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Thread: AEA Packratt PK-232 not displaying received data

  1. #11


    KISS mode was developed by Mike Chepponis, K3MC, and Phil Karn, KA9Q in 1987, and incoporated in the updated EPROMs of almost every commercial Terminal Node Controller (TNC), since that time.

    If you think of the computer and TNC as the non-RF parts of a data-communication system, originally almost all of the system’s intelligence was built into the TNC, not the computer.
    As a result, it was possible for completely dumb terminals to be used with TNCs to provide packet communications.
    This was done because the personal computers available when TNCs were first developed (early 1980s) weren’t very powerful. With time, computers became substantially more powerful.
    Taking the opposite approach, the Baycom and Poor Man’s Packet modems move all of the intelligence out of the TNC and into the computer. KISS mode plows a middle ground, moving a portion of the intelligence from the TNC to the computer, but leaving some intelligence in the TNC as well.

    A KISS-mode TNC can’t be used in conjunction with just any terminal program. That’s because certain TNC functions must be carried out in the computer, not the TNC. However, a significant amount of software has been created that supports KISS mode, including APRS, TCP/IP, and a range of other programs.

    The KISS TNC: A simple Host-to-TNC communications protocol
    Mike Chepponis, K3MC and Phil Karn, KA9Q
    Presented at the ARRL 6th Computer Networking Conference, Redondo Beach CA, 1987.
    Translated to HTML by KA9Q, January 1997.
    Last edited by W9GB; 08-08-2013 at 01:34 PM.
    Nullius in verba

  2. Default

    I'm using dumb terminal program to troubleshoot using both APRS and traditional packet operation. I don't believe this unit has a KISS mode.

  3. #13


    KISS support Integrated into standard AEA firmware as of 21 Jan 1987.
    You do realize for KISS you have to use a personal computer with an application program?

    IF you are confused -- READ the 1987 paper by authors that tell you how KISS works!
    KISS Support
    7. Implementation History

    The original idea for a simplified host/TNC protocol is due to Brian Lloyd, WB6RQN. Phil Karn, KA9Q, organized the specification and submitted an initial version on 6 August 1986.
    As of this writing (1987), the following KISS TNC implementations exist:

    TNC type Author Comments

    TAPR TNC-2 & clones Mike Chepponis, K3MC First implementation,most widely used.
    Exists in both downloadable and dedicated ROM.

    TAPR TNC-1 & clones Marc Kaufman, WB6ECE Both download and dedicated ROM.

    VADCG TNC Mike Bruski, AJ9X Dedicated ROM.

    AEA PK-232 & PK-87 Steve Stuart, N6IA Integrated into standard AEA firmware as of 21 Jan 1987.
    The special commands "KISS ON" and "KISS OFF" (!) control entry into KISS mode.

    Kantronics Mike Huslig Integrated into standard Kantronics firmware as of July 1987.

    The AEA and Kantronics implementations are noteworthy in that the KISS functions were written by those vendors and integrated into their standard TNC firmware.
    Their TNCs can operate in either KISS or regular AX.25 mode without ROM changes.
    Since the TNC-1 and TNC-2 KISS versions were written by different authors than the original AX.25 firmware, and because the original source code for those TNCs was not made available, running KISS on these TNCs requires the installation of nonstandard ROMs. Two ROMs are available for the TNC-2. One contains "dedicated" KISS TNC code; the TNC operates only in the KISS mode.
    The "download" version contains standard N2WX firmware with a bootstrap loader overlay. When the TNC is turned on or reset, it executes the loader. The loader will accept a memory image in Intel Hex format, or it can be told to execute the standard N2WX firmware through the "H" [3]command. The download version is handy for occasional KISS operation, while the dedicated version is much more convenient for full-time or demo KISS operation.

    The code for the TNC-1 is also available in both download and dedicated versions. However, at present the download ROM contains only a bootstrap; the original ROMs must be put back in to run the original TNC software.
    Nullius in verba

  4. Default


    Yup, I'm familiar with KISS mode, as I've used it with my KPC3+, AX25, and linux packet fun. I know I can use xastir with a tnc in kiss mode, but I'm really just trying to figure out why I can't seem to get this PK-232 to be usable on a basic level, one that it should be well within it's capabilities. I really don't need it to do KISS. It sat for 2 years after working fine, and now that I've returned to it, rewired the jury-rigged cable to my rig, it's just given me more bald spots.

  5. #15


    It sat for 2 years after working fine, and now that I've returned to it, rewired the jury-rigged cable to my rig, it's just given me more bald spots.
    Given its age, it is possible that the EPROM has gone flaky.
    This was reported (Yahoo group) by some AEA PK-232 and PK-900 owners --
    a replacement set of ROMs cleared the issues.

    Did you check the soldered lithium battery?

    The other problems I have seen are ESD related to RS-232 drivers & receivers (U19, U20) operation.
    You will see local echo of processor responses, BUT will not see external serial data from computer or terminal.
    U19: MC1489 -
    Quad Line Receiver U20: MC1488 - Quad Line Driver

    In early PK-232 these two integrated circuits are soldered-in (later boards used sockets).
    These two Motorola ICs were very common in serial port designs of the 1970s and 1980s, before the Maxim MAX232 was released and widely available.

    AEA PK-232 Technical Supplement (Service) Manual (circa May 1987)
    Last edited by W9GB; 08-10-2013 at 02:13 PM.
    Nullius in verba

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