At the beginning it was just Radio.
But since1977 untill 1990 many kinds of personal computer appeared in United States, United Kingdom and in Italy too.
Since that moment our history changed.
Nothing will be the same as before.
In the 1986-1988 we have made a first step to experiment a new tranmission system, available now on microcomputer. The British G1FTU, developed a very good software, that runs on Sinclair ZX spectrum. We have decoded many broadcast RTTY and we have made many test in similar mode.
Succesfully with other systems, like Commodore, and 8088 IBM and with modem home made, we have tested the teleprinting over radio, AMTOR FEC, ARQ, father of radio synchronous system.
We have also tested Slow Scan Television (SSTV), with all new protocols, usefull to transfer images over radio.
We have received wonderfull images sent from world wide press agency on FAX radio on short wave spectrum with first graphic card like CGA, EGA, HERCULES, and finally better VGA.
For us, the big-bang is coming, was the packet radio. The packet radio, asynchronous system, based in first moment only on X.25 protocols, precisely AX.25 beacuse includes a digipeater field to allow other stations to automatically repeat packets to extend the range. Every packet sent contains the sender’s and recipient’s amateur radio callsign, this providing station identification with every transmission. This is used also to call/connect the stations on the air.
Any station provide to send a beacons ID, that was unnumbered protocols frame transmitted/delivered regularly every few minutes, so was possible know who is on the air.
Who don’t remember the fantastic apps DIGICOM on Commodore C64 with simple modem? It was really exciting.
The max speed was 300 baud on HF spectrum and 1200 baud on VHF or higher.
During these years, with some radio amateurs built a real network, with mail services, news area, and distribution free sofware. This was available for all hams comunity,using software client (digicom tpk etc..).
So was possible send/receive e-mail and dowload/upload software through this system long, before the internet was born.
These new systems were called BBS or RBBS. (Bulletin Board System) In the first years the most used servers software was: MSYS and FBB. Other system services was born, for example, PACKET CLUSTERS services for DX information, APRS for geo-localization and more…
I was one of the SysOps. This uor contribute to the create the first radio network in the world.
After some tests I preferred FBB software, created by Jean-Paul ROUBELAT F6FBB, whom I thank for the great work.
In a short time the transmission speed increased. 300/1200 bd to 2400 bd with Manchester modulation, then 9600 with modulation RUH created by G3RUH, succesfully increase speed up to 38k4 and Matjaz Vidmar S53MV popularized the famous node SuperVozely.
In a first time I use stand alone PC XT 8088 4mhz 640kb ram
hd 10 mb, only two port, and two transceiver. Just one to services forward mail on uhf, and one for users in vhf band, but succesfully about 1990 we ugrade the BBS configuration so:
System MSDOS from 3.30 untill 6.20
Sofware server MSYS and F6FBB
N.2 PC 80486 on Novell or Lantastic Network
N. 2 HDD 40 MB for system and mail
N. 2 CD reader 640 mb x 2 (soft for download area)
3 TNC (terminal node controller) type TNC 2
1 TNC PK232 on HF forward port
1 RTX VHF KENWOOD TM231 144.750 mhz 10w Antenna X500 on users port on 1200 bd
1 RTX UHF KENWOOD TR9500 with power amp 432.625 mhz 50w Antenna yagi cavity filters on port 2400 bd to/from forward mail to north direction IW3GRX
1 RTX UHF TM431 KENWOOD 435.xxx mhz 10w Antenna X500 on port 9600 bd RUH to forward mail to/from west and south direction IW4CNQ- I4UJB
1 RTX HF 14.100 Mhz KENWOOD 140 100w Antenna yagi 3 element on port 300 bd forward mail to/from Swedland with SM7HCJ
This is the first prompt: #DataShack RBBS IW4CQH-8>
to be continued….