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[na-user] NA and DRSI/PacketCluster???

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Subject: [na-user] NA and DRSI/PacketCluster???
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Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 14:03:42 -0400
Rich, N7TR asked a question about using a DRSI TNC with NA, and also about
connecting NA to a PacketCluster that was on-site.

First, NA can be used with a DRSI TNC, but not with DRSI's software.  DRSI
backed out of the amateur business right about the time we started looking
into supporting and the software developer's kit was no longer available.
However, NA will work with the G8BPQ TNC driver that is publically
available.  (I got my copy thru K8DD so I don't know where to get it.)
This driver can be used to fully replace the DRSI driver, and works much
better with more configuration flexibility.  In the case of my
PacketCluster here on-site at K8CC, G8BPQ controls a DRSI TNC, a KISS mode
connection to a Kantronics DataEngine (two ports to the link radios) plus
two serial ports for local connections in the shack.  A bunch of driver
problems that I had using DRSI drivers disappeared when I switched to

Using G8BPQ with NA is documented in the manual.  Basically, you load G8BPQ
as a TSR, then NA talks to it.  Getting G8BPQ set up requires messing with
a text file BPQ.CFG but much of it is self-explanatory.

On the other hand, its not necessary to mess with G8BPQ to simply talk to a
local on-site PacketCluster.  The key is the SET/CONSOLE command under
PacketCluster which opens a serial port to communicate to NA, DXBase,
whatever.  Two consoles are supported.  If the keyword CONNECTION is added,
PacketCluster will appear to NA just like an external user connected via
radio.  If CONNECTION is omitted, then what NA sees looks just like the
local sysop displays with all of the status messages.

We've used a direct connection to PacketCluster at K8CC since 1990 and it
works real well.  If anyone has any more questions I'll be glad to offer
advice here on the reflector.


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