Sound Card Packet  with AGWPE

Translations of this site
Most recent AGWPE version is:  2013.415  15 Apr 2013

Introduction
Overview
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

Problems?
Program Behavior
Receiving
Transmitting
Connections
Firewalls

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
TNCs and AGWPE
What To Do with Packet
Common Frequencies
Frame Headers
Further Reading
 

Using AGWPE Over a Network

IP Address of AGWPE Computer
Configure AGWPE
Configure Client Applications
Allowing Remote Access to AGWPE

It is possible to run AGWPE on one computer on a network and have it send packets to and from applications on other computers on the network. The usual application is a home/local network, but you can even configure AGWPE to work with computers across the internet!

Note: This data exchange will work only if your application program uses the TCP/IP interface to interface with AGWPE. Programs such as WinPack don't use the TCP/IP interface. They use the DDE interface, so they can not do this. (UI-View can be configured to use either the TCP/IP or DDE interface to link to AGWPE.)

A work-around for WinPack users:  purchase the PE Pro version for both the local and remote sites and use PE Pro's radio port sharing feature. With this feature, instances of PE Pro can share radio ports and thus the radios and TNCs on those ports. So, WinPack could link to an instance of PE Pro running on the same computer and that instance of PE Pro could then link to an instance of PE Pro running on a remote computer that has been configured to "share" its radio ports.)

First, some definitions:

  • host  - the computer running AGWPE

  • server - a device or application that can exchange data with other devices or applications. When AGWPE is configured to send and receive data over a network to other applications, it is acting as a server application.

  • client - any computer / application wishing to access the AGWPE server.

  • IP Address - a number with three dots in it, for example 192.168.0.1 or 169.254.0.1, which is assigned to each computer connected to a network. IP Addresses are needed to router data across networks running TCP/IP protocols (which most local networks do).

  • port number - an extension of the IP address. TCP ports are simply number codes used by the Windows TCP/IP protocol to associate any TCP/IP data exchanges with a particular program (or service) running on the computer. (They are not physical ports on the computer.)

Second, a caution: This page will not be able to discuss all possible network configurations. You will need to adapt this basic explanation to match the specifics of your ISP (Internet Service Provider), your network hardware, and any installed network software, including Windows network configurations.

To start, make sure you have AGWPE running successfully on the host and that your network connection is running correctly.

1. Obtain the IP Address of the host computer where AGWPE is running.

Your host computer will have three IP addresses of importance:
 

  • a local address of 127.0.01 or "local host", which means "this computer". This is the address you would use to connect to AGWPE if the client application is running on the same computer as AGWPE.
     
  • a private IP address such as 192.168.x.x. This is the address someone would use to connect to AGWPE if the client application is running on a different computer  but on the same local area network, e.g. your home network.
     
  • a public IP address which is assigned by your Internet Service Provider. This is the address someone would use to connect to AGWPE if the client application is running on a remote computer on a different network or over the internet.

A. Learning the private IP address of a computer on your home network :
 

  • Windows 95/98/ME: from the Windows' Start button, select Run, then in the Open box, enter winipcfg and press OK. In the resulting window, note the IP Address. Press OK to exit.
     
  • Windows XP/NT: from the Windows' Start button, select Run, then enter CMD to bring up a DOS window and prompt.   Enter ipconfig  and in the resulting window, make a note of the IP Address. Then enter Exit to close the DOS window.

    Note: A computer's IP address may change every boot-up if Windows is set to obtain an address automatically from the network router each time it starts. This is called dynamic addressing. You can also assign an unchanging "static" IP address to the computer (see Windows' Help for advice on how to do this: search  for "static address" or "specific IP address"). This may be useful if you use AGWPE regularly on a private network.

B. Learning the public IP address of a computer as it is identified on the internet:

Note that if your subscription is for a dynamic IP address, your public IP address can change each time you connect to the ISP. This can be a problem for others trying to connect to you; they would have to ask you for your current public IP address. If you don't want to pay for a static (unchanging) IP address, you can  subscribe to a "dynamic DNS" service that will automatically link your clients to your current dynamic IP (see Dynamic DNS Service below)

  • If you are connected directly to a  broadband (DSL, cable. etc.) modem, use the method described just above in "A." to learn your public IP address.
     
  • If your connection is through a router or gateway, your router or gateway can tell you the IP address assigned to it by the ISP. For example, I can use my browser to access my wireless gateway/router. I enter the gateway's/router's IP address as specified in the User Manual (default is often 192.168.0.1). The gateway then displays a screen that shows the public IP address assigned to my network by my ISP.
     
  • Another way to learn you public IP address is to send an email to yourself. Look for your IP address in the headers* of the email you receive back. Look for the bottom-most header line that begins with "Received:" (there may be several "Received:" lines.). For example:

    Received: from 296-999-999-64.c6-0.hlb-ubr1a.hlb-ubr.cable.etn.com ([296.999.999.64] helo=DellDesktop.etn.com)

    This line shows where the email originated -- your computer. The numbers in blue above would indicate your IP address. (Numbers above are not real; IP address segments are never higher than 255.)

