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
 

AGWPE and Airmail

Airmail ( http://www.siriuscyber.net/ham/ ) is a software program that is used in the WinLink amateur radio messaging system (http://www.winlink.org) to send messages via packet to the internet. (Airmail can also send messages to the internet via PACTOR.)

Airmail by itself does not support AGWPE (at least not as of June 2008), but Brian Smith KG9OG has come up with additional software to enable Airmail to work with AGWPE (or PE Pro). An additional benefit of using this method is that AGWPE can simultaneous link to the AGWMonitor program (or the monitor function of the PE Pro software), which will let you monitor all packet traffic on the frequency. 

The following instructions apply to version 3.3.081 of Airmail working  with AGWPE (or Packet Engine Pro) and Windows XP, 2000 and Vista 32-bit (Vista 64-bit is untested). They were written by Gary Harrison, N7XOO on January 9, 2008 and edited by Don Felgenhauer, K7BFL on April 29, 2008:

The purpose of this process is to enable the Airmail software “Packet Client” module to work with most any sound card device or TNC that can be placed in the KISS mode, providing your computer's CPU is quick enough for AGW and has enough buffer memory to handle the demands of Airmail.

This configuration requires the addition of two additional pieces of software, each approximately 3M in size. Both are freeware. The following assumes that you already have AGW working well on your computer.

  1. Download, unzip, and install the “Airmail to Packet Engine” program (AMPE), AMPE162.zip. The link to the AMPE program (written by Brian Smith KG9OG) is http://www.qsl.net/mararc/ampe.htm  (zip file also available here on this Sound Card Packet web site but it may not be the most recent version)

After installing, read the excellent "Help" file and look for the Startup Command string. An Example would be: C:\ampe\AMPE162.EXE MYCALL,1,TRUE,8000,8100 where MYCALL is the call you are using for AirMail, and “1” is the AGW Port you are using.

If a shortcut for AMPE is not on your desktop, create a shortcut on your desktop to AMPE16.EXE. Then edit that shortcut, by right clicking, selecting “Properties” and then on the “Shortcut” tab in the “Target” box add the information as above, substituting the call you are using in AirMail for MYCALL, click Apply and then Ok. (NOTE: Be sure to add a space after AMPE16.EXE before entering the first letter of MYCALL).

Another alternative… AGW Packet Engine or AGW Packet Engine Pro may also be used to define the Command String. Within AGW…Setup…AutoStart, specify ampe162.exe and the "Startup Command String" would be “MYCALL,1,TRUE,8000,8100”

  1. Download and install the Lantronix CPR (Com Port Redirector) version 3.1.0.4.  The link to the Lantronix file is: http://www.lantronix.com/ftp/redirector/3.1.0.4/red32bit.exe   (also available here on this Sound Card Packet web site).

Be sure to use the 3 version; the 4 version doesn’t seem to work for this application. The purpose of this software is to enable you to create a “Virtual Com Port” on your computer (with a number that is not already being used), and to “re-direct” that Virtual Com Port to the actual Port number (1, 2, 3, etc) that you have previously configured as part of the AGW software. IGNORE all the install and setup error messages when installing on Vista 32-bit. The program will still install. Unblock ports in any Windows Firewall messages.

  1. Reboot the computer.
     
  2. Open the Lantronix Com Port Selector Program and click the “Com Setup” button Select a com port number that is not used by your computer. Click the Port settings box and check "Raw", click the “Add IP” button and enter 127.0.0.1 for Host and 8100 for Port. Click “OK” and then click “Save”. IGNORE any setup error messages when installing on Vista 32-bit.
     
  3. Reboot Again. The Lantronix software will now be running in the background. Verify the existence of your new “Virtual Port” by looking at Control Panel….System…Hardware…Device Manager….Ports. NOTE: For Vista 32bit, Device Manager will not show the Virtual Com Port, but it IS operational.
     
  4. Configure AirMail Packet Client to use the virtual com port you set up in the Lantronix CPR and choose KAM+ for the TNC. You may not really be using a KAM+, but that's what is recommended for a choice. [The actual interface with your TNC is determined by the port settings in AGW.]
     
  5. Close AirMail and edit the Airmail.ini file Backup your airmail.ini file; then do the following editing. Within the [Packet Client] section “comment out” lines by inserting a semi-colon at the beginning of these lines. See the Example below. Note that in this example COM12 is your “Virtual Port”; not the com port of the device you will actually use. All other settings remain the same, just add semi-colons starting with Tx Delay and ending with Packet Length.

    [Packet Client]
    DecoderType=KAM+
    Port Settings=COM12:9600,N,8,1
    Show Link Messages=1
    ;Tx Delay=600
    ;Persistence=64 ;
    Slot Time=300
    ;Max Frames=2
    ;Frack Time=6000
    ;Max Tries=10
    ;Response Delay=2000
    ;Check Time=30000
    ;Radio Baud=1200
    ;Tx Level=500
    ;Packet Length=120
    ;Tx Delay 2=600
    ;Persistence 2=64
    ;Slot Time 2=300
    ;Max Frames 2=2
    ;Frack Time 2=6000
    ;Max Tries 2=10
    ;Response Delay 2=2000
    ;Check Time 2=30000
    ;Radio Baud 2=1200
    ;Tx Level 2=500
    ;Packet Length 2=120

Save and Close the airmail.ini file.

  1. Start AGWPE, then AMPE, then AirMail; then start the AirMail Packet Client Module. You should see a pop-up message from the Lantronix Com Port Redirector, and then in the Packet Client window it should say “Packet initialized OK”.

You should now be up and running. When you click “Connect”; AirMail will be using the port and device you have configured in AGWPE (or AGW Packet Engine Pro).

Last Updated:
18Aug2015

by Ralph Milnes NM5RM

 

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