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A project log for ESP32 TNC and Audio Relay for HF/VHF Packet Radio

Wireless packet radio interface for HF/VHF/UHF transceivers, using ESP32 as KISS TNC or audio relay for use with soft modems

Ryan KinnettRyan Kinnett 06/30/2020 at 21:270 Comments

Hi all,

I rushed to get this working last week, ahead of Field Day, thinking I would use it to snag some digital contacts and bonus objectives, although I didn't end up using it.  Nevertheless, I'm thrilled that it's working and I have tons of ideas about where to go from here.  

In the near-term, I'll focus on getting it working more reliably with Winlink to support ARES practice operations.  I also plan to use this in conjunction with a satellite tracker project (writeup coming soon..) to bounce APRS messages off ISS and other packet relays sats.

I'm thinking that I'll rewrite the title and description of this project to make this purely an audio relay for PC-based modem software.  That is, unless any followers here want to advocate for onboard modulation/demodulation as I had originally planned?  I've already done most of the hard parts for this, just need to carry it across the finish line, but I'm losing steam.

I haven't yet built up a self-served html interface page.  I'll probably do that in coming weeks and will report back when it's done.  As part of this, I want to set up wifi credential handling to be similar to many commercial IOT devices, where it defaults to beaconing its own AP which you can log into and use the html configuration page to direct it to your home wifi.

After that, I'll probably slow down my time investments in this project unless I can drum up more interest to keep me motivated.

So, anyone out there interested in working with me on this project?

I could use casual suggestions, testers, collaborators, anything.

Would anyone want to try building your own if I write up instructions?

I have to admit, my code is a bit amateurish, cobbled together from many disparate pieces, and the organization is haphazard.  It could use a critical eye from legit programmers if anyone wants to dig into it.

I'm also thinking that I'll just wire up the audio bias/level circuits and PTT circuit point-to-point on perf board unless I can get someone to help design a legit circuit board as a backpack for ESP32 devkit boards with headers.  I also need to work out power interfaces, either a LiPo interface or a buck/boost converter to abstract power from the radio.  This project currently runs off USB port power.

Another intriguing idea (which I likely won't get to anytime soon unless someone wants to help with it) is making this work as an APRS iGate.  This would require finishing development of onboard AFSK demodulation, plus AX.25 packet handling, but once that's in place, forwarding captured messages to aprs.fi would be a breeze.

Please drop a line if you have ideas or are interested in testing and/or collaborating.

Thanks

73

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