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FreeDATA interface in BPQ32/LinBPQ

Introduction

Both the FreeDATA TNC and this driver are still under development. Changes to the TNC may affect the driver.

BPQ now includes an driver for the FreeDATA Modem.

The FreeDATA TNC does not maintain a connection to other stations - it simply sends individual messages. BPQ, expecially Mail Forwarding, requires a connection, so this is simulated by the Node (this is similar in principal to running an ax.25 connection over a KISS link). BPQ normally uses the base call (Node call without SSID) to address the remote FreeDATA TNC, but uses full calls over the simulated connection. This means that connections can be made to the Node or to any of the Application calls, but means that you can't have two BPQ stations using FreeDATA on the same frequency using different SSID's.

Configuration

Note that at the moment BPQ connects to the FreeDATA daemon, which then starts the TNC. This may change, with BPQ connecting to TNC

The driver is defined to BPQ32 as an External port and needs a CONFIG section. The first line defines the IP address and Port of the FreeDATA TNC (not the daemon). Normally this will be 3000. This can be followed by an optional PTT paameter and an optional PATH to the FreeFDATA TNC (which is not currently used) If PTT is omitted, VOX operation is assumed. Other PTT options are PTT RTS, PTT DTRRTS, PTT CM108, PTT HAMLIB


Typical first lines are:

ADDR 127.0.0.1 8300
ADDR 127.0.0.1 3000 PTT DTR
ADDR 127.0.0.1 3000 PTT CI-V (or PTT CAT)

Other required parameters specify the sound devices to use:

CAPTURE Device
PLAYBACK Device

Device is the sound device name, or part of the name the uniquely identifies the device. On Linux this is likely to be of the form hw:0,0, on Windows it could be something like Speakers or Microphone

BPQ can accept File Transfers from the FreeDATA GUI. Use the RXDIRECTORY connand to specify where to save these files. This directory must exist (BPQ won't create it), eg

RXDIRECTORY C:\Users\John\AppData\Roaming\BPQ32\FreeDATARX

If RXDIRECTORY is not specifed or does not exist the transfer will be discarded.

Example FreeDATA Port Configuration:

PORT
 ID=FreeData
 DRIVER=FREEDATA

 CONFIG
 ADDR 127.0.0.1 3000
  CAPTURE hw:0,0
  PLAYBACK hw:0,0
  RXDIRECTORY /home/pi/linbpq/FreeDATARX
ENDPORT

Operation

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

ATTACH 3

You can then use the C command to connect, or D to disconnect from the Node.



John Wiseman GM8BPQ/G8BPQ
March 2022