Quick Start Guide  AR-Cluster Sysop Manual


This guide is intended as a quick way of getting your AR-Cluster node up and running.  Please consult the detailed documentation in the AR-Cluster Sysop and User Manuals when needed. 


The files needed for the AR-Cluster install can be purchased on CD or downloaded from the Internet from the FTP site at ftp://ftp.ab5k.net/.


Before installing AR-Cluster it is recommended that you install the latest version of Internet Explorer IE6.0.   You can download IE6 from the Microsoft web site.


The AR-Cluster Full install will be installed next.  Obtain the latest Full install file and unzip it on your Windows desktop.  You will need a unzip program that can handle long file names.  Most of the sysops use WinZip.  There is a link to the WinZip site on the links page on the www.ab5k.net web site.  After the Unzip operation, you should have three files: setup.exe,  SETUP.LST, and Ar-Cluster.CAB


Run the setup.exe file and follow the instructions.  If you are asked to reboot your machine do so and then restart the installation.  The setup installer may occasionally warn that its trying to install a file that’s older that your current file.  If you see this prompt, always keep the newer file.  After installation, copy your supplied license file into the folder where the application was installed generally C:\Program Files\AR-Cluster.


Help Files

Help files are distributed in zipped format and will need to be uncompressed.   The help files are installed in a zip files during the installation and will need to be uncompressed.  As later versions of the help files are released, you can download them from the FTP site and unzip them into the appropriate folder.


In the ArcDocs\SysopManual folder, uncompress the files in the ArcSysopManual.zip file.  Un-zip the new files into the same folder. 


In the ArcDocs\ UserManual folder, uncompress the files in the ArcUserManual.zipfile.  Un-zip the new files into the same folder. 


You can also view the help files on-line at www.ab5k.net. 


Start the application using the following:  Start>Programs>AR-Technology>AR-Cluster.  The AR-Cluster splash screen should launch displaying the licensed callsign and the software version number.  After a few seconds, the main AR-Cluster window will be presented.


From the main menu bar across the top of the application select the Cfg>Station option.  Set your latitude and longitude, Lat/Lon, location.

Syntax: SEt/Location lat-deg lat-min N/S long-deg long-min E/W

Example:  30 17 N 97 57 W 


AR-Cluster’s internal clock has to be set to GMT.   If you set your compute time to something other than GMT, make sure you set the Windows GMT time offset so that AR-Cluster will be running on GMT time.  Check the AR-Cluster clock on the lower right corner of the main screen to make sure its running at the correct GMT time.

AR-Technology Callsign Databases

The AR-Tech Callsign Database can be used to show information about a callsign (SHOW/HAM etc.).  Current countries supported by the AR-Tech callsign databases are the USA and Canada.  AR-Cluster also uses these databases in the filtering of DX spots.   These databases are required for AR-Cluster nodes operating in the USA and Canada.  The AR-Technology callsign database is named ArTechCallSign.mdb.  All databases should be copied into the “Database” folder in AR-Cluster.

Also install the QSL database, into the database folder.

Internet Connects

In order to establish connections with another AR-Cluster node running on the Internet, you will need to know the callsign and domain name (or internet address) of the node.  We recommend using one of the following nodes when first coming up on the network.



Address/Domain Name




Austin, TX: terry@ab5k.net



Austin, TX: terry@ab5k.net


To connection to the AR-Cluster Internet backbone, make sure your computer is connected to the Internet.  Also make sure the node you are connecting to has entered your callsign into their node list.  From the main menu bar across the top of the application select the Cfg>IO Devices option and in the Device Select frame, check the TCP/IP option.  Select the Exit button and Select the OK button.  Restart the application so the new TCPIP setting will take effect.  After the application launches, switch to the Connections Tab and in the TCPIP frame enter the Call and IP address or domain name of the AR-Cluster node you are connecting to. 


When you connect to the AR-Cluster node, you will see a green light indicating a connection.  You will also see data being exchanged in the monitor window between your node and the host node.   During initialization with the remote node connected nodes will be reported. 


To disconnect, highlight the node you are connected to in the Connections Tab Tree-View and hit the Disconnect button.

RF Connects

Adding a RF connection port requires both setup in AR-Cluster and the configuration of the AGW Packet Engine driver by SV2AGW.  The AGW driver was installed on your computer during AR-Cluster installation.  


The details of the AGW installation are found in the AGW Configuration Guide.