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Have new update from the Storm Troopers Division? Or have you ever heard about the LONTOCCOM System? What about the 8th Infantry Division's UHF-Linked Repeaters System with homebrewed Radio Interface Communication Kit (RICK)? Can these systems very beneficial to our operating troops even up to patrol bases? Are they user friendly and cost-effective? Do they offer better features and characteristics than those commercially available ones? Lastly, who is this mind-boggling Army officer behind these innovations?

First and foremost, when we talk about innovations or ingenuity in the foxhole is not something new in a true sense of the word. As a matter of fact, it is from that circumstances that our fellow comrades in arms are trying to be innovative and creative based from their only existing not-so-many resources. It is in this instance that in the 8th Infantry (Storm Troopers) Division in Camp Lukban, Catbalogan, Samar, helped make an Army Signal Officer in the person of CAPTAIN NOEL B LONTOC O-10356 (SC) PA, the Executive Officer of the 8th Signal Battalion, to develop deep concern to our operating troops in the enhancement of the Command's communications, electronics and information systems (CEIS), a low-cost communication system but of greater features than those of commercial ones.

Such exceptional innovation is not a typical one since the systems he developed, formulated and introduced to the Philippine Army promotes rivalry against our partner in the civilian entities when it comes to modern tactical communication systems is concerned.

However, this is of great help to the whole Army since it is primarily designed to cater the data communication requirements of our line units up to company level and patrol bases in a very cost-effective way. First is the use of a MODEMLESS Data Communication System or basically known as the LONTOCCOM System and second is the UHF-Linked Repeater System using the homebrewed Radio Interface Communication Kit (RICK) with no less than CPT LONTOC himself as the author, designer and officer-in-charge.

The LONTOCCOM System is a product of hard work and dedication by no less than CPT LONTOC in order to create a low-cost MODEMLESS Data Communication System. With more than two (2) long months of wakeful nights due to deliberate research and experimentation and along with the G11's M-I-D-S management strategy on the importance of Maintenance Activities to extend the life of every equipment beyond its service life, the improvement of CEIS capability thru innovation, the Development of Appropriate Systems and Sustained Strategy Implementation, LONTOCCOM System came to its full existence. Through this system, it can able to provide all our line units with reliable, responsive, secured, very cost-effective and much faster data communication services for the command and control and administration of the Philippine Army as a whole. Along with the prevailing price of P28,500.00 per DOVETRONIX MODEM is really a financial burden for the Philippine Army to support every line units up to company level and patrol bases with a radio data communication system. But for this very innovative solution to such communication security problem, the Philippine Army need not anymore spend money of more than P120,000.00 for each company and patrol bases to support their data communication requirements. What we need is only a LOW-END computers like 80486 or Pentium 100/133 MHz model either loaded with Windows 95 or 98 and equip with a Creative or PCI128 sound card (current price of P6,000.00 per unit). Meanwhile, the heart of the LONTOCCOM System is the Packet Engine Software originally written by a Greek Radio Amateur, Rossopuluos George. The original software is actually written in several languages such as German, Spanish, Danish, Italian, English and others.

In the originator's copyright note, he emphasized "all the products and their trademarks that are referenced in my programs are proprietary of their owners." Hence, those who modify his works can also claim legal rights of his own.

The Packet-Engine Software used in LONTOCCOM System is designed to run in Windows 95 or 98 environments with built-in drivers for almost all types of Terminal Node Controller (TNC) or MODEM. It is actually a modified software / program by which all unnecessary files and folders were deleted in order to compress only those necessary ones for simplicity befitting for the inter-operability to our existing military data communication systems and provide ease of use for every operator.

The purpose of this program is to interact between virtual TNC (the computer sound card) and the Packet applications. It handles all the traffic between the Applications and the TNC so the Application has not to worry about the TNC, serial ports, protocol, etc. Packet Engine is the only program that self adjusts TNC Parameters (persist, slot-time, frack, etc) in accordance to its channel traffic. That way, there is nothing to worry about. Likewise, the program does not have a window, it just seats on the taskbar. Just select it and displays its system menu to interact within it. Furthermore, the program is designed for Low-End computers equip with Creative Sound Card such as 486, Pentium 100/133 and the like with the minimum Memory of only 8 or 16 MB and a Hard Disk Capacity of 1.2 MB.

Likewise, it can even respond to the continuing problem on communication security of our line units especially at company level and patrol bases against enemy campaign on electronic warfare. The LONTOCCOM System is actually an acronym that originally stands for :

L - Low Maintenance

O - Operator / User Friendly Features

N - Non-Expensive

T - TNC-less (Terminal Node Controller) or MODEMLESS with

O - Obscured and Secured File Transfer

C - Capability

C O M - Data Communication System

Moreover, the LONTOCCOM System is primarily designed to cater the needs of our line units particularly within the level of companies and patrol bases of having Data Communication System for security reasons.

Its operation is designed and limited only on VHF - Packet Mode of operation, however, it is capable of transmitting and receiving data / files up to 9600 bps or a matter of 32 times faster than our existing DATACOM System using G-TOR at HF Mode. Furthermore, LONTOCCOM System can be used to transfer not only text files but also all types of files including GIF, JPG, BMP, WAVE files, etc. Likewise, with the use of High-Gain Antenna and Retrans, this system can also be used to transfer files even beyond 100 kilometers air distance.

Hereunder is the Comparative Cost Analysis of the LONTOCCOM System versus the present Radio DATACOM System :

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