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G8BPQ NODE COMMANDS
G8BPQ NODE COMMANDS
This document explains the commands available within the Node section
of the G8BPQ switch, and an explanation of the responses.
First the result of inputting an invalid command:
NOTTS:G8BPQ-3} Invalid command - Enter ? for command list
Entering ? produces the following:
NOTTS:G8BPQ-3} BBS CONNECT BYE INFO NODES PORTS ROUTES USERS
Note that BBS is only present if the BBS support is enabled (BBS=1 in
th config file). If you have defined your own applications, they will also
The BBS (and your other application names) must be entered in full - all other
commands can be abbreviated to the first character of the command.
Entering BBS (or your own application name) will connect you to the first
free BBS (etc) port, or give an error message if none are available.
The CONNECT command is used to connect you to another node, or to a normal
AX.25 user. To connect to another node, enter C NODECALL or C NODEALIAS.
The system will select the 'best' radio port and neighbour to to use to
reach the required node using its ROUTES and NODES lists.
The format used to connect to another normal user depends on whether you
have more than one radio port. The formats are:
(stuff in  being optional)
C CALL [via digi1 [digi2...]] If you only have one port
C P CALL [via digi1 [digi2...]] Where P is the port number,
if you have more than 1.
(You can use C 1 CALL if you only have 1 port - its just a waste of typing!)
If you miss out the port number where it is needed, you will get an error
message, listing the available ports.
Normally you cannot override the automatic route selection when you connect
to another node, but you can fool the system into thinking a node is a
normal station by connecting to the alias, and adding an SSID. For example,
if you want to connect to NOTTS:G8BPQ-3, you can force a Level 2 connect
on a secified port by entering C P NOTTS-1
It is also possible to instruct the node to remain connected to the
currrent node, when the connection to the next one is closed. This is
achieved by adding an S (for STAY) after the connect command. For
example, if I type
C GB7YDX S
NOTTS:G8BPQ-3} Connected to GB7YDX
If I then enter B, GB7YDX closes the connection, but instead of getting
*** Disconnected, I get
Returned to Node NOTTS:G8BPQ-3}
This is particularly useful if you are exploring a distant set of nodes,
and don't want to have to reconnect over the whole path again and again.
The BYE commnad disconnects you from the switch.
The INFO command sends your INFO text from the config file:
NOTTS:G8BPQ-3} G8BPQ Packet Switch, Mapperley, Nottingham. IO92KX
Commands are basically the same as NET/ROM, but to connect to another
normal station (not another node), you must specify a port number before
the callsign. Use PORTS command to list available ports. The BBS command
connects you to the associated Mailbox.
The PORTS command lists available ports. The descriptions come directly
from the configuration file, and should give at least the frequency and
baud rate used.
1 144.650 MHz 1200 Baud (PC120)
2 432.675 MHz 1200 Baud (DRSI)
3 Experimental NET/ROM Link
