Amateur Radio Packet – Using Outpost with a software modem

My current packet setup is using the UZ7HO modem software – it seems to work pretty well, and as a software based packet modem it seems to work better than AGWPE since that seems to be a bit temperamental.

I’ve been experimenting using Outpost as a message client via UZ7HO. In the settings (Setup/TNC) on the AGW tab, you can enter an IP address of where your AGW software is running.┬áThis is an easy option to connect Outpost with UZ7HO since it can run in network mode. I also typically run a laptop running UZ7HO in my office where my radio is, and then I can connect to it from elsewhere in the house on another laptop.

The first issue I’ve noticed is that if I already have a terminal connected to UZ7HO remotely using my regular call, I can’t connect with Outpost using the same call. I guess this makes sense, and this is where the use of the ‘-number’ suffixes comes in that you commonly see on packet. This is what the error in Outpost looks like if you try and use the same call with no unique suffix:

3/4/2015 10:21:18 PM -- (N2) AGWPE Registration failed. Check for: 1. missing or invalid remote logon/password 2. station ID already in use by another AGWPE application

Ok, so to fix this you could put a number suffix on your call, but then when you connect to a local packet BBS to pick up messages, this doesn’t work as it appears to look for message sent to that matching call+suffix, so I’m guessing the callsign you configure in Outpost really does have to be your real callsign. This means you have to close any other connected terminal apps that you are running at the same time, or, configure the terminal to use a suffix on your call (maybe that makes more sense).

The next issue I’ve run into is that when I connect to a BBS using a terminal app directly, I have the ‘OP’ setting (‘output pause’, I think) set to some sensible number, like 10 lines, so I get the continue/cancel prompt when reading messages, or listing the messages on the BBS. It seems Outpost doesn’t know how to handle this, and will pause forever on message download, eventually timing out and disconnecting. There might be another way to configure this, but the only way I’ve found so far is to connect to the BBS directly, set ‘op 0’ and disconnect. Now when Outpost next connects, it downloads all your messages without interruptions.