This page was created in 2014 to deliver technical assistance and news
related to terrestrial VHF/UHF Amateur Radio packet networks.
It is maintained by KA2DEW. Contact me via my QRZ.com email address.
An ever expanding group of Amateur Radio operators are working together to use many VHF/UHF radios to link multiple ham radio stations in a digital network. No Internet traffic is required or even desired! Our goals are to build and to expand a network of ham radio stations to produce an off-the-grid text-messaging capability:
There are a few different packet networking schemes for ham radio. This particular system
is designed to be built by regular hams, and operated out of our hamshacks. Everybody gets
hands-on experience in network construction, debugging, and management while being responsible for a portion of a network used by other hams.
There is no class structure of builders and users. The TARPN project is
inclusive. The cost of admission is a hamshack whose antenna can be made to be within simplex range of another
participant and a meager amount of expenses for digital hardware and radios. If you are close
enough for simplex, you can certainly get a demo without any costs! Click on the network, builder and faq links to learn more.
TARPN is comfortable in people's homes using home‑brew installation, instead of high cost/high performance/high security link locations.
A TARPN network is not sophisticated and is not meant to be competitive with high end systems. The point is to be a manageable technology which supports basic ham radio techniques and capabilities. Any ham I have ever met could wrap their heads around the technology and components used by TARPN and many would see it as an excellent training tool to learn and teach how networks work or just to mess around with digital hardware on Amateur Radio.
This system easily co‑resides in a community with APRS, Broadband‑Hamnet, and WinLink. APRS and WinLink have goals which are not compatible with this kind of networking, but are also not hindered by the existence of a TARPN network in the same region. TARPN networks, like Broadband‑Hamnet, support long distance communications and comfortable, reliable, rag‑chewing including group chats. Broadband‑Hamnet is in many ways better and is consistant with the TARPN plan. TARPN's advantage is that it can be operated in what would be a very forbidding set of locations for the microwave links used in Broadband‑Hamnet and can be put together by brand new hams to integrate with an existing TARPN network, or even to build a new stand-alone network, possibly for a dedicated purpose.
TARPNs are built with Raspberry PI computers, TNCs of various types, and VHF/UHF FM radios. The stations are connected using dedicated point‑to‑point links. That is, every station to station connection uses a pair of radios on an isolated frequency. Dedicated point‑to‑point links give us advantages for performance, and scale-ability. See FAQ: Networking On Purpose.
We are working together as a team to build something mighty.
|Last edited: February 1, 2016|