, alongside a Packet ‘Terminal Node Controller‘ (TNC), but that, in itself, is not going to allow a resurrected GB7RMS to rise from the past!

What I need to use, in addition, is a computer running ‘Bulletin Board Software‘ (BBS) in order to handle, for example, mail and news items for myself and other radio amateurs across parts of Kent & East Sussex.

Look at it as an early internet (see last post).

I wanted to use the excellent ‘FBB’ software, very common ‘back in the day‘ (1990s), and was very pleasantly surprised to see that there is still a free version being supplied ~ and it has been updated: Windows & Linux versions.

I decided to go for the latter as Linux is an operating system that rarely ‘falls over‘ (crashes) and is very efficient in terms of memory use, etc., and so can handle 8 connections at once without causing the computer any problems at all!

It also happens to run on a Raspberry Pi 3 with ease ~ which is lower on the electricity bill 🙂   [Fortunately, I also have a spare desktop I can use if required]

I will probably write two posts, on running and using the BBS, once it is operational. Meanwhile, especially for those techies amongst you, I list what the BBS software runs when the Pi is switched on:

[Based on the Linux F6FBB BBS version 7.0.8.]

AX.25 packet radio switch FPAC node (NetRom and ROSE protocols).

aprslist (APRS beacon and repeater).

Dx spots relay DX Cluster

Web server lighthttpd (/var/www/index.lighttpd.html)

watchdog (RPi reboots in case of Linux kernel failure)

beacon (AX.25 radio beacons)

mheardd daemon (client is mheard)

dxget (DX spots broadcast on AX.25 ports)

ax25ipd for AX.25 frames encapsulation into UDP/TCP Internet protocols frames or reversely encapsulated IP frames stripped into AX.25 frames.

ax25d : daemon redirecting incoming frames from peripheral devices to appropriate application software depending on protocols and ports.

xastir. This is an APRS graphic application to be started from graphic user interface men.

I am looking forward to the day it is fully operational. Exciting times!

Until next time ………

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