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Packet Operations - Type III, Part A

Course Description and Materials



This is the first course in a two part series designed to prepare an individual to assemble and operate and existing packet station.

Part A (this course) focuses on the individual packet station. It covers the components of a baseline station and how to assemble it and send a message to yourself.

Part B is a hands-on class focused on configuring and operating the baseline packet station.

Intended Audience: Hams with experience in emergency communications who are interested in performing Packet Operator duties.

Note: The above prerequisites are not strictly enforced. But in order to get the most out of this course, you should have previously attended the above courses. If you have not yet attended one or more of the prerequisites, you should carefully review the course materials for the missed prerequisites prior to attending this course. Then, be sure to attend any missed prerequisites at your earliest opportunity.

Length: 3 hours
Students should bring:
  • Copy of course materials (see below)
  • Pen/pencil and pad of paper
  • No packet station is required
Learning Objectives:

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe the MAC Packet Operator qualifications
  • Describe the purpose and use of packet communications
  • Describe the Santa Clara County BBS network
  • Describe the components of the baseline packet station
  • Describe the Outpost and PacFORMS software and their basic use
  • Assemble, setup, and verify operation of the baseline packet station
Topics Covered:

The course agenda includes:

  • MAC Packet Operator qualifications
  • Packet Network Overview
    • What is Packet?
    • Why do we use it?
  • Packet Network Components
    • SCCo BBSs
    • Other Networks
    • Radio frequencies
    • Antennas
    • Radios
    • TNCs
    • PCs
  • Baseline Packet Station: hardware and software
  • Accessing the Network
  • Standard Workflow
  • Homework!
Scheduling Info:
Course Materials:

Classroom presentation (Revised 29-Jul-2022):

Before class, thoroughly review and familiarize yourself with the contents of the following web pages:

Also, print out and bring a copy of the following web page to class:

Also, download and (optionally) print out a copy of the Packet Exercises workbook:


Web Site Home Page

This page was last updated on 31-Jul-2022