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
 

Tips and Tricks

The AGWPE program has some valuable features that might not be readily apparent:

Use Selective Packet Routing
Launch AGWPE-Dependent Applications Automatically
Use Alternate Languages
Use GMT Time
Use Alternate AGWPE Configurations
Override AGWPE's Traffic Parameters
Decipher Packet Headers
Use a Loopback Port
Build a Watchdog Timer
"DEBUG"-ing

Selective Packet Routing

For some of the AGWsoft client programs, such as AGWTerm or AGWDXCluster, the callsign and SSID you use in the program will be noted by AGWPE. If you use different SSIDs in each program, then AGWPE can route packets to the proper program.

As an example, let's say that you are running both a BBS program with a callsign of SV2AGW-1 and a DX Cluster program with a callsign of SV2AGW-12. AGWPE will know that packets to SV2AGW-1 must be directed to the BBS program and packets to SV2AGW-12 must be directed to the DX Cluster program. Neither program gets packets intended for the other.
 

Launch AGWPE-Dependent Applications Automatically

Use AGWPE's auto start feature to automatically load application programs or utilities as soon as AGWPE is finished loading. For example, if you mostly use UI-View with AGWPE, you could add UI-View as an auto start client. Then when you start AGWPE, UI-View will launch immediately, too.  The auto start feature is found on the AGWPE menu under Startup Programs. Configure the StartUp Programs window to start the applications you want.
 

Some users find that they need to include more of a delay when starting programs. Here's a program that may do that:

http://www.ghacks.net/2008/12/22/delay-startup-software/

 

Use Alternate Languages

AGWPE has support for many languages other than English (the default). The alternate language files were created by other AGWPE users and they are included within the main AGWPE zip file, e.g. french.zip. (If you want to create an alternate language file for your language, see the instructions in AGWPE's Help file: Help > Index> Multilingual Support.)

Note: Not all words in the AGWPE menus and dialog boxes will translate.

To use an alternate language file:
 

1. Unzip the language file of your choice, e.g. French.zip, into the AGWPE folder. The three unzipped files of importance that will appear are files ending in " .lng", ".hlp" and " .cnt".  So if you unzip the French.zip file you should see these new files: 1036.lng, agwpe_f.hlp, and agwpe_f.cnt (the .lng file has menu and dialog translations, the .hlp file is the translation of the AGWPE 'Help" file, and the .cnt file is the table of contents for the help file).
 

2. Open the agwpe.ini file in the AGWPE folder. You should see a line with Windows' language code number, e.g.

 
  LANGUAGE=1036

This is the code for the language you selected when you installed Windows (1032=Greek, 1033=English, 1036=French, 1044=Norwegian, etc.) You you can not edit this number in AGWPE.ini since AGWPE is programmed to get it from Windows.
 

3. When AGWPE starts, it looks to see if there is a .lng  file that matches this language code. If the Windows language code is 1036 (French) and AGWPE finds a 1036.lng file (French) in the AGWPE folder, it will load the French language files. Otherwise, AGWPE will use the default language of English.
 

4. If you want to use a language in AGWPE that is different from the default Windows language, you will need to rename the AGWPE language files to match the default Windows language code. Let us assume 1033 (English) is the Windows language code and 1036 (French) is our desired language in AGWPE:

  • First, rename the desired ".lng" file, e.g. 1036.lng (French) to match the Windows' language code specified in the agwpe.ini file, i.e. 1033 (English). So, to install the French files on an English machine -- we would rename 1036.lng to be 1033.lng.
  • Then rename the "  .hlp" file you unzipped, e.g. agwpe_f.hlp, to be agwpe.hlp
  • Finally, rename the "  .cnt" file you unzipped, e.g. agwpe_f.cnt, to be agwpe.cnt

5. When you restart AGWPE, it will use the replacement language files.

Use GMT time

AGWPE can use either Local (Computer) time or GMT (Greenwich Mean Time or UTC ) in reporting packets received. To change the time zone, you will need to edit the AGWPE.ini file: under the [TNC] section, add either GMT=1 for the GMT time stamp or GMT=0 (the default) for a local time stamp. If there is no entry, then it uses local time. Example of GMT time setting:

[TNC]
GMT=1

Use Alternate AGWPE Configurations

There may be times when you want to start AGWPE in a specific configuration, say for different TNCs or to auto start different programs. The easiest way to do this is to create duplicate AGWPE folders. Each folder will have the full program but different AGWPE configuration ".ini" files. Then use shortcuts that point to the AGWPE programs in the different folders. Use shortcut names that describe the configuration files, for example, "AGWPE PacLink" or "AGWPE ICOM 706" or "AGWPE Loopback".

