User Tools

Site Tools


National Packet Update - May 2023


Welcome to the National Packet Update, where we track and report on our efforts to increase packet radio usage and coverage in the United Kingdom, Ireland and beyond.

The Online Amateur Radio Community (OARC) have begun to organise another NinoTNC Group Buy. The NinoTNC is a modern KISS based TNC with support for traditional 1200 baud all the way up to 9600b, and also support for “Improved Layer 2 Protocol”, a new take on AX.25 designed to be more robust and efficient. Within 4 days of the announcement, 87 orders have been placed demonstrating a serious hunger from people interested in getting involved in packet radio.

If you're interested in getting hold of a kit, you can pre-order on ko-fi - note that orders will be closed on the 31st May and it will take a couple of weeks to assemble the kits and get them shipped out.

There continues to be a steady stream of interest and questions popping up on Facebook and other social media so if people could keep an eye out, help where possible and direct people to the mailing list that should help further increase packet activity.


In the South of England, Dave M0IDD has put up a new node (GB7IDD) near Crawley, West Sussex. It's currently off-air for improvements but will hopefully be back on air soon. Denis G4KWT has had a frequency change approved and GB7WOD in East Reading has moved from 144.9500MHz to 144.9375MHz to avoid local QRM and boost 2m access capacity in the area.

Eoin M0NVK on the Isle-of-Wight has recently been granted an NoV for a 40m port on GB7IOW. It's running at 300 baud with IL2P enabled and can be found on 7.0457 USB (Tones 1600 and 1800). GB7IOW has VHF links to the bubble of activity around Reading and Hampshire, enabling users to connect to the Chat server hosted on GB7RDG and access other nodes. If you're unsure on how to access it, drop into #national-packet-project on the OARC discord server for some guidance.

In the East of England, Tim M1MIT and Jim M0ZAH have scheduled some works to run new coax for the MB7NAF Digipeater based in Wymondham to bring it into full time operation.

In the Midlands, Tryst M0TRY has agreement in principle to host a node on a mast at Drum Hill in Derby, an excellent site that should cover a wide area and potentially link further regions in future. The node is currently under construction.

M0TRY's Packet Node under construction

In the South West of England, John G4OTJ has recently put up a node in Clutton (MB7NBH) and a BBS in Farmborough (GB7OTJ), and is hoping to add a 9600 baud link to GB7NXT located in Wenvoe, Wales. Simon 2E0RLZ is continuing to investigate setting up a permanent RF link between his and Kevin G7BCS's QTH to link the South West to the South East

In the software world, Jonathan G4KLX has proposed a simple, backwards compatible change to NET/ROM to reduce node table sizes. To see the proposal in more detail or to comment, see the ukpacketradio mailing list thread

Simon M0GZP has forked Dire Wolf to add ACKMODE which can improve performance on HF and other congested or marginal links and is requesting users test it out. If you're interested in testing, jump into the #packet-and-networks channel on the OARC Discord server so you can be directed to the latest build for your operating system.

As for practical uses, Blazej M0CFV's internet recently went down whilst presenting an online talk to the Hammersmith Amateur Radio society and he was able to let 2E0SIP know via packet radio. Nice!

How to get involved

  • Join the OARC Discord server ( ) and checkout the #national-packet-project channel
  • Join the UK Packet Radio mailing list
  • See for further information, tutorials etc. [As with this project, this page is a work in progress!]
  • Build a node and get it on the air, or see if you can hit any of the existing nodes
  • Look out for future updates to see how things are progressing
national_packet_update_may_23.txt · Last modified: 2023/05/08 20:33 by 2e0sip