Fbb problem showing .HLP and .ENT file

Donnie WD1F has some trouble to get the english.hlp and the english.ent files to show up in fbb. He found the solution.

All the files are there with the right permissions.

I found my problem and it wasn’t easy. In case others have this issue…
The issue was: Pressing H would not give me the help file. After getting it working I see I was missing other things as well like lots of the welcome text.

duckduckgo.com search showed EMSGSIZE (Message too long) had to do with packet sizes allowed. Made me think it may relate to max packet length setting in axports
The fix was:

in /etc/ax25/axports…
name Call speed paclen window desctiption
1 WD1F-1 9600 128 2 144.01 MHz (1200 bps)

I had to set paclen to 255 like this:
1 WD1F-1 9600 255 2 144.01 MHz (1200 bps)

Howto set ax25 Parameters

Howto set ax25 parameters on a tnc in kissmode.

Below the file ax25parms. (chmod 755)


9600 BAUD Parameters

TXDelay…….between 8 and 15 – set for best throughput BUT that depending upon your RIG. Several commercial rigs they don’t accepts TXD less than 25-30 because they needs enough time to “LOCK-on” the PLL unit, otherwise the TX signal is unusable. Of course, if you want that values (8-15), we talking for modern Transmitters using PIN-diodes and very fast PLL-units for RX-TX swithces and NOT for RIGs with Relays in the output and slllooowwww PLLs… Relays and slow-PLLs have extremely large values between RX-TX, which that means Hi-Value TXD settings!

RESPtime …..100 mS seems to have better results than 0

Frack……….. 8 seconds on a busy channel; but never less than 5 sec

PERSIST…….128/users; if it’s a pretty clean channel, 64 is nice; if it’s busy, guesstimate the average number of users and divide 128 by this number, i.e. 4 users = 128/4 = 32


MAXFrame… If the channel is great, 7; average, 3; rough, 1


Check………. 300 seconds


Again, let’s not complicate the commands any more than we have to. This is another of the “throughput’ , timing commands in the TNC which can be made into a monster. Let’s use some common sense and simplify its use by applying two simple and easy-to-remember rules for its use.

1. When operating VHF, use the (default) value of  4. If connected direct with good connect path and no other traffic, use MAXFrame 7 .

  1. When using the HF bands, good or favorable conditions use 2 FAIR, or  poor conditions use 1.


Let’s really uncomplicate these final two commands. I can bet on at least 40 letters from some of my friends and some users who are old-timers (or who think they are) giving me “the dickens” or a rebuttal about these next two commands. I’m about to simplify these two commands to the point of possible over-simplification. Over-simplification of a command is not to the liking of a few users.
They feel that because their early packet, days were difficult, so should be every one else’s. Νo  one has more reason to complain about those days than I do, but who wants to complain?   Even in those days we were having fun with packet.

The only difference between packet  radio now and then is now we have more packeteers with whom to QSO, and the terminal program features have given us a medium that is far more than the  “ΤYPE”  and  “SEND”  system of six or  seven years ago.

Now that the history lesson is over, let’s get to the PACLen setup of the TNC.
There are three simple rules for this command, and they are.

  1. When using nodes or digipeaters on VHF, set PACLen 128 (normal default of most TNCs).
  2. When usingdirectconnects, and with near perfect connect paths, set PACLen 255 (some TNCs accept PACL 0 as 255).
  3. When operatingHFpacket, set PACLen 32 for300 b/s or  PACLen 64 for 1200 b/s.

DWait (Digipeater Wait)

DWait was once the means used to allow the radio/TNC combination to handshake ith each other . It was considered by many users that DWait was used toallow the AGC to recover after returning to the receive mode from the transmit mode.

In a sense, this thought has some merit, because if you set the DWait too short, you may discover that the receiver in your radio will be unable to recover fast enough to allow the first of each received packet to get to the TNC on time. That is the long xplanation. Following is the real purpose of the DWait command. The DWait command is a command agreed upon by all members of a Local Area Network (LAN). This is why it is good to have packet users groups, or  a packet club where the LAN members can meet so that issues of this kind can be talked through and agreed upon by the users of the LAN. Βy  so doing the LAΝ members are establishing a means to reduce the number of collisions. Even with the new “anti-collision” features in many of the TNCs, we must remember that all LAΝ users do not have this new feature in their TNC. Most TNCs support a DWait of 16 as the default setting, but we have found that a DWAIT on our LAN of 8 to 12 is suitable for our needs and for use when downloading files from the local BBS.

FRame ACKnowledge (FRACK)

We can make this TNC command short and sweet, or  we can complicate it to the greatest possible level. I ‘m for reducing the complications within  the command structure of the packet TNC. Τοo often I see new writers going after the complicated rendition of the TNC commands, only to end υ  confusing themselves.

Packet radio is very easy to use, and as long as we keep it this way, we all will benefit from it and more users will enter its ranks.

FRACK should never be set below 3!

FRACK has a rule of order that can be used in the following manner. If you are about to connect to a friend who is 3 nodes away, add that number to the TNC setting of 3; thus we have 6. If the station to which you wish to connect is only one node away , use that number to add to the TNC FRACK of 3 (3 + 1 = 4). This is the manner with which I make the system work for me, and at the same time it “un-complicates” the FRACK command for us.