Override AGWPE's Traffic Parameters

Note that AGWPE automatically monitors frequency traffic and can adjust TNC timing parameters to match that traffic level. You can override this feature  (see TNC parameters screen), but generally it would be to your advantage to use this feature, since it relieves you of the chore of determining and implementing the best timing parameters.
 

Decipher Packet Headers

If you really want to understand what is happening when you make a connection to another station, you need to be able to interpret the header information in the packets being exchanged. AGWTerm and AGWMonitor and other programs let you see them. The Deciphering Packet Header page on this website will help you interpret and understand them.

Use a Loop Back Port

For off-air testing of two programs, create a loop back port. For instance, you could run both AGWTerminal and WinPack and use the loop back port to "connect" them to one another.

To create a loop back port: from the AGWPE menu, select Properties, then New Port. In the new port's Properties for Portx screen, select a TNC Type of LoopBack Port.

After that, connect both of your applications to that same AGWPE radio port and they can communicate with each other without going on the air. Example: Say  you want to test what your WinPack's "sign on" message will be when someone connects to it. To do that, let's assume you have created a loopback port in AGWPE and it is AGWPE radio port #3.

Now start both WinPack (using AGW host mode, of course) and AGWTerm, but make sure that in their properties you have specified different callsigns, e.g. NM5RM-6 for Winpack and NM5RM-7 for AGWTerm.

Now in, in AGWTerm, use the menu  to select Actions and then Connect. In the resulting Connect window, enter the callsign being used by the WinPack program, NM5RM-6, and select the AGWPE loopback on port #3. Then press the Connect button.

The two programs should now connect to one another via the loop back port. (I shrink down the window area of both programs so that I can fit both on the monitor and watch them simultaneously.)

Note: If instead you had wanted to execute the connect request from WinPack,  you would enter C 3 NM5RM-7 on the WinPack input line, where the C is for connect,  3 is for the AGWPE radio port # and NM5RM-7 is the callsign being used by AGWTerm.

Build a Watchdog Timer

Most TNCs have a timer that prevents continuous transmission in the event of some TNC or software failure. Typically such a watchdog timer stops transmission that last more than 2 or 3 minutes. With AGWPE's sound card, you don't have such a timer, so here is a page describing how to build a watchdog timer circuit for your PTT cable.

DEBUG-ing

To resolve common AGWPE configuration and operating problems, please first use these web pages or post an inquiry to the SV2AGW Yahoo group: http://www.egroups.com/group/SV2AGW. Very often someone in the group has the answer.

While the program author, George SV2AGW, can not respond to every reported problem, he does follow the Yahoo list, and if he thinks there could be a significant problem (bug) in the AGWPE software, he may ask you to create a debug log. To do this, close AGWPE and then go to your AGWPE folder. Open the agwpe.ini file with Window's Notepad and add the following lines to the end of the file:
   [DEBUG]
   TRACE=3

Don't forget to save the file before close it.

When you restart AGWPE, it will now create an agwpe.log file in the AGWPE folder. It will continue to record program events in this log as long as AGWPE is running and, in fact, includes a record of AGWPE's shut down sequence.

Note that AGWPE will append events  to the same log each time AGWPE is restarted, so you may want to take steps to "freeze" the log after AGWPE has closed. Do this by copying the file to some other folder where AGWPE will not write to it; or remove the two DEBUG lines you added to the agwpe.ini file.

Please wait for the author's invitation to send your log. Do not send the log expecting him to diagnose a problem unique to your setup. The DEBUG log is only used when he suspects there may be a bug in the program that is affecting many users.

To permanently end recording to the agwpe.log, remember to remove the two lines you added to the agwpe.ini file. If you do not, AGWPE will continue to add to the log and it could become quite large and waste disk space. You can delete a log file at any time without affecting AGWPE operations.

Last Updated:
18Aug2015

by Ralph Milnes NM5RM

 

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