The NODES command lists all the other NETROM/THENET/BPQ Nodes known to
BBSTST:G8BPQ-1 DV7:G4RFG-1 LRG7:G0GDR-1 G4RFG-2
LRGBBS:GB7LRG AAABBS:GB7AAA #LNX2:G4GOU-1 BM1:G7AXC-1
BM2:G7AXC-2 BM7:G7AXC-7 DV2:G4RFG DV6:G4RFG-3
BOB432:G8HBE-3 NEC21:G8VPQ-2 FPV7:G4FPV-7 SY4:G3UQH-4
WP4:G0KNR-4 LRG2:G0GDR-2 NEC22:G8VPQ-3 MM2:GB7MM-2
TFONET:G8TFO-8 NEC90:G8VPQ-9 NH:G0HWC RP2:GB3RP-2
ADH2:G8ADH-2 SY7:GB7SY-7 HX2:GB7HX-2 WORC7:G8TIC-7
WV2:G1RLI-2 TEWKS3:G6CMG-3 WB7:G4DVM-7 BOB650:G8HBE-2
LED:GB7LED SY8:G3UQH-8 VPQNET:G8VPQ-8 GH2:GB7GH-2
SY2:G3UQH-2 FPV:G4FPV-2 AP2:GB7AP-2 LX2:GB7LX-2
LX4:G6TNZ-1 LX7:GB7LX-7 RAYNET:GB7NRC SF2:G8POT-2
#NICK:GB7LRG-7 NEC72:G8VPQ-7 WORC2:G8TIC-2 PQ2:GB3PQ
TEWKS4:G6CMG-4 BOB675:G8HBE-4 FPV71:G4FPV-8 TEWKS9:G6CMG-9
TICNET:G8TIC-8 BRX:G4AKZ SC4:G4AJJ-4 CD2:G6ANN-1
TEWKS7:G6CMG-7 TCPIP:G4GOU CHELT2:G4MEM-2 DROIT7:G8TFO-7
DROIT2:G8TFO-2 MK6:G4WIM MV2:G2AFD-2 SERVER:GB7AAA-9
ERA24:G0DXX WP1:GB7WP-1 WP2:GB7WP-2 WP7:GB7WP-7
MK2:G4WIM-2 MK23:G4WIM-7 LNXBBS:GB7LNX-2 TVB:G6TVB
#GATE0:G6CMG-5 #GATE1:G6CMG-6 WORC22:G8TIC-1 VPQ90:G8VPQ-10
By entering N NODECALL (or N NODEALIAS), you can list the routes that
the system will use to access that node:
NOTTS:G8BPQ-3} Routes to: DXYORK:GB7YDX RTT=7 FR=17 B 2
> 87 4 5 GB7YS
0 4 7 G8BPQ-8
0 4 6 G4FIS-2
The bits after the callsign are only shown if some frames have been
send to that node. RTT stands for Round Trip Time, and is a rolling
average of the time taken to get a response from that node (in seconds).
FR means Frames, the number of info frames sent to the node. The B, if
present, indicates the target is a BPQ node, and the number following
the B is the number of hops to the target.
Up to 3 possible routes to the node are listed. The first number
displayed is the 'quality' - the relative desirability of using this
route rather than another. The second is the Obsolesance Count, an
indication of how long it is since the system was last told about (
or successfully used) this route. The number starts at a value set in
the config file (typically 5) and is decremented each time a 'NODES'
broadcast is sent (typically evey hour). The 3rd number is the port.
A > indicates the currently active route.
The Round Trip Times and frame counts for all nodes with a non-zero
count can be displayed by entering N T
G1FYS RTT=22 FR=5 B
#LDS:G3WNR-3 RTT=17 FR=39 B
AP21:GB7AP-2 RTT=90 FR=866
AYTON:G4HRM RTT=76 FR=18 B
BADBBS:GB7BAD RTT=40 FR=2576 B 2
BEDS:G1ZPU RTT=283 FR=1 B 4
BFD41:G4GIR-4 RTT=31 FR=593
BOSTON:G4LPL RTT=28 FR=1606 B 2
COV22:G3ZFR-3 RTT=29 FR=14
DXYORK:GB7YDX RTT=7 FR=17 B
HALFAX:G6KZJ RTT=30 FR=306 B 2
HF:G4JLB-8 RTT=32 FR=99 B 4
LADY61:G7EQM-8 RTT=68 FR=1754 B 1
NEC:G8VPQ RTT=113 FR=127 B
NN22:G8AMG-2 RTT=30 FR=2047
NN41:G8AMG-4 RTT=19 FR=250
NN72:G8AMG-7 RTT=19 FR=301
NOTBBS:GB7NOT RTT=34 FR=5659 B 1
OAK:G0LTN-1 RTT=76 FR=1309 B 3
PBORO:G1ARV-8 RTT=26 FR=230 B 2
RP:GB7RP RTT=41 FR=1396 B
RUTBBS:GB7RUT RTT=10 FR=10683 B 1
RUTLND:G4FIS-2 RTT=7 FR=16468 B 1
SHEF:GB7YS RTT=15 FR=11547 B 1
TLH2:G1TLH-2 RTT=36 FR=5245 B
WN:G7HPM RTT=52 FR=2281 B 4
XOWPMS:G1XOW-2 RTT=38 FR=58 B
YORK:G1FTA RTT=37 FR=363 B 3
YORKS:GB7YW RTT=20 FR=117 B
The ROUTES command lists the stations which this node can hear.
