ARRL Michigan Section
Digital Radio Group
a.k.a. "DRG"
a Michigan Section organization

The mantra for 2015 is:
Rebuilding and Preparing to carry ICS Form Traffic

      The Michigan Section Mission Statement:

Develop the Michigan ARPSC Program into a fully integrated communications team ready, willing and able to provide radio communications support to public service agencies and the citizens of Michigan

"If you build it, they will come!" -- Field of Dreams

Main Topics:
Purpose of the Group:

Members of the Group:

Minutes/Agendas of the Meetings:
  • Agenda of the next meeting.... (yet to be announced)
Meeting Minutes

Working Groups:
  • Types of Packet Networking
  • NetROM/X1J4/K-net deploymet statagies
Hamgate SysOps
  • What is a "Hamgate"
  • What are the responsibilities of the SysOp
  • Maintenance, care and feeding of a HG
  • Recommended JNOS configs
  • Recommended HamGate configs
Frequency Coordination
  • Packet Frequency Bandplan
Operational Standards
  • Packet Frequency Bandplan
  • Recommended SSID assignments
  • Node Identifiers (function.location)
  • Three-Letter County Abbreviations
    and CONVerse county number assignments
  • Recommended NetROM configs
  • Recommended JNOS configs
  • Recommended HamGate configs
  • Upcoming Training dates/locations
  • Past training presentations
  • Known D-Star frequencies
  • Known APCO25 (P25) frequencies
  • Known DMR/MotoTrbo frequencies
  • Weblinks/Resources

Maps & Databases:

Regularly Scheduled NETS:
  • CONVerse-41 - Saturdays @8pm Channel 41
    General Chit-Chat and Rag-Chew. Oftentimes about Packet but can be on ANY subject.
  • CONVerse-41 - Sundays @8pm Channel 41
    A synopsis and discussion of the material passed on the earlier Michigan State ARPSC net held earlier (5pm) on 3932 KHz
  • L'Anse Creuse ARC - Tuesdays @8pm Channel 80
    General Chit-Chat and Rag-Chew. Everyone welcome!
  •   ====================  
  • Log onto any Hamgate or JNOS Node and at the Alphabet-Soup prompt simply type CONV. Once on the CONVerse bridge, use the /c command to change to the desired channel (/c 41).

Typical CONVerse Channel Number Usage:
  • CONVerse-411 - General Statewide Information
    Channel 411 is typically used for the sharing of information of interest to a wide audience, such as multiple counties or Districts during Skywarn activations and/or widespread severe weather such as ice storms or flooding.
  • CONVerse-911 - Emergency Activations
    Used during Emergency activations that involve two or more counties (as opposed to just using the County channel number of the county initiating the activation). 911 is also used in statewide drills, exercises and emergencies when the State EOC (SEOC) is activated. S.E.T. exercises oftentimes use 911 for statewide sharing or bulletins and other QST information.
  • District Channels - District-wide Communications
    Channels 111, 222, 333, 555, 666, 777, 888 are used each for their respective Districts when all counties within said District are involved. These channels may be used for District-wide nets, training, and conferences.
  •   ====================  
  • Log onto any Hamgate or JNOS Node and at the Alphabet-Soup prompt simply type CONV. Once on the CONVerse bridge, use the /c command to change to the desired channel (/c 911).

How can I get involved?

Website tools:
Usefull Resources:
Packet Tutorials and Training Resources:


WinLink 2000:

Bulletin Boards (BBS):

NetROM, X1J4 "TheNet", and K-net nodes:

Other Networking Styles:

Terminal Programs:
  • HyperTerm - Comes with every Windows OS
  • Minicom - Comes with every Linux distribution
  • Outpost message client for Windows
  • FNpac packet terminal program
  • WinPack v6.8

Where to buy TNC's:


High Speed:

Organizations & Clubs:



Digital Voice:
   The ARRL Michigan Section Digital Radio Group (DRG) was created in 2004 in an effort to coordinate the creation of a dependable Packet Radio network across the entire state of Michigan primarily for use by the general Amateur community, and secondarily for emergency communications. The Digital Radio Group consists of a number of Michigan Section ARRL Staff along with two representatives from each of 7 state districts and meets at least four times annually to discuss technical issues, develop network topologies, and resolve any problems in the deployment of a flexible and reconfigurable digital network that can be depended upon in times of emergency.

Use of this network by the Amateur community on a day-to-day basis is requested and encouraged! What better way to assure that a network will work when it is needed, than to submit it to everyday use. And everyday use means that a larger pool of equipped, knowledgeable, and trained operators are available to step forward should they be needed to provide emergency communications. So dust off those old TNC's! We want to see you on the air! We want to see the network put through its paces. We want your input regarding how the network develops. And most of all we want your participation!

