• Software Installation
  • TNPP Port Connection
  • Initial Setup
  • Configuration
  • Tnpp internet Client




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    TNPP Internet Client

    User’s Manual


    Printed May 2002

    [Covers up to Software V 2.25]



    Comm One LLC


    1497 Pocahontas St.

    Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464


    Phone: (843) 971-8281

    Fax: (843) 971-9404

    email: info@CommOneSystems.com

    web: www.CommOneSystems.com



    Overview

    Our TNPP Internet Client software (for Windows) is used to connect a paging terminal or transmitter TNPP port to a Comm One Email/TNPP Gateway in order to send/receive TNPP paging traffic over the Internet or other TCP/IP network. [From this point on, ‘Gateway’ refers to the Email/TNPP Gateway and ‘Client’ refers to the TNPP Internet Client.]


    Note: Linux TNPP Client. There may soon be a Linux version of the TNPP Client available. Please check with Comm One LLC.
    The Client software simply serves as an interface between the terminal TNPP serial port and the Internet connection. The Client software runs on a Windows PC and accesses a com port on the computer, which is connected to a paging terminal or other TNPP serial port. The Client initiates the connection over the network (Internet) to the Gateway. Once it connects and is validated by the Gateway (id and password), paging traffic can flow both directions. Typically, the Gateway is also connected to a paging terminal, although this is not required. The Gateway can presently support up to 60 simultaneous connections from different Clients, depending on the software license purchased. Using the routing capability in the Gateway, traffic can be routed from one connected Client to any other connected Client on the same Gateway. This type of network is known as a ‘star’ configuration: the Gateway is at the center and the remote Clients make up the end points.
    The Client software can attempt to connect to a secondary Gateway server should the primary Gateway be unreachable (Internet problems, computer problems, …) This obviously requires that your network have a secondary Gateway set up. This secondary Gateway system could be sitting right next to the primary Gateway, or it could be on a completely different ISP to guard against a primary Gateway ISP failure.
    If the Client software can not reach its Gateway(s), it can also dial out on a modem port directly into a modem on the Gateway to reestablish the communications path. Multiple modems can be set up on the Gateway if there is a possibility of receiving calls from multiple Clients at the same time (for example, if the Internet connection at the Gateway goes down). If a Client dials into the Gateway, the Client will continue trying the normal Internet connection, and once it comes back, it should drop the backup modem connection.

    Important Points

    Saving in the Configuration screen:

    In the Configuration screen, there are several pages to choose from. You do NOT need to save before changing pages. Only save (‘OK’ button) after ALL changes have been made. The program will then inform you that you need to restart the application; further changes will be prevented until you do so.



    Using the Client with a Dialup Internet account:

    If you are running the Client software on a Win98 or WinNT computer with dialup Internet access (over a modem), we recommend that you use a 3rd party dialer program to maintain the connection. This program will be responsible for keeping your connection ‘up and alive’. If the connection fails, this program will hang up and redial.

    Windows2000 and WindowsXP operating systems have this “keep alive” capability built in, so you should not need a 3rd party dialer.

    Multiple Clients:

    It is possible to run more than one copy of the Client software on the same machine. Be aware that each Client will open and use its own serial port. The different Clients could communicate with the same Gateway or with different Gateways.

    The Client program stores its configuration in an INI file: tnpp_cl.ini. Normally, INI files are stored in the ‘winNT’ directory on an NT system and the ‘windows’ directory on Windows9x systems. If you need to run more than one Client copy on the same machine, you should place the tnpp_cl.ini file in each of the directories where you have a Client running.

    To run multiple Clients:



    1. create multiple directories, one for each Client

    2. place a copy of the Client software in each location (tnpp_cl.exe)

    3. place a copy of the tnpp_cl.ini file in each location

    Now, when you run a Client, it will use its own local copy of the INI file. When in this mode, you will see a blue caption in the bottom left corner of the configuration screen to indicate a local copy is being used.

    TNPP Backup dialout:

    (‘Bck. TNPP’ page of Configuration screen)

    The TNPP dialout function can seize a modem POTS line and dial out if the Gateway(s) is unreachable through the normal Internet connection. This port communicates using straight TNPP; it is NOT intended for dialing into an ISP (Internet service provider).

    CRC type: When in this mode, the Client becomes transparent between its terminal (tnpp port) and the TNPP modem port. Therefore, you need to make certain the CRC type the terminal is using is the same as the TNPP modem port you are dialing into. Otherwise, communication will be impossible.

    Program updates:

    The latest Client revision can be found at: www.commonesystems.com It is always a good idea to save your current version before replacing it with the new one. Make sure you exit the running Client program before attempting to unzip the zip file.

