XASTIR – I am giving it a second try

In January of ’012 I gave Xastir a shot [tech-tut.com/?p=1624], and for the most part I really liked it. The problems that I had included having to run the TNC in KISS mode and then trying to get the TNC out of KISS mode for other packet operations.

Lately I have been running my home server with “remote X” which allows me to use programs with GUIs installed on my server on a remote system. With this visual capability, running packet through Minicom has become a little boring. I have also grown a little tired of chasing the ISS, so I set my radio for 144.390MHz and decided I would use a little packet radio for a little while.

I found a solution to my original problem of getting my KAM TNC out of KISS mode. In order to do this you have to send ALT+192 ALT+255 ALT+192 (which translates into 0xC0 0xFF 0xC0). You can’t send these codes in Minicom or Cutecom as far as I know. I’ve tried, but pressing ALT just makes the horizontal tool bar light up.

The program that I found that could send these hex codes is GTKTERM. Before I couldn’t do this because I wasn’t running X. Now I can and it allows me to send these codes to reset my KAM TNC.

There isn’t much of anything exciting about what I’m doing, but it is neat to see what all is sending position data around me. I am not using a GPS since the position and radio is in my shack. I just transmit my home location. It is just a change of pace to see what’s going on around me (which is something that viewing raw APRS packets in Minicom didn’t really do.)


About robbie

I am an electronics enthusiest and a ham radio operator (W1RCP). I like to play with electronics. It's fun and educational. I looked forward to working in the engineering field in the future. I have a BS in Electronics Engineering Technology from DeVry University. I also have an Associate's degree in Marketing Management from Moultrie Tech, and a diploma in Electronics from MTC.

3 thoughts on “XASTIR – I am giving it a second try

  1. FWIW, Xastir comes with a script called “kiss-off.pl” that will emit the correct characters to take a TNC out of KISS mode. To use it, one simply runs it and redirects its output to the serial port to which your TNC is connected, e.g.

    /usr/local/share/xastir/scripts/kiss-off.pl > /dev/ttyS0

    or whatever. If you’re installing Xastir from a recent version of source, that’s where the scripts are installed. Older versions of source (before 2.0.0, I think) installed them into /usr/local/lib/xastir (a poor choice, which is why we changed it so that everything’s under /usr/local/share/xastir now), and if you installed from a binary package (i.e. through Synaptic) they’d be in /usr/lib/xastir, because most of those packages are really old versions of Xastir.

  2. And if you are still interested in playing with Xastir, you should probably join its mailing list, where the developers/maintainers of the code spend a lot of time helping users work through issues like this.

    Got here to your blog primarily because another user is experiencing the same problems that you experienced with your KAM not going into converse mode, and we’re working on understanding why. He pointed us at this blog to show that he’s not the only one with the issue.

  3. Tom,

    Thanks for the visit and the comments. I’ll check out the script that you mentioned. That looks like a really easy way to reset my TNC without having to do my normal sequence of events.

    Lately, I’ve had everything turned off due to the digital oscillations from the serial cable, ethernet, and computer electronics causing interference all across the HF and VHF bands. I’m thinking about rearranging and building my computer and TNC inside a Faraday cage.

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