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  Netrom-Node mini-Howto
  Karl Larsen,  k5di@yahoo.com
  v1.10, 19 October 1998

  This document describes how to setup the ax25-utilities package for
  Amateur Radio such that it makes Netrom Nodes for the Node program and
  the BBS software from John-Paul Roubelat, F6FBB. The DOS G8BPQ Switch
  makes a bbs node and many features, it was expected that the Linux
  ax25-utils would have a similar capability. This was not the case.
  Help came from John Ackerman, N8UR who put a message on the Linux-Ham
  SIG that he had done the BBS node and the info was on his web site!
  When the information was tried it didn't work properly but much was
  learned about the technique. Help from Tomi Manninen, OH2BNS did the
  trick. Nodes for the BBS and the Node and the DX Cluster were made and
  work fine.
  ______________________________________________________________________

  Table of Contents


  1. Introduction

  2. How to Begin

  3. Some Details of the AX.25 Utilities

  4. Setting Up Netrom

  5. Setting Up FBB and DXNet:



  ______________________________________________________________________

  1.  Introduction

  It is possible, using just the ax25-util's to generate node listings
  for the Node application and the FBB BBS and the DXNet DX Cluster.
  This is done by changing the configuration files for Netrom and making
  a Netrom entry for each application. At present there is a kernel
  imposed limit of 4 Netrom entries. The new kernels are expected to
  drop this limit.

  Now users look for CRUCES:K5DI-4 and LCBBS:K5DI-3 and LCDX:K5DI-5 on
  the many nodes here in New Mexico, Texas and Arizona and are connected
  like magic. They no longer need to remember anything.



  2.  How to Begin

  Obtain and read the AX25-HOWTO:

  ftp:/sunsite.unc.edu/pub/Linux/docs/HOWTO/AX25-HOWTO/

  Using the AX25-HOWTO set up the normal Amateur Radio ax.25 and Netrom
  system and make certain it is operating properly.  When the software
  "CALL" can be used to make either a ax25 or Netrom connection to a
  distant node, the system is ready to change to one using node listings
  like the BPQ Switch.

  3.  Some Details of the AX.25 Utilities

  Below is a list of all the applications and files that are needed to
  set up a working ax.25 system. The Applications are all in the
  /usr/sbin/ directory and the Configuration files are in the /etc/ax25/
  directory. Note: Kissattach is used only if you have TNC's in the Kiss
  Mode.


  �  kissattach             Application

  �  call                   Application

  �  ax25d                          Application

  �  ax25d.conf             Configuration file

  �  axspawn                        Application

  �  axspawn.conf           Configuration file

  �  axports                        Configuration file

  There are several names that a ax25-util user must invent.  Since this
  paper uses the files of k5di, a listing of those names can be made.



       Name            Call-sign       Alias           Other

       ax0             k5di-9                          ax25 9600 baud
       ax1             k5di-10                         ax25 1200 baud
       Netrom          k5di-1          #CRUCE          Real Netrom
       netnod          k5di-4          CRUCES          Node node-list
       netbbs          k5di-3          LCBBS           BBS  node-list
       netdx           k5di-5          LCDX            DX-Cluster



  It's a good idea to make a list like this on paper before you start to
  change things. It is easy to put the wrong name in a control file.

  Kissattach is an application that connects the kernel to the TNC, sets
  the tcp/ip address up, sets the speed of the connection, and is given
  the serial port to use.

  Axports is a file that defines the name of the ax.25 ports and tells
  kissattach what call-sign, baud-rate and window size to use.  Below is
  an example of a 2 TNC system.



       # /etc/ax25/axports
       # Be very careful with the speed setting. This is the speed in
       # bits/second that data passes from the computer to the TNC, and has
       # nothing to do with the radio baud rate!
       #
       # The format of this file is:
       #
       # name call-sign speed paclen window description
       #
       ax0     K5DI-9          9600    255     3       445.1 (9600 bps)
       ax1     K5DI-10         9600    255     1       145.07 (1200 bps)



  AX25D is the application that reads the ax25d.conf Configuration file
  and answers calls made to the system. Below is a sample ax25d.conf
  that has no Netrom defined. In fact all it will do is answer calls to
  k5di-9 and k5di-10. When it answers it starts the node application and
  logs the caller in.



       # /etc/ax25/ax25d.conf
       #
       #  AX25D Configuration File.
       #
       # AX.25 ports begin with a '['.
       #
       [k5di-4 VIA ax0]
       default  * *    *   *   *    0 - root   /usr/sbin/node  node
       [k5di-4 VIA ax1]
       default  * *    *   *   *     0 - root  /usr/sbin/node  node
       #



  The next step is to get ax25d to answer a call to the alias CRUCES as
  well as the call-sign. This is easy to do and is shown below:



       # /etc/ax25/ax25d.conf
       #
       #  AX25D Configuration File.
       #
       # AX.25 ports begin with a '['.
       #
       [CRUCES VIA ax0]
       default  * *    *   *   *    0 - root   /usr/sbin/node  node
       [k5di-4 VIA ax0]
       default  * *    *   *   *    0 - root   /usr/sbin/node  node
       [CRUCES VIA ax1]
       default  * *    *   *   *    0 - root   /usr/sbin/node  node
       [k5di-4 VIA ax1]
       default  * *    *   *   *     0 - root  /usr/sbin/node  node
       #



  If you have trouble, as root kill ax25d if it is running and then at
  the prompt type ax25d &. As ax25d loads the ax25d.conf file it will
  print out any errors it finds. This print out is very accurate and
  tells you which row in the file is wrong.

