Sound Card Packet  with AGWPE

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Most recent AGWPE version is:  2013.415  15 Apr 2013

Computer requirements
Packet Engine Pro

Configure AGWPE
Download and Install
Basic AGWPE Setup
2 Radio Setup
2 Card Setup

Sound Device Setup
Basic Device Settings
Rename Sound Device
Additional Settings
Using the Tuning Aid

Program Behavior

AGWPE Features
AGWPE on a Network
Baud Rates & Modes
Remote Control
TCP/IP Over Radio
Tips and Tricks
Traffic Parameters

Compatible Programs:
Setup Help

Radio Interface
Getting Started
Kits and Pre-assembled
USB SignaLink
Receive Audio Cable
Transmit Audio Cable
PTT (TX Control) Cable
2 Radio Modification

About Packet
Packet Overview
Exchange Modes
What To Do with Packet
Common Frequencies
Frame Headers
Further Reading

Basic AGWPE Program Configuration

For one Sound Device and One One Radio.....

Navigating in AGWPE
Configuring the Radio Port Properties
Configuring the Sound Device

Editing a Port's Properties
Configuration Problems?

It is important to understand that AGWPE uses the concept of Radio Ports to define how it will interface with a radio. An AGWPE radio port is created for each TNC, radio modem, sound card/sound device that AGWPE will manage. This page will show you how to quickly setup an AGWPE radio port for a sound device.

Note that to complete your configuration, you will need to decide which RS-232 port (COM or LPT) you plan to use for PTT control, in other words, where your PTT cable will connect to the computer. Usually this is a COM port unused by any other device/progarm. See PTT Cable for more information.

Before starting AGWPE, always close:

  • any programs that might be using  the serial or parallel port you plan to use for PTT control
  • any programs that might be accessing the sound card

 a. Navigating in AGWPE

When you start the AGW Packet Engine.exe program for the first time, you will be greeted with the AGW Packet Engine banner, a Software Licence Agreement which you must accept (first running only), and a balloon message in the lower right of the screen pointing to the AGWPE tower icon AGWPE Tower Icon in your Windows System Tray

Screen shot <--  Click on small image to download larger image

The banner and balloon will disappear in a few seconds or you can click on them once to speed things up. Note that AGWPE does not put an open Window on your desktop, nor will there be a button on the bottom right Task Bar of your screen.  Instead, the AGWPE tower icon AGWPE Tower Icon is the only access you have to AGWPE when it is running!  Click on it to bring up the AGWPE menu:


<-- Click on small image to download larger image



Note: The "Sound Card Tuning Aid" option on the menu
will be grayed out until you create and configure a "radio port"
as described below.

 b.  Create and Configure an AGWPE Radio Port

The first step in working with AGWPE is to create and configure a radio port for a sound card channel and its associated radio. From the AGWPE menu, select Properties.  A blank RadioPort Selection window will open. Press the New Port button on the right.  A message window will appear: A New TncPort File Has Been Created.  Click OK to close the message and move on.

The Properties for Port`1 window  should now appear. Remember that AGWPE also can manage TNCs and radio modems, so some of the fields on this screen will not pertain to sound cards. The field outlined in red will be the key fields for a sound card radio port. Follow the step below in filling out the fields:

           Screen shot<--  Click on small image to download larger image

1. Make the following selections first on this screen (i.e. TNC Setup tab):

 Select Port 

enter the port where you will attach your PTT cable, e.g. COM1 or LPT1; see notes below *

TNC Radioport:
 Port Description 

you can overwrite the current description for Port 1 and enter a description of your own choice, e.g. Icom 1200 Packet

* Notes about Port selections (COM & LPT):

  • To select a parallel port, scroll to the bottom of the port list 
  • If you are setting up a receive-only installation or using a SignaLink interface or other VOX/audio-controlled PTT interface and don't want to tie up a real port you won't be using, the AGW software will accept non-existent parallel port assignments, but not non-existent serial ports.

2. You can leave all other selections at their defaults, including Serial Port/ Modem Baud Rate, which is not used for sound cards.

