Sound Card Packet







































Introduction
   
AGWPE Overview
    More about AGWPE
1. Interface
  
 Getting Started
   
Kits and Pre-assembled
    Receive Audio Cable
    Transmit Audio Cable
    PTT (TX Control) Cable
    2 Radio Modification
2. AGWPE Set Up
   
Download and Install
    Basic AGWPE Setup
    2 Radio Setup
    2 Card Setup
3. Sound Card Setup
    Basic Settings
    Additional Settings
   
Tuning Aid
4. Windows™ Setup
   
TCP/IP Settings
    Update Windows
5. Problems?
   
Program Behavior
    Receiving
    Transmitting
    Connections
    USB SignaLink
6. Using AGWPE
    AGWPE on a Network
   
Baud Rates & Modes
    Remote Control
    TCP/IP Over Radio
   
Tips and Tricks
   
Traffic Parameters
7. Compatible Programs:
    Setup Help
   
UI-View
   
WinAPRS
   
Winpack
   
Others
8. Packet Reference
   
Overview
    Exchange Modes
    Frame Headers
    TNCs and AGWPE
    What to do with Packet
    Common Frequencies
    Sound Card Mechanics
    Further Reading     
  
   

 

 

WinAPRS and AGWPE

Only WinAPRS versions 2.4.0 and above are able to use AGWPE.

New WinAPRS Users: 

You can download the most recent version of the WinAPRS program (written by the Sproul Brothers, Mark, KB2ICI and Keith, W2UZ) at http://aprs.rutgers.edu  

Installation and operating instructions are explained at the web site and come with the download.  WinAPRS is shareware. You can run it without registering but with some limitations, most significantly the ability to save all your program settings (callsign, TNC, etc). Registration is $60 and well worth it if you continue to use WinAPRS. 

 

Experienced  WinAPRS Users: 

If you've been running WinAPRS (2.4.0 or higher) with a TNC and have WinAPRS set to automatically open the TNC port on startup, don't start AGWPE before starting WinAPRS.

WinAPRS will crash if it finds AGWPE using the COM port where WinAPRS expects to find a TNC attached! You can't correct this problem until AGWPE is shut down and WinAPRS is allowed to open normally.

When it does open, de-select any Automatic Input devices that are on the port which AGWPE will be using for PTT control:

  • Using the WinAPRS menus, click on Settings, then WinAPRS.
  • When the WinAPRS Settings window opens, under the far right  Automatic Input section, uncheck any device that was using the port where you have now told AGWPE to find the PTT cable. 

For example, if you had a VHF TNC on COM1 set for Automatic Input, but now have the AGWPE PTT cable on COM1, you need to deselect the VHF TNC (you can deselect a check-marked box by clicking on it). After it's deselected, click on the OK button to save the settings.


A. Configuring APRS for one AGWPE port / one Radio

  • Start AGWPE.

  • Start WinAPRS. First click on Settings in the menu bar, then on Ports List.

  • On the resulting Ports Definition List window, you should see a choice for AGWPE on LOCAL. Click once to highlight that choice, then click on the Open button. If WinAPRS finds AGWPE, the Status field will indicate ACTIVE and the Comment field will show the AGWPE version, for example, AGWPE V2001.38

  <-- Click for larger image

It's most important that you see the AGWPE version notice in the Comment field. If you don't, then WinAPRS wasn't able to connect with AGWPE, even if the Status field says 'ACTIVE'. This means that AGWPE isn't running or it isn't set right (for example, be sure the WinSock Interface option is checked on the AGWPE menu). 

  • If you have everything set right, then you should start to see packets at the bottom of the active WinAPRS window. If you don't see packets and your radio's "S" meter indicates it's receiving packets and the AGWPE modem icon's green pixel flashes   , then something else is wrong and you'll need to go to troubleshooting.

  • Note that, when using AGWPE, you can't change your packet PATH using the normal WinAPRS menus (Settings: TNC or Settings: Positions Report Rate). Instead you must edit the AGWPE_Local.Prt file in your WinAPRS\Ports directory. The second to last line of this file will have a line that looks like this:

    PATH WIDE,WIDE

    You can change the PATH value to any path you'd like. Note that the space after PATH is not created by the <space> key but by the <TAB> key. Also note that any PATH changes will not become effective until you save to your .prt file and then restart WinAPRS.
     
  • Problem with WinAPRS communicating with AGWPE? Make sure the AGWPE_Local.prt file is in your  WinAPRS\Ports directory.
     