    It is recommended you get on the Comm One mail list in order to receive update notices about new versions of the software. To do so, send email requesting so to: signup@CommOneSystems.com


    Quick Start
    This Quick Start covers the bare basics of getting the TNPP Client up and running.
    You will need to know the following information:


    1. IP address (or Internet host name) of the Gateway computer

    2. ID and Password for your Client. This Id and password must be stored on the Gateway.

    3. The com port number of an available serial port on your PC.


    Software Installation


     From CD ROM: Go to the ‘TNPP_CL’ directory of the CD. Copy the file TNPP_CL.EXE to your hard drive. You may want to create a new directory on your drive called ‘TNPPClient’ to hold this program.

     From Internet: Download the file TNPP_CL.ZIP from the web site. The web site address is www.commonesystems.com ; go to the ‘Downloads’ page of the web site. Once you download the zip file, unzip it on your hard drive. This will create the file TNPP_CL.EXE.


    Once you get the TNPP_CL.EXE file installed, you will probably want to create a Windows shortcut Icon on the desktop so you can easily start this program.


    TNPP Port Connection


    Connect the com port of the PC to the terminal TNPP port with an RS-232 cable. The port on the PC only uses the Transmit, Receive, and Ground pins. Depending on the configuration of your terminal TNPP port, you may need a pins 2-3 swap in the cable, or “null modem cable”. The port on the PC is a ‘DTE’, so if your terminal port is also a ‘DTE’, you will need a pins 2-3 swap in the cable.


    Initial Setup


    Obtain the IP address or Internet host name of the Gateway you want to connect to. Enter this on the ‘Gtwy/CL’ page of the Configuration screen. Leave the Port setting at 998 by default.

    While you’re on this page, enter a valid ID and Password. This ID and password will have to be set up in the Clients list on the Gateway you are trying to connect to.

    Go to the ‘TNPP Port’ page and enter the com port information. If you’re not sure about a setting, just leave it at its default position. What’s important is the Com port number, the Data rate, and the CRC type.
    Once you save changes and restart the application, click ‘Start Communications’ at the bottom of the main screen. Your Client should attempt to connect to the Gateway, and it should also attempt to initiate communications to your terminal on the TNPP port.

    Main Display Screen

    The Main display screen shows 2 white display boxes. The top display labeled ‘TNPP Port’ shows the activity on the TNPP serial port. The bottom display labeled ‘TCP/IP Port’ shows the activity on the Internet connection to the Gateway.


    [TNPP PORT]
    Queue: number of TNPP packets waiting in the transmit queue to be sent on the serial port. A high number here indicates a slow paging terminal, a slow connection to the terminal, or connection problems.
    Transmit: number of packets transmitted (outgoing, to the terminal) on the serial port
    Receive: number of packets received (incoming, from the terminal) on the serial port
    TNPP State: the internal TNPP numeric state, listed below:

    0: port not used, or didn’t initialize correctly

    1: Idle, ready to send

    2: Waiting for ACK back from terminal after sending packet to terminal

    3: Waiting for link response back from terminal after sending link test to terminal
    NAKs: number of NAKs sent by terminal after receiving packets from the Client. A NAK is a negative acknowledgment and indicates a corrupt packet or a problem with the packet CRC.
    Tx Rejects: number of CANs (cancelled packets). This indicates packets being sent from the Client to the terminal and the terminal sending back the CAN character.

    [TCP/IP PORT]


    Queue: number of TNPP packets waiting in the transmit queue to be sent to the Gateway
    Transmit: number of packets transmitted (outgoing) to the Gateway
    Receive: number of packets received (incoming) from the Gateway
    Avg. ACK response: average response time getting ACK back from Gateway after packet is sent. This is basically a measure of your Internet delay. The lower this number is, the more packets per minute your Client will be able to send to the Gateway. Times between 150ms and 300ms are normal. Longer times probably indicate a slow Internet connection (or a slow Internet).
    Avg. Transmit/Sec : average number of packets per second sent to the Gateway. (averaged over last 10 seconds)
    Avg. Receive/Sec : average number of packets per second received from the Gateway. (averaged over last 10 seconds)
    Short mode’ check boxes: These check boxes cause the displays to show a limited version of the packets instead of the entire packets. This is only needed if traffic is very high (constantly scrolling the screen) as it will avoid delays caused by the program writing long strings to the display.

