PACKET RADIO: Network Node Commands
Steve Wolf, W8IZ@W8IZ.#NEOH.OH.USA.NA
(This text from the W8IZ packet radio bulletin
board. It's formatted to fit a 80 character screen.)
From: Steve, NO8M@NO8M.OH.USA.NA
Date: January 5, 1990
Subject: Commands Used in Network Nodes
There are many types of network nodes. Most commands act the same way
in all of them. It is suggested that the file NETNODE.HLP be read first (D
PACKET\NETNODE.HLP). This file deals with the commands used in network nodes.
BBS (MSYS Nodes only)
This command allows a connection to the PBBS associated with the node.
You can connect to other stations or nodes, even to other stations using
digipeaters, using this command. Alias names or callsigns may be used.
On MSYS Nodes, when connecting to a station other than another node, you
must also give a port number. This number is found using the PORT command.
CQ (Only on NET/ROM and NET)
If enabled, you can call CQ through a node. To do this you type the
command and a short string, like this:
"CQ from NO8M, North Olmsted, OH"
The node would retransmit your CQ and enter your callsign into the user
table. Another station might check the users command, find you in it and
connect to your station. There is no need to rebroadcast the CQ. You will
remain in the users table for fifteen minutes.
The ident gives you the alias and callsign of the node you are connected
to. For example, if you were connected to CLE220, you could "IDENT CLE220".
The node would reply, "CLE220:K8EIW-9] CLE220".
If you have no idea where you are, you can use the generic "IDENT *" to
return the information.
The NODES command responds with a table of all the destination network
nodes that are known. Each node listing contains the path quality to the
node, the number of hours it has been heard in a row, the port number and the
callsign. If the path quality is low, attempting a connect to the node is
difficult. Start with the path quality figure when seeking a path to some
distant location. The path quality is defined between 0 (worst) and 256
(best). Here is a chart which shows the qualities of various ideal circuits.
|Channel Description||Quality||% Perfect|
|9600 baud wire (2 port)||255||99%+|
|9600 baud satellite (2 port)||252||98%|
|9600 baud wire (3 port)||248||97%|
|9600 baud radio internode backbone||240||94%|
|1200 baud radio internode backbone||224||88%|
|1200 baud radio user channel||192||75%|
|300 baud radio HF channel||128||50%|
There are a number of variations of the NODE command:
NODES * -- This command lists both the destination and hidden nodes.
Hidden nodes are not destinations and are not listed with a simple
NODES command. They are nodes used in the transport of your
packet to another destination. That is why they are hidden. A
set of nodes that operate at high speed solely for the purpose of
transporting information from destination to destination is called
a backbone. The hidden nodes are normally backbone nodes that are
not accessible to the users, they are accessible only to other
NODES nodename -- This command gives specific routing information on a
particular node. For example, using "NODES CMH", you might
receive this response:
Routes to CMH:K1LT-1
126 6 1 K8EIW-8
92 4 1 WA8BXN-2
PARMS (NET/ROM and The NET only)
This command allows the user to see how the node is set up. You get a
string of 26 numbers in reply:
|1||Max # of destinations in the node list||50||1||400|
|2||Quality needed for a update of a destination||1||0 (off)||255|
|3||Channel 0 quality (radio)||192||0 (off)||255|
|4||Channel 1 quality (RS-232 wired to other node)||255||0 (off)||255|
|5||Obsolescence count initializer (first used)||6||0||255|
|6||Obsolescence needed for route to be broadcast||5||1||255|
|7||Auto update broadcast-broadcast of known nodes||3600||0||65535|
|8||Network time-to-live initializer||64||0||255|
|9||Transport time-out (frack) in seconds||60||5||600|
|10||Transport maximum tries||3||2||127|
|11||Transport ack delay (seconds)||3||1||60|
|12||Transport busy delay (seconds)||180||1||1000|
|13||Transport requested window size (# frames)||4||1||127|
|14||Congestion control threshold (# frames)||4||1||127|
|15||No-activity timeout timer (seconds)||900||0||65535|
|16||Key up P-persistence threshold (P/256)||64||0||255|
|17||Key up slot time (10ms increments)||10||0||127|
|18||Link T1 timeout (frack in seconds)||4||1||15|
|19||Link T1 window size (maxframes)||7||1||7|
|20||Link maximum tries (0=forever)||10||0||127|
|21||Link T2 timeout (10ms increments)||100||0||6000|
|22||Link T3 timeout (10ms increments)||18000||0||65535|
|23||AX.25 digipeating (1=enabled 0= disabled)||1||0||1|
|24||Validate callsigns (1=enabled 0=disabled)||1||0||1|
|25||Station ID beacons (2=on 1=active 0=off)||2||0||2|
|26||CQ broadcasts (1=enabled 0=disabled)||1||0||1|
PORTS (MSYS only)
This is used to determine the port assignments in MSYS nodes.
This command returns information about who the node can directly talk
to. For example, if you were connected to the CLE220 node a ROUTES command
might give you the following information:
> 1 K8EIW-7 241 64 !
> 1 K8EIW-8 250 70 !
0 K8EIW-5 195 10 !
0 KA8TEF-3 181 0 !
0 WA8BXN-2 240 10 !
0 NO8M-2 192 4 !
> 1 WB8BII-9 192 38 !
This means that CLE220 can talk directly to the nodes listed. To get
their alias rather than the callsign, use the "N callsign" command. In a
route list, the following may appear:
- ">" if an active crosslink exists to this neighbor
- port number (for NET-0=radio 1=wired)
- path to this neighbor (callsigns and digis)
- path quality (255=best 0=worst)
- number of routes from this neighbor
- "!" if this neighbor is locked. This means the path quality is set
by the node sysop and does not change. (Used in NETROM & NET)
MSYS has a different routing output but the same basic information is
TALK (MSYS Nodes Only)
Allows a connect to the local keyboard, if it is enabled.
This command gives a summary of who is using the node. The active
circuits and links are described using the following format:
UPLINK (a connection from a user to a node)
DOWNLINK (a connection from the nodes to a destination)
from call to call
CIRCUIT (a connection between two nodes)
node and usercall
HOST (a local connection to the node, a sysop use)
Overall, watch the path quality when making a decision about where to go
in the nodelists.
As always, don't hesitate to leave a message to the callsign of the
board for help in using the system.
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