Packet Radio under WIN10

Hi Everyone,

After 20 years away, I decided to have another go at Packet Radio.  Of course things have moved on in that time and the “normal” MS Windows operating system is now Windows 10.  I thought other might be interested in my experience…..

Here are my initial thoughts on using WIN10 (64bit) with Packet Radio….


The 2 ways I have tried are:
1> Virtual XP – I found this is very difficult to setup and make work.  The “Hyper-V” system seems to have the possibility of working well but I suppose I wasn’t patient enough to see it through properly.  You must allow internet access and you must let the XP installation find and install all the drivers it needs and you need a valid XP Licence to run it for more than 30days.  The problem I found was the XP emulation is so “tightly controlled” that I can’t access the outside world to even install WinPack!!  I realise this is probably my fault but should be a warning to others trying it that they need to aware of the possible pitfalls.  I guess I’ve been spoilt by how easy WIN10 finds and installs drivers for peripherals (one thing that MS have got right at last!).  My XP setup knew there was a CD/DVD drive but wouldn’t read a disk in there!!!
2> PuTTY – A very simple interface with none of the “bells and whistles” of WinPack (for example) but it works…for a time!  Haven’t got to the bottom of this yet, but, after a lot of text on the screen (reading and writing messages etc), the program “locks up” and stops sending or receiving data to/from the modem; the cursor is still there but there is no keyboard entry.  Closing the program and re-opening it restores everything to life with the modem still connected to a BBS for example.  It doesn’t seem to be time-limited, because it will sit there in RX mode for much longer than in “connected and reading” mode. Not sure why yet – will report back if I find a solution.

So back to proper XP running on an older computer…
Running WinPack v6.80 – seems 100% reliable.  My PK-232 modem starts up much, much quicker with a computer baud rate set to 9600 rather than the 1200 specified in the manual!!!!

Also, of course, this means I have another (new) email address… G3ZPB…at…GB7CIP.#32.GBR.EURO.

I’d be interested to hear if anyone has had success running Packet Radio under WIN10 (64bit) successfully.

73, Peter G3ZPB.



  1. Hi Peter
    I shall have to hunt out my PK-232 box or can I do it direct to the PC from my FT847?
    I run my XP Virtual Machine under VM player rather than Hyper-V

  2. I would like to throw an idea at you, that you probably have not thought of, as you have Hyper-V install Ubuntu 16.04, install AX25 Converse Linbbs (FBBS) and connect digital to all other packet systems…
    You don’t even need RF if you don’t want to, which means no NOV.
    If you want to setup a node you can on that software it is easy, but you need an NOV

  3. De KB7ITU in Rexburg Idaho. I run Rxcluse. It works well. There is an emergency software I run with my local group called Outpost. It has a terminal screen that works flawlessly as well. Good Luck.

    Steve Galbraith KB7ITU

  4. Hello Peter;
    Having had an old Kantronics KAM (v4.0) given to me recently I’ve been “thinking” of revisiting Packet Radio! Timely piece on Win 10 compatibility and lack of modern software. I’ll have to speak to the ‘guru’ (John G8MNY) on this subject (and yourself) – obviously beer buying time ahead!
    Richard G8ITB (Locksbottom)

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