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Transient-User Station Operations

A transient user would be a ham station who is sometimes connected to the network, and sometimes not. Historically the Amateur Radio packet station would dial their radio and TNC to a packet network user frequency and get on the air. The networks or servers, in the pre-Internet packet world, would have a radio+TNC on some channel, usually on 2 meters, where the locals would dial up to connect in. The expectation at the time was that a BBS or DxCluster, or maybe network node port, would be available on 2 meters for anybody who happened to be on, and that the visitor would be able to play around, at least locally, with the avialable resources, without any commitment or notice to the community.

In a TARPN, as of late 2018, the only stations on the air are those who have semi-permanent dedicated point to point links with at least one neighbor station. If one of our stations wanted to visit another county, in which there are network stations, they couldn’t just sit down and get on the network without making arrangements with at least one local network station in the community.

In the 1990s, almost all stations using packet radio were transient stations. There was no accommodation made for each station. The result of this were:

The TARPN network design imposes that any station who wants to do packet using the TARPN would have to volunteer to operate a node, and likely would also have to own and construct the node. The tools and documentation for node building are provided on the TARPN website.

The network permits long distance packet DXing through the network, and every station in the network has explicit permission to expand the network or add applications. Every TARPN node is a server.

Now that we have a TARPN, we certainly could create transient access channels again. Could we do this better? Or would the same community and social interaction eventually develop? If somebody could get on the TARPN network and access its resources without having to operate, or build, own and operate a network node, would they graduate from operating transiently to actually building on to the network? Would they care for the TARPN operational principals (no automated Internet interoperation)? This is a social/philosophical/motivational discussion, not a technical one.

For the moment, as of the end of 2018, we don’t have a scheme for transient users. We’ve bandied about some ideas.

For now we're looking for people who would like to build onto the network. Eventually, or initially, each participant learns, operates and owns a backbone connected packet node. It's rather fun and the existing group can help with some of the otherwise most expensive bits.

© Tadd Torborg, 2018↝2022 -- all rights reserved