4 GB7YS 0 0!
1 G4FIS-2 14 0!
3 G3SDC-8 35 0!
> 6 G4FIS-2 150 58!
3 G0INA-1 90 0!
2 G8BPQ-5 250 0!
4 G1EQT-8 50 0!
> 4 G0INA-3 120 48!
> 5 GB7YS 150 93!
3 G7JGX-3 25 0!
> 4 G4IRX-3 50 9!
7 G8BPQ-8 250 105
4 G7EQM-8 10 1
The > indicates that there is an active link to the node.
The first number is the port. The second is the quality. This may be
derived from the 'default quality' parameter in the PORTS section of the
config file, or may be specified explicitly in the ROUTES section.
A value of zero will prevent the route from being used, and is normally
used when you have a one-way or marginal path. The third number is the
number of NODES list entries which refer to this route. This isn't used
by the software - it is just information for the user. The '!' indicates
a 'locked route' - one entered in the CONFIG file, or via SYSOPH. Other
entries come and go as this node hears NODES broadcasts.
Additional information may be obtained by entering r r
4 GB7YS 0 0! 8 0 0% 0 0 18:52
1 G4FIS-2 14 0! 0 0 * 0 0 00:00
3 G3SDC-8 35 0! 0 0 * 0 0 00:00
> 6 G4FIS-2 150 58! 57022 1333 2% 0 0 21:55 0
3 G0INA-1 90 0! 0 0 * 0 0 00:00
2 G8BPQ-5 250 0! 0 0 * 0 0 00:00
4 G1EQT-8 50 0! 0 0 * 0 0 17:13
> 4 G0INA-3 120 48! 19305 819 4% 0 0 21:40 0
> 5 GB7YS 150 93! 27017 6229 23% 0 0 21:44 0
3 G7JGX-3 25 0! 0 0 * 0 0 00:00
> 4 G4IRX-3 50 9! 2025 42 2% 0 0 22:09 0
7 G8BPQ-8 250 105 592 0 0% 0 0 22:02
4 G7EQM-8 10 1 3077 219 7% 0 0 21:37
The extra fields are:
Info frames sent
Info frames retransmitted
Retry Rate - the ratio of the above 2, as a percentage
(or * if both are zero)
Non-standard maxframe (from Config file)
Non-standard frack ( ditto )
Time the last NODES broadcast was heard from this node.
The last figure is only present if there is an active link. It
is the number of frames queued to be sent. Up to 4.05e, this only
counts frames queued above the link level - there may be up to
another 8 queued at link level. With version 4.05f and above it
includes all frames queued.
The retry rate gives a good indication of how well the link is running.
Dedicated links should normally be well below 10%. A shared link
will normally have a higher rate, but anything above say 25% is likely
to cause significant delays. Another indication of a poor link is a
high number of frames queued - any nonzero value of 4.05e or below, or
above 8 for later versions which persists for more that a minute or so
is likely to be causing problems.
The USERS command lists the stations currently using the node.
NOTTS:G8BPQ-3} G8BPQ Network System V3.21 (95)
Host3(NOTTS:G8BPQ-3) <--> Circuit(LRG7:G0GDR-1 G8BPQ-1)
Uplink(G9XXX) <~~> Downlink(G9YYY)
Host is an internal (Normally BBS Port)
Circuit is a link from/to another node.
Uplink is a connection from a normal Ax.25 station.
Downlink is a connection to a normal user.
The <--> indicates an active session. <~~> indicates a session being set up.
The Number on the end of the header line is the number of free buffers.
There are a few commands not given in the menu. These are primarily of
interest to the sysop, (or for me to experiment with). They are LINKS,
STATS, L4T1, and PACLEN.
The LINKS command lists the currently active AX.25 Sessions (Both user
access and node-node links)
G0GDR-1 G8BPQ-3 S=5 P=2 T=3 V=2
S is the link state (see AX25 protocol spec, but the main ones are
2 (connecting) 4 (disconnecting) 5 (connected)).
P is the port.
