Telnet and IRC Support


Introduction

Today more and more radio amateurs have a permanent connection to the internet and the internet has become an additional tool for many of us. Therefore I decided to integrate the Internet as seamlessly as possible into SWISSLOG and also added Telnet support.

Some may now ask the question: "Why the pain? There already are some very powerful programs available like DXTelnet and DXConcentrator which interface with SWISSLOG." There are a few reasons:

SWISSLOG's Telnet support cannot directly compete with specialized programs such as DXTelnet or DXConcentrator. SWISSLOG implements the basic functions for Telnet support; those dedicated programs have many special features which SWISSLOG doesn't. So depending on your requirements you may want to use one of these programs (click on their names to go to their websites). With the SWISSLOG Telnet support there now is a new, easy way to connect to these programs.

Overview

SWISSLOG's Telnet support allows you to:

Quick Start

This section explains the basic steps to use the Telnet support. You find more information in the detail sections.

SWISSLOG's Telnet support is controlled by the Telnet Control window. Open it by selecting View Telnet Control Window from the Main menu.

The Telnet Control window looks like this :

The Active Servers page (see example above) lists the servers you are connected to, or have been connected to but were disconnected.

The Available Servers page (see example above) lists the servers you can connect to. Select the server you want to connect to and press the Connect button.

Individual Server windows (see example below)

For each active server a window is available to monitor the traffic. These windows are opened when you connect manually or when you press the window button in the Active Servers list (example: ). The layout of the window depends on the server type. Windows for telnet servers which send DX-Spots (type = DXC) have a fixed number of tabs. For IRC servers a separate window is available for each channel you joined.

You can close the windows without disconnecting from the server and re-open them using the window buttons on the Active Servers list tab. SWISSLOG monitors the traffic even if the windows are closed. However when closing a window you lose all messages currently displayed.

Detailed Description

In this section you will find a detailed description of all telnet functions. If you just want to start a telnet connection read the Quick Start section. The following topics are covered in this section:

The Telnet Control window

The Telnet Control window is the Control Center for the Telnet Connections. It allows you to:

You can open the Telnet Control window by either

The Telnet Control window looks like this :

The window contains two pages: the Available Servers page and the Active Servers page. A page is selected by clicking on the tab name.

The Available Servers list (see example above)

Here the servers you can connect to are listed. To be able to connect to a server some parameters must be defined. This page contains the functions to add, delete and edit the server entries (see Maintaining the Available Server list for details). But it is also the place you initiate the connection to a server.

Sorting, grouping and searching servers

Most features known from the Logbook-View are also available here:

Manually connect  to a server

If you start a server manually the server window is opened automatically. You can then safely close the window because it is not needed for DX-Spot filtering. You can reopen a window from the Active Servers page.

Automatically connect at startup

You can start server connections automatically when SWISSLOG starts up. As soon as an internet connection is available SWISSLOG will connect to the servers which have the Auto Start flag set. SWISSLOG checks about every minute for a connection. So it may take some time until the connections are established. No windows will be opened for the automatically started servers. You can open the windows from the Active Servers page.

To automatically connect to servers at the startup of SWISSLOG set Auto Start to ON. To do this select the server you want and press the  button, or double-click the server name.

This action will open the Edit Server Configuration window:

In the Edit Server Configuration window check the "Start Automatically" box.

Now click the Save button and close the window; and from now on this server will be automatically connected to in silent mode (no windows will be displayed) when an internet connection exists.

The Active Server list

The Active Server list is the place where you control your Telnet Connections. The list contains all servers you want to connect to. You see their actual connection status; you can activate the server and channel windows and you can also remove a server from the list. To add a server go to the available server list and press the connect button. If you have any Auto Start servers then they will be automatically displayed in this list every time you start SWISSLOG.

The page is divided into 3 parts:

For a Telnet server you will see only one button. Everything happens in the server window.

Open / Close the server windows

The Telnet support in SWISSLOG can run without any windows open. You can open and close the windows at any time. With the help of the windows buttons in the Active Server page you can open the windows.

Disconnecting from a server / Remove a server from the Active Server list

All windows have a Disconnect button but not all of them behave in the same way!

