Bulletin Board System
As of September 2017, the G8BPQ BBS is a built in part of the TARPN installation.
If you have an older installation using the current Raspberry PI OS (Stretch as of this writing) you can do
followed by a
and you'll have everything you need.
Configure for BBS on TARPN
With the node shut-down using tarpn service stop
you can run tarpn config
This is the same as when you first put your node on-line but now there are two options for setting up the BBS.
The first is BBS Callsign
Set this to your callsign dash 1. ka2dew-1
The second is BBS NodeName
Set this to the letters BB
followed by the last 4 characters of your callsign, or followed by a four digit name.
For instance, bbtadd
Now finish config by hitting carriage returns over and over.
Now test your node with tarpn test
If it runs smoothly, turn on the service with tarpn service start
Test that the BBS is operational, and start creating your first user, by connecting to it from BPQterm
If you do a nodes list you'll see the BBS node.
Just use C nodename
to connect to it.
You could also connect to it by typing BBS
and hit return.
When prompted, type your name.
When you get to the BBS prompt, probably de YOURCALL>
, type B
Now lets finish setting it up.
Using a web browser to set up your BBS
Bring up a web browser and dial in your node's IP address followed by :7777
The page you bring up with be the BPQ32 Node page which has several useful links.
What we're concerned with right now is the Mail Server Pages
So click there.
Mail Server Pages
will bring you to a log-in prompt.
Fill in your callsign and then the letter p
for your password.
The user page lets you control what prompts and exchanges will take place with each connecting callsign, or user.
The neighbor BBSs will connect to you to give you bulletins and to deliver messages.
Those stations have to be entered into your user list and will have to be checkboxed as BBSs.
That way your BBS knows to perform the automated exchange of information needed by the message forwarding process.
For your user entry, checkbox SYSOP
INclude SYSOP msgs in LM
and Allow Sending Bulls
You can also fill in the QTH
Set your own Home BBS
as your callsign
and then click Update
Now go down to the bottom of this page and after Saving the modifications for your own callsign,
type in your first neighbor BBS's callsign next to the Add
button, and then click Add
The BBS will create a page for your neighbor and their callsign will show on the left.
, and Allow Sending Bulls
and then click Update
The BBS software has capabilities that we haven't enabled yet in the BBSs in our network.
In the mean time we have to manually enter every BBS in the network into each BBS' configuration.
The missing features including hierarchical addressing and white pages.
It is, however, expected that every node op who actually wants to get on packet radio is going to run their own BBS.
This is perfectly reasonable, I think.
Since our network is rather small it isn't all that hard to know of every BBS.
This may change and we may have to learn and implement the WP and hierarchical addressing features in the fture.
Add each of the BBSs in the network as a user.
Then go back and set them to be BBS, and Allow Sending Bulls.
Also type in the first name of the operators and set their home BBS to be their own callsign.
Click on the Update button to save this information.
After you add all of your known neighbor BBSs, go back to your page and fill in the rest of the details.
Set up Forwarding
- Click on the Forwarding link.
- Click on the first BBS callsign that is not your own.
- In the TO field, enter in the callsign of the operator.
- Also add in any callsigns for people who might use that BBS.
There probably won't be any others.
- In the time field, enter 0000-2359.
- In the Connect Script field, type in C NODE to get to the node furthest from you that is in the direction of the BBS.
That NODE may be the node located at the BBS of the station you are editing.
Then C callsign-1 for the callsign of the station you are editing.
- Checkbox Enable Forwarding.
- Set the Interval for Enable Forwarding to 1800 seconds.
- Checkbox Send new messages without waiting for poll timer.
- Click the Update button.
Here is a for instance from my BBS:
Links to More Info
The author of the BBS program we're using, G8BPQ, published this note about setting up forwarding
Hank W0RLI (?-2013) was the author of the first successful packet radio BBS system.
Northern Oregon Packet Radio Association has much W0RLI info including this specification he wrote about the BBS to BBS forwarding operation.
Commands from W0RLI BBS are close to what G8BPQ's BBS looks like.