T is the link type. 1=Uplink, 2=Downlink, 3=Node-Node link.
V is the AX.25 Version (1 or 2).
The STATS command displays a number of counters.
Time active (mins) 8786
Timer Overruns 48
Buffers: Max/Cur/Min/Out 100 76 16 0
Known Nodes 144
L4 Connects Sent/Rxed 1055 1732
L4 Frames TX/RX/Resent/Reseq 73288 96544 1870 42
L3 Frames Relayed 10148
Port 1 Port 2 Port 3 Port 4 Port 5 Port 6 Port 7
L2 Frames Digi-ed 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
L2 Frames Heard 124393 1870 80601 82124 60600 167575 2650
L2 Frames Rxed 11921 0 2909 66674 59032 94340 1447
L2 Frames Sent 15955 1870 4690 69857 71328 107267 3284
L2 Timeouts 4466 0 984 5437 7697 1154 58
REJ Frames Rxed 7 0 2 460 1681 214 0
RX out of Seq 269 0 3 951 1697 272 0
Undrun/Poll T-O 0 0 5358 233 0 0 0
RX Overruns 0 0 39814 0 0 0 63
RX CRC Errors 42260 0 1 0 2324 27025 0
FRMRs Sent 0 0 0 19 0 0 0
FRMRs Received 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Frames abandoned 1 0 0 0 0 2 0
Link Active % 9 64 0 0 0 0 0 0 14 21 50 82 0 0
If you have more than 7 ports the display starts to look a bit untidy, so
there are now two options on the STATS command:
S S Displays just the system and L3/4 stats
S n Displays just the port stats, starting with port N,
for a maximum of 7 ports. So if you have 10 ports,
S 1 displays the first 7, and S 8 displays 8,9 and 10.
Most are fairly obvious, but a few need a bit of explanation. There is one
set of level 2 counters for each port.
Time Active is the time since the system was loaded.
The Buffer count Maximum, Minimum and Current should be obvious. The
Out figure is the number of times a request to allocate a buffer
failed because there were none available.
The L4 frames resent count is the number retransmitted because an
ACK wasnt received within the L4 timeout period. The Reseq count
is the number of frames received out of sequence, but subsequently
used because the missing frame(s) eventually arrived.
Timer Overruns count the number of times the main code (which is initiated
by the timer interrupt) is still running when the next timer interrupt
occured. If it increments very rapidly (several times a minute), it
indicates that the PC is too slow for the amount of data being processed.
It is normal for an XT class machine running a couple of BBS ports to get
about one overrun per minute. My 10MHz AT clone shows very few.
A large number in the 'REJ received' field may indicate that your Maxframe
is too high. Similarly a large number in 'RX out of sequence' may indicate
the the station taking to you has too large a maxframe.
RX Overruns indicate characters lost because the software didn't process
the interrupts fast enough. If you are running KISS ports, and you get
a lot (ie a significant percentage of L2 frames heard), try reducing the
speed of the link from the PC to the TNC. If you are using an HDLC card
(DRSI or PC120), particularly at high speed, then there isnt much you
can do except buy a faster machine. (But I would like to hear from anyone
having problems running at 9600 baud or above - I may be able to speed up
the routines a bit).
Underuns indicate a similar problem in responding to TX interrupts,
but only apply to HDLC cards. As you cant get a TX underrun on an
async port, this field is also used to count timeouts on a polled KISS
Frames abandoned counts the number of frames discarded because they have
been waiting to be sent (for DCD to clear) for more than 60 secs. If a
lot occur, then either your squelch is a bit dodgy, or the channel is
VERY busy. Only used for HDLC cards.
Link Active shows two values for each port. The first is the % of time
in the last minute that your station was transmitting, and the second
the % the channel was active (sum of Transmitting and DCD active). Only
maintained for HDLC ports. Note that of you are using SOFTDCD, then the
indicated % active may be an overestimate.
The L4T1 command displays or sets the Level 4 timeout used for the current
session. It is primarily for me to experiment with.
PACLEN sets or displays the PACLEN value used for messages generated by
the node (eg command responses). Again it is mainly for me to play with.
John Wiseman, G8BPQ