Eastnet Amateur Radio Network Features
The Eastnet Packet Network of today, is known as the Eastnet Amateur
Radio Network. For an overall packet map of the Eastnet FlexNet Network and
detailed regional packet maps please select Packet Maps.
To form the entire Eastnet Amateur Radio Network, RF linked PC/FlexNet-Digi
nodes form RF regions which are linked by regional gates to other FlexNet RF
regions. These gates use the amprnet to host FlexNet internode communications
and network traffic through internet tunnels from one FlexNet node in one
region to another FlexNet node in another region. The gates also use NetRom
protocol for keyboard connects and BBS forwarding via the tunnels to other
non FlexNet locations. The internet tunnels use encapsulated ax.25 packet
frames within Ip frames. The node software comes from our own developer N1URO
with his URONode system which works on Linux and on Raspberry Pi units.
Eastnet Packet uses the FlexNet network protocol which extends the
standard ax.25 Amateur Packet Radio Link-Layer protocol with additional
networking features designed to improve operation via Radio. This protcol is
used for all User up-link/down-link communications and between FlexNet-Digi
nodes via RF links or Encapsulated Internet links. Some of the advanced
networking features of FlexNet are, hop-to-hop-acknowledgement, adaptive
parameter settings, adaptive routing by an auto-router at each node, and Sysop
On a FlexNet network, each FlexNet-Digi node with Sysop set links to its
network neighbors, uses regular polling to verify that the individual links
are operational and measure rtt and retry for link quality calculations. An
auto-router at each FlexNet-Digi node using internode communication exchanges
network wide routing data with FlexNet-Digi node neighbors. Whenever link
conditions change anywhere within the network, its routing data with rtt is
updated network wide very quickly. A destination table with current network
status info produced by the auto-router is maintained by each FlexNet-Digi
node. It can be displayed by use of the estination command. In this table
all destinations, where the auto-router knows a way to, with rtt, are shown.
Important note about FlexNet-Digi node call-ssid: The FlexNet-digi nodes
operate using a range of ssid. Can be 0 through 15 but often other values for
various reasons. The low ssid number is known as the base ssid, normally to be
used to connect to the Node "Infobox" and the high number is known as the top
of the ssid range. The FlexNet node will respond to connect requests to its
own node call with any ssid within its ssid range arriving on any port. When
the Sysop has set links to other same node call destinations within the range,
such as the -4 bbs, the request will be routed on to that destination
otherwise to the FlexNet node "Infobox". Only the FlexNet-digi node call with
ssid range shows in network wide destination tables, not the other same calls
with ssid within the range.
FlexNet addressing is based on Amateur Calls only. Alias or x.121 number
addresses as used is other amateur network protocols are not used. Using the
connect command is simple and has several forms that can be used as needed.
Please note: The node_output-ssid specified
can be the node_output_call-ssid of another FlexNet node on the network.
If already connected to the FlexNet node called the "Info box", simply
to connect to any destination in the destination table.
This is using the default destination table routing. If the destination is
not in the table the same connect command may work using link table routing,
heard list routing, ssid routing, or no routing at all by specifying the
node_output_port_number or node_output_call-ssid.
If not already connected to the FlexNet node then the form of connect needs to be used. The same four routing
methods will be used. Specifying the node_output_call-ssid at the end after
the node_input_call-ssid is needed if the node_output port is different from
the node_input port or is the the node_call_ssid of another FlexNet node on
Connecting to the FlexNet node Infobox provides a means of using User
commands and after a password procedure, Sysop only commands which includes
Remote control. Often used commands other than Connect are:
MonitorHeard (mh) (mh port_number)
Destinations (d) (d call) (d *) (d >)
Links (l) (l *)
There are many others with all User commands listed by the Help command.
The FlexNet Node Talk command allows Users connected to a FlexNet Infobox to
talk to others connected to the Infobox. "T " for each
line of text. Or "T " to enter permanent Talk mode. "/q" to exit.
The Flexnet Node Convers command is similar to the Talk commands except
operate on channels.
The Flex Node Find command command provides a means to search for other
Users on standby via the node the command User is on or other FlexNet Nodes
that have been specified by the Sysop. These can be viewed with the "s"
On the Eastnet Flexnet network a PC/FlexNet-Digi node may be just that
running on a MS-DOS computer. Many have DOS F6FBB Packet Bulletin Board
running on the same computer connectable via an internal virtual FlexNet port
15. Others are running F6FBB Packet Bulletin Board on another computer
connectible from the FlexNet-digi via a Ethernet or serial link. Packet
Bulletin Boards use a standard ssid of -4.
At gated NetRom node sites URONode is running on another machine and usually
use an ssid of -1. Internet ports support axip/axudp. These nodes
host the amprnet gateway functions for the flexnet nodes and an ethernet link
shim connects flexnet to these URONode networks. Other programs that may be running
on the same URONode machine are:
BBS's with ssid-4.
DX Clusters with ssid-6.
Chat/Convers nodes with ssid-11.
Sending of E-Mail messages is now available via Packet Radio on the
USA Eastnet Flexnet network. This service is provided by the axMail
Gateways interfaced to the FlexNet node via the URONode systems recently
featured by TAPR. Such eMail is also available on your smartphones if your
local sysop allows for it.
http://eastnetpacket.org is a web site providing information about Using
the USA Eastnet FlexNet Network. The term Eastnet Packet refers to Amateur
Radio Packet operations in the Eastern United States using both Radio and
Internet. As like Amprnet, "there is no formal organization, no membership
requirements, and no dues. All of the work is done by volunteers as they have
time to do it."
There are many Packet Sysop's who build, operate and maintain their own
Packet systems which are part of Eastnet Packet operations. Some are supported
by User donations or are sponsored by Amateur Radio Clubs. Many are not. They
all do it because they are volunteers supporting Amateur Radio which is a
Public Service and of course it is their hobby.
2009-12-05 - Drafed by K2BJG/SK
2014-08-17 - Modified by N1URO