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[aprssig] X-digi install report

Wes Johnston aprs at kd4rdb.com
Sat Oct 15 22:35:09 UTC 2005

That was a sticky point for me as well.... Since TNC-x-digi copies all
TX and RX'ed packets to the serial port for monitoring, I assumed that
it would accept packets on the serial port from any kiss host program
such as xastir.  As it turns out, John didn't intend tnc-x-digi to work
that way.  He went to great lengths during testing to make sure that
xastir couldn't accidentally get the tnc-x into config mode... becuae
then it won't digipeat a thing.

So.. in a nutshell: you can use tnc-x-digi as a stand alone digipeater,
and you can also use it as a receive only IGATE... it does not transmit
kiss frames originating from the serial port when it's a digipeater.


Jason Winningham wrote:
> I got my X-digi kit last week.  Assembly took about 15 minutes. I 
> didn't get a chance to install and test until today.
> Assembly was very straightforward. There are few parts and the 
> instructions are clear.
> Installation into the tnc-x is easy, but there are 2 ways to install  it
> since the connector isn't keyed.  I oriented the module the same  way
> the X-track module went in, which turns out to be backwards for  the
> x-digi.  Neither the x-digi nor the tnc-x seemed to be harmed by  this
> mistake.  Note that the instructions clearly state how to  correctly
> install the module (if you read them).
> Configuration is fairly straightforward.  One thing that didn't work 
> the way I expected was the UIFLOOD limit and UITRACE limit values - I 
> had to set them one higher than I expected.  For example, I want to 
> support WIDE3-3 (and less).  I had to set the UITRACE limit to 4 to 
> accomplish this.  My settings are:
> C.     Set Digipeater Callsign.         :KG4WSV-7
> F.     Set UIFlood Callsign.            :AL
> L.     Set UIFlood Limit.               :8
> T.     Set UITrace Callsign.            :WIDE
> M.     Set UITrace Limit.               :4
> This allows AL7-7 and WIDE3-3.  A PATH of WIDE4-4 or higher results  in
> this:
> transmitted from D7: KG4WSV-1>STSS8R,WIDE4-4:'s\bl >/>
> digipeated by X-digi: KG4WSV-1>STSS8R,KG4WSV-7*:'s\bl >/>
> so a WIDE4-4 path gets one hop.
> The TNC-X serial port is at least partially active during operation.  
> It appears that any digipeated packets are also transmitted out the 
> serial port (in KISS mode, of course).  I was not successful in 
> transmitting packets from my favorite APRS application (xastir) using 
> the TNC-X while the X-digi was installed.  Note none of this is 
> mentioned in the documentation.  It is apparently assumed that you  will
> use the TNC-X for a digi or a TNC, but not both at the same time.
> I'm pleased with the ease of building, installing, and configuring  the
> X-digi.  I would like to be able to use the TNC-X to at least  receive
> all packets that are heard via the serial port and, even  better, be
> able to share the TNC with another application and  transmit packets
> from the application. I would also like to see a  schematic provided.
> I think the X-digi is an exciting development.  It would be  relatively
> simple to interface the x-digi (either the module or just  its PIC
> processor) to any KISS-mode TNC and extend the TNCs  capabilities.  Hams
> now have a software platform for implementing  network algorithms that
> are much more advanced than existing  capabilities without resorting to
> use of a PC or shoehorning code  onto a PROM for an obsolete hardware
> platform.  This means that  advances made can actually be implemented in
> the field in  circumstances where a PC would not be considered.
> -Jason
> kg4wsv
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