RMS Express with a KPC-2 or RigBlaster M8
Here are examples of how to set up a WinLink packet station using some older equipment. Either of the two examples here are more than $50 at a hamfest and often show up on line.
Both examples assume that you have W2YG’s Express Interface software installed ( here ). It doesn’t need to be functional. Just install it as close to the default values as possible.
- Kantronics KPC-2
- RigBlaster M8
The KPC-2 was a great packet TNC in its day. With some help from the AGW software suite and W2YG’s AGW Express Interface the modem can be utilized by RMS Express and other packet radio applications.
RMS Express, the WinLink e-mail client, can not control a Kantronics KPC2 but must talk to the TNC via a serial port. The HW Virtual port fills in that rolle which in turns communicates to the TNC via the AGW PE program.
- Kantronics KPC-2 V 3.00 (other versions may work…)
- Kenwood TM-261 (any 2M radio will work)
- Dell Latitude D600 Windows XP (any computer with a serial port, including a USB/Serial adapter and a soundcard will work.)
Radio to TNC Cable (This will vary from radio to radio.):
|TNC||TM-261a||RJ45 (cat 5)|
1. If Pin 1 is White/Green
2. If Pin 1 is White/Orange
TNC to Computer cable:
A male db-25 female db-9 adapter cable should work.
|TNCDB25 (Male)||ComputerDB9 (Female)|
|TNC DB25: 11, 18, 25 do not connect|
Follow the instructions on the Soundcard WinLink page ( Link ).Accept the defaults as you go through the install. We will modify the settings when the install is complete.
This will install:
- AGW Express Interface: This is the controling software that ties eveything together and gives you a single point of access.
- AGWPE This will be the link between the virtual serial port and the KPC2 TNC. It controls the TNC.
- HW Virtual Serial Port: The RMS Express software will connect to the AGWPE software through this port.
- RMS Express: This is the WinLink e-mail client that you will use to create, send and receive e-mails. RMS Express intstructions are here: ( Link )
As installed AGW PE is set to ‘talk’ to a soundcard. This needs to be changed to the KP2 TNC as follows:
Editing AGW Express Interface:
- Start the AGW PE Program
- Right click the AGW PE icon in the work tray the click Properties.
- The RadioPort Selection screen will open
- Highlight the port you set up when installing AGW Express Interface. Most like it will be Port 1 and the only one on the list.
- Click OK
- The properties for Port 1 will appear.
- Edit the Tnc Setup Tab: as follows:
- Select Port: This should be the serial port connected to the KPC2
- Tnc Type: Select KPC2.
- Tnc Sub Type: KISS Simple
- Tnc Control Commands:
- IniKiss1: leave blank
- IniKiss2: IN KISS
- IniKiss3: RESET
- Check ExitKiss On Exit
- Select Single Port.
- Tnc Radio Port: this is a description of the port. You can change this to any description you like.
- Tnc Commands Tab:
- To start select Program adjusts Parameters.
- Select OnAir BaudRate: 1200Baud
- You can Select Let me Control Parameters if you need to and know what you are doing.
- Close the AGW PE program and the AGW Express Interface if it is open
- Turn on the radio and the KPC2 TNC.
- Start the AGW Express Interface.
- This will load:
- AGW Express Interface.
- HW Virtual serial port.
- AGW PE
- Then ask if you want to run RMS Express?
- To use the WinLink system you would answer [YES] here and the RMS Express program will load and you will be able to send and receive e-mails.
- If you answer [NO] then RMS Exprss will not be loaded but everything else will be. You can load RMS Express at anytime by clicking the icon on the desktop.
- This set up allows you to use the AGW Terminal program is you wish to run in the standard packet mode.
- Just close RMS Express and run the AGW Terminal Program.
- The HW Virtual port is not really needed if this is all you wish to do but will not interfere with the AGW PE / AGW Terminal operations.
- Details will be covered on an different post.
This is written for the RigBlaster M8, now obsolete but available used.
The Soundcard WinlInk post pretty much covers how to make this work on the software side. Here’s the link the that post ( Link ). This section will cover the hardware needed for a RigBlaster 8M. Other commercial soundcard interfaces should work in a similar manner.
The ‘secret’ to a RigBlaster is the radio / RigBlaster interconnect cable. This cable is universal with a Din-8 (microphone plug) on one end and an RJ-45 on the other. Jumpers are used inside the RigBlaster to interconnect the RigBlaster with the 8 Pin DIN on the front and the RJ-45 on the back.
RigBlaster to radio interconnect cable:
Start with a Cat 5 cable with at least oneRJ-45 on it. Cat 5 has two standards, 568 A and B. The orange and green wires are switched on the two versions. The DIN-8 connector below is wired with a 568 B cable. Determine which type of Cat 5 cable you have and adjust accordingly.
Further information is available in the RigBlaster M8 Manual ( Link ).
I hope this helps you get on the air with some older equipment that works just fine and will save you some money.