I got a signal report from James, VK2JN, who lives near by and runs a packet radio email gateway. I've tried to get this going in the past using a physical packet modem without much luck but he suggested trying a soundcard TNC called Winmor.
I have a netbook with Windows XP and a Signalink USB interface and following the instructions in this pdf all worked pretty much as advertised.
What you get
- A decent email client
- The sound card TNC (with the pretty display above)
- A session control app that can get the latest frequencies
- Lots more I haven't figured out yet
Here's the window that tells you what local channels are available (it can be updated over the air too):
At this point I'm merrily exchanging email from internet to radio, radio to internet and radio to radio.
The great thing about all this is that it will work in the outback or out to sea - pretty much wherever a digital HF signal can get through. You get a limited number of minutes per day but it's a great service.
Now, where's the MacOS and Linux version of this?