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Using ARDOP with the BPQ32 switch.

1. Introduction.

ARDOP is a soundcard-based open source software TNC, and is implemeted as standalone program, the ARDOP Virtual TNC. It operates in two modes, ARQ which is an error free connected mode, and FEC which is a datagram mode with some error correction, but is not error-free. ARQ is optimised for message transfer on HF, I see it's main use to be mail forwarding on HF between BBS systems, or from a user PMS to the BBS. It can be used for interactive access to the network, but isn't optimised for this use. BPQ32 supports using FEC as a simple unconnected realtime QSO mode.

The Virtual TNC may be downloaded from the files section of the Yahoo ARDOP_Users group. The TNC needs write access to it's install directory, so don't install it in a protected directory, such as "Program Files", if running on Vista or Win 7+. Some configuration is done using the File/Virtual TNC option of ARDOP_Win.exe. Set your Callsign, and select the sound devices that you want to use. Normally you can leave the TCP Address and port number at the defaults. You only need to change the port if you are already using that port, or want to run two or more copies of ARDOP TNC. If you are running the TNC and BPQ on different machines, set the TCP address to 0.0.0.0.

The driver supports PTT control via a serial port, using the DTR and/or RTS control lines, or ICOM or Kenwood CI-V commands.

2. Configuration.

The driver is defined to BPQ32 as an External port, and needs some driver-specific configuration

The first line defines the IP address and Port of the ARDOP TNC, an optional PTT paameter, and an optional PATH to the ARDOP_Win.exe file. If PTT is omitted, VOX operation is assumed. If PATH is omitted, bpq32 won't start the TNC, and you will have to run it before starting bpq32.


Typical first lines are:

ADDR 127.0.0.1 8500
ADDR 127.0.0.1 8500 PTT DTR
ADDR 127.0.0.1 8500 PTT CI-V
ADDR 127.0.0.1 8500 PATH C:\ARDOP\ARDOP_Win.exe
ADDR 127.0.0.1 8500 PTT CI-V PATH C:\ARDOP\ARDOP_WinTNC.exe

Other PTT options are PTT RTS, PTT DTRRTS 

If you are running the TNC on a different machine to the Node, you can use program WinmorControl.exe to start or stop the TNC on that machine. To enable this mode, run WinmorControl.exe on the remote machine and enter REMOTE: before the path to the TNC, eg

 ADDR 192.168.1.2 8500 PATH REMOTE:C:\ARDOP\ARDOP_Win.exe

If you are using the Rig Control feature, either for PTT or scanning, add the RIGCONTROL command next.

There are two commands that can be used to modify the way the Channel Busy signal is used. By default, the node will consider the channel when the WINMOR TNC reports it free, and will wait for up to 10 seconds if the channel is busy before failing a connect request.

BUSYHOLD n
This defines the time the software waits after the Controller has reported the channel free before considering it free.
BUSYWAIT n
This changes the time the software will wait for a clear channel before failing a connect request.

Note that if you are sharing a radio between an ARDOP and/or a WINMOR or SCS Pactor port, the busy signals from all controllers will be combined - ie all must be clear before an outgoing connect will be allowed.

See the ARDOP TNC specification for details of the configuration commands that may be included

;
;	Sample Config for an ARDOP Port
;
PORT
 ID=ARDOP
 DRIVER=ARDOP
 CONFIG
  ADDR 127.0.0.1 8515 PTT CI-V PATH C:\ARDOPTNC\ARDOP_Win.exe
  RIGCONTROL 
  COM2 19200 ICOM IC700 70
  5 14.103/U1W 
  5 14.112/U1 
  5 18.1/U1N 10.12/L1
  ****
  DEBUGLOG TRUE
  CMDTRACE True
  CWID TRUE
  DRIVELEVEL 100
  BUSYWAIT 20
  GRIDSQUARE IO68VL
  FECREPEATS 0
ENDPORT

You can have more that one ARDOP port. Just create a separate directory for each copy, and set a different TCP Port in the ARDOP_Win TNC.ini and the bpq32.cfg port config. Normally you would have a separate soundcard and radio for each.

The software will append the BPQ32 Port Description to the TNC Window title, so you can tell which TNC corresponds to each port.

3. Operation.

As the TNC only supports a single connection (unlike ax.25 packet), an ARDOP port must be allocated to a user before making connects. This is done using the ATTACH command. So if your ARDOP port is BPQ32 port 3, enter

ATTACH 3

Possible responses are:

#BPQ11:GM8BPQ-2} Ok

#BPQ11:GM8BPQ-2} Error - Invalid Port   // Port is not an ARDOP port.

#BPQ11:GM8BPQ-2} Error - Port in use   // Port is in use.

Once attached to a port, you can issue commands to the Virtual TNC. See the documentation for the Virtual TNC for a list of commands. Additionally, the "D" command disconnects and releases the TNC.

ARQ Mode.

Connections are initiated using the C command (not CONNECT as shown in the TNC Documentation).

FEC Mode.

FEC mode is initiated by entering the FEC command after ATTACHing the port.

Once this command is entered, anything typed will be transmitted as an FEC datagram, preceded by the user's callsign, and will be displayed by any other stations in FEC mode. As the protocol is not able to correct all errors, packets may have some corruption. Received blocks with an error will be preceded by STX and followed by ETX. These will display on BPQterminal as a 'blob'. Error checking is done in blocks of 16 chars.

While in FEC mode any ADROP ID packets will also be displayed.

Use the "D" command to exit FEC mode.

An ID Packet and CWID (if enabled) will be sent every 10 minutes and on leaving FEC mode.

5. Status Display.

The ARDOP module creates a status window, so you can keep an eye on your connection to the ARDOP TNC.

If you are using Rig Control, the Frequency, Mode, etc will be shown.

John Wiseman GM8BPQ/G8BPQ
May 2015