Buck Rogers K4ABT Handbook

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The Packet Radio
; Packet Radio "The Basics"
Section 1
Two Packet Radio Books In One Cover
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A HANDBOOK for the ADVANCED
Buck Rogers
Buck Rogers
E-Mail
k4abt@packetradio.com
; Packet Radio "The Basics"
Section 1
"2 N 1" Handbook
; The X1J4 System Node Operator's (SNO) Handbook
Section 2
Section I
A Primer for the
Packet Radio
BEGINNER
Section
Section
Packet Radio
System Node Operator
PacketRadio Networking
by
A Packet Primer for the new Packeteer
Buck Rogers K4ABT
by
II
II
K4ABT
PacketRadio Editor, CQ Magazine
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   Summary of Contents for Buck Rogers K4ABT

  • Page 1

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 Two Packet Radio Books In One Cover Section I A Primer for the...

  • Page 2

    United States, Europe, Asia other countries around the world. Buck, K4ABT, is highly respected in the Amateur Radio community both as a pioneer of Packet Radio and noted author, having published twelve books and written many feature articles leading Amateur...

  • Page 3

    This handbook is dedicated to the people I love, and to the hobby and profession that I enjoy. G. E. Rogers Sr “Buck” Buck” K4ABT A Packet Primer for the new Packeteer ; Packet Radio “The Basics” __ Page 3 Section 1...

  • Page 4: Table Of Contents

    TABLE of CONTENTS About the Author Page Credits and Trademarks Page An Introduction to PACKET RADIO Page Section I; The PACKET RADIO BEGINNER’S GUIDEBOOK The Easy Way ! CHAPTER Packet Radio “ Page ” “BUXTERM”… a Packet terminal program and it’s FREE! Page And…...

  • Page 5

    AN INTRODUCTION TO PACKET RADIO: Buck Rogers K4ABT PACKET RADIO IS: ommunications between computers using radio (RF) as the medium rather than wires or solid mediums. Your personal computer in your ham shack coupled to your VHF or UHF transceiver via a terminal node controller (TNC) is the makeup of the Packet Radio station.

  • Page 6

    25 pin RS-232 serial cable is used between the The Easy Way !© TNC and computer. The later models employ a 9 pin by Buck Rogers K4ABT serial connector, thus you will need a 9 pin © 1986 Updated; 1990, 1997 connector/cable.

  • Page 7

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 IT IS FREE ! There is no “catch”, it is FREE! You If you’ve followed the setup procedures outlined in the supply the disk, mailer, and return postage.

  • Page 8

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 This lets us know that the computer and TNC are Included in the ARRL future band plans are several communicating.

  • Page 9

    LET’S BEGIN: Advanced levels of Packet include transmitting and This is where you will find this handbook to be helpful. receiving high resolution color pictures (error free), I’ve written this handbook to serve as a guide to get you transmission of large ASCII and binary files, and how to started in Packet Radio.

  • Page 10

    A PacketRadio FREQUENCY GUIDE FOR THE NEW PACKET OPERATOR: This guide is for information purposes only, and is subject to change. Some changes in future band-plans may cause changes in the application of certain Packet frequencies. A possible change in the 219.050 to 219.950 is one example of Packet frequency changes.

  • Page 11

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 Chapter Two LEARNING ABOUT PACKET CONTROLLERS The TERMINAL NODE CONTROLLER (TNC) THE PACKET CONTROLLERS: By now you have heard the phrase, “terminal node...

  • Page 12

    Most BBS's have the latest Amateur radio news bulletins EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS: and propagation bulletins posted. Many BBS's have a Keyboard to keyboard Packet communications is where file section containing various text files full of Packet radio excels. Packet has proven many times over information on amateur radio in general.

  • Page 13

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 Chapter Three Antennas For Packet I'm not suggesting that any digital radio user should select one antenna over another. Use whatever you have, or choose the antenna that best favors your needs and environment.

  • Page 14

    It goes without saying, (but I will anyway) HF beam antennas with long elements, and towers with guy-wires affixed near the top, don't work well together when the beam is vertically polarized. Something will have to bend or break, either the guy-wire or the element that are in each others path.

  • Page 15

    THE ANTENNA IS THE KEY "ELEMENT": The antenna for digital as well as any other modes of communications is only as good as the transmission line that feeds the antenna. Consult the handbooks and the catalogs for the latest and greatest coax or transmission feedline. Look at the manufacturers printed specifications for a given type of feedline or coax.

  • Page 16

    Chapter Four USING A PACKET BBS: Because there are so many variations and versions of Packet Bulletin Board Systems (BBS), I've put together a composite of the most used BBS commands. In the list of commands that follow, I will address instructions that are in general use with most of the full service Packet BBS types.

