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
 

APRSplus and KipSS/PE with AGWPE

There hasn't been much news about this program lately. I believe it is still available but it only works with Street Atlas versions 4-9. Those versions are no longer readily available. This page remains on this site in case there is someone interested in exploring this trend-setting dynamic mapping APRS program.

APRSplus is a Windows-based program for receiving and plotting APRS position packets. It was written by Brent Hildebrand, KH2Z, and works in combination with Delorme's Street Atlas program (or Map 'N Go).  APRSplus handles the APRS packet management and then generates icons that are placed on the Street Atlas maps.

Note: APRSplus only works with Street Atlas versions 4 through 9. It will not work with the Road Warrior Edition and Deluxe versions, including SA-2003 and SA-2004. 

To make APRSplus work with AGWPE you also need Brent's free program, KipSS/PE, which will link the two programs using their respective TCP/IP interfaces. Note that KipSS/PE only works with a registered version of APRSplus ! So, you'll need to send  Brent the registration fee to get a registration code (info in APRSplus files) if you want to use APRSplus with AGWPE. 

Stephen Smith, WA8LMF, gets all the credit for working out all the instructions below for running APRSplus with AGWPE.

Quick Links for this page:

Setting Up APRSplus and KipSS/PE
Configure KipSS/PE
Configure APRSplus
Getting it All to Work
Settings for 2 Radios
Automating the Startup Process
Troubleshooting APRSplus-specific problems

 

1. Setting up APRSplus and KipSS/PE to work with AGWPE

No changes are needed in your cables, windows setup, and AGWPE program settings. They are the same as for other applications. 

a.. Find a download of Delorme Street Atlas if you can. Install it and verify that it works normally.

b.. Download and install APRSplus and KipSS/PE:

  • APRSplus files can be found at the TAPR site: ftp://www.tapr.org/aprssig/winstuff/aprsplus/

    The main APRSplus installation file usually has a name like APRSPLUS2xx.zip.

     APRSplus documentation

  • From the same TAPR directory also download KipSS/PE (don't confuse it with the similarly named KipSS.zip.)  KipSS/PE is a middleware program that connects the TCP/IP interface of the AGW Packet Engine to the TCP/IP interface of APRSplus. In effect, KipSS/PE makes APRSplus "think" it is receiving data from from a TNC instead of a TCP/IP source or LAN.  (APRSplus can do this in addition to connections from a "real" hardware TNC and/or Internet connections. Part of APRSplus' confusing complexity is its incredible versatility!)

Unzip both zip files into the same directory on your computer. After you do that, run the Setup.exe program in the directory to initialize and install APRSplus.



2. Configure KipSS/PE

  • For future convenience, first create a Windows shortcut to KipSS/PE.exe on your desktop.
  • Start AGWPE.
  • Now start KipSS/PE. A dialogue window will open that looks similar to this: 

  • Don't worry about the values in most of the fields. Just make the following changes:
    • At the bottom of the window, for the IP Address choose 127.0.0.1.
    • (If you have a network address, you could perhaps also use that. Just make sure the address you enter in this field is same the address you enter in APRSplus (below).)
    • Insert your callsign into the Callsign box in the lower right corner.
    • Check the box for Auto-Start to open the TCP/IP connection to AGWPE automatically whenever KipSS/PE starts.
    • Now click on the Open TCP/IP button below the IP Address box.
    • Then, at the top of the window, click on the Open button to the left of Settings>.

       After you press the buttons, they should say Close TCP/IP and PE Close, respectively, as in the picture above.

Is it working? At this point, you should be able to see packet data appearing in KipSS/PE's Received Data window whenever you hear packets bursts from the radio's speaker or see the radio's BUSY indicator/"S" meter light up or see the little green pixel in the AGWPE modem icon  in the System Tray.

Likewise, you can test transmitting by pressing one of the Transmit buttons and checking to see if your radio transmits. The info in the Demo> field should be duplicated in the Transmitted Data field and your radio should transmit.

