Connects with AGW AR-Cluster Sysop Manual

AR-Cluster interfaces to the SV2AGW AGW Packet Engine, which using the KISS protocol, interfaces into most popular TNC’s.   AR-Cluster can support connections into multiple AGW engines running a various local or remote locations with each AGW engine supporting one or more TNC/Radio combinations.


AGW Interfaces

Two types of interfaces are supported between AR-Cluster and the AGW Packet Engine, the DLL interface and the TCPIP interface.  Use the DLL if you are running your AGW Packet Engine on the same machine as your AR-Cluster node.  It’s the simplest and needs very little configuration. 


Use the TCPIP interface if your AGW Packet Engine will run on a second computer.  We have reports from both Eric G0CGL / GB7CGL and Ernie KS4Q that the AGW TCPIP interface operates much better than did the DLL interface. 



AGW DLL Interface Configuration

The AGW DLL interface is selected using the Cfg>IoDevices dialog.  Check AGW Packet Engine option and click the “…” button for further configuration.  Select the "AGW via DLL" option, dismiss the dialog and save your settings.  Restart ARC for your changes to take effect.


AGW TCPIP Interface Configuration

The AGW TCPIP interface is the preferred means for interfacing to the AGW Packet Engine.  In the I/O configure section of AR-Cluster, make sure that the box to the Left of 'AGW Packet Engine' is checked.  Next, click the box to the right of AGW Packet Engine which will allow you to configure AGW.  Click the circle that says AGW via TCPIP.  You will need to configure your log in message for each of the AGW ports (TNCs as it turns out) that you are running.  Click the apply box at the bottom of the box after you configure each Port 's log in message. 


Specify an unused TCPIP Port, the default is 8000.  Click the box next to the Words 'Enabled'.  If you are running AGW and AR-Cluster on the same computer (more than likely you are), enter the IP address of your computer.  You can also use the local 'loop back' address of   


Now, it is time to configure AGW.  Go ahead and launch AGW if it is not already running. 'Right -Click' on the AGW icon and select "Setup Interfaces".  You will want to be on the "Winsock Interface" tab.  Check the box next to "Enable Winsock TCP/IP Application Interface"  Then, enter the port number 8000 (or whatever number you entered in place of 8000 in the prior step) into the box at the bottom next to the letters "TCP"


Finally, you will need to restart each program.  You will find that on the Sysop tab, you now get on screen confirmation that AGW and AR-Cluster are communicating...something you did not really get with the dll based interface. 


If you want to speak TCPIP over the air, then that is a separate deal, which does require you to register software, written by SV2AGW.  But this is not something that we typically do with a DX cluster.



AGW  Setup For TCPIP Interface

To set up AGW to use the TCPIP interface, launch the AGW application and click on the AGW icon on the right hand side of the task bar.  Select the Setup Interfaces option.  A dialog will launch allowing you to configure the various settings needed to connect to AGW over TCPIP.  Do the following:

Winsock Interface Security > Enable Winsock TCPIP - Check this option

Winsock Interface Security > TCP - Set this to match the TCPIP port in ARC, defaults to 8000

Winsock Interface Security - Set the login security as needed


AGW  Setup For TNC/Radios

Run the “AGW Packet Engine.exe” file, the AGW Packet Engine should load and show up in the task bar at the bottom of the screen.  To configure the AGW Packet Engine, right-click on the AGW Packet Engine on the lower part of the screen and select the properties option.  Select new port, select OK, and enter the desired com port, baud rate and TNC type.  Other options can be modified as desired.  Select OK and OK.  Then close the program by right clicking on the AGW Packet Engine, on the lower part of the screen and select close.  Make sure the TNC is connected and powered up and then restart the AGW engine.  Several sysops have reported issues using the AGW auto adjust feature. 


Recommend settings from WU3V are:


Recommend settings from K5AB optimized during a major contest for 4 connections:



AGW Connections

To connect to a node or user, using the AGW Packet Engine, in AGW frame on the connect tab, enter the call, select the AGW port number and press the connect button.  Digipeat connections via the AGW driver are accomplished by separating the callsigns with a space.  In you are running a TCPIP connection to AGW, there will be an extra Interface box displayed on the connect tab.  This option selects which of the AGW TCPIP port interfaces (up to nine) gets the connection.


The command line and scheduler connection for TCPIP/AGW has an extra parameter indicating the AGW port.  For a TCPIP connection the connect command looks like:


Connect/agw12 k5na          (connect using AGW TCPIP interface 1 port 2)

Connect/agw12 k5na  n3bb        (connect using AGW TCPIP interface 1 port 2 digi thru N3BB)


The following commands can be used to disconnect AGW users and reset the AGW interface. 


restart/agw1          (Restart AGW 1 Interface)

restart/agw            (restart all AGW connection interfaces)


AGW Notes

1) The AGW EXE should be ran and loaded prior to the loading of AR-Cluster. 


2) Initiating a connection to an AGW port, which has not been configured in the AGW setup, will result in a crash in the AGW driver.  We have alerted SV2AGW and hope to have a fix soon.


3) Support for the AGW user name / password option will released in a future ARC version.


4) Allowing Windows to auto-start both AGW and AR-Cluster will result in errors as Windows will attempt to start AR-Cluster before AGW is fully loaded.  Instead, configure Windows to launch AGW and AGW to launch AR-Cluster (right-click the AGW icon, select Startup Programs and configure AR-Cluster to auto-start).


5) If you are running Windows 95, you will also need to install the Winsock control.  You can download it from the AGW web site as an executable called ws2setup.exe.  Running the ws2setup.exe will install the necessary components to your PC.  Reboot the PC after installing.


6) Several sites on the Internet offer hints as to configuration of various TNC’s with the AGW Packet Engine. 


7) The AGW engine can be downloaded from the Internet from:  Click on downloads and download the file.  UnZip the AGW files to a folder.  There is no installation with the AGW files, just unzip them into the AGW folder.  


8) If you experience problems with AGW crashing or failing to load, the common fix is to place a jumper between pins as shown in the following chart.  This modification may also be necessary for JNOS connections through BPQ32.


Connector Type

Pins to Connect


Pins 7 and 8


Pins 4 and 5


9) The AGW Activity Timer serves as a keep-alive during extended periods of no activity on AGW ports.  The AGW Activity Timer works as follows.  Every 10 minutes we make a sweep of the AGW node and user connect objects and if there was no activity for the last 10 minutes, we send out two Null characters.  Most of the time there is traffic every 10 minutes and the AGW Activity Timer never activates.