  • Page 17

    - List the last # messages Example: LL 10 L< callsign - List messages from callsign Example: L< K4ABT [This would list all messages FROM K4ABT] L> callsign - List messages to callsign Example: L> K4ABT [This would list all messages TO K4ABT] A Packet Primer for the new Packeteer ;...

  • Page 18

    For a short description of the commands at your Packet BBS, use H command. For more information about a particular command, type ?x where x is the letter of the command. Putting * at the beginning of a line makes it a comment. It also suppresses the next command prompt (but the system will be waiting for another command).

  • Page 19: Section Ii; The X-1j4 System Node Operator's Handbook

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 SECTION II; The X-1J4 System Node Operator’s Handbook! Chapter Five WHAT IS A PACKET NODE ?

  • Page 20

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 Chapter Six Reviewing the New Features of the X1J4 Node An S-meter function in the heard list...

  • Page 21

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 DEFINING A FEW OF THE X-1J4 FEATURES: MHeard The METER command is set ON, or made active by the...

  • Page 22

    '/exit'. Any other users currently in the W4WWQ > K4ABT>>TALK ,Hello Buck can we conference get a message from the node telling them of chat? If so, PSE type TALK the callsign of the user who has joined them.

  • Page 23: Understanding Thenet X-1j 4 Node

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 Chapter Seven Understanding theNET X-1J 4 Node Routing changes may be made remotely by a SYSOP or...

  • Page 24

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 When a Packet network user or the system node operator privilege in the node. This enable the SNO to make (SNO) issues the “U”...

  • Page 25

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 THE FOLLOWING ARE DEFINITIONS OF TERMS DEFINITIONS ASSOCIATED WITH THE X1J4 NODE: •...

  • Page 26

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 Chapter Eight Using the advanced features of the X1J4 Node Suppose you are a user with access to a local node, and you want to contact another user station who is also within range of the same node.

  • Page 27

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 After making the broadcast in response to the CQ command, the node "arms" a mechanism to permit other stations to reply to the CQ.

  • Page 28: Constructing, Installing, And Configuring

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 Chapter Nine Constructing, Installing, and Configuring TheNET X1J/4 NODES DUAL AND MULTI-FREQUENCY NODE (STACK) OPERATION:...

  • Page 29: Chapter 10 Section Ii

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 Chapter 10 Section II DUAL AND MULTI-FREQUENCY NODE OPERATION: TheNET X1 supports such multi-frequency operation without the need for exotic multi-port digipeater hardware. A dual- frequency node, for example, consists simply of a pair of standard TNC2s (with TheNET X1 in each) connected together with a simple RS232 cable.

  • Page 30

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 Configuring a multi-frequency TheNET X1 node for three or more frequencys is almost as easy as dual-frequency operation.

  • Page 31: Chapter 11 Section Ii

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 Chapter 11 Section II THE MOST FREQUENTLY USED SysOp & User COMMANDS: The Command Interpreter within the node firmware supports several commands including; CONNECT, TALK, MHeard, ROUTES, NODES, USERS, PARMS, INFO, RESET, and SYSOP.

  • Page 32: Chapter 12 Section Ii

    007:K4ABT-7} 100 86 86 255 9 5 900 32 180 3 2 60 4 4 2000 64 10 5 4 10 200 0 0 0 2 1 If the first number is 100, try sending another number to the node, as in this example: P 66 <Enter>...

  • Page 33: Chapter 13 Section Ii, Host Mode

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 Chapter 13 Section II HOST MODE: The Host mode supports a local terminal attached to the node. It permits the local terminal to access all of the same capabilities that a remote user can access.

  • Page 34

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 For each node in the destination list, the routing table up to three routes to that destination node. In this context, a route simply identifies a neighboring node that is a step closer to the ultimate destination.

  • Page 35: Chapter 14 Section Ii

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 Chapter 14 Section II ROUTE QUALITY ANALYSIS: For each route in its routing table, TheNET X1 maintains a route quality value in the range 255 (best) to 0 (worst). This allows it to keep alternate routes in order of quality, and to select the best available route to a destination.

  • Page 36

    Often, the same basic callsign will be used, but with different SSID suffixes for each frequency. (For example, K4ABT-7 is used for the node at 145.770 MHz. The backbone gateway node to 9600 baud’s at the same location is K4ABT-9. Since the 9600 baud backbone node is in the 440 MHz band, the call/SSID may well have been K4ABT-4.

  • Page 37: Chapter 16 Section Ii, Gateway Interfacing & Setup

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 Chapter 16 Section II GATEWAY INTERFACING & SETUP: (NOTE: This modification does not apply to TNC2’s or clones manufactured after July 1990)! (see the illustration of this modification in the illustrations at the back of this handbook).

  • Page 38

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 DUAL-OR MULTI-FREQUENCY OPERATION: To install a dual or multi-frequency TheNET X1 node, you should follow the previously described steps for each TNC.