    [BUTTONS]


    Configure… : Displays the configuration screen for setting all the program operating parameters.
    Start Communications: starts the communication processes:

    1. opens the TNPP serial port, and

    2. opens the Internet connection (assuming ‘Stay Connected’ is checked in the Configuration screen)


    Errors: displays the Error screen, which shows you system errors
    Reset counts: resets all the on screen counts to zero, including: Tx packets, Rx packets, Tx rejects, NAKs
    About: displays the About screen, which shows the Client version number and other information
    Exit: exits the Client application, stopping all TNPP communications


    Configuration


    [Gtwy/CL Page]: (Gateway/Client information)


     Primary Gateway:
    Enabled: enables the Client to connect to this primary Gateway (default: ON)
    IP address or host name: The IP address or host name of the target primary Gateway.
    Port: The TCP/IP port number (default: 998) used to connect to the Gateway.

     Secondary Gateway: (optional)


    Enabled: enables the Client to try a secondary Gateway if the primary is unreachable
    IP address or host name: The IP address or host name of the target secondary Gateway.
    Port: The TCP/IP port number (default: 998) used to connect to the Gateway.

     Client Identification:


    ID: The ID of this Client. This ID and password (below) must be listed as a valid Client on the Gateway machine that you are trying to connect to.
    Password: The password this Client uses to connect to the Gateway(s).

    [Communications Page]:


    AutoStart Communications:

    Allows the Client to automatically start the communications processes when the application starts. If this is not checked, the user must simply click ‘Start Communications’ on the Main screen. It is recommended you leave this ‘off’ when initially setting up your system. Then once everything is setup properly, you can enable this to automate the startup process.


    Quiet port mode: Causes the Client TNPP serial port to stop responding to the terminal if the connection to the Gateway is lost. This should indicate to the terminal that there is a problem with the data path to the Gateway.
    Receive packets: Allow the Client to receive data packets from the Gateway. If this is not checked, then the Client can only send packets to the Gateway.
    Stay connected: causes the Client to attempt to stay connected to the Gateway (keep the connection open). If the Client will be constantly sending data to the Gateway, then you will want this option checked. If data is only sporadic, or if you are using a dial up ISP connection and you do not want to stay connected, then you could disable this option.
    Set Inertia values:

    To Gateway: set the inertia value on all the TNPP packets going to the Gateway (default: off)

    To local terminal: set the inertia value on all the TNPP packets going to the Terminal (default: off)
    ACK mode:

    This controls what kind of TNPP ACK’s are used (Acknowledgements) in the communications process.


    Local ACK: ACK’s between the local terminal and Client only. The Client sends packets to the Gateway without expecting ACK’s back from the Gateway.

    Local and Internet ACK: (RECOMMENDED SETTING) ACK’s between the local terminal and Client AND between the Client and Gateway. The 2 communications paths (and associated ACKs) are independent.

    End-to-End ACK: Full end-to-end ACK between local terminal and Gateway. Description follows:


    1. local terminal sends packet to Client

    2. Client sends packet to Gateway

    3. Gateway ACK’s back to Client

    4. Client sends the ACK back to local terminal


    ISP Dial control: (default: OFF)

    Normally, you can let Windows handle the dialout process to the ISP (if you are using a dialup connection). If you have trouble with this, you may let the Client program handle the dialout to the ISP.


    NOTE: It is strongly recommended that you leave this function disabled. Please read the section about using Dialup in the ‘Important Points’ page at the beginning of this manual. Contact Comm One for clarifications.
    Enabled: enables the Client to control dialing to the ISP
    User Name: user name for logon to ISP
    Password: password for logon to ISP
    Dial number: number to dial for ISP


    Batching:

    This refers to the Client’s capability to assemble smaller packets into larger packets before transmitting. For example, if there are 4 packets waiting in queue to be sent and they all have the same destination address, the Client can assemble these packets into one long packet and send it. This is often a more efficient way to send TNPP data because it requires less overhead. In particular, if the Client is waiting for ACK’s back from the Gateway, it is much quicker to send a long packet and wait for one ACK back than it is to send each small packet and wait for each ACK to come back separately.


    To terminal: Causes Client to batch packets heading to the terminal
    To Internet: Causes Client to batch packets heading to the Gateway
    Max length: maximum length of packets to be built

    [TNPP Port Page]:

    These settings control the main com port. This is also referred to in the software and in this manual as the ‘Local serial port’. This port is normally connected to a paging terminal TNPP port. However, it could also be used with a transmitter TNPP port, or any other TNPP-capable device.
    Com port: the com port number used
    Data rate: the data rate of the com port
    CRC type: the CRC type used for the TNPP packets. ‘Normal’ is the normal 2 byte CRC. ‘Transparent’ is the 4 byte CRC type used by Glenayre terminals and several others.
    Data type: direction of data on serial port


