Using a Gateway


[ From Packet | From HF | SysOp | ]

Latest change date: 08/12/06

Overview

Colorado has an ever increasing population of multi-port, Gateway capable, Terminal Node Controllers (TNCs). These TNCs provide significant function for data support during emergencies. The most common versions of these controllers are the AEA PK-900 and the AEA DSP-2232 (not to be confused with the PK-232 which does not have gateway). From an end user standpoint these two controllers function in the same manner and thus the controllers will be referred to as the GTNC to differentiate them from the users TNC.

Most of our people that use packet have not been exposed to operation with this type of controller. This document is intended to supply the users with sufficient information that they will be functional with these TNCs in the minimum amount of time.

Because we also have many new owners (System Operators - SysOps) of these GTNCs there is also a section devoted to their needs.

If you have an experience with a Gateway TNC that does not fit within the parameters described here, PLEASE capture what you see and send me an E-mail with that information. Thanks! - ipl

From Packet

The person coming from packet may connect to either an HF station or another VHF/UHF station via the GTNC. Which connection you will make must be agreed upon with the SysOp before you connect (because he/she will need to have the correct radio in place). For this discussion let us handle the VHF to HF connections to simplify the instructions. All other connections will only vary slightly from this example.

You will connect to the GTNC just as if it were any other packet TNC. That is to say enter "c their-call". The call of the GTNC may have an SSID in the same manner as any other packet station. The mode you will be running in from the GTNC may be packet, AMTOR or PACTOR. In each case that information will be sent to you in the "welcome" message from the GTNC. Each line of information from the GTNC will start with "+++" (without the quotes). For example, if you were to connect to N7ML-7 you would see:

cmd: c n7ml-7
*** CONNECTED to N7ML-7
+++ N7ML Gateway. Other port (1) is PACTOR. Type ? for help.
+++ You are on Port 2, 1200 bps Packet. Your ID is "yourcall-15".
de N7ML-7 (B, C, D, J, L, N, P, S, ?)

You will issue the command "p1" to get to port 1 and you would see:
p1
+++ Cross Access to port 1, PACTOR. Your ID is "yourcall".
de N7ML-7 (B, C, D, J, L, N, P, S, ?)

At this point you issue a connect request for the station you need to connect to. Once connected, you will end each of your exchanges with (CTRL-Z)+(RETURN) to tell the GTNC to turn over transmission to the other station. To end a contact either station may issue the (CTRL-D) to force the GTNC to disconnect the PACTOR link.

From HF

The connection from HF to VHF is slightly simpler than from VHF to HF because the GTNC automatically provides access to port 2 (VHF) from port 1 (HF). To connect to VHF you will:

cmd: ptconn n7ml
+++ N7ML Gateway. Type ? for help.
+++ You are on Port 2, 1200 bps packet. Your ID is "yourcall-15".
"yourcall" de N7ML (B, C, D, J, N, S, ?)

At this point you simply connect to the station or BBS as if you were directly on VHF.

To disconnect you use the "B(ye)" command.

There is one other variation that you may see. If the SysOp has the GTNC Maildrop enabled you will receive the Maildrop welcome message. For example, if you were again connecting to N7ML and he had his maildrop enabled you would see:

cmd: ptconn n7ml
+++ (AEA PK-900) 17396 free (A, B, H, J, K, L, R, S, V, ?)

At this point you issue the gateway command "g" to get to the gateway and continue as above.
Notice that 'G' is not shown in the options list above - from the GTNC.

System Operator

SysOp considerations are fairly simple. You need to have established which bands are going to be used and which data modes you will be using. Port 2 defaults to packet and becomes difficult (at the minimum) to use any other mode there. Port 1 may be VHF/UHF or HF. As SysOp you will need to:

Thought / Comments / Suggestions?

E-mail at: w0ipl@arrl.net