TARPN: At RARSfest 2019 in Raleigh NC

I uploaded a movie to YouTube at https://youtu.be/l6HNW03aU0s which just does a tour of the flea market space. There isn't much about TARPN there except that you can see where we were located and how well the Fin/Don lit up sign is working for us. We need more of these??

Photos by Kevin, Tadd, Chuck

Click any photo to enlarge

These next two images, taken before the flea market was open to shoppers, was shot from most of the way across the indoor arena looking toward our table. Only by zooming in can you see our 6 foot wide light-up TARPN sign sitting on its 6' high perch and facing this way. It's a pretty large area, a little larger than a football field, though more toward square I think.

You can see the TARPN sign in the distance in this photo. It was in the last photo too but you have to click to enlarge in order to see it.

The flea market got very busy very fast at 8AM when shoppers were permitted entry. Check out the next photo for attendance levels! Also see the movie.

Here are Chuck Anoia KW4KZ and his wife Mary who made us TARPN embroidered golf-shirts. Chuck runs the ANOIA node northwest of Durham. There flea market spot was immediately left of the TARPN spot. There was some hope that Chuck could fill in if somebody stopped by while Kevin and I were off shopping, which we might have done if there was even a single break. Read on.

Our setup consisted of the plastic shelving tower with the N2IRZ/NC4FG sign, the green banner, and a table full of equipment. The TARPN sign is lit up on one side, which we faced toward the major part of the flea market.

The equipment was 3 separate nodes, a 1-port in an IKEA box on 144.37 using a Maxon SD125V2 radio, another IKEA box 1-port with a TK862G, and a 2-port Modbox node of the Fin NC4FG design, but made by KM4JRH and N3LTV. The 2-port node had the full base box and two TK radio boxes, one TK radio on each frequency to talk back to the 1-port nodes. Each of the 3 nodes had a separate TP-Link tiny WiFi router, each serving a WIFI out to the local Raspberry PI and to any connected stations. All 3 of the TP-Link devices is configured to have a fixed assignment for the local Raspberry PI at, making operation easy. The WiFi SSID names were indicative of which node they were related to and all had the same password. The demo setup for all 3 nodes included a bluetooth connected keyboard+trackpad, and an HDMI 17" or 20" monitor, and a MSWindows Laptop. The keyboards were put away after the show started because the monitors (on the Raspberry PIs) were just showing the local TARPN-HOME screen to enhance visibility for the demo. We also connected our smart-phones to one node or the other during different discussions and demos.

Our flea market table was one of the busiest in the entire fest having a line of people waiting to talk to us a couple of times during the 5 hours it was busy, 8am to 1pm. Even with Kevin and I running it non-stop we never got a break until several other TARPN people stopped by to talk up the visitors. Thanks everybody for coming out!

One thing we learned is that some visitors are really impressed that the system works on a smart-phone. Others liked that it was so darn fast, and of course that it is not Internet. One person chafed that we didn't do Internet at all with a "there goes Winlink".

Chuck shot this photo (I think it was Chuck) of Kevin (left) and myself, talking to Ladd and George.

© Tadd Torborg, 2019 -- all rights reserved