The Traffic windows

The traffic is recorded in 'Traffic windows'. The kind of window depends on the type of server you are connected to. Currently 3 types of windows are supported:

You can change the font of the message windows. To do so place the cursor in the message window of which you want to change the font and press the button.

DXC-Server window

Page tabs which are highlighted mean that these pages contain data you have not yet read.

This window has the following 5 pages:

The five buttons at the top are shortcuts for often used commands. Because the command syntax varies depending on the software used by the server the results are not always the same and in some cases the commands do not work.

The commands are:

Enter the message you want to announce. Check the check-box Cluster Wide if the announcement should be sent to all interconnected servers. If the check-box is not checked, the announcement is only sent to the server you are connected to (local).

You can add your comment at the end.

The IRC (Internet Relay Chat) windows

The #CQDX IRC channel is my preferred way to connect to a DX-Network. You can learn more about CQDX here.  

Two types of windows are used for IRC servers.

Channel window

Page tabs which are highlighted mean that these pages contain data you have not yet read.

This window has the following  pages:

  • DX-Spots: DX-Spots are displayed on this page

  • WWV: WWV messages are displayed on this page

  • To All: this page contains announcements addressed to all

  • Channel: this page contains Channel traffic which can not be assigned to one of the other pages (for example the public chats)

  • Users: this page contains the list of users who have joined the channel. You will find more about this page later.

  • Talk pages:: each of these pages represent a private talk channel to an other user.

The six buttons at the top are short-cuts for often used commands. .

The commands are:

  • Part: issue the /Part command to leave the channel

  • SH/DX 5: show the last 5 DX-Spots

  • SH/ANN 5: show the last 5 announcements

  • SH/WWV: show the last WWV message

  • Send ANN: send an announcement. When you press this button the following dialog is displayed:

Enter your message and press OK to send it.

  • Send DX: send a DX-Spot. When you press this button the following dialog is displayed, pre-filled with information of the active QSO.

    You can add your comment at the end.

Talk Function

The Talk function allows you to send messages to a specific user. With SWISSLOG you can open a separate window for each private 'chat'. Two pages contain the needed functions. In the Users page you initiate a private chat and in the Talk pages you chat.

Sending a single private message

To send a single message to one of the users:

  • select the user you want to send the message to

  • enter the message in the edit line at the bottom of the window

  • press enter

Initiate a Talk

If you want to send several message or to enter a longer chat, create a Talk window. All messages exchanged are then recorded in this talk window.

To open a Talk window:

  • select the user you want to send the message to

  • press the 'Add Talk Page' button. Note that the button will change to 'Close Talk Page' if a talk page exists for the user

  • now select the page with the user's name on it and start sending your messages

Here is an example:

Receiving private Messages

If somebody sends you a private message SWISSLOG automatically opens a Talk Page.

Maintaining the Available Server list

To be able to connect to a server SWISSLOG needs some parameters describing the server. These parameters are stored in an external file and loaded into SWISSLOG at startup. The list is displayed on the the Available Servers list of the Telnet Control window where you can add, edit and delete server entries. The external files which contain the server parameters are stored in the SWISSLOG main directory and are named:

To add, edit or delete a server entry select the entry and double click it or press the button. The following dialog is displayed:

The Edit Server Configuration window

If you open the Edit window it will stay open until you close it manually.

Field Descriptions

Fields in red are mandatory

Name:

This is the name of the server. It should be relatively short and unique. It is used to identify the server.

Description:

You can put a more detailed description here. This is not used by SWISSLOG.

Host:

This is the address of the server. It can be a URL or a TCP/IP address.

Port:

This is the port you have to connect to. This field is only needed if the server is on a non-standard port. The standard port for telnet servers is 23 and the one for IRC servers is 6667.

Server Type:

Here you define the type of the server.

  • Standard (Std)  for a standard telnet server which does not run a DX Cluster program

  • DX-Cluster (DXC) for a server which runs a DX-Cluster program

  • IRC-Server (IRC) for an IRC server

Start Automatically:

If this check-box is checked a connection to the server is automatically established at SWISSLOG's startup.

Alternate Host list:

If you can connect to a server with different host names (addresses) you can list these addresses here. The addresses must be separated by a ';'.

Logon Script:

This is the script needed to logon to the server. See Scripts for more details.

