The WA2FNQ Packet BBS/Node

The Equipment

Left - The WA2FNQ-4 BBS. The BBS computer sits under the parts bins. The monitor is on the lower left on top of the XT tower. The XT is used as a terminal for the 145.05 TNC mailbox located to the left of the BBS computer.

Right - The WA2FNQ node computer Before the Oil Burner Died. This was the arrangement of the node computers next to the oil burner before it died. The top computer is the FlexNet node computer. This is an NEC PowerMate 286 Plus with 4 comm ports. There is no hard drive. FlexNet runs from a virtual disk built in memory. The only moving part in this computer is the cooling fan. The bottom computer is the old #SWFNQ:WA2FNQ-1 NetRom switch (now WA2FNQ-11) which is now used as a terminal. Data switches put the back up computer on line if the main BBS or node computer fails.

The WA2FNQ Node/BBS after the oil burner was replaced. New shelving was installed for storage and to hold the packet equipment. This is the node and the associated equipment in its new location. Off air time for moving the node was @ 30 minutes. Cleaning up the wiring took days. But it was worth it. Now the node is right next to the BBS and the rats nest of wiring that was behind the old bookcase is gone.

This was a solid state experiment. A TAPR Compact Flash Adapter and 8 meg flash card mounted in the node computer in place of the hard drive. This was overkill and later removed in favor of the virtual drive.

These are the TNCs at WA2FNQ. The PacCom Tiny 2 and MFJ 1270B are the UHF links, the MFJ 1270C is the 1200 baud 2 meter user port, the PacCom Spirit 2 and Alinco DR 135 MK III are the 9K6 2 meter port.

Here's a new use for old TNCs. These Kantronics TNCs have been removed from BBS/Node operation because of their incompatability with FlexNet. They have been connected to #SWFNQ:WA2FNQ-11 forming an internal packet LAN in the station.

BBS Software and Computer Upgrade

Left - The new 486-66 BBS computer being tested off-line for the first time using FBB 7.00g. The Compaq Deskpro 286 on top is the test Flex node computer and was the original computer used for FlexNet at WA2FNQ.

Right - The testing continues. On-line testing of the new BBS computer under the temporarycallsign of WA2FNQ-5. The new BBS is connected to a port on #SWFNQ:WA2FNQ-11 which allows WA2FNQ-4 to forward to it. This also gives it a path back to the network. Because WA2FNQ-5 is on the other side of a FlexNet boundary, the network is unaware of its presence. The Compaq Deskpro is still used as a testFlex node.

Some Old Pictures

This is the old location of the back up computer. This 486 ( a GNARC special ) serves as a back up for both the BBS and FlexNet node. It's also used to make EPROMs and as a general purpose computer in the packet station.

Left is the old BBS.It's was a 286-12 running FBB 5.15b.

Right - This is the old 286 on the floor next to the back up computer. It's now taking a well deserved rest after running for 5+ years as the BBS without a single problem and is now only used for system maintenace.

The Antennas

Left - The 2 meter user port antenna for 145.05 MHz.

Right - The 2 meter 9600 baud port antenna for 145.59 MHz.

The 70-cm UHF Link Antennas

Left - Link to WA2PNU in Huntington, L.I.currently not in operation.

Right - Link to the nodes in Connecticut.

The WA2FNQ node is a registered user of FlexNet.

Is the Internet driving you CRAZY????

Try Packet instead!!!!

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