Using a VT132 for Packet Radio

I have an AEA PK-232 that I picked up a couple of years ago at my Amateur Radio club’s White Elephant sale for a few bucks. With the VT132 that I just recently built, it works as an excellent terminal client to the PK-232.

To connect, set baud rate in the VT132 to 1200 8N1. Connect with a null modem cable. Power on the PK-232 and you should see:

Press type a star (*) for auto-baud routine.

Press * and then you should see the AEA PK-232 startup copyright message.

To get a cmd: prompt to enter commands, press Ctrl-C.

I’ve attached my 2m radio with the audio in so far, and here’s a pic while decoding some APRS messages:

Next I need to make a custom cable to connect to my Icom’s data port, and then I should be all set to work some packet.

More TNC Commands

MCON ON : monitor all packets to/from other stations, not just your station

MCOM ON: monitor all packets sent (including ack packets etc)

MONITOR ON: turn on monitoring while not connected

Kantronics All Mode TNC – useful commands and tips

I’m still learning what the different commands are, but here’s what I’ve worked out so far (some of this might be wrong, if so leave me a comment!)

  • c callsign : connect to callsign
  • c callsign1 via callsign2 : connect via some other station you can hear
  • unproto name via call1, call2, etc : sets the routing list of stations where your want your packets to be sent when in conv mode (?)
  • when you connect (c) direct to another station, you enter conv mode with that station
  • conv: enter conv mode when not directly connected to another station (packets are broadcast to the stations in your unproto string)
  • Ctrl-C : to exit conv mode, and get back to cmd: mode
  • perm : write settings to eprom

Useful commands when connected to someone’s bbs:

  • l : list all messages
  • lm : list messages to me
  • b : list broadcast messages
  • s callsign : send message to callsign
  • r # : read msg #
  • b (bye) : exit