  • You can also configure WinAPRS to connect to an instance of AGWPE running on a different computer on your home network or any where on the internet. See the AGWPE Over a Network page.

     

B. Configuring WinAPRS for two AGWPE ports / two Radios

WinAPRS is able to interface with two different AGWPE ports, and thus two different radios. For example, your could have one radio on the regular APRS frequency and another radio on the DX Packet Cluster frequency. (WinAPRS can then post both types of info, APRS packets and DX spots, to the WinAPRS maps!) Or you could have an HF radio to receive long distance APRS packets.

AGWPE has always been able to do this using TNCs, but now it can handle 2 ports/two radios using just the sound card; plus it can now handle 300 baud HF packet with the sound card.

Here's how to setup AGWPE and WinAPRS to use two sound card ports:

  • First, you'll need to built cables suitable for two ports/two radios
     

  • Next, setup AGWPE for two ports/two radios
     

  • Now you need to create an additional .prt file in the Ports sub-directory of your WinAPRS directory. The new file will be very similar in content to the existing AGWPE_Local.prt file that is already in the Ports folder.

    Make a copy of the current AGWPE_Local.prt file using a different name. Edit the file as below using a simple text editor such as Windows' Notepad.

The new .prt file will be identical to the AGWPE_Local.prt file except for the following:

  • NAME line - the descriptive name you pick; your choice

  • AGWTNC line -  AGWTNC # = AGWPE port # minus 1,
                              e.g. to use AGWPE Port 1, enter AGWTNC 0.

Also, please note that the "space" between the FIELD name (1st column) and the FIELD data (everything after the FIELD name) is created by the TAB key, not the space bars. For example, the second line in the file below would be typed: 

NAME
<TAB>DXClusters<space>on<space>145.03".

Here's what the second .prt file might look like:

// Created by WinAPRS on 2/2/2
NAME DXClusters on 145.03   <--  a new name for each port
TYPE TCP
PARSER AGWPE
HOST 127.0.0.1:8000
BAND VHF
PATH WIDE,WIDE  <-- change UI path for this radio if you like
AGWTNC 1          <--  port # minus one; this is AGWPE port 2

Hint: You can also edit the NAME line of the original AGWPE-Local.prt file. You can change the name from "AGWPE on Local" to something like "APRS on 144.39" to help you better understand what each AGWPE port and radio is doing.

  • Save the new  .prt file.

  • Re-start WinAPRS

  • Click on Settings

  • Click on Ports List. You should now see an additional AGWPE port.

  • Select and then Open the two (2) AGWPE ports one at a time:
    >PORT #1 (AGWPE ON LOCAL)
    >PORT #2 (DXClusters on 145.03)

WinAPRS should now be receiving packet data from both ports/radios/frequencies.

WinAPRS Hint: To better see DX cluster or HF packets, have WinAPRS display both a local map (state, region, US) and a world map :

  • First, from the Maps menu, open both maps
  • Then, click on the Windows menu option, then on Tile.

Warning: There is a bug in WinAPRS related to transmitting and AGWPE ports. As of version 2.4.7, WinAPRS will transmit APRS beacons on both AGWPE ports/radios. Listeners on the Packet Cluster frequency might not appreciate this. If you intend to run WinAPRS on a DX Cluster frequencies, you might want to disable transmitting to the Packet Cluster frequency by unplugging the PTT cable to the DX Cluster radio.

 

C.Troubleshooting Problems

  • WinAPRS:  I open AGWPE first, but then when I start WinAPRS, it causes a system crash.

    WinAPRS is probably configured to automatically open a TNC on startup. It crashes when it finds AGWPE using the COM port and not the TNC it expects to find! You can't correct this problem until you exit AGWPE and let WinAPRS open without AGWPE running. Then, in WinAPRS, deselect any Automatic Input devices that are on the port which AGWPE will be using for PTT control:
    • Using the WinAPRS menus, click on Settings, then WinAPRS.
    • When the WinAPRS Settings window opens, under the far right  Automatic Input section, uncheck any device that was using the port where you have have the AGWPE's PTT cable attached. For example, if you once had a TNC on COM1, but now have the AGWPE PTT cable on COM1, you need to deselect the VHF TNC (you can deselect a check-marked box by clicking on it).
    • After it's deselected, click on the OK button to save the settings.
    • Then close WinAPRS, start AGWPE, and restart WinAPRS.

 

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  Last Updated: 11/01/2011