Packet/APRS Update

Digital Services Upgrades & Installs
For those not aware, the plan for packet and APRS is to replace our existing mountaintop KPC-3 packet stations with LinBPQ nodes running on Orange Pi 3s with RA-35 audio interfaces and add APRS to locations that don’t already have it. We will also be upgrading APRS nodes to 2-way RF and adding igate functionality allowing us to take full advantage of the APRS system locally and remotely.  

The W7VW-4 packet node on Hamaker seems to be back up and running for the moment. I was able to log in this morning, check messages on the BBS, and post a couple of replies. We have folks outside the basin that use the node to check Winlink through our local gateways and connect to the BBS on Hamaker as well as the LMT:KK6GXG-1 LinBPQ node. For this reason, I posted an update on the Hamaker node and this update on as there will be some changes to the SSIDs and tactical callsigns on the nodes. I will also post this on the website.

As we schedule work parties for each site, I will post information about the site changes and services that will be available along with callsign or SSID changes so everyone has time to prepare for the change. After the work on each site gets done I will post to the aforementioned sites with a status and any changes to the plan.


  • Packet: 145.050 MHz (Upgrade)
    • Node – HMKR:W7VW-1
    • BBS  – HMKRBB:W7VW
    • Chat – HMKRCH:W7VW-6 
  • APRS: RX/TX, digipeater, and igate (Upgrade)
  • AREDN (New Services)

The first site to get an upgrade will be Hamaker, it will be getting a packet node upgrade by replacing the existing KPC-3 with an Orange PI running LinBPQ that will also replace the existing KPC-3 APRS digipeater. The APRS node will also be upgraded from a digipeater to and digipeater and igate. The AREDN node will be linked to the Packet/APRS node allowing access to the local packet node and RF network routes.

Hogback has a packet node that is currently down. It will get an upgrade as soon as the weather allows. 

  • Packet: 145.050 MHz (Upgrade)
    • Node – HGBK:W7VW-2
      BBS & Chat: – Hamaker will be the BBS & Chat server accessible through the Network Node. If there is interest in multiple BBS or chat servers for special interests these may be easily added.
  • APRS: RX/TX, digipeater, and igate (New Install)
  • AREDN (New Install)

For the most part, all of the notes for Hamaker apply to Hogback, particularly with regard to WINLINK and AREDN.


Stukel Mountain will be getting a new packet node and APRS.

  • Packet: 145.050 MHz (Upgrade)
    • Node – STKL:W7VW-3
      BBS & Chat: – Hamaker will be the BBS & Chat server accessible through the Network Node. 
  • APRS: RX/TX, digipeater, and igate (New Install)
  • AREDN (New Install)

Notes for Hamaker and Hogback apply to Stukel.

Packet Gateways
LinBPQ can also support WINLINK gateways which may be added in the future. Additional RF bands and frequencies may also be added in the future, as well as additional text-based services. While BPQ supports access to WINLINK as a gateway, because all of the mountaintops are on the same frequency we wouldn’t gain anything by putting a gateway on all of the mountaintops when they can be reached in one or two hops. We have 3-4 gateways usually available in the basin which can be accessed by one or more mountaintops.

The density of services also goes for the packet BBS and Chat servers. As we expand, we may choose to use multiple frequencies to link to more distant areas like Walker, Bend, Medford, Lakeview, etc. In these cases, setting up additional gateway, BBS, or Chat servers may make more sense and can be easily revisited and added to the network.

The Hamaker AREDN node is currently local only with a camera inside the garage. As we connect the mountaintops via microwave we will also be connecting AREDN nodes. External cameras will be installed at each site and linked via AREDN as time and access allow. Microwave sector nodes and or point-to-point nodes will be added as user interest dictates for RF access to AREDN.

AREDN allows for basically any web-based service to be provided over the network, just add a server or service to an existing node, make a simple configuration change, and you are up and running. Packet can provide access to most serial text-based services in a similar manner, set up a server accessible to the local BPQ node add a line to the configuration file and you have a new service available on your BPQ node.

One of our goals is to have services shared between both Packet and AREDN networks whenever practicable, having both IP and RF paths. Another goal is to encourage experimentation. Our current project list is furthering these goals. The possibilities and potential are virtually unlimited.

What services or information would you like to see available over packet or AREDN? 

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