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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 expected to perform the following pre-class homework:

  • Join the packet discussion group
    • Use the discussion group to get help with any of the following homework
  • Read and understand the following web pages:
  • Install Outpost and PacFORMS using the latest SCCo Packet Client Software Installer.
    • Review the Setup and Tools menus and dialog boxes
    • Review the Outpost User Guide (on the Outpost web site)
  • If you have a packet station:
    • Practice connecting to your primary and secondary BBS and sending yourself a message at each
    • Download, save, read and understand the notices in the XSCPERM area
    • Check in to the Monday or Tuesday packet net
  • Complete the Packet 3A Exercises Workbook
    • These exercises cover a lot of operational details of Outpost.
    • Some of those details involve actually sending a receiving a message.
    • But even if you don't have a radio and TNC, you can complete most of the exercises except for the actual Send/Receive of the message.
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
    • 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
    • With so many people in the room, the VHF/UHF radios may be overwhelmed with interference. In that case, you may wish to switch to WiFi. So, a WiFi-capable laptop is best. Be sure you know how to select and connect to a WiFi network.
  • If you don't have a packet station, you may bring a WiFi-capable laptop, with Windows 7 or later
    • Have the latest SCCo Packet installer loaded and working
    • Know how to select and connect to a WiFi network
  • 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 know how to:

  • Verify the setup of an existing packet station
  • Select a BBS and connect to it
  • Create a message with Outpost and PacFORMS
    • Properly format the subject line
    • Send a proper check-in message
  • Properly address a messages
    • To another SCCo packet user
    • To someone on an external network
    • From an external network to an SCCo packet user
  • Retrieve and send SCCo notices
  • Counduct packet message operations
Topics Covered:

The course agenda includes:

  • Diagnosing Problems .
  • Selecting a BBS
  • Connecting to Your Mailbox
  • Creating Messages
  • Addressing Messages
  • Notices and Bulletins
  • Packet Operations
  • Exercises
Scheduling Info:

Course Materials:

Classroom presentation (Revised 01-Oct-2020):

Print out and bring the following to class:


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This page was last updated on 01-Oct-2020