Scripts

Scripts are needed for automatic connection/reconnection to servers. Most servers require that you login; that means that you identify yourself. Normally this is a manual process; meaning the server sends a request and you have to reply. With a script you can automate this process. You can define that SWISSLOG waits for a particular word or series of words and if these words are received the next script line is executed. This can be a /S command to send the required reply, or a number of other commands. In this way you can automate a complicated login procedure.

SWISSLOG contains a very simple scripting feature. The commands are compatible with the scripting used in DXTelnet but not all of its commands are implemented.

Script Commands.

/K text

Set the 'Keep Alive' text.

SWISSLOG checks if the connection is still alive by sending a command if no message was received during a certain time. Here you can set the text which should be sent for this check. If nothing is specified an empty line (CR) is sent.

Example: /K /BE     send /BE as alive message

This command is executed immediately; SWISSLOG will immediately go to the next command (if any).

/P text

Set the prompt string.

This command is not yet used by SWISSLOG

/S text

Send text to the server.

If the text contains the character sequence '$$$$' it is replaced with the call sign to whom this SWISSLOG copy is registered.

Examples:

/S HB9BJS  sends out my call (HB9BJS)

/S $$$$  sends your call if SWISSLOG is registered to you

/S use $$$$ as user name for talk messages  sends out 'use HB9BJS as user name for talk messages'

This command is executed immediately; that means SWISSLOG immediately goes to the next command (if any).

/T n

Sets the reconnect timeout in minutes; if not specified it defaults to 2 minutes.

If no message was received during n minutes an alive message is sent (see K) *

Example: /T 3     sets the reconnect timeout to 3 minutes

This command is executed immediately; that means SWISSLOG will immediately go to the next command (if any).

/W text

Sets the string to wait for. The string recognition is not case sensitive

Example: /W password  makes the script wait until you receive the string "password".  

Note: there is one exception. The command /W LOGIN  will also terminate when the word Call is received. The reason for this is that some servers ask for login and others for call. But it's almost impossible for me to find out which server uses which word.

This command is executed immediately; that means SWISSLOG instantly goes to the next command (if any).

Join=channel [;channel]

This is a list of channels to join as soon as the IRC server is connected. You can connect to several channels at the same time; but their names must be separated with a ';'.

Example: Join=#CQDX;#IOTA Join channels #CQDX and #IOTA

This command is executed immediately and works only with IRC servers.

Logon Script Examples:

Standard Login Script

This is a script which works for most Telnet servers. Remember that /W login also means /W call

/W login
/T 5
/S $$$$
/W de
/S set/nodxsqth
/P de


Login Script for servers with Echo ON

Some servers by default Echo the character you enter. Because SWISSLOG displays what you enter you will see your entries in double. You can turn of the Echo function by adding the unset/echo command to the script.

W login
/T 5
/S $$$$
/W de
/S unset/dxgrid
/P de
/W de
/S unset/echo

Login Script for an IRC server

Login is handled fully by SWISSLOG, so you don't need any login information in IRC scripts. But you have to tell SWISSLOG to which channels you want to connect. So an IRC script is simple, for example:

Join=#CQDX
/T 3

Special Connections (DXTelnet,  DXConcentrator)

Programs which support connections via TCP/IP can now be connected to SWISSLOG's TCP/P connections. This means that we can overcome the not very reliable DDE connections and in addition such programs can run on an other computer if you have a network.

DXTelnet

Fabrizio (IK4VYX) has described how to connect DXTelnet via TCP/IP in an article titled 'Virtual Power but Real Results'. You may wish to read it too.

The DXTelnet download URL is: http://members.tripod.com/dxhunter0/download.htm

Set-up a TCP/IP connection with DXTelnet 

First-time setup in DXTelnet

The following operations must be performed only the very first time.

Start DXTelnet TCP/IP connection with SWISSLOG

DXConcentrator

DXConcentrator was developed by Jacques Debouche ON5OO. Here you find details about DXConcentrator.

To connect DXConcentrator to SWISSLOG you have to add DXConcentrator as Server to the Available Servers list (note: it may already be there).

Add DXConcentrator to the Available Servers list:

 

Note: if you run DXConcentrator on an other computer you must enter the address of this host.


Copyright 2004 SWISSLOG
Last modified: 20 jul. 2016