    The networks being deployed consist of a mixture of both old and new technologies using the AX.25, NetROM/X1J4/K-net, and TCP/IP protocols. Some networks branch off into HSMM-Mesh (WiFi) metropolitan networksi, and some even ride over the top of WISP (Wireless Internet Service Provider) networks. By using whatever technologies are available to us assures that each district can deploy the technology that works best for their particular needs. What works best in one part of the state may not be the right solution for another. Our ultimate goal is to move bits from Point-A to Point-B by whatever means we can, including the use of the Internet where Terrestrial RF paths may not yet be available.

    The DRG asks for input from as many sources as possible. So please contact your District Representative with your ideas, concerns, or offers of assistance, and come join us in the Packet (re)Revolution!

   The next meeting of the Digital Radio Group will be held on date yet to be determined in location to be determined, Michigan. Meetings are attended by any of the Michigan Section Staff and two representatives from each State District (as appointed by that district's DEC). Meetings are NOT open to the public, however, non-members may be asked to attend by invitation for the purpose of presenting specific information or training to the DRG membership.

DRG meetings are not closed in an effort to hide anything. They are closed in an effort to control the meeting size, as too large a group leads to too many distractions and less work gets accomplished. DRG quarterly meetings are NOT the venue for new users to attend to ask questions like "What is Packet?", or "How do I hook up my TNC?". These meetings are attended by the movers-and-shakers that build out the networks YOU use. The agendas are oftentimes filled to capacity for the 3 to 4 hour long meeting, and we MUST stay on track and on topic else we waste precious time. But please feel free to contact your District Representative for further information about getting started in Packet Radio and TCP/IP or NetROM networking, or check the resources here on this website. Your DRG Representative should also be able to direct you to the nearest Packet Training seminar or presentation at a nearby radio club. And feel free to ask him/her if they would be willing to provide such a presentation at YOUR club! Afterall, that IS what your DRG Representative is there for. To represent and support you!

   Agendas to upcoming meetings as well as the minutes of past meetings will be posted on this website as well as on the Michigan ARRL Section website.

   Working Groups and sub-committees are encouraged to involve as many interested persons, whether ARRL members or not, to participate in such meetings. The Chairperson of each committee shall decide how large or small his or her Working Group shall be, how often it shall meet, and how work or tasks will be delegated within the group. Each WG then reports back to the DRG at the quarterly meetings.

   We are looking for volunteers to sit on the following Working Groups: Networking - Frequency Coordination - Operational Standards - Training. If you would like to serve on one or more of these groups, please send an email to your DRG District Representative letting them know how you would like to participate.

Zone 1                       Zone 2                       Zone 3
44.102.220/24         44.102.221/24         44.102.222/24

The only MARC protected Packet Frequencies on 2-meters are as follows:
         144.91  144.93  144.95  144.97  144.99
         145.01  145.03  145.05  145.07  145.09
         147.54  147.56  147.58

Local Access Frequencies by District

(click on the image to see the announcement sent to the DRG list)

See chart at the bottom of this page for further information about each Hamgate. There you will find clickable links allowing you to Telnet to each Hamgate and gain access to the Network.

Interresting sites around the U.S. and the world you can reach through the Michigan AMPRnet network

