BPQ First steps

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First steps

Installing BPQ

The BPQ software is available from a link on the starting page of the BPQ32 yahoo group

   https://groups.yahoo.com/group/BPQ32/

Furthermore you will find the most recent as well as older versions of the software on John Wiseman's webpage

   http://www.cantab.net/users/john.wiseman/Downloads/

To perform the installation execute the setup program and follow the instructions. Basically you have to decide for the target installation folders. Please use the defaults whenever possible.

BPQ cleanly separates user data from programs and libraries. After installing the software you will find the following files and folders on your system (32 bit Windows system):

Programs

    C:\Program Files\BPQ32
        |
        +- Documents            # documens folder
        |   +- index.html       # starting document
        +- Shortcuts            # folder with links to start BPQ programs
        +- VCOM32               # folder for virtual COM ports
        +- VCOM64               # folder for virtual COM ports
        |
        +- AGWtoBPQ.exe         # AGW interface
        +- bpq32.exe            # main program
        +- BPQ32.url            # link to BPQ internet documentation
        +- bpqadapters.exe
        +- BPQAPRS.exe          # APRS interface
        +- BPQAuth.exe          # generates passcodes for BBS sysop access
        +- BPQChat.exe          # chat server program
        +- BPQCtro.ocx          # OCX API
        +- BPQHostModes.exe     # virtual TNC to communicate with other software
        +- BPQMail.exe          # BBS program
        +- BPQTerminal.exe      # terminal program
        +- BPQTermTCP.exe       # remote terminal program
        +- BPQTNC2.exe          # TNC interface
        +- BPQVirtualCOM.sys    # virtual COM port
        +- WinmorControl.exe    # Winmor interface
        |
        +- ClearRegistryPath    # cleanup for updates
        +- RegBPQCtrl.bat
        +- RegBPQCtrl.PIF
        +- SetRegistryPath      # relates to software updates
        +- UninstallBPQ32.exe   # uninstaller
        +- UnRegBPQCtrl.bat
        +- UnRegBPQCtrl.PIF
        +- VCOMConfig.exe       # config for virtual COM ports

DLLs

    C:\Windows\System32         # Windows 32bits OS
        |
        +- BPQ32.dll

    C:\Windows\SysWOW64         # Windows 64bits OS
        |
        +- BPQ32.dll

Registry keys

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\G8BPQ\BPQ32\ # basic data (version nr etc.)
        |
        +- BPQTerminal      # config of BPQTerminal.exe
        +- BPQTermMDI       #

User data

    C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\BPQ32
        |
        +- BPQ32.cfg        # main config file
        |
        +- BPQAPRS          # APRS folder
        +- BPQMailChat      # BBS folder
        +- BPQNODES.dat     # known AX.25 nodes (binary)
        +- Examples         # folder with sample configs
        +- HTML             #
        +- Logs             # logs
        +- RelatedFiles     #

Updates

To update an existing BPQ installation first stop any running BPQ programs and then execute the setup program for the new version.

From time to time you will notice the announcment of new versions of single components e.g. bpq32.dll on the mailing list. To install those intermittent updates first stop any running BPQ programs then make a backup copy of the existing file and replace it with the newer version.

Some intermittent updates are so-called debug versions which produce additional extensive logging output to track down reported bugs. This logging information can be seen (and written to file) with the help of the MS DebugView tool which you can download at

   https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb896647.aspx

It may be a good idea to download and install this tool beforehand so that you will be ready to go just in case you need it.


Starting, stopping, and accessing BPQ

The main software component of BPQ is bpq32.dll and BPQ is running once this DLL is loaded into memory. This happens when you start any program of the BPQ software suite on your computer and BPQ will bring up a console window.

If you are using applications implemented in separate programs (e.g. BBS) you will have to start them before BPQ. The "shortcuts" folder contains links to start BPQ in different ways (e.g. BPQ with BBS). Best copy the shortcut(s) you need to the start menu, the launch bar, or on the desktop.

To stop BPQ choose "Stop all BPQ programs" from the BPQ console window menu.

The console window is to display status information on the running system. Commands for BPQ can be issued using the terminal program BPQ32Terminal which you have to start separately. The terminal is divided into three main areas:

    BPQ32Terminal
    +-----------------------------------------+
    | menu bar                                |
    +-----------------------------------------+
    | monitor window to show monitored AX.25  |
    | packets                                 |
    +-----------------------------------------+
    | output window shows command output      |
    |                                         |
    |                                         |
    |                                         |
    +-----------------------------------------+
    | command line to enter your BPQ commands |
    +-----------------------------------------+

There is also a remote version of the terminal which connects to BPQ via TCP/IP. The required configuration is described in the section on network ports.