    * Revealing Email Headers: In Outlook Express, right click on the message in your inbox and select Properties, then Details. In Eudora, open the message, then click on the Blah Blah Blah icon to show all headers. For other readers, do a Help search on the word "headers" to learn how to display them.

     

2. Configure AGWPE on the host computer to act as a server

  • Start AGWPE and call up the AGWPE menu (right click on AGWPE System tray icon   )
     
  • Select Setup Interfaces. This brings up the Winsock and HTTP Interface Setup window and the WinSock Interface tab.
     
  • Make sure the Enable Winsock TCP/IP Application Interface is checked (default setting) and, in the Setup section, note the TCP Port number. Leave the port number at the default of 8000 unless you have other software running in your computer that also uses that port (this would be unusual). If another application is using that port, you can configure AGWPE to use a different port number.
     
  • Now click on the WinSock Interface Security tab.

    <-- Click to enlarge

    Note the three enable/disable connection options at the top of the screen. These options control which clients can access AGWPE on the host computer and whether or not they need to use a LOGIN name and PASSWORD to gain access.

    For example, the second choice specifies that:
    • clients on your local area network (LAN) can use the host's AGWPE server without a LOGIN name or PASSWORD, but
    • clients outside of the LAN can use AGWPE only with a LOGIN and PASSWORD that matches an entry in the User Setup list at the bottom of the WinSock Interface Security screen. (Use the New User button next to the list to add LOGIN and PASSWORD for other users.)

    Note: If you are thinking of controlling access by using LOGIN name and PASSWORD, be aware that most AGWPE-compatible programs are not able to send a LOGIN and PASSWORD, so they wouldn't be able to get access to AGWPE over a network. Even AGW's programs don't have this provision!  In fact, as of March 2005, I believe that only UI-View and PacLink have such a provision.
     

  • Press the OK button to save the changes. AGWPE will now act as a server.
     
For a way to test your TCP/IP connection to AGWPE, see the TCP/IP Settings page on this website
 

3. Configure your packet application on the client computer so it can find the host computer and the AGWPE server on the network.

Only applications that connect to AGWPE with the TCP/IP protocol can be configured to do this. Those that use the DDE protocol to link to AGWPE cannot, for example, WinPack. As examples, here's how to do it for 4 applications that can, UI-View, WinAPRS, APRSplus and AGWTerm.

  • a. UI-View: From UI-View's top menu bar, select Setup>Comms Setup. In the Comms Setup window, for Host Mode select AGWPE. When you do, a Setup button will appear next to the AGWPE field. Press that button to reveal the AGWPE Setup window.

Please --  as the screen note suggests -- press F1 to read the Help file. Roger, G4IDE, the program author, has some terrific additional information in the file.

  • For the Host Machine, fill in the IP address of the host computer running AGWPE which you identified in #1. above.
  • The Port number should be 8000 unless you elected a different port in #2. above.
  • The Password can be left blank unless you turned on security in AGWPE as described in #2. above. If you did, enter the password. (Note for UI-View users: if AGWPE is using security, UI-View sends your call sign as the LOGIN name all in upper case letters, minus any SSID number, for example, NM5RM-4 is sent as NM5RM. Therefore, when you create a LOGIN name in AGWPE, it should be the callsign used in UI-View in upper case letters, minus any SSID.)
  • The Text to send on connection can be left blank.
  • Generally, the Multiple Systems check box can be left blank unless you want to connect to more than one remote instance of AGWPE. Press F1 for more info about this feature.
  • The Remote check box can be left blank unless the AGWPE host is not on your LAN. Again press F1 for more information; also see #4. below).
  • The Port Mask need not be changed. By default, no ports are masked, i.e. UI-View will use all AGWPE ports it finds. You would use this option only to limit the AGWPE ports that UI-View will use to get data. For example, if AGWPE Port 1 is on a VHF frequency and AGWPE Port 2 is on an HF frequency and you want only VHF data, you would use the Port Mask to limit data to just AGWPE port 1.
     
  • b. WinAPRS: You first need to create a new .prt file in the PORTS folder under the main WINAPRS folder. It might be helpful to read the basic WinAPRS/AGWPE configuration page on this site for advice on how to do this.

    The name of this file might be AGWPE_LAN.prt or something similar -- your choice. The file contents would similar to:

// Created by Me on 10/1/2002
NAME AGWPE on My LAN
TYPE TCP
PARSER AGWPE
HOST 192.168.0.101:8000
BAND VHF
PATH WIDE,WIDE2-2
AGWTNC 0

Remember that the field name -- the first word in each sentence ( e.g. PARSER) is separated from the following word ( e.g. AGWPE) by a TAB character not a space.

The key items in this file are:

NAME: Enter your choice of a port description. This is what will be displayed in WinAPRS.
HOST: Enter the IP address of the host computer (see #1. above ) and the AGWPE server TCP port number (see #2. above)
PATH: Enter the PATH you want AGWPE to use when it sends out a packet.
AGWTNC: Enter the AGWPE radio port you want to use. Use 0 for AGWPE port 1; 1 for AGWPE port 2; etc.

