Re: DST Communications tools
I disagree with your assessment that packet is "obsolete". There are currently 1,063 packet FM gateways vs. 349 VARA FM stations. I'm not discounting VARA as a possible future replacement of packet 1200/9600. I am a little concerned that one guy controls the market though. For that reason, I don't see VARA as the future replacement of packet. What i see here instead is a story of VHF vs. BETAMAX. Remember, BETAMAX was better, but VHS ultimately dominated the market as an inferior product because more than one company was able to produce it. Eventually, the DVD kicked both of them to the curb and then streaming took over.
If we truly care about the speed of communications, the usefulness of those channels (multi-purpose) and the cost involved in getting up to speed, the AREDN data network is thousands of times faster and costs less to implement. In the same amount of time you can send one VARA FM message at its fastest possible throughput, I could submit hundreds, maybe thousands of the same type of message over AREDN while conducting a video conference call! Currently, there is no technology I'm aware of (aside from the Internet itself) faster than AREDN. AREDN is simple. The adoption of this data network is going to be a lot smoother as the AREDN network develops further.
Therefore, I'm not focussing upon trying to convince people to adopt a technology that is, at best, only four times faster than the best packet FM technology available. Packet 1200 is common, reliable, and a lot faster than passing information with your voice. For that reason I strongly recommend that people at least have 1200 baud capabilities. I discourage 9600 baud stations because of the lack of 9600 baud gateways, and the cost of the radios you need to use 9600. I am not going to push VARA. I will, however, push AREDN. See my website http://km6zpo.com for examples of how I have put AREDN to work in EMCOMMs.