[NA-User] Internet packet feeds to other software

Bob, N5RP N5RP@pdq.net
Tue, 09 Apr 2002 09:16:50 -0500

I could not find a consolidated source of information that outlined how to 
get packet spots off of the Internet and have those spots fed into my NA 
contest software, as well as feed any other software that might desire to 
see a TNC as it's packet data collector. I use the following setup to grab 
packet data for my DX4Windows software and for all DOS based contest software.

I connect to the Internet for my packet spots using a program called 
DX-Telnet, written by Fabrizio Sartini,
see:  http://www.qsl.net/wd4ngb/telnet.htm
DX-Telnet has means for maintaining connection, re-connecting after 
connections fail, and other niceties all built into the program.

I have used two methods for sending packet data to my main radio station 

One method uses inter-computer communication within my home network.

The other (and better) method uses a spare computer (surplus laptop) to go 
grab Internet packet data and then feed that data to an available COM port 
on my main ham radio computer where I run contest software and my normal 
day to day logging software.

I grab all of my packet spots using a high speed DSL connection via this 
surplus laptop computer. That computer has to have the DX Telnet program on 
it and two other necessary programs (UDPSEND & DXT4WIN), both of which are 
included and sourced from Fabrizio.

Basically, the three programs that are needed to get Internet sourced 
packet spot feeds from the laptop to my main station computer running NA or 
DX 4 Windows are:

DX-Telnet - Gets the data from the Internet
DXT4WIN - Allows the main station computer to talk back to and into the 
laptop machine that is acting as the pseudo TNC
UDPSEND -  Allows the DX-Telnet collected data from my laptop to be fed 
into my primary station computer COM port

On the packet connected computer (my laptop) I invoke UDPSEND, DXT4WIN, and 
have these programs perform the rudiments of sending the DX-Telnet 
collected data to a COM port on the laptop.

That laptop COM port is, in turn, connected by cable to a COM port on the 
main station computer running the NA contest software or logging software.

Now then, you just configure the NA software or logging software as though 
it were connected to a TNC, and the spots from the laptop are sent to the 
main station computer COM port just like a normal TNC process.

After doing this setup of making an Internet grab computer feed into your 
main radio station or contest computer, NA and my DX 4 Windows logging 
software act as though they both have a TNC connected into the system, and 
the packet spots are fed flawlessly.

This setup can feed packet spots to your computer for any program that 
would normally use a TNC as its packet cluster data source.

In addition to doing  what I just outlined as what we might call part 1 of 
the concept,
I will now lay out what we might refer to as part 2 of the concept.
That is the part where we customize the various programs to do what we 
desire to accomplish.

As in the following:
In the setup for the UDPSEND program, you will have to "check" a box to 
invoke the "CT Net Protocol" transmissions.
That tells the UDP program output transmissions to emulate a standard that 
current DOS based contest softwares use.

DXT4WIN does not require any boxes to be ticked, or any parameters to be set.

DX-Telnet -
DX-Telnet will require you to invoke the auxiliary COM port setup, and set 
the parameters to the values that NA would normally expect to see from a 
TNC such as proper COM port # and rate values of 9600,N,8,1.
For my situation, I use COM port #1 and 9600,N,8,1 parameters.
That simply tells DX-Telnet to send the info to a specified COM port on the 
Internet collecting computer, and then forward that info out at parameter 
value(s) that your main station computer software can read.
DX-Telnet will require you to invoke the "LINKS" parameters,
and set these values, as follows:

Link Topic = UDP
Link Item = textin

That should do it for you.

Now then, you can use DX-Telnet with all of its filters, lights, Italian 
accented announcements, dings and dongs features to go out, grab, keep 
grabbing, etc. desired packet data from the variously available web sites 
for same, and feed that info/data into any program that might desire to see 
a TNC for its procurement process.

Bob Perring
Amateur Radio Station  N5RP
N5RP Station Page: http://freeweb.pdq.net/perring/station.html