Verifying your installation

After completing the installation start the BPQ terminal which will bring up both the terminal window and the BPQ32 console window.

Enter the command

    C 1 MYNODE v MYCALL

in the lower-most terminal window. You should see the reply

    MYNODE:MYCALL} Connected to MYNODE
    This is the CTEXT.
    MYNODE:MYCALL} CONNECT BYE INFO NODES ROUTES PORTS USERS MHEARD

in the output window. Everything you type in the lower-most window should be echoed in the output window.

If this works properly your installation was successful. Now terminate BPQ.


Basic configuration

The main configuration file for BPQ is bpq32.cfg located in the user data root directory. This file contains the configuration of the node (i.e. switch and ports) and the applications to use.

This is complemented by application specific configurations. In case of the BBS application bpq32.cfg will state that the BBS is to be used and all details on the BBS itself (users, forwarding rules, message housekeeping etc.) can be found somewhere else in the system.

Side note: Older versions of BPQ required you to run the configuration file through a compiler (BPQcfg.exe) first which produced a binary version of the config named bpqcfg.bin. If you find any reference to this file just ignore it.

The BPQ config is based on values (VALUE) being assigned to parameters (PARAM). The syntax is:

    PARAM=VALUE  or  PARAM: VALUE

for single line values (depending on PARAM) and

    PARAM
    VALUE
    ***

for multi-line values. Comments are started with a ";".

Before you make any changes to the config file first make a backup copy of the original file.

The config file needs to contain at least the following parameters:

    ; station info
    NODECALL
    NODEALIAS
    IDMSG
    INFOMSG
    CTEXT
    FULL_CTEXT

    ; general options
    AUTOSAVE
    BBS
    NODE
    HIDENODES
    ENABLE_LINKED

    ; packet/ node parameter
    OBSINIT
    OBSMIN
    NODESINTERVAL
    IDINTERVAL
    BTINTERVAL
    L3TIMETOLIVE
    L4RETRIES
    L4TIMEOUT
    L4DELAY
    L4WINDOW
    MAXLINKS
    MAXNODES
    MAXROUTES
    MAXCIRCUITS
    MINQUAL
    PACLEN
    TRANSDELAY
    T3
    IDLETIME

A detailed description of all available parameters can be found on the BPQ webpage.

You need to specify the above packet radio parameters even if you do not even have a packet port. This is due to BPQ's history as a packet node software.

Here is a description of the parameters listed above:

NODECALL

this is the callsign of the node (callsigns used for applications may differ)

NODEALIAS packet radio alias name of the node

If your node does not have an alias specify "NODEALIAS=;"

IDMSG, IDINTERVAL IDMSG will be sent every IDINTERVAL minutes by packet radio broadcast
CTEXT connect text of the node.

Please note that applications can have their own connect texts or welcome messages.

FULL_CTEXT

When set to 0 the CTEXT will only be send when connecting to the node alias. When set to 1 CTEXT will be send for all incoming connects.

HFCTEXT

Connect text of the node for HF access (usually shorter than CTEXT). If not specified CTEXT will be used.

INFOMSG

info message/ basic help text send as a response to the "I" command at the switch

AUTOSAVE=1 saves the nodes and routing tables at program exit
LOCATOR

the Maidenhead locator of your station. Your node will be announced on the internet if you specify your locator (and you have an active internet connection). "LOCATOR=NONE" avoids this.

MAPCOMMENT comment displayed with the announcment of your node on the internet
BBS

BBS=1 activates support for applications. Otherwise you will have a pure node.

NODE

With NODE=1 users can connect to the node and initate outbound connections.

ENABLE_LINKED allows to use the LINKED command
  • ENABLE_LINKED=Y: anybody can execute LINKED
  • ENABLE_LINKED=A: only applications can use LINKED
  • ENABLE_LINKED=N: command deactivated

It is recommended to use option A.

MAXLINKS max. number of L2 links
MAXNODES max. number of nodes (L4 destinations)
MAXROUTES

max. number of packet radio L4 neighbours i.e. stations which can be connected directly

MAXCIRCUITS

max. number of L4 circuits. Since every user needs both an upstream and a downstream circuit the value should be at least twice the number of max. concurrent users.


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