· hambsd journal aprs openbsd ax25

HamBSD Development Log 2020-05-06

I worked on HamBSD today, still looking at improvements to aprsisd(8). My focus today was on gating from the Internet to RF.

In the morning I cleaned up the mess I made yesterday with escaping the non-printable characters in packets before uploading them. I ran some test packets through and both Xastir and aprs.fi could decode them so that must be the correct way to do it.

I also added filtering of generic station queries (?APRS?) and IGate queries (?IGATE?). When an IGate query is seen, aprsisd will now respond with a station capabilities packet. The packet is not very exciting as it only contains the “IGATE” capability right now, but at least it does that.

Third-party packets are also identified, and have their RF headers stripped, and then are unconditionally thrown away. I need to add a check there to see if TCPIP is in the path and gate it if it’s not but I didn’t get to that today.

I added a new flag to aprsisd, -b, to allow the operator to indicate whether or not this station is a bi-directional IGate station. This currently only affects the q construct added to the path for uploaded packets (there wasn’t one before today) to indicate to APRS-IS whether or not this station can be used for two-way messaging with RF stations in range. Later I’ll make this also drop incoming messages if it’s set to receive-only instead of attempting to gate them anyway.

I noticed that when I connect to aprsc servers with TLS, they have actually been appending a qAS (message generated by server) instead of qAR (message is from RF) which I think is a bug, so I filed a GitHub issue.

The big thing today was generating third-party headers. Until now, aprsisd has tried to stuff the TNC2 header back into an AX.25 packet with a lot of truncated path entries. It’s now building the headers correctly(ish) and it’s possible to have bi-directional messaging through a HamBSD IGate. The path in the encapsulated header is currently entirely missing but it still works.

As this is a completely different way of handling these packets, it meant a rewrite of a good chunk of code. The skeleton is there now, just need to fill it in.

APRS message from MM0ROR: Hello from APRS-IS!

Next steps:

  • Generate proper paths for 3rd-party packets
  • Include a path for RF headers for station capabilities and 3rd-party packets
  • Add the new -b flag to the man page

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