Something new, something different

Andre Kesteloot andre.kesteloot at
Mon Jan 17 08:06:57 CST 2005

Hal Feinstein wrote:

> [... ]

> But this is fundamentally  an engineering problem and requires the 
> same kind of organized thinking, conceptualization  and building 
> skills as other  R&D engineering projects.
> Is it practical?   It would not be very  expensive;  computer 
> controlled radios are pretty common these days.  Programming would be 
> done in C and/or VB on a PC  and a sound card might be used for the 
> language exchanges.  The most challenging thing for the "creators" 
> (us) would be devising a framework to allow the radio/computers to 
> build, test and communicate their own best strategies and in giving 
> the radio/computers the "gift of speech" without specifying how to 
> talk or what to say.   I don't believe anything like this has been 
> done before, certainly not by amateur radio operators and it would 
> take us into a whole new technology that I think is going to be as 
> common place in 20 years as the Internet is today.

On a much smaller scale, it seems to me that the self-organizing network 
of our packet experiments of a few years ago followed the same basic 
principle. When I sent a packet from McLean to San Francisco, the 
routing for that packet was not written anywhere. It kept trying various 
paths until it found a way to reach its intended destination. This was 
all happening, of course, on one or two frequencies (145 something) but 
one could have added frequency band change e.g., if VHF does not work, 
try HF, etc.), format change (from packet to say PSK31 on HF) etc.  
until an acknowledgment was received . This haphazard approach to 
routing was extremely wasteful of bandwidth and resources, but certainly 


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