3. Now go to the TNC Type field in the top middle of the screen and use the pull down list to select "Sound Card".

c. Settings on the Sound Card Setup screen

When you select "Sound Card" for your TNC Type (or if press the Options button in the middle of the TNC setup window, underneath TNC subtype), the program will bring up the SoundCard Modem/TNC Setup window which looks like this:

         Screen shot <--  Click on small image to download larger image

1. Baud Rates: Note that your sound card is capable of supporting two radio ports using its left and right audio channels. If you are only using one radio, it will be Port 1 on the left channel.  Set the left channel baud rate for the rate you plan to use, i.e. 300 baud for HF SSB  work; or 1200, 2400, 4800, or 9600 for VHF/UHF work.

Assuming that you will not be using the right channel for a second radio connection, set the right channel rate for a baud rate different from the one you have chose for the left channel. This may prevent the possibility of future problems. (If you will be connecting to 2 radios, see Configuring AGWPE for 2 Radios. )

2. Sound Card Selection: Use the pull down menu to select the sound card device you will be using with AGWPE. You may see other choices, such as a telephone modem (don't use) or another another card if you have two.

Important Note: This field selects the sound device for receive (recording) only. In Windows XP and earlier, this sets the transmitting (playback) device, too, since Windows assumes you want to use the same sound device for both. But this doesn't work in Windows Vista and more recent versions, so you need a work-around for setting the transmit (playback) device.

3. For now leave the other fields at their defaults:

  • Full Duplex Driver: The Full Duplex Driver box should be checked. Most recent sound cards are full-duplex capable. If you later encounter transmitting problems, you may need to un-check the Full Duplex Driver box. This is likely to apply only to older sound cards; see Problems with Connections  for more about this.
  • Sound Card Clock: This setting is used if you have problems receiving distant stations; see the Problems with Receiving page for more information, but for now leave the setting at 4, the default. (Note: There is no information available about how to set the clock adjustment if you sound card is running a bit slow or fast. The program author says to just use trial and error in setting a different number and seeing if reception improves.)

Now press the OK button to return to the Properties for Port1 window but do not close it yet.

4. Note that, by default, AGWPE has created two sound card radio ports. To avoid future operating problems, change the setting from Dual Port to SinglePort  in the TNC Control Commands section of the Properties for Port1 window. (Doesn't apply if you really will be connecting to 2 Radio).

For a simple, first time installation, all other selections can remain "as is" (use the default selections), including those in the Tnc Commands tab window in the Properties for Port1 window and any other selections on the AGWPE menu.

5. Now press the OK button at the bottom of the Properties for Port1 window. You should get a popup message telling you to restart the program, so click on the Packet Engine icon AGWPE Tower Icon once again and select 'Exit'.  Now restart AGWPE. The Packet Engine icon AGWPE Tower Icon should once again appear, but in addition you should now see a TNC icon AGWPE Modem Icon next to it. This new icon represents your new sound card Radio Port. 

d. Editing a Port's Properties

If you want to change a setting in the Radio Port's configuration, click on the AGWPE icon to call up the menu, select Properties, and then click on the radio port you want to change. Then click OK and edit the fields in the Properties for Portx window

e. Problems?

  • Any time you have trouble starting or configuring AGWPE, it is often best to close AGWPE and delete all port*.ini files and the agwpe.ini file in your AGWPE directory/folder. Then restart and re-configure AGWPE from the very beginning.

  • If you don't see this TNC icon AGWPE Modem Icon, you probably have a conflict with another program or device:

    • Make sure that the COM or LPT port you have select in AGWPE is not already dedicated to another device, for example, an internal modem or printer) or has been "captured" by another program (for example, your Palm Pilot's "Hot Sync Manager". You'll have to resolve any conflicts by either closing the other program, disabling the device, or selecting another port for AGWPE's PTT control.

    • Make sure that no other program is running and using the the sound card. 

For further help in resolving port conflicts, go to the Problems with Program Behavior page on this site.

Configure AGWPE for one sound card and 2 radios
Configure AGWPE for  2 Sound Cards

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