Santa Clara County OES, California

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Packet Operations - Type III, Part B

Course Description and Materials


Overview: This is the second course in a two part series designed to prepare an individual to assemble and operate and existing packet station. Part A covers the overall county packet network architecture and the various components of a standard packet station. Part B is a hands-on class focused on configuring and using the standard packet station.
Intended Audience: Hams with experience in emergency communications who are interested in performing Packet Operator duties.
  • Valid Technician Class or higher Amateur Radio license
  • Santa Clara County ARES/RACES training course:
  • Perform the pre-class homework defined below

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
Pre-class Homework:

Students are strongly encouraged to perform the following pre-class homework:

Students should bring:
  • Copy of course materials (see below)
  • Pen/pencil and pad of paper
  • A copy of the "Packet Frequencies and BBS Listings" web page for use during the class participation segments of the class.
  • Personal packet station (if you have one) to use in the classroom
    • If possible, please have the latest SCCo Packet installer loaded and working
    • 2m, 220 and 440 access will be available.
    • Please use a dummy load or a small antenna and extra low power
  • If you don't have a packet station, you may bring a wireless-capable laptop, with Windows XP or better
    • If possible, please have the latest SCCo Packet installer loaded and working
  • Battery - AC power is limited due to number of people in the class. If at all possible, please bring sufficient battery power to run your station at least one hour without AC power.
Learning Objectives:

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

  • Confirm an existing station setup
  • Setup Outpost and use it to send PacFORMS
  • Address messages to either an FCC call sign or a tactical call sign at a primary or secondary BBS
  • Address messages outside the Santa Clara County BBS network
  • Retrieve bulletins and send test bulletins
  • Conduct packet messaging operations
Topics Covered:

The course agenda includes:

  • Diagnosing Problems in a Field Assignment .
  • Creating Messages
    • Addressing
    • Standard Message Subject Line
  • Operations
    • Packet Operator Shift
    • Message Handling and Priority
  • Exercises
    • Connect to a BBS
    • Send messages
Scheduling Info:

Course Materials:

Classroom presentation (Revised 03-Oct-2017):

Print out and bring the following to class:


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This page was last updated on 01-Feb-2018