by Dick Pechie, KB1H
YCCC Scuttlebutt #119, October, 1995
There have been a few comments that the YSA should be setting guidelines for messages, DX spots, User system use, etc. Well, I agree that given the time, some of these would be nice to have around, at the least, for the new PacketCluster user. The truth is most SYSOPs and YSA Officers have had an unusually busy summer at work and everything is behind hopes and expectations. What I would like to do though is let you know just how big this network is and the task of maintaining the operation of all the equipment turns out to be one full time job in itself. It's no wonder why some of the HF station projects, YSA goals, and even family tasks do not get done.
First let's look at the User side of the network. Twenty two Nodes belong to the YSA. That's 22 computers running 24 hours a day and all the housework that goes with being a SYSOP. At KB1H a typical month has 6000 messages passing through. The total number of 2 meter Network User ports is 29!!! They are spread over 15 frequencies so we do use spectrum. This also includes a number of KA-Nodes that help remote Users get into the network. There are two 220 MHz. User ports on two different frequencies. The number of callsigns logging in during the year approaches 4300.
Backbone ports are even greater in number. There are five 2 meter backbone ports on two separate fre-quencies. There are twenty nine 220 MHz ports running on 5 frequencies. Thirty seven 440 Mhz. ports on 16 frequencies. Total - 71 backbone ports!!!
Add up the ports and I get something like 102 radios packeting away 365 days a year. As you can imagine with these kind of numbers failures occur that have to be fixed and alot of time goes into that task. Also don't forget the 102 antennas and feedlines.
Out of all these ports, only seven, yes, seven are running higher than 1200 baud. Those seven run at 9600, all on 440 backbone frequencies. This year the YSA had hoped to improve some weak links and speed up a few of the 1200 baud links. Yes, we fell well below our goal. We had to deal with moving of three nodes and re-linking of some of those. What little time that was available was gobbled up by this task and a few other episodes that I need not get into here.
So I guess what I am trying to say is that keeping the system running is quite a feat. It is obvious we are a force to reckon with due to the spectrum that we use. There are hopes for more time for improvements. Can anybody get us a 30 hour day or 3-day work week?? Good luck in this contest season and you can be sure the SYSOPs will do what they can to help the YCCC finish on top in 95-96!