Net/Rom Node Information for the Sysop - Part Thirteen

by Andy Nemec, KB9ALN

This is part 13 of a series designed to help node Sysops learn more about the popular TheNet X-1J series of nodes. This month, we'll skip over the user QUIT command, and move on to the RESET, ROUTES, and STATS commands.


This does exactly what you may think - it resets the TNC. There are two ways that the TNC can be reset - a "Cold Start" and a "Warm Start".

A Cold Start will erase the current node list and routing information. Dynamically obtained ARP information will also be lost. In effect, it is very much like turning the power to the TNC off and then back on. Therefore, any setting that was modified from the original ROM setting (such as TXDelay or Persist) will be lost.

A Warm Start is like typing the command "RESTART" on a conventional TNC. Any parameters that are changed from the original ROM parameters will still be there. It's suggested that you try a warm start first when trying to reset the TNC. The RESET command for a warm start is simply:


For a cold start reset, add a space and any arbitrary text, such as:



Users have access to this command in it's most basic form - it will show a table of "locked-in" node routes when entered. When the Sysop uses this command (connected to the node in Sysop mode, of course), it can be used to add, delete, or change the node's routing table.

A node sysop can use the command to "lock-in" a route to a nieghbour node, or unlock it. This is used most frequently when the neighbour node is on the same stack, or reliably reached via radio. A sysop can also specify a particular route quality, allowing the node to pick the most reliable path. Routing control is an art, and locking in nodes should be done carefully and sparingly. Here are the various forms of the ROUTE command:


By itself will show you a table of locked-in routes that the node knows about. It will look something like this:


   1  #WAPR9:WX9APR-4 255 28
   1  #WAPR2:WX9APR-7 255 28
> 0  WBBS:WX9APR 225 1
!  0  WAPRDX:WX9APR-2 130 1

This is pretty familiar to most experienced node users. The chevron > mark indicates that the route is in use.  The ! indicates that the node is a "locked in" route.

ROUTE [port-number] [Node-callsign/SSID] [digi-list] [+or-] [quality]

Will add a locked-in route to the specified node call-sign on the specified port. Digipeaters can also be used to access a remote node. For example:

ROUTE 1 WX9APR-2 + 254

will lock a route in to WX9APR-2 on port 1 (the RS-232 port) with a route quality of 254. Conversely, :

ROUTE 1 WX9APR-2 - 254

will "unlock" a route to this node and will rely on node broadcasts to obtain a quality number and other routing information.


This command can retrieve valuable information about the health of the node and it's perfomance. There are no parameters to specify when issuing this command. It's output consists of 6 sets of numbers from the node's 4 levels of operation. Those marked L1 are the receiver and transmitter (the physical layer), L2 (the protocol layer) that shows AX.25 statistics, L3 and L4, the layers responsible for network transport. Here's a typical output from the STATS command:

#WAPR2:WX9APR-4} Statistics
L1 Tx % : 1 0 1 2 0 0
L1 DCD% : 3 0 1 4 0 0
L1 RxOvr: 0 0 0 0
L1 TxUnd: 0 0 0 0
L2 RxCRC: 5 0 5 0
L2 heard: 69 67 57 103
L2 recvd: 22 0 0 0
L2 sent : 67 45 61 58
L2 RxRNR: 0 0 0 0
L2 RxREJ: 0 0 0 0
L2 TxRNR: 0 0 0 0
L2 TxREJ: 0 0 0 0
L2 fails: 0 0 0 0
L3 g'wyd: 0 0
L4 recvd: 11 0
L4 sent : 8 0
Buffers : 613 634 614 594 632 633
CPU loop: 1218 1259 1253 1244 1259 1259
Timers : 13159 44169
L1 flush: 0 44

Let's look at the L1 statistics first. The first two statistics show activity over the past hour, divided into six 10 minute groups. Here's the definitions of the abbreviations you see above.

L1 Tx % - the percentage of time the transmitter was active
L1 DCD% - the percentage of time the DCD was active
L1 RxOvr - the number of receiver overruns
L1 TxUnd - the number of transmitter underruns

L2 statistics are divided into two groups of two numbers. The first pair shows activity over the past hour, with the first number indicating port 0, the second indicating port 1.

Ditto for the second group, except that these numbers apply to the second hour. Here's what the abbreviations mean:

L2 RxCRC - The Frame Checksum Error count
L2 heard - Total number of packets received
L2 recvd - The total count of heard packets that were sent to the node
L2 sent - Total number of sent packets
L2 RxRNR - "Receiver Not Ready" Packets received count
L2 RxREJ - Number of "Reject" packets received by the node
L2 TxRNR - Count of "Receiver Not Ready" packets sent by the node
L2 TxREJ - number of "Reject" packets sent by the node
L2 fails - Timed-out AX.25 links count

L3 and L4 statistics are displayed in two number groups, one for this hour, the other for the past hour. There are two:

L3 g'wyd - shows the number of packets that were handled as network node connections and transported
                    to other nodes (gatewayed)

L4 recvd - Number of packets that were received for node connections that originate of terminate at this

L4 sent - Number of packets that were sent for node connections that either originate or terminate at this

The two statistics that follow the L4 stats show the TNC's load. These are displayed the same way that the L1 stats are shown, 6 representing 10 minute intervals. Here's their definitions:

Buffers - Shows the number of free buffers, indicating buffer overruns

CPU loop - Displays the time it took for the CPU to make it through a "loop" of the X-1J program.

Buffers normally run somewhere around 600. The fewer the available buffers, the better chance that data will get "lost" by the node.

CPU Loop values vary depending on the clock speed of the TNC. For a 5 MHz clock and no activity, this will be about 470. With about 75% activity, this will drop to the 300's. If the loop value drops much more than that, the CPU is running as fast as it can and there is a probability of data loss. A 20 MHz Node model Paccomm TNC shows a loop value of about 1200 on a lightly loaded channel.

The Timers display shows the number of hours of operation on each port. The first set is for Port 0 (the radio port), the second is port 1.

Lastly, there is the L1 Flush value, also shown for both radio and serial ports. A "Flush" happens when data that is queued and ready to be sent in stead is "flushed out" and not sent.

That's all for this part. In the next part,  we'll continue our alphabetical exploration of the Sysop commands for these nodes. Until then, 73 from Andy.

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