W8EDU joins Cleveland Packet Radio Network

Cuyahoga County ARES and Black River Radio Ops are exploring the possibilities of using packet radio in improving the resiliency of EmComm in Cleveland, Ohio. As a active member of the Cuyahoga County ARES, we, W8EDU, decides to join along side with Jon KM8V and Doug AB8M to become the third fully rigged up Packet Radio Node with full support for BBS, RMS (Winlink), and Chat serving the Greater Cleveland Area.

The W8EDU Packet Radio System sitting in the shack running

We will be able to provide coverage for the majority of the east side of Cleveland, and encourage more Amateur Radio Operators to try out packet radio. The goal of this systemis to keep it running 24/7/365 to provide continuous connection for the Greater Cleveland Area. The current setup follows the packet radio convention as follow:

EDURMSW8EDU-10RMS Gateway for Winlink
EDUCHTW8EDU-11Chat Server
Configuration for W8EDU Packet System

You can start using our system by connecting to W8EDU BBS via W8EDU-1 or the RMS gateway via W8EDU-10 using Winlink or your favourite terminal program. We will also be able to provide direct digipeating to AB8M Node. You can do so by using the command:

C AB8M-1 v W8EDU-7

An example of Winlink Polling BBS and mail from W8EDU-1

This station consists an ICom IC-28A station, Kantronics KAM XL, an Aaeon Up X86 IoT board running Windows 10 LTSC, and a 800×600 touch screen display. The system was also designed to be accessible remotely via software. John N8OBJ also helped us put in a new designated antenna for this Packet Radio System.

A closeup view of the W8EDU Packet Radio System without the monitor

The system was integrated and lead by Frank K1QCD with the help of David AD8Y, Doug AB8M, Jon KM8V, John N8OBJ, Matt KE8NZR. Frank just graduated class of 2020 with an Electrical Engineering degree focusing on Robot Vision and Autonomous Vehicles. He will be continuing next September at University of Toronto across the “pond”.

If you are interested in Packet Radio Systems and would like to maintain the system in the future, please contact Frank K1QCD at frank1@ieee.org or David AD8Y at AD8Y@case.edu. For more readings, visit KM8V’s Explanation