CQ Amateur Radio


Last time, we discussed the hardware and design of a new KISS modem developed by Nino Carrillo, KK4HEJ. Keeping with that theme, this month we’ll take a closer look at some of the practical aspects of actually putting a packet link on the air, along with an update on the modem’s design progress and expected availability.


Before we get into that, just at the end of last year, John Hansen, W2FS, of Coastal Chipworks, announced that his company was ceasing operations. The TARPN network concept <http://tarpn.net> was built around John’s TNC-Pi, which is currently sold out and no longer available. Citing the increasing difficulty in sourcing the through-hole components used to assemble these modems, he says he is working on a way for them to be available again “early in the coming year [2020]”, but not as kits due to the need for surface-mount components.

Of course, we should all realize that amateur radio is already a niche market, and packet radio modems are a niche of a niche of a niche: It’s a challenge to make the financials work in this business; you have to do it for love. I send

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Editor, CQ: The statement in your April editorial, “More than anything else, though, this is an illustration of an essential element of ham radio — no portion of our hobby exists in a vacuum, whether it’s contesting, kit-building, QRP, or even crysta