D.A.R.E.N. News 2011

DAREN of WV News  February 20, 2011(.971)
Harris WA8LLM (304) 679-3470 wa8llm@yahoo.com
P.O. BOX 3328, PARKERSBURG, WV 26103

DAREN News, are articles and information about the Digital Amateur Radio "Emergency" Network of WV, which operates on 145.69 MHz.  Anyone having any information about DAREN, or Amateur Radio in general, and would like to share it with others, may send it to WA8LLM @ PKBGWV on 145.69 MHz, or to my E-Mail: wa8llm@yahoo.com.  A State Wide DAREN NET is operated every Saturday from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm, and lately, before and after those hours.  The DAREN Net Announcement, showing the MAIN NCS, ALTERNATE NCS, NODEs accessible to both, and the previous week's check-ins, are posted by Thursday on most of the Main county DAREN PBBS'.  The DAREN News can also be found on the wc8ec.org website.

Did you ever wonder why you see a dash number such as WA8LLM-14 when you are monitoring a packet frequency?  The dash number is called the Secondary Station Identification or SSID.  The SSID is used for housekeeping to keep other stations or NODEs from getting confused.  The SSID is like your callsign now has a last name, it's just better identified.  When you put your callsign in a Terminal NODE Controller (TNC) it gives the callsign an SSID.  Normally the SSID is a dash zero (-0), or basic callsign.  You can put your own SSID onto your callsign.  You can have up to one of 16 different SSIDs attached to your callsign.  The SSIDs can be from dash one (-1) to dash fifteen (-15), the dash zero (-0) is the basic callsign.  When your callsign is a dash zero, the TNC won't transmit the dash zero (-0).  If your callsign has anything other than a (-0), it will transmit the dash number.  When you are connecting to a NODE, the NODE TNC will change the incoming callsign SSID to another number as it leaves the TNC.  On the Kantronics TNCs the SSID of your callsign will change by going down one number.  Example: if the SSID of your callsign is (-10) going into the TNC, it will be changed to (-9) coming out.  If you are connecting from one NODE to another, the next NODE will change the SSID down another number.  I don't remember which brand of TNC it was, but there is one TNC or protocol where the SSID goes up by one number.  Since NODEs are usually on hilltops or mountain tops, several of them may be able to see each other.  Since the SSIDs are all different, the other NODEs won't get confused by seeing the same callsign, since they all have a different SSID.  To any other TNC on the frequency, it is a different callsign, but as a human, you can see it is the same basic callsign.  By having different SSIDs attached to your callsign, connecting stations and NODEs won't get confused as to which callsign it is talking to, as they see each callsign and SSID as a completely different callsign.  SSIDs are normally nothing to worry about, unless you are setting up different stations on the same frequency that are using the same callsign, then you must be careful which SSID is placed onto which station.  Two stations that have the same callsign and SSID will not connect to one another.  If there are several NODEs on the same frequency, such as the DAREN system, it's best to give each of them a different basic callsign, and then add an SSID.  Most of the DAREN NODEs use the SSID of dash seven (-7).  I hope this sheds a little light on why there is an SSID, and why it is there.

There were 58 check-ins to this week's State Wide DAREN Net.  My Son Kevin Harris, KC8OXY, needs only one more check-in to make 550.  I want to welcome David Arms, WV8DA, back to the net.  David has been missing from the net since October 30, 2004.

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