After this file is created and saved in the PORTS folder, restart WinAPRS. From WinAPRS's top menu, select Settings, then Port List. In the resulting Port Definitions List window, you should now see a port with the NAME you entered in .prt file. Click on that port and then click on the Open button at the top of the window to activate it. If everything works correctly, then the Status, Open # and Comments fields will all fill in, indicating that WinAPRS has successfully found the AGWPE server (if the Comments field remains blank, there is a problem):

<-- Click to enlarge

Note that WinAPRS has no way to send a LOGIN or PASSWORD to AGWPE, so it will not work with AGWPE over a network if you have AGWPE set to check for passwords.

You can create additional .prt files to link to additional remote computers.
 

  • c. APRSplus: The critical setting is in the KipSSPE program. Start that program and look for the IP Address field at the bottom of the screen. Enter the host's IP address (as determined in #1. above) in this field.

    Note that APRSplus has no way to send a LOGIN or PASSWORD to AGWPE, so it will not work with AGWPE over a network if you have AGWPE set to check for passwords.
     
  • d. AGWTerm: First, please note that SV2AGW has created two versions of AGWTerm. If you want to run AGWTerm over a network, you must use the TCP/IP version (download Agwtermtcp.zip dated 14Feb2002 to find a AGWTerm.exe file dated 16Aug2001) .

In the folder where install AGWTerm, you will find a file called AGWterm.ini (this file is only created after you run AGWTerm for the first time). Use a text editor, such as Notepad,  to open this .ini file. By default, AGWTerm creates an IP address entry (what it calls SOCKSADR) that assumes the AGWPE will be running on the same computer as AGWTerm, i.e. localhost. This is an alias for an IP Address of 127.0.0.1, which is a special IP address that means "this computer". It also assumes that you are using the default AGWPE server TCP port address (what it calls SOCKSPORT) of  8000 (see #2. above).

[Packet]
SOCKSPORT=8000
SOCKSADR=localhost 
 <-- change "localhost" to IP address of host

 example: 192.168.0.2  see #1. above

Note that AGWTerm has no way to send a LOGIN or PASSWORD to AGWPE, so AGWTerm will not work with AGWPE across a network if you have AGWPE set to check for passwords.
 

4. Allowing Remote Access beyond your Local Area Network:

  • a. Dynamic DNS Services:  If you want to let clients outside of your LAN access the AGWPE server, they will need to know the IP address assigned to your computer or network by your ISP (Internet Service Provider). If your subscription to your ISP is for a dynamic IP address, your public IP address can change each time you connect to the ISP. This can be a problem for others trying to connect to you; they would have to ask you for your current public IP address.

    If you don't want to pay for a static (unchanging) IP address, you can  subscribe to a "dynamic DNS" service that will automatically link your clients to your current dynamic IP:
    • First, obtain a personal domain name (for about USD $35/year).
      Example: www.sv2agw.org

       
    • Then, find a dynamic DNS (domain name system) service that will match your domain name with your current dynamic IP network address. This is done by running a special utility from the service which periodically contacts the service over the internet to tell it the dynamic IP address your AGWPE computer has been assigned. Users then can just enter your personal domain name to connect to you; they need not worry about entering your actual network IP address. The dynamic DNS service will make the translation.

      To find a dynamic service provider, do a web search for "dynamic DNS". Some offer free services or free services if you buy your domain name from them.
       
  • b. Firewalls and security considerations: If your computer or local network has an open internet connection, you should be taking precautions to prevent unauthorized access to it. Gateways or routers may have an integrated firewall, or you can use a firewall program, such as Zone Alarm, McAfee Firewall, Norton Personal Firewall or even Windows XP's internal Internet Connection Firewall.

    Note that firewalls will also prevent outside access to the AGWPE server, unless the firewalls are configured to permit an exception for the AGWPE server. You will need to read the documentation for your firewall to learn how to do this. For example, my router has a place where I can configure "Virtual Servers" and another one that has "Port Forwarding". I specify the port I want to open (8000) and the IP address of the computer that will handle that port, which is the 192.168.x.x address of my AGWPE computer.

    Explaining how to do this for each possible firewall or gateway is beyond the capabilities of this web site, but here are some considerations when allowing remote access:
    • The firewall should limit remote access solely to the computer running AGWPE and solely to that computer's port 8000; do not allow access to other computers on your network or to other.
       
    • Remember that a remote user who achieves access to the AGWPE server can use it to both receive and send packets. In effect the remote user will gain control of the radio connected to AGWPE and will be able to initiate transmissions. In most countries, this has a serious implication -- you will be held accountable for any transmissions made by others using your radio.

      For this reason, you may want to configure your firewall to limit incoming access from specific, trusted IP addresses. In addition, you should use the LOGIN / PASSWORD security feature in AGWPE (see
      #2. above) if the client's application can send them ...  but remember most applications can not.

Last Updated:
18Aug2015

by Ralph Milnes NM5RM

 

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