Preparing the PK232
Firstly, make sure you can talk to the PK232- getting the cmd: prompt is essential before we can begin.
If you aren’t getting a prompt, then the PK232 is likely stuck in either the wrong baud/speed, in AEA Hostmode, is already in KISS mode, or is in a combination. The best thing to do is reset the PK232 and let it’s autobaud routine kick in.
If your model of PK232 has the battery soldered onto the PCB, remove the jumper situated underneath the unit. If the PK232 has a removable battery then remove it, this will require opening up the PK232 by unscrewing the chassis screws.
Power up/down then reconnect the battery/replace the jumper.
Have a terminal program ready and set to 9600 (with 8 bits, No Parity, 1 Stop bit).
The PK232 should start to do auto-baud negotiation. Wait at the terminal until legible text is seen. Follow the instruction given on the screen.
Preparing the PK232 for Packet Operation
As soon as you have a cmd: prompt, its ready for setting into KISS mode. Be warned that once you do this and your PK232 has a battery, it will be persistent.
cmd: KISS ON
Good to Know: Exiting KISS mode
After issuing KISS ON, the TNC will stop responding to command input. The TNC is now in KISS mode and only a special combination of control characters can force it back out into the command mode, or a hard reset (as documented above).
Excerpt from the PK232 Technical Manual:
HOST OFF: CTL = $FFThe HOST OFF command returns the PK-232 to the human or verbose mode. HOST OFF has no arguments.
$C0 $FF $C0 FEND CTL FEND
Sending the above special characters to the TNC can be difficult due to the way host operating systems interpret keyboard input. From memory, I believe the ALT-numeric keyboard codes for this are:
ALT-192 ALT-255 ALT-192
BPQ Port Configuration
PORT PORTNUM=1 ; Optional but sets port number if stated ID=PK232 ; Displayed by PORTS command TYPE=ASYNC ; Port is RS232 PROTOCOL=KISS ; TNC is used in KISS or JKISS mode FULLDUP=0 ; Only meaningful for KISS or JKISS devices ; Defining COM ports can be done 2 ways: ;IOADDR=B ; IOADDR is a legacy method where ports are ; addressed in hexadecimal. ; Win32: 1 = COM1, COM9=9, COM10=A, COM11=B ; A friendlier way to define the port is using ; COMPORT, it supports both Linux and Win32 ; notation. Examples: Win32: COM11 ; Linux: /dev/ttyUSB0 COMPORT=/dev/ttyUSB0 ; Linux or Windows, see above. SPEED=9600 ; RS232 COM PORT SPEED set in the TNC CHANNEL=A ; Only meaningful for multichan TNCs PERSIST=64 ; PERSIST=256/(# of transmitters-1) SLOTTIME=100 ; CMSA interval timer in milliseconds TXDELAY=300 ; Transmit keyup delay in milliseconds TXTAIL=30 ; TX key down, in milliseconds, at packet end QUALITY=0 ; Quality factor applied to node broadcasts ; heard on this port, unless overridden by a ; locked route ; entry. Setting to 0 stops node broadcasts FRACK=8000 ; Level 2 timout in milliseconds RESPTIME=1500 ; Level 2 delayed ack timer in milliseconds RETRIES=10 ; Level 2 maximum retry value MAXFRAME=2 ; Max outstanding frames (1 thru 7) PACLEN=120 ; Default max packet length for this port. ; PACLEN is ignored for APRS packets BCALL=PE1RRR-13 ; BTEXT call. unstated defaults to APP1 CALL L3ONLY=0 ; 1=No user downlink connects on this port DIGIFLAG=0 ; Digipeat: 0=OFF, 1=ALL, 255=UI Only DIGIPORT=0 ; Port on which to send ; digi'd frames (0 = same port) USERS=0 ; Maximum number of L2 sessions, 0 = no limit UIONLY=0 ; 0/1: 1 will stop any connects on this port ; ie it can only be used for UNPROTO traffic, ; such as APRS. ENDPORT
Always check the log file of BPQ for errors concerning serial port permissions (linux especially).
The windows systems use COM# format and USB devices tend to be COM9 or something like that (check device manager), these can be represented in the legacy IOADDR field as hexadecimal- COM11 would be “B”, however for the sake of readability, COMPORT=COM# (or
/path/to/device for Linux) is the preferred way to define COM ports.
If you want to use your PK232 TNC for Pactor with BPQ there is a guide for setting that up provided on the BPQ website. However, here is an example config with a breakdown of how the driver works.
Note: This driver requires the TNC to be at the cmd: prompt (not KISS mode).
PORT PORTNUM=9 ID=Pactor Link TYPE=EXTERNAL COMPORT=/home/pi/dev/ttyV1 ;IOADDR= SPEED=9600 ; COM Port Speed DRIVER=AEAPactor PORTCALL=PE1RRR CONFIG ; Driver-Specific Configuration APPL BBS ENDPORT
How it works
The driver is defined to BPQ32 as an
External port, and needs some driver-specific configuration, this configuration is defined after the
CONFIG statement for the port. The configuration is separate from the spool of preset commands that are sent to the PK232 to prepare it for PACTOR operation.
When the port is initialised, there are two groups of preset hardwired commands invisibly sent to the TNC. The first group (See Group Presets) is sent. Then user-configuration is processed, then the second group is sent. This is necessary to get the driver to talk to the TNC properly.
Group Presets (for info only)
Sent before your config: RESTART EXPERT ON PTHUFF 0 PT200 ON WIDESHFT OFF; CONMODE TRANS ARQT 30 Sent after your config: XMITOK ON XFLOW OFF RXREV OFF FLOW OFF AWLEN 8 AUTOBAUD OFF 8BITCONV ON ALFPAC OFF ALFDISP OFF ACRRTTY 0 HPOLL ON EAS ON MYCALL