 KipSS/PE Program Notes: As you'll learn, the labels on the KipSS/PE button tops do not indicate current status, but instead show what the setting will change to when clicked, so PE Close on the button means it is currently in the PE Open state and clicking on the button will close it.

Also note that some of the Windows controls for KipSS/PE program do not follow convention. For example, clicking the graphic of windows close button button in the upper right corner of the window  does not shut down the program. It only minimizes it into the system tray where the KipSS/PE icon ("KISS" in Morse code) will appear. This is how you will probably want to run the program -- with the dialogue window closed and only the program icon showing in the system tray. To recall the KipSS/PE dialogue window, just click on the system tray icon .

To truly shut down the program, use the menu bar and select Exit. When you exit, all your settings will be saved, although if you did not check the "auto start" checkbox, the next time you start KipSS/PE you will have to press both buttons.

3. Configure APRSplus

Remember: You must obtain a registration number for APRSplus from Brent, KH2Z, before you can run APRSplus with KipSS/PE and AGWPE.

There are multitudes of setting screens and options in APRSplus, so I can't tell you how to configure APRSplus entirely on this page (see instead the unofficial  APRSplus documentation web site). But here are the key settings for working with KipSS/PE and AGWPE.

a. From the menu bar at the top of the main APRSplus screen, click on Setup . Make sure that the following settings are entered:

  • On the Main Parameters tab, insert a callsign, your registration number (include the dashes between numbers), and your latitude and longitude.
  • On the Program tab, check mark the version of Street Atlas you are using. If you don't, APRSplus won't be able to start Street Atlas automatically.
  • On the Internet tab, the items in the bottom Interlink section should look like the following:

     

(If your PC has an IP address assigned to it by networking software or a cable modem or DSL, if may have a different IP address to the right of the Link-1 and UDP-Open buttons. If so, that's OK; leave them as they are.)

 
  • Check the x Open KiSS on startup if you want APRSplus to automatically open a connection to KipSS/PE when it starts. (Alternatively, you can leave it o unchecked and start the connection manually in APRSplus by using the Commands menu option and selecting KipSS Connect.)
 
  • In the field to the right of the KipSS-Open (Close) button, enter 127.0.0.1:7301 (or the IP address you may have entered in the KipSS/PE field for IP Address).
 
  • Leave "as is" the values to the right of the  Link-1,- 2,-3 and  UDP-Open (Close) buttons. They are not important for KipSS/PE connections.
 
  • Save your setting by using the File: Save (or Save As) option in this window to save your Setup.reg file in APRSplus' Data folder.
 
  • Now click on the KipSS button until it says KipSS-Close. This will open the link to KipSS/PE.

Program Notes: As with KipSS/PE, the labels on the button tops are not "current status" indicators. Instead, the button shows what the setting will change to when the button is clicked; so when it says KipSS-Close on the button, it is currently in the KipSS-Open state and will close if you click on it.

You can also configure APRSplus 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.

4. Getting it All to Work

To make it all work, first start the AGW Packet Engine, then KipSS/PE, and then APRSplus. After the three programs have started, you should see 4 icons in the system tray at the bottom of your screen:  

The icon with two towers and the icon of a TNC are created by AGW. The icon showing a stack of dits and dahs (Morse code for KISS) is created by KipSS/PE. The inverted triangle is created by APRSplus. 

Now, in APRSplus, choose Commands and then select Start Street Atlas to start Street Atlas. (You can also right click on the APRSplus system tray icon to call up the Commands menu.)

If you did not select the "auto start KipSS" function, use the Commands menu (Alt+C) to select KipSS Connect

If your radio is on, the cables are attached, and the Volume Control settings are correct, you should start to see station icons in the APRSplus Positions window and then eventually in Street Atlas (depends on what timing interval you chose for writing the APRSplus overlay file to Street Atlas; see the Maps tab and the second field to the right of the 1- All Reports field).

