Net/Rom Node Information for the Sysop - Part Six
by Andy Nemec, KB9ALN
This is part 6 of a series designed to help node Sysops learn more about
the popular TheNet X-1J series of nodes. We'll skip over the more common
user commands and devote our discussion to commands used by the Sysop.
In this part, we'll look at the BBS, BBSALIAS, BRATE
and BTEXT commands.
If you have a BBS that is accessible through your node stack, this command
makes life easier for your users. When BBS is entered as a command
by a user, they'll be connected to a BBS set by the Sysop. No call-sign
or alias needs to be remembered by the user, which certainly makes it easy
for out-of-town packet operators.
When the Sysop enters the command when the node is in the Sysop mode,
the Sysop has options to set the BBS, as well as to clear an entry that
was previously made. Here are the various Sysop forms of the command:
Clears the node's entry for the BBS, if one was set. Usually, a Sysop only
needs to enter this command if he or she wishes to clear or change a current
designated BBS. If the BBS is cleared, the command is disabled.
Asks the node what call-sign has been entered as the BBS.
Sets the call-sign of the BBS to connect to. This can be either the actual
call-sign or the Node alias of the BBS. Only valid node aliases are allowed
if the call-sign validation is active.
This is another alias that the node can be known by. It does not get broadcasted
as a separate node, which means it won't conflict with the BBS's node broadcast
itself if the BBS is acting as a node, too. It's used as a shortcut for
users on a LAN that can connect to a node directly. For example, if the
BBS is hard-wired to the node's RS-232 port, one has to access a node to
connect to the BBS. A user normally would first connect to the node, and
then type "BBS", or the call-sign or alias of the BBS/Node. This eliminates
a step, allowing what the user sees as a direct connection to his or her
station. It operates in conjunction with the BBS command. If the BBS and
BBSALIAS are both set, then the seemingly direct connection will take place.
The BBSALIAS command takes two forms:
clears the current entry.
BBSALIAS (call-sign or Node-type Alias)
will set this additional node alias to whatever call-sign is used. One
note of caution here - you must make certain the BBS is not on the same
frequency as the node and using the same alias. For example, if a BBS has
a port on the LAN, and the node is also on the LAN, two stations will try
to answer a connect request. This will, in all likelihood, generate a "Frame
Reject" in response to a connect request, and no one will be able to
connect to the BBS.
This command is specific to the PK-96 TNC when TheNet X-1J firmware is
installed. It sets the serial port speed used to communicate with other
TNCs on a node stack. If the firmware is installed in a TNC-2 or clone,
it is not used.
will clear the current serial speed.
BRATE (choose 300, 600, 1200, 2400, 4800, 9600, 19200)
Sets the serial port to the corresponding speed. TheNet X1-J authors
caution that 19200 bps may not function well, as it is untested.
This sets the beacon text - what you want it to say when it beacons - for
the node. While it is a good thing to beacon the node's existence from
time to time, it's easy to overdo it. Naturally, the beacon is only seen
on the radio port, and not the RS-232 port. Here are the various forms
of this command:
sent to the node by itself by a Sysop while the node is in Sysop mode will
simply display what the beacon text, the beacon message, is set to. alternatively,
the Sysop can send
to find out what the current BTEXT is.
As you may have guessed, clears the beacon text and sets it to nothing,
BTEXT (beacon text message)
will set up the beacon to send the text as a UI Beacon packet. The total
amount of text that can be sent is limited to 160 bytes (80 characters
including spaces, control characters and carriage returns), and can be
separated by multiple lines.
The Sysop can even start a message with a blank line. There is a bit
of a trick to this, however, and it's really not a blank line. The Sysop
sends a control-character combination (Control-A is suggested in
the documentation) at the start of a message and this appears on most packet
terminals as a blank line.
One note concerning BTEXT - if you forget to send the BTEXT
* command before programming a new message, the "new message" will
simply be added to the old one, if the total doesn't exceed
Which is how you get a beacon text message to be displayed in multiple
lines. The Sysop would enter each line of text in succession, each preceded
by BTEXT. In this example, we start by clearing the current message:
Now we'll put three lines of beacon text into the node:
BTEXT This is the first line.
BTEXT This is line 2.
BTEXT This is line 3.
When the beacon is sent, most packet stations monitoring the frequency
will see this:
NODE-CALL-SIGN > BEACON UI:
This is the first line.
This is line 2.
This is line 3.
This method works for other types of text the node sends, such as CTEXT
(the text users see when they connect to the node). We'll discuss that
in a future part of this series. That's all for this installment. Next
time, we'll continue our alphabetical exploration of the Sysop commands
for these nodes.
with Part 7
to Part 5
to the Node Sysop Information Index
the WAPR Home Page