System Topics  AR-Cluster Sysop Manual

 

System Commands

 

AR-Cluster pulls its GMT system date and time from the Windows internals.  This allows the computer clock to be set to other time zone (email and etc) and also we do not have to worry about GMT offsets and local time changes due to Daylight savings time.

 

The Cfg>NodeStation>DateTimeFormat dialog also has options to override the Windows Regional settings for the display of date and time.   The Default button loads the settings from the Windows Regional settings.  The date and time format specified will be used for all user and sysop time.   For options on Regional format options consult your Windows manual on Regional setting options.  A typical example of the format would be:

Date = MM/dd/yyyy

Time = HH:mm:ssZ

 

The SET/DATE command can be used to set the date on your computer.

Example:

set/date 12-21-2001         (SEt/DATE mm-dd-yyyy)

 

The SET/TIME command can be used to set your computer time.  Note: The NT clock on the lower right side of the task bar does not change until the next minute change.  If you click on it, it will update.  The command can also be run as a remote command to set the time clock on other nodes.  The macro %TIME% will substitute the current node time.

Examples:

set/time 18:44        

rcmd/wu3v set/time %TIME%

 

The SHOW/TIME  command can be used to show the current computer date and time.

Example:

show/time     

 

The SET/HOMENODE/CALL command can be used by sysops and remote sysops to specify stations  "home node".  Home node is used in mail forwarding and in talk across limited protocol connections.

Example:

set/homenode/n5cq k5na     (N5CQ's home node is set to K5NA)

 

The SET/MODE command sets one of three operating modes for the cluster: Normal, Contest and Special (Emergency use).  The sysop can configure which commands are executable in each operating mode.  Operating commands for each mode are configured by the Cfg > Modes dialog. 

Examples:

set/mode contest    

set/mode normal  

set/mode special  

 

Network

 

As we continue to expand the ARC network, the design goal is to merge spots from all regions together into one or more AR-Cluster master nodes.  The master nodes will in turn feed regional nodes.  Each regional node should have a static IP address.  Regional ARC nodes will have static IP addresses and will feel individual ARC nodes in their area.

 

Upstream filters from the regional node to the master nodes will run wide open. Upstream filters from the master node to the regional nodes can be set based on regional spot interests.  ARC nodes connecting into a regional hub can further filter spots based on sysop and user desires.

 

Regional areas desiring to isolate the local spots during major contests can still do so with the use of upstream filters but they can also stay connected with the ARC master node and feed spots back into the network.  Additionally they will receive back spots in their regional, which may originate elsewhere in the network.

 

When you connect to a AR-Cluster hub, please be aware that you may be “getting a drink from a fire hose” and that you will need to set your upstream filters to throttle down the spot rates.  Especially during contest times, we will have more spots than a 1200-baud TNC port can handle.  You will not be popular within your regional nodes or your users if you flood them with more spots than they can handle.

 

Auto-Starting

 

Auto-starting AR-Cluster is fairly straightforward in Windows 98®.   Windows documentation indicate that auto-start is possible in Windows 95® using proper entries in the Windows-95 registry.  The auto-start in Windows NT® is also documented but involves setting AR-Cluster up as a NT service.  Many nodes run a UPS and do not have to worry about using a auto-start.

 

Auto-Starting Windows 98 - The instructions for auto-starting Windows 98® are as follows:

 

1. Click on the My Computer Icon on the desktop

2. Click on the Scheduled Tasks Folder

3. Click on the Add Scheduled Task Icon

4. The Scheduled Task Wizard will show, click on Next

5. Select AR-Cluster from the list and click on Next

6. Select perform this task - When my computer starts

7. Click on Next

8. Click the open advanced properties for this task when I click finish

9. Click Finish

10. Select the Settings tab

11. Uncheck the Stop the scheduled task after xx hours

12. Click OK

 

SSID’s

The handling of SSIDS varies with the command type being executed

 

For the talk command, a talk addressed to a SSID would be sent specifically to that SSID.  Thus Talk W7WM-8 is send only to W7WM-8.  A talk addressed to a non-SSID call would be sent to all calls SSID or no SSID with the same call. T W7WM goes to W7WM plus all any other W7WM call with a SSID.

 

For mail, the SSID is dropped on both the To and From message field.   If we are sending mail across a limited protocol, the Non-SSID To station call is looked up in the UserInfo database and the mail is forwarded to the to stations home node.

 

If a user logs in using a SSID of 15, the system will automatically create an alias for him without a SSID.   The sysop can view or create other aliases using the Cfg>Alias menu.