Just type 't hostname_shown_below' from the Alphabet-Soup prompt
  • wmass - Western Massacusetts (Springfield, MA)
                Use 'CONV' to reach the Worldwide CONVerse Bridge
  • w9da - Carol Stream, IL (near Chicago, IL)
                *HUGH* number of NetROM routes all over the World!
  • wa7v - Walla Walla, Washington
                TELPAC access to the SanDiego CMS
  • hamgate.ve7sfu - Vancouver, Canada
                Access to the Worldwide FLEXnet network
                CALLbook Server
  • port.ve3mch - Hamilton, Ontario (near Niagra Falls)
                (not alot unless you register with the sysop)
  • kd4yal - Clearwater, FL
                Type 'LB' to list email Bulletins ... 'R msg#' to Read them
Current Hamgate & Key Station locations as of October 2008
District City Hostname Callsign Internet Access (via telnet) Notes
D1 Hell/Pinkney Hamgate.Livingston.AMPR.ORG N8BJX-3/-4 -none-  
D1 Charlotte Hamgate.Eaton.AMPR.ORG N8HEE-3/-4 Routes to SEOC
D1 Lansing SEOC.AMPR.ORG WC8EOC-0/-4   State EOC
WC8EOC/bbs WC8EOC-4/node
D1 Jackson Hamgate.Jackson.AMPR.ORG W8JXN-3/-4   On Air - but no Internet connection yet
D2 Dundee WA8EFK.AMPR.ORG WA8EFK-0/-4   [Section Manager]
WA8EFK/bbs WA8EFK-4/Node
D2 White Lake NWSDTX.AMPR.ORG K8DTX-0/-3   Sysops: KB8VNI & KF5X
D2 Macomb Twp. Hamgate.Macomb.AMPR.ORG N8HUL-3/-4  
D2 Ypsilanti Hamgate.Washtenaw.AMPR.ORG WB8TKL-3/-4  
D2 Ann Arbor RedCross.Washtenaw.AMPR.ORG WC8RC-3/-4   Washtenaw Red Cross
D2 Dearborn Hamgate.Wayne49.AMPR.ORG KA8E-3/-4  
D2 Detroit Detroit.AMPR.ORG WU8C-2   High-Profile JNOS node
D2 Newport BBS.W8GHZ.AMPR.ORG W8GHZ-4 145.05 MHz
D2 Monroe Hamgate.Monroe.AMPR.ORG N8KJF-3/-4  
D3 Harrisville Hamgate.Alcona.AMPR.ORG N8AVX-3/-4  
D3 Oscoda Hamgate.Iosco.AMPR.ORG KB8RWG-3/-4  
D3 Midland Hamgate.Midland.AMPR.ORG W8KEA-3/-4  
D3 Midland WB8RCR.AMPR.ORG WB8RCR-3/-4 [Section EC]
[Section Traffic Mgr.]
D3 Midland NTSMI.AMPR.ORG     Michigan NTS Traffic server
Collects traffic to:
D3 Bay City Hamgate.Bay.AMPR.ORG     (under construction - Due Winter '08)
D3 Bay City RedCross.Bay.AMPR.ORG KD8BKZ-3/-4    
D5 Kalamazoo Hamgate.Kalamazoo.AMPR.ORG W8VY-3/-4  
D5 Albion Hamgate.Calhoun.AMPR.ORG KB8OAK-3/-4  
D6 Grand Rapids Hamgate.Kent.AMPR.ORG N8DPR-3/-4 128/24 subnet on 147.58
D6 Grand Rapids RedCross.Kent.AMPR.ORG WD8USA-3/-4 129/24 subnet on 147.54
Access to QMN
D6 Grand Rapids W8DC.AMPR.ORG W8DC-3/-4   130/24 subnet on 145.01
D6 Zeeland Hamgate.Ottawa.AMPR.ORG WA8RSA-3/-4 HF port on 14.105
D6 Muskegon Hamgate.Muskegon.AMPR.ORG WB8I-3/-4  
D7 Empire Hamgate.Leelanau.AMPR.ORG KF8KK-3/-4 Ties in with NetROM network
D7 Traverse City Hamgate.GrandTraverse.AMPR.ORG N7LMJ-3/-4 Under construction
D7 Grayling K8MV-2 No ENCAP routing
D8 Houghton Hamgate.Houghton.AMPR.ORG     At Michigan Tech
Under construction - due Fall '08
D8 Wallace Hamgate.Menominee.AMPR.ORG W9JTL-3/-4  
D8 ???? Hamgate.Delta.AMPR.ORG ????-3/-4 -none- On Air - but no Internet connection yet
D8 Moran Hamgate.Mackinac.AMPR.ORG WA8OOH-3/-4  
NOTE: If you telnet over the Internet from a Windows box, you will find that the telnet client that Microsoft provides has been "embraced and extended" until it is now quite broken. Get yourself a real telent client by downloading Putty.

Realtime monitoring of the Michigan TCP/IP Network

Other Usefull Links:

Interesting Quotes:

      "The trouble with Packet Radio is the RADIO"
         --- Tom Clark W3IWI

      "It's not so much the technology that is obsolete in Packet Radio, it's the BANDWIDTH!"
         --- Maiko Langelaar / VE4KLM

      "Only an idiot would want something that any idiot could use."
         --- Author unknown

       In response to the issue about dumbing-down Amateur Radio, a fellow Packeteer said:
         "Would you like fries with that emergency communication?"

      "You can't sell someone what they need; you can only sell them what they want."
         --- Angel (The Rockford Files)

      "Your packets routed in 30-minutes or less, or it's free!"
         --- Author unknown

Just for Fun!:

  • PacketRock.mp3 - Music with Packets in the background. By Steve Gladden N8LBV


  • DRG-Freq-example.jpg - An example of assigning one Local Access frequency for each County. Spread out in such a way as to avoid co-county interferance (NOTE: All freqs ending in "3" *should* be for keyboard-to-keyboard use only, so this map will need further work and is provided as an EXAMPLE ONLY).

These pages are maintained by:
These pages are Hosted by: Nugent Telecommunications & WebPegasus

Copyright © 2005-2010 John (Jay) Nugent - WB8TKL and/or the "Digital Radio Group"
All Right's Reserved. All other Copyright's and
Trademarks are property of their respective owners.