5. Settings for 2 Radios

Use the Commands: Unproto Paths menu option (or Ctrl + Shift + U) to call up a list of UI paths. By default the TCP port for all path choices is set to 1, i.e. AGWPE port 1/radio 1. To use AGWPE port 2/radio 2, pick an unused line and change the TCP port to 2; you can also edit the path to one of of your choice.

Now press the Set button to the right of the path and port you want to use. That line will then be highlighted in yellow to indicate it is the active path/port. Press the OK button.

6. Automate the Entire Startup Process via  AGWPE

Want to get the AGWPE program to automatically start KipSS/PE and then APRSplus when AGWPE finishes loading? Here's how:

Locate the file AGWPE.INI in the AGWPE program directory. 

Open the file in the Windows Notepad or any other ASCII editor and add the following paragraph to the bottom of the file:

[RUNPRG]
RUN0=C:\APRSplus\KipSS/PE.EXE
CMD0=0
RUN1=C:\APRSplus\APRSPLUS.EXE
CMD1=0

Note: Be sure to edit the file paths in the instructions above to match the drive and directory where you have installed the KipSS/PE and APRSplus programs.

Then save the file and close the editor. This automated process will begin the next time you start AGWPE.

7. Troubleshooting APRSplus specific problems:

  • To see if AGWPE and KipSS/PE are working together, start AGWPE and then KipSS/PE (without starting APRSplus). Assuming that AGWPE is working correctly and receiving packets, you should see packet data appearing in KipSS/PE's Received Data window whenever  you hear packets bursts from the radio's speaker or see the radio's BUSY indicator or "S" meter light up or see the little green pixel light up in the AGWPE icon   in the System Tray.

  • To see if APRSplus and KipSS/PE are working together,  transmit your status or position from APRSplus. Use the APRSplus Send menu option or Ctrl-P or Ctrl-S. Your position or status packet should then appear in the Transmitted Data field in KipSS/PE. (If they don't, go to the "transmit" troubleshooting hint below.)

  • To see if APRSplus and Street Atlas are working together, temporarily use either an internet connection or TNC instead of AGWPE to receive packets and display them in Street Atlas. If you can't do that, at the very least, APRSplus should be able to "beacon" your position and icon and they should display in Street Atlas.

  • Firewall problem? Remember that KipSS/PE will be using both IP port 8000 -- to talk to AGWPE -- and port 7301 -- to talk to APRSplus.  (8000 is the default ports for AGWPE; you can change it in AGWPE. I think KipSS/PE's port link to APRSplus is hard coded as 7301 and can not be changed.)

    If you encounter difficulties with the programs connecting to KipSS/PE, then your firewall program may be blocking access to one or both of these ports. You will need to configure the firewall program to allow open access to these ports. (How to do that is beyond the scope of this web site; consult the documentation for your firewall program.)

  • Problem: I can't Transmit from APRSplus. I tell APRSplus to send a packet and I can see that the packet made it to the "Transmitted Data" field in KipSS/PE, but the radio doesn't key up even though KipSS/PE is sending and receiving data from AGWPE and AGWPE is successfully transmitting data from other programs.

    Solution: The port settings for the Unproto Paths in APRSplus is wrong. It may be set to 0 or it may be set to an AGWPE port that is attached to a different radio. Pick a different UI path or change the path's port number:

    In APRSplus, use the Commands: Unproto Paths menu option (or Ctrl+Shift+U) to call up a list of UI paths. Press the Set button to the right of a suitable path which uses the AGWPE port and radio that you want to use; or edit an existing entry to create a path of your choice and the AGWPE port of your choice and then press the Set button.

  • Note that Windows Systems Resources are an issue for Win95/98/ME users running APRSplus. If your system resources get too low (below 25%?), you may encounter unexpected errors in APRSplus and your Setup values may become corrupted. You can check your current System Resource level by going to the Window's Control Panel and selecting System and then the Performance tab.

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Last Updated:
18Aug2015

by Ralph Milnes NM5RM

 

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