  A connect from any adjacent node to k5di-4 or CRUCES will connect to
  the k5di node. But Netrom is not transmitting a node listing for
  CRUCES or k5di-4. This is done by changing some Netrom Configuration
  files.



  4.  Setting Up Netrom

  Netrom has applications and files that control it's function and to
  achieve the G8BPQ look and function we must use these in ways never
  intended. Below is a list of these components of Netrom:


  �  nrattach        Application

  �  netromd         Application

  �  nrports         Configuration File

  �  nrbroadcast     Configuration File

     Nrattach is the application that works with the kernel and
     establishes the ports and tcp-ip used by Netrom. To use nrattach
     you place it in your startup file and the example looks like this:



       /usr/sbin/nrattach -i 44.30.2.5 netrom
       /usr/sbin/nrattach -i 44.30.2.5 netnod



  Nrattach gets some of it's information from a configuration file
  called nrports. This file is shown below:



       # /etc/ax25/nrports
       #
       # The format of this file is:
       #
       # name call-sign alias paclen description
       #
       netrom          K5DI-1  #CRUCE   235    Switch
       netnod          K5DI-4  CRUCES   235    Real Node



  There is no change to the nrbroadcast file so the remaining changes
  will be made to the ax25d.conf file. In this file you normally put the
  real netrom application called k5di-1, but since a call to k5di-1 or
  #CRUCE gets undesirable results, leave that entry out of ax25d.conf
  and a user will get just a "busy" when calling.

  Instead put in the netnod and that will allow ax25d to answer a call
  to CRUCES. This is shown in the example below:



  # /etc/ax25/ax25d.conf
  #
  #  AX25D Configuration File.
  #
  # AX.25 ports begin with a '['.
  #
  [CRUCES VIA ax0]
  default  * *    *   *   *    0 - root   /usr/sbin/node  node
  [k5di-4 VIA ax0]
  default  * *    *   *   *    0 - root   /usr/sbin/node  node
  [CRUCES VIA ax1]
  default  * *    *   *   *    0 - root   /usr/sbin/node  node
  [k5di-4 VIA ax1]
  default  * *    *   *   *     0 - root  /usr/sbin/node  node
  #
  # NET/ROM ports begin with a '<'.
  #
  <netnod>
  default         * *     *   *   *   * -  root   /usr/sbin/node node
  #



  With these changes netrom node broadcasts will include the node
  K5DI-4:CRUCES and K5DI-1:#CRUCE. By testing it was determined that a
  call from any node to k5di-1 or #CRUCE got a busy, and a call to
  k5di-4 or CRUCES connected to the node on this system.


  5.  Setting Up FBB and DXNet:


  The FBB packet BBS and DXNet Linux software are written to answer
  calls to a call-sign defined in the configuration files. In these
  examples the FBB call-sign is k5di-3 and the DXNet is k5di-5.

  Since calls to k5di-3 and k5di-5 are answered by other software, ax25d
  is not used and these calls should NEVER be found in a ax25d.conf
  file. But the nrports file needs to have the information added and 2
  more nrattach lines are added to the start file. The nrattach lines (4
  each) and the file "nrports" are shown below:



       /usr/sbin/nrattach -i 44.30.2.5 netrom
       /usr/sbin/nrattach -i 44.30.2.5 netbbs
       /usr/sbin/nrattach -i 44.30.2.5 netnod
       /usr/sbin/nrattach -i 44.30.2.5 netdx

       # /etc/ax25/nrports
       #
       # The format of this file is:
       #
       # name call-sign alias paclen description
       #
       netrom          K5DI-1  #CRUCE   235    Switch
       netnod          K5DI-4  CRUCES   235    Real Node
       netbbs          K5DI-3  LCBBS    235    FBB BBS
       netdx           K5DI-5  LCDX     235    DXNet DX Cluster



  These changes will make the node listings wanted but a call to LCBBS
  will not work yet. Recall that FBB answers a call to k5di-3 but not
  the alias. To achieve this a change to the
  /usr/local/fbb/system/port.sys file is required. Before these changes
  port.sys had a listing for the name "netrom". With these changes
  replace "netrom" with "netbbs". That section of port.sys is shown
  below:


       #TNC NbCh Com MultCh Pacln Maxfr NbFwd MxBloc M/P-Fwd Mode  Freq
        0   0    0   0      0     0     0     0      00/01   ----  File-fwd.
        1   8    1   ax0    250   4     1     10     30/60   XUWY  UHF port
        2   2    1   ax1    250   4     1     10     00/60   XUWY  VHF port
        3   6    1 netbbs   250   4     4     10     30/60   XUWY  BPQ look
        4   8    2   0      250   5     4     1000    5/15   TUWY  Telnet
       #



  A similar change is made to the "dxnet.cfg" file where netrom is
  replaced with netdx. When these changes are made and a few hours have
  passed to let Netrom send node lists, any nearby node will have nodes
  listed to your Netrom for CRUCES and LCBBS and LCDX, and they will all
  work just as they do when using the G8BPQ Switch under DOS.







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