Simulation in Amateur Packet Radio Networks

Simulation in Amateur Packet Radio Networks

Miroslav Škoric (University of Novi Sad, Serbia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0191-8.ch011
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Computer programs that radio amateurs use in their packet radio networks give various opportunities in simulating real data communication systems. Such systems include radio-relay networks of digital repeaters that operate in cities or in rural and remote locations, email servers that handle amateur radio messaging and file exchange, and a variety of end-user stations at home or work. This chapter summarizes the results of recent experiments in network simulations by using amateur radio software in a local area network. We tested the main features of those amateur radio programs and their repercussions to the functionality of simulated networks and to the comfort and satisfaction in average network participants. Described tests help practitioners, students, and teachers in computer science and communication technologies, in implementing amateur radio within the existing computer networks and in planning and using telecommunication systems without making any investment in hardware infrastructure.
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“The healthiest way to increase the profits is by decreasing the costs” – told a professor of economics to his young audience some 20 years ago. As a remembrance of his words, the position I want to demonstrate in this chapter is that we should keep our educational experiments at low cost whenever possible. That means we do not always need to spend finances – that are often restricted nowadays, for obtaining brand new hardware and software resources for educative demonstrations and simulations in our computer rooms. In that manner, we support those solutions that offer enough opportunities for presenting behavior of the real things we want to simulate, but without requiring additional funding for technical devices, or program upgrade subscriptions, or licensing fees, and so forth. One of the applicable solutions are 'ham radio' (= amateur radio) programs, which are globally available for occasional testing and later permanent use (if the experimenter decides to join the hobby). Although some of those programs do not belong to the categories of 'free' or 'shareware' software, they are freely available for installing and experimenting on the non-commercial basis. Despite the fact that most of amateur radio programmers do not allow using their software for making businesses or for establishing professional communications, scholarly experiments and demonstrations in front of young learners are the right ways of using the software.

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