Telnet BBSes and other online things

I’ve been playing with the wifi AT modem on my VT132 and have been dialing up a few BBSes to test it out. Interesting ones I’ve looked at so far:

I’ll share others that are worth a look as I come across them.

New BBS documentary: Back to the BBS part 1

There is a new documentary about BBSes posted to YouTube this week, ‘Back to the BBS’. Rather than focusing on the history of the BBS such as Jason Scott’s awesome ‘BBS The Documentary’, this one looks at using BBSes in the current time, and why there is an increasing interest in using BBSes today.

Part 1 is 43 minutes and walks through using telnet based BBSes today, and includes a number of interviews with people looking back at when BBSes were in their height of popularity, and also interviews a number of Sysops of current day active BBSes and their users.

VT132 Using the AT Modem over WiFi

The VT132 includes a telnet/WiFi modem that supports AT commands to ‘dial’ online sites, such as BBSes that are accessible using telnet.

To connect to the modem, use the Alt-F1 menu and enable the ‘Enable modem locally’ option:

Useful commands:

AT$ – lists commands and help:

AT+W? – displays current WiFi status

AT+W=ssid,password : connect to WiFi ssid with password

AT+W$ – shows IP address when connected to WiFi:

AT+W+ : reconnects to WiFi using params last used and stored

AT+W- : disconnects from WiFi

Testing dialing up Retro Battlestations BBS:

Since VT132 also supports ANSI escape sequences, dialing up Blackflag BBS has some awesome ANSI graphics: :

Packet Radio on Debian 9 with Direwolf and ax25

I’ve played around with Packet and Direwolf on the Raspberry Pi quite a bit, but every time I try and getting it working on Linux on a desktop I run into some differences in the config. From past attempts, I followed most of the steps I had followed before here.

The following steps are with a USB Rigblaster Plug n Play, connected to the dataport on my Icom 880h radio .

I installed and compiled Direwolf from source as before, and started it up with:

$ direwolf -t 0 -p
Dire Wolf version 1.5
Reading config file direwolf.conf
Audio device for both receive and transmit: plughw:0,0 (channel 0)
Channel 0: 1200 baud, AFSK 1200 & 2200 Hz, E+, 44100 sample rate.
Ready to accept AGW client application 0 on port 8000 …
Ready to accept KISS TCP client application 0 on port 8001 …
Virtual KISS TNC is available on /dev/pts/1
Created symlink /tmp/kisstnc -> /dev/pts/1

I installed the ax25 apps as in the previous article, and then added 1 line to /etc/ax25/ports:

1    KK6DCT-1    1200    255 2   2m packet

I then started kissattach:

$ sudo kissattach /dev/pts/1 1

/dev/pts/1 is the value from when Direwolf started, and port 1 is the line I added to the ports file.

From here I can connect to the local ag6qo-1 BBS, via the BERR37 node:

axcall 1 ag6qo-1 via berr37