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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 tarpn update and tarpn updateapps followed by a tarpn reboot 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.
tarpn_config_bbs_name
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 or bb2dew.

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 and return.

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.
node_webpage


Mail Server Pages will bring you to a log-in prompt. Fill in your callsign and then the letter p for your password.
bbs_login_page


bbs_login_page_filled_in


bbs_web_server_page

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, BBS, INclude SYSOP msgs in LM and Allow Sending Bulls. You can also fill in the QTH and ZIP. Set your own Home BBS as your callsign and then click Update.
bbs_user_page_just_me

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.
users_add_ke4vnc

The BBS will create a page for your neighbor and their callsign will show on the left. Checkbox BBS, and Allow Sending Bulls and then click Update.
bbs_users_page_other1

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.

bbs_users_page_me

Set up Forwarding

Here is a for instance from my BBS:

forwarding_page

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.

© Tadd Torborg, 2014↝2017 -- all rights reserved