 

Memory Tests

 

We built up a test case for determining typical memory usage for the version 4 code.  The test machine was a P400 Celeron with 392 Meg of RAM running Win2K Server.  This box also runs IIS for the WEB and FTP server which was left ON during the tests.  Memory usage test:

1) Initial start of AR-Cluster with the BPQ and AXIP drivers = 13 Meg

2) Connect into AB5K cluster, load of 90 nodes 300 users = 14 Meg

3) Load up a test case of 1,101 nodes and 11,100 users.  The test includes 100 directly connected users and 100 directly connected nodes with all other connections indirect = 41 Meg

 

 

Setting Your Computer Clock

There are many low cost applications available for setting your computer clock.  The web site http://www.ubr.com/clocks/timesw/timesw.html details many options available offering various input sources from GPS to modem dialup to Internet based.   The Microsoft TimeServ application works well to get time off the Internet.  TimeServ is Part of Microsoft's Windows NT Resource Kit.  Details of the TimeServ application and other time setting applications can be found at http://www.eecis.udel.edu/~ntp/software.html.

 

Windows 2000 includes a service called 'W32Time' that synchronizes the time and date of computers on a LAN. To enable the service type the following within a command window:

net time /setsntp:"ntp2.usno.navy.mil tick.usno.navy.mil"

Note that the spacing and use of quotes.  You will need to have Port 123 available (make sure any firewall or IPSec

blocking is off).  You will also need to make sure that the Windows Time service has been started. You can check that by going to Administrative Tools, then Services.  Set it to Automatic.  See Q224799 on the Microsoft knowledge database for more details.

 

 

Utilities

 

The ARC-Config.exe utility can be used to remove the application from the Windows task-bar while running.   This will pseudo-hide the application from other users who may have access to the machine.

Node Protocol

AR-Cluster is fully compatible with the existing AK1A DOS node protocol. 

 

Cmd

Description

 

PC10

PC10^from-stn^to-stn^msg^bell-flag^to-stn^from-node^~

Talk

PC11

PC11^DXfreq^DXcall^date^time^Comment^spotter^from-node^

DX spot

PC12

PC12^from-stn^to-PC^msg^sysop-flg^hops^~

Announcement

PC13

PC13^stn^hops^

Stn into CONF

PC14

PC14^stn^hops^

Stn out of CONF

PC15

PC15^from-stn^msg^hops^~

Conference Mode

PC16

PC16^host^stn talk-mode here^stn talk here^stn talk here^

Add user

PC17

PC17^stn^hops^

Delete user

PC18

PC18^cluster info^ver^

Network initialization

PC19

PC19^here^stn^talk^ver^...^hops^

Add node

PC20

PC20^

Init done

PC21

PC21^stn^reason^hops^

Delete node

PC22

PC22^

Init done

PC23

PC23^date^hour^SFI^A^K^forecast^spotter^hops^~

WWV info

PC24

PC24^stn^here^hops^

Here status info

PC25

PC25^merge-stn^from-stn^DX-cnt^WWV-cnt^

DX/WWV request

PC26

PC26^DXFreq^DXCall^date^time^info^stn-rprt^to-stn^

DX merge info

PC27

PC27^date^hour^SFI^A^K^forecast^spotter^to-stn^del-flag^~

WWV merge info

PC28

PC28^to-node^from-node^to-stn^from-stn^date^time^private-flg^subject^bbs^linecnt^rr^destnode^orignode^~

SendSubject

PC29

PC29^to-node^from-node^msg-#^text^~

SendText

PC30

PC30^to-node^from-node^msg-#^

AckSubject

PC31

PC31^to-node^from-node^msg-#^

AckText

PC32

PC32^to-node^from-node^msg-#^

CompleteText

PC33

PC33^to-node^from-node^msg-#^

AckCompleteText

PC34

PC34^to-node^from-node^cmd^~

Command

PC35

PC35^to-node^from-node^cmd-resp^~

Response

PC36

PC36^to-node^from-node^cmd^~

Show command

PC38

PC38^node,node,...^~

Connected node list

PC39

PC39^stn^reason^

Delete node

PC41

PC41^stn^type^info^hops^~

User info

PC44

PC44^to-pc^from-node^stream^qualifier^key^user^

Remote DB request

PC45

PC45^to-pc^from-node^stream^info^~

Remote DB response

PC46

PC46^to-pc^from-node^stream^

Remote DB complete

PC49

PC49^Station^Subject^Hops^

Bulletin delete

PC50

PC50^from-node^user-cnt^

User count

PC51

PC51^from-node^to-node^orig-flag^

Ping

 

 

In addition, AR-Cluster also implements it’s own protocol.  Currently we are using AR10 through AR24.

 

 

Cmd

Description

AR1

TCPIP message

AR2

TCPIP Init

AR3

TCPIP Background ping

AR10

AR-Contest User

AR11

BandMap Spot (experimental)

AR12

Ping Route

AR13

Calendar updates

AR14

Weather

AR15

Extended -EXT status

AR16

Housekeeping message

AR17

Extended DX spots

AR18

Filter parameters

AR19

Regional Announcements

AR20

ARC Network commands

AR21

ARC-Lite super user report

AR22

Database reports

AR23

Spot source tracking

AR24

Mail – Duplicate message delete