    1. Full duplex: normal 2 way communications with ACK’s.

    2. Simplex in: only incoming data (from terminal to Client). No ACK’s used.

    3. Simplex out: only outgoing data (from Client to terminal) No ACK’s used.


    Packet timeout: timeout value for TNPP packets. For outgoing packets, the time to wait for ACK to come back from terminal. For incoming packets, time for a complete packet to be received start to finish.
    DTR signaling: Default:OFF This specialized function can signal an Internet connection failure or TNPP communications failure. DTR High = both connections good. DTR Low = problem with a connection.
    Send Init packet: enables the TNPP port to send a TNPP Initialization packet to the terminal when the Client software first starts up. This Init packet clears the serial number buffer on the terminal.
    STX’ in Init packet: Include the STX (hex 02) character in the Init packet. You may have to experiment with this setting to get your terminal to accept the Init packet from the Client.
    Client backup mode: This special mode will allow a Client to provide a modem dialup point into a Gateway. Contact Comm One for help setting this up.
    Modem config: the modem configuration string used with ‘Client backup mode’

    [Bck TNPP Page]:

    These settings control the (optional) modem port used for backup TNPP dialup. If the Client can not communicate with its Gateway(s) using the Internet, it can dial out on a modem POTS line directly into a modem on the Gateway to re-establish the connection. This backup data path bypasses the Internet connections and communicates using direct TNPP over a modem. This port is not suitable for dialing into an Internet provider.

    Because this configuration is somewhat involved on the Gateway side, contact Comm One for help setting this up.


    Enabled: enables the Client to dial out on a modem port if the Gateway is unreachable over the Internet.
    Com port: the com port number
    Data rate: data rate of the com port
    Phone number: number to dial for TNPP communications
    Modem config: modem configuration string (begin with ‘AT’)
    Dial timeout: time to wait for carrier detect when dialing out
    Client Identify: If the Client is dialing into a Gateway, use this to let the Client ‘identify’ itself when the modems connect. This way, the Gateway knows which Client is dialing into it, and can therefore continue to route traffic properly.

    [T. Sources / G. Sources Pages]: (Terminal source addresses, Gateway source addresses)


    These screens allow you to maintain a list of TNPP source addresses for filtering traffic. The list may be a positive list (‘Accept List’) or a negative list (‘Reject List’). Setting the type to ‘Accept All’ disables source filtering; most users will not need to filter by source address and will therefore use this setting.

    Each screen allows you to enter up to 64 source addresses.

    NOTE: The latest version of the Gateway software (1.42 or greater) allows source address filtering on the Gateway side also (as opposed to on the Client side)

    [Misc Page]:


    Time Synchronization

    This is a highly customized function that allows the Client to only send data to the Gateway during the defined ‘time window’. When not in the time window, the Client will simply store packets in the transmit queue. This function is useful for some GPS applications where timing is critical. The large majority of users will not need this function.


    Enable: enable this function
    Use PC Time: use the computer’s time as the time reference
    Use Time server: use an Internet time server as the time reference. You have to also enter the IP address of the server.
    Start Send/End Send: These are the starting and ending seconds of each minute that define the time window.

    UDP Connection

    Enables the Client to receive TNPP packets over UDP. UDP is a protocol that runs on IP (Internet Protocol). Currently, this function is only used with the Comm One VM2000 software. The VM2000 sends TNPP packets to the Client via UDP.


    Enable UDP: Enable the Client to receive UDP TNPP packets
    UDP port: The UDP port number to listen on for UDP packets.
    UDP packets to: either ‘TNPP Port’ or ‘Gateway’. This defines where the Client will send the TNPP packets.

    [TechPage Page]:


    The Tech Page function will send out a page – typically to a ‘technician’ - to report of specific events. The primary concern here is if the Client loses the connection to the Gateway, because in that case, traffic flow stops. The Tech Page function sends an alpha-numeric ID page to the local serial port (local terminal).
    Tech Page enabled: enable the Tech page function
    Pager ID: the pager ID used in the outgoing Tech page
    Destination: the TNPP destination address used to send the Tech page. This is typically the destination address of your terminal.
    Source: the TNPP source address used to send the Tech page. You must use a source address accepted by your terminal.
    Inertia: the TNPP inertia value used to send the Tech page.
    Allowable link failures: the number of allowable link failures to the Gateway until a Tech page is sent. While the link test is failing, link tests are sent about every 5 seconds. Therefore, if you entered 12 in this field, the link tests would have to fail for about 60 seconds before a tech page was triggered.
    Tech Page On … these are the events that cause a Tech page. By default, they are all enabled. However, if you find you are being paged too often when there is not a true problem, you can disable the appropriate events.
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    Tnpp internet Client

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