CQ Amateur Radio

DIGITAL CONNECTION

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.

TNC-Pi

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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