  • Page 39

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 To interconnect three or more TNCs as a multi-frequency node-stack, you should build a diode-matrix coupler. A schematic for a four-frequency coupler is shown below.

  • Page 40: Chapter 17 Section Ii

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 Chapter 17 Section II X-1J/+ PARAMETERS This section defines the function of the 26 parameters that the sysop can change remotely using the PARAMETERS command.

  • Page 41

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 The following definitions provide a short explanation of the purpose and use of the 26 parameters listed in the above table.

  • Page 42

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 Parameter 12 Parameter 19 Transport busy delay (seconds) (minimum=1, maximum=1000) Link transmit window size "MAXFRAME" (frames)

  • Page 43

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 NOTE: Many sysops set this parameter (#25) to 0 as a means to reduce unnecessary node QRM on the frequency.

  • Page 44: Chapter 18 Section Ii

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 Chapter 18 Section II The SEVENTEEN X1J4+ MODE COMMANDS AND DEFINITIONS With the new X1-J version of theNET firmware, there also comes a set of 17 added command features. The application of these 17 features can increase the effectiveness of your network when they are properly applied.

  • Page 45: Appendix "a, Final Node "checklist

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 APPENDIX “A” FINAL NODE “CHECKLIST:” When installing your 9600 baud nodes back on-line, and if you are using the small “rinky-dink” wall supply to power the TNC/NODE, then check the power from the small wall type supply to be sure the supply is supplying over 14 volts.

  • Page 46: Appendix "b

    Here is a ROUTES list from node “EVA: WB4EDZ-7,” I’m Connected and I issue the “R”outes command; The node returns: EVA: WB4EDZ-7} Routes: 0 DFVA:N4OMC-1 60 *4 0 1200:K4ABT-8 60 *12 0 MTLAKE:KD4BNQ-7 60 *9 0 MVA:KC4SUE-7 60 *11 X1J4 System Node Operators Handbook __ Page 46...

  • Page 47

    • Pathquality = 192 for LAN nodes or 224 for backbone nodes Because I know that a very good route exists between node EVA:WB4EDZ-7 and node 1200:K4ABT-8, I lock the route between EVA and 1200 in the follwoing manner; R 0 K4ABT-8 + 192 As a rule, I don’t lock a route to a node that has a receive repeat number in the Mheard list below 6 unless that node route is...

  • Page 48: Important Note

    • Neighbour is the callsign of the neighbouring node to route through So to make an entry that will never expire to ANODE:K4ABT-7 where the node is accessed directly on the radio port with a quality of 192, enter NODE K4ABT-7 + ANODE 192 0 0 K4ABT-7...

  • Page 49: Appendix "c

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 APPENDIX “C” The MFJ-52B DEViation and ADC meter for the X-1J4 NODE The following addendum of this handbook is excerpted from the X1J4 overview documentation by Dave Roberts and Neville Pattinson.

  • Page 50

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 THE DEVIATION METER SCALING FACTOR This is the parameter previously described in section 3.31 of the overview guide. It scales the deviation meter display.

  • Page 51

    ME 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 No further input for the MEter command is necessary. Here is an example of the Meter BIT settings of my ADC/MFJ-52B at K4ABT-7: X1J4 System Node Operators Handbook __ Page 51...

  • Page 52

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 APPENDIX “D” The Access Connect Limiting (ACL) command is a useful feature of the X-1J+ nodes. It enables the sysop to set node backbones to allow only access by other backbone nodes and the sysop’s call(s).

  • Page 53

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 This modification is for the older, pre 1990, (no suffix), MJF-1270. Most MFJ-1270”B” versions and all “C” versions are already configured with this feature.

  • Page 54

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 This drawing illustrates how the X-1J4 EPROM is installed and connected in the MFJ-1270B TNC. Note that PIN one of the EPROM is not inserted into the socket at U23.

  • Page 55

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 Another overview of how the X-1J4 EPROM is installed and connected in the MFJ-1270B and earlier. See following pages for the installation of the EPROM in MFJ-1270”C”...

  • Page 56

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 An overview of how the X-1J4 EPROM is installed and connected in the MFJ-1270”C” Rev 10 . See next drawing for the installation of the EPROM in MFJ-1270”C”...

  • Page 57

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 In this drawing I have outlined how the X-1J4 EPROM is installed and connected in the MFJ-1270”C” Rev 11(latest) version.

  • Page 58

    Buck Rogers K4ABT “2 N 1” Handbook The Packet Radio ; Packet Radio “The Basics” ; The X1J4 System Node Operator’s (SNO) Handbook Section 1 Section 2 The following steps outline the procedures to transform the MFJ-1270C REV 11 (shown on the previous page) into an X1J4 node 1.

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