Packet Radio BBSing via Nodes

Info on the use of nodes to access the BBS system!


[bullet] Now, if you're like most everyone else, you'll find that you're too far from the actual BBS to dependably connect to it on a routine basis. Most BBS's are run from an amateur's station and are connected to relatively low altitude antennas. The BBS does all of the data storage and routing, and the remote nodes bring the distant users to the BBS. Here's where the digipeaters (nodes) come into play! You can think of a node as a repeater of sorts, but occupies a single frequency as opposed to a conventional voice repeater requiring two frequencies. It receives packets, stores them temporarily, and then retransmits them as soon as they are finished (if the frequency is clear).

[bullet] Currently, WA4MJF has the following nodes on 145.01 to help connect to W1REP:

  • W4RAL-4 on 145.01 (1200 baud) in Clayton at 200'
  • K4RTP-2 on 145.01 (1200 baud) in Apex at several hundred feet

[bullet] The Closest node to W1REP is W1REP-3 on 145.01. The Next Hop out is K4RTP-2 in Apex on 145.01. The farthest node out is W4RAL-4 in Clayton on 145.01. If you can connect to W1REP-3 in Hillsboro, you'll simply connect to W1REP-3, than connect to W1REP and type "BBS". If not, try connecting first to K4RTP-2 in Apex, then W1REP-3 in Hillsboro, then to W1REP and type "BBS". Lastly, if you can't connect to K4RTP-2 in Apex, connect to W4RAL-4 in CLayton, then to K4RTP-2 in Apex, then to W1REP-3 in Hillsboro, then to W1REP and type BBS. Sounds like a lot, but it's really not and it works very well!

[bullet] When you connect to a node, you can list the many functions available at a node site by typing "?" and hitting enter. It will return a menu to your station. One of the features found on most nodes is the ability to "see" the stations that the node is hearing from it's substantial altitude. The command on most nodes is "MH" for "Me Heard". Other nodes use the command "J", but it will be explained in the node menu. On most single port (single frequency) nodes, one can simply connect to the node, and type "MH" at the prompt. The node will then send back a list of callsigns and the times that it heard those other stations. Typically, a node is used as a "jump point", where one will then connect to the next node or BBS in the area. The nodes are fairly high up, or placed at strategic site so as to benefit as many amateurs as possible.

[bullet] Currently, these nodes are in the TEARA area:
  • W4RAL-4 on 145.01 (1200 baud) in Clayton at 200'
  • W4RAL-7 on 147.54 (1200 baud) in Zebulon at 170'
  • WB4IUY-7 on 223.70 (9600 baud) N.E. of Rolesville at 130'
  • WB4IUY-7 on 145.01 (1200 baud) N.E. of Rolesville at 130'

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