TheFirmWare and The Firmware PC Extended

Firmwares For TNC2C, TNC2C-H, TNC2S and TNC2H with EPROMs

The Firmware PC Extended

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Direwolf <> AEA PK88

144.800Mhz @ 1200Baud (Test on 03-29-20 11:00 (rx only))

Today I did a reception test with the AEA PK88 and Direwolf. I must say that I am impressed with the PK88. This is the best test I have done so far. Now the conditions were not optimal, there is very little traffic at the time. So I will probably test it again at a busier time. Even now I let the reception run for half an hour.

So we missed 19 packets out of a total of 211 packtes from Direwolf. This compared to the tnc3s that missed 73 out of 219 packets from Direwolf.
Below again the TNC3s comparison with Direwolf.

It is nice to see that this AEA PK-88 performs so well after all these years and different owners.

The last week I save all the Aprs traffic I receive and post it on a blog. You might like to take a look there. https://pd9q.blogspot.com

News from the TARPN front.

I received a nice email from Tadd KA2DEW, there is a lot of development in the NinoTNC. Read the great news below.

We fixed the FTDI USB problem with the NinoTNC board by putting a USB-B socket on the PCB and a Microchip USB IC. This actually cut the parts cost by a few $. We’ll have the boards for sale on ETSY in April. Go to Etsy.com and search for TARPN. If the search doesn’t come up, then it isn’t listed yet. Our plan is to take orders in advance of shipping, and prime the pump with 200 boards ordering in early April with 3 weeks to get the boards into stock. At a time closer to ship time we’ll order programmed PIC CPUs with the latest firmware. When we get down to 50 or so in stock, we’ll order more. Because we’re running on out-of-pocket funding for the boards and CPUs, there may be some out-of-stock issues, but the price is right so hopefully people will smile and deal with it.

The new board is called the N9600A3. The last version was the A2, a black PCB with a 2-bit dip switch and the FTDI module on headers. The new board is the A3 blue PCB with USB B connector and a 4 bit dip switch. The new switches will be used to select more bit-rates. We’re not ready with anything new yet, but hopefully by the time the board ships? We’re likely to have 1200, 2400, 4800 and 9600 for FM and maybe some support for HF via SSB. Just like the A2 board, this one will come with IL2P Forward Error Correction mode which is a very efficient packet encoding providing Forward Error Correct in the same length packet as an AX.25 packet. (Full disclosure, as I understand it, packets with > 64 payload bytes will grow larger than AX.25 but small payloads result in shorter than AX.25 packets).

The NinoTNC A3 will come with a over-the-USB bootloader to update the firmware over USB, and we’ll be shipping a free Raspberry PI Raspbian application to boatload the TNC from a hex file. The hex file will be shipped for free one way or another. TARPN node ops will just do an UPDATEAPPS command on the TARPN scripts.

There is much software support to write for this which is not yet done. Our crack firmware and software teams are busy busy busy. Even though we’re not going to be ready with updated software in time we wanted to rush the A3 out there to solve the availability problem with the FTDIs. In addition we discovered that the tolerances for the Micro USB plugs and sockets are so bad that many people are breaking the FTDI modules plugging and unplugging. That’s not good. It’s easy to work-around but ugly. The A3’s USB-B connector is a much better deal.

See our news and info page starting at http://tarpn.net/d

Like before, we won’t be taking profit from this, and we’ll be selling the PCB + CPU for well under $10 on ETSY. Search on ETSY for TARPN. If it isn’t coming up, then we’re not ready to take pre-orders yet. It should be ready in early April. The news and info page will be updated when we get the store back up and when we have a clue about shipping this. We’ll also be posting a new A3 assembly link with access to the new bill of materials.

If you are interested in this, you should also sign up for the email reflector. http://tarpn.net/t/nino-tnc/email_reflectors.html

Tadd — KA2DEW

Direwolf <> Symek Tnc3s

144.800Mhz @ 1200Baud (Two tests one on 03-23 and one on 03-24 (rx only))

The first test I did was of course not entirely fair, different antennas were used and different transmitters/receivers. Now I made a setup with the same antenna and the same receiver, so with the same audio input.
First the setup, as a computer(if I haven’t lost it.some where) I use a Raspberry PI 2B+, as a sound card I use an Fe-Pi Audio Z V2. As a receiver I use a Realistic pro 2006. It is an old receiver but still works 100%. The antenna is a x50 from Diamond. Of course the Tnc3s from Symek, and Direwolf from John WB2OSZ. I use Kissutil from WB2OSZ, this allows me to connect to Direwolf and the Tnc3s as well as save the received Frames. This makes comparing easy/easier.

Now I have made two start files, one for Direwolf and one for the Tnc3s. I start these in different terminals. I do this manually, so there is a slight delay in starting up.

I start the scripts with the option “timeout” now I can specify the time how long the script runs.
Example. “timeout -s 9 1800 ./tnc3s.sh”
In this comparison, both scripts run for 30 minutes. 1800 Second. Now it is time for the comparison.

With the command “ls -A | wc -l” the number of files in the directory are counted. (Frames received.)

03-23-2020

03-24-2020

Here you can see the difference between the received frames of the Tnc3s and Direwolf. There is a difference of 73 and 125 missed frames from the Tnc3s. I tried something with the reception levels of the Tnc3s. It is To soft – Ok – To hard, there is little difference between To soft and Ok and To hard.

I did some tests with the amount of calls received. Just for fun.

NinoTNC arrived.

A while ago I wrote something about the NinoTNC.

The NEW… NinoTNC form TARPN

There are some Dutch Radio amateurs who have ordered them.
Now I came across some pictures of a Dutch Radio Amateur who own and build the NinoTNC.

Impressive……

Direwolf <> Kpc9612

Today I made a comparison between Direwolf and a KPC9612. Now I have to say that it is difficult to compare. As the first set I use a KPC9612 and a Yaesu 7900 with an x30 as antenna and as software PinPoint Aprs Client for Windows. As the second set I use a Realistic pro 2006 scanner with an x50 as antenna and Direwolf. These antennas are at the same height.

Now I am very impressed with Direwolf, it seems that my KPC9612 is completely deaf. I clearly hear the packet signal but there is no decode. Unfortunately I don’t have two the same sets and two the same antennas to make the comparison better. But it is very clear here that Direwolf wins big.

Below you can see the difference between the setups. The Communication monitor is from PinPoint Aprs Client, the rest is from direwolf and some aprs parsing.

 

Okay, I know the comparison isn’t entirely fair. But for me Direwolf is the big winner.

Pinpoint Windows Aprs Client


I was playing with uiview32, but I was very bothered by the map that comes with uiview32. So I went looking for another Aprs client for windows. I ended up at PinPoint. In PinPoint you can choose from 40 different Map providers. Very nice.

I am satisfied with how it works. It is clear and fast. Only found out if at “Tools> Options” something changes you have to close the program and restart. There is also something disturbing, if you close the program and restart you have lost the received aprs messages. Very annoying.

http://www.pinpointaprs.com/