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[aprssig] REVIEW: UI-Instant Messenger

Stephen H. Smith wa8lmf2 at aol.com
Wed Sep 21 06:40:38 UTC 2005

A new APRS messaging client,  packaged to look somewhat like AIM (AOL 
Instant Messenger) or Yahoo Messenger,  has been released by  Andy, 
M0CYP, prolific author of add-ons for UI-View.     Although originally 
intended as an alternate message client for UIview that implements a 
decaying re-transmit algorithm,  it can also be used stand-alone.   UI 
Instant Messenger works on all flavors of 32-bit Windows (Win95, 98, ME, 
2000, XP).

Three connect modes are selectable from a pulldown menu after installation.

1)  It can connect directly to the Internet and log into an APRS server 
with no other APRS application present.  You specify an APRS server URL, 
port number and optionally logon text; i.e. it can log into tier2 server 
filter port 14580.

2)  It can connect directly to AGW Packet Engine with no other APRS 
application present. In turn any hardware or soundcard TNC being managed 
by AGW can be selected by port number.

3)  It can can work with UIview using whatever callsign,  TNC/server 
settings, and connectivity are in use by UIview.

In the first two cases, you assign it it's own callsign/SSID.  For the 
APRS server login you have to provide your APRServe validation number 
just as with any other APRS app.   As part of UI-Messenger setup, you 
specify which port number (1-n in the case of AGW, 1-n or "I -- 
Internet" in the case of UI View,  or   URL:port-number   in the case of 
direct Internet connect) to use. 

You can, in turn, connect to UI-Messenger, via TCPIP Telnet. The Telnet 
port number is user definable (defaults to 8026), and is protected by a 
single user-id/password pair.   I used HyperTerm 6.3 to successfully 
connect to an instance of UI-Messenger on the same PC, and also over my 
LAN from another PC.  I defined a HyperTerm .ht "session file" 
(shortcut) so that I could connect with a single double-click. You start 
the Telnet session and get a simple  "cmd> " prompt for a logon. 

The screen is laid out similarly to AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) or Yahoo 
Messenger.  It has two windows; a lower one that is used to compose an 
outgoing string to send, and an upper window, confusingly labled "My 
Messages Received" although it also shows SENT messages.   In a manner 
also similar to AIM,  it displays sent strings in red and received 
strings in blue.  There is no indication of the path or port number used 
by either outgoing or incoming messages.  A list of previously-stored 
callsigns, to select for outgoing messages,  is in a vertical column on 
the right, reminiscent of an AIM "Buddy List".

It seems to partially implement WB4APR's decaying algortithm for APRS 

During my test with AGW Packet Engine I observered the following intervals:

TRIAL ONE  (Seconds from Initial Transmission
    0   Seconds (Original transmission)

TRIAL TWO  (Seconds from Initial Transmission
    0   Seconds (Original transmission)

There appears to be no way to kill a message before it times out.  While 
it is waiting for an ack or timeout on the first message, no subsequent 
messages can be transmitted. 

This new program is downloadable from:

Currently a Ver 1.04 Full Install and a Ver 1.05 Update that installs 
over Ver 1.04 are on the website.

Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com
EchoLink Node:      14400    [Think bottom of the 2M band]
Skype:              wa8lmf
Home Page:          http://wa8lmf.com

"APRS 101"  Explanation of APRS Path Selection & Digipeating

Updated APRS Symbol Chart

New/Updated "Rev G" APRS     http://webs.lanset.com/wa8lmf/aprs
Symbols Set for UI-View,
UIpoint and APRSplus:

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