Protocol Tunneling

Maitland Bottoms
Wed, 1 Apr 1998 10:47:39 -0500 (EST)

Hello Tacos,

Interesting news on the digital networking front. Though some of you
will probably hear about this from other sources, it seems timely for
me to forward it along to Tacos today.


Announcement Follows:

 Subject: Announcement: TCP/IP over Morse driver released
 Author: (Steve Fraser) at Internet
 Date:    4/1/98 7:24 AM

To reinforce the modern ham's preoccupation with Morse Code, and because 
Morse Code is still a requirement for unlimited access to HF bands, a new 
driver for Linux has been released, that carries TCP/IP over Morse Code 
(TOMC). The driver is fully compatible with existing Linux network software 
and utilities.
How Does it Function?
TOMC sends binary-encoded-morse (BEM) to and from a serial port of a 
computer. In hardware terms, the DTR line is toggled to key the transmitter 
(via a very simple circuit - a resistor connected to the base of a power 
switching transistor, which keys the rig in CW mode), and the CTS line is 
fed with from a hard-limiting op-amp which is in turn fed from the rig's 
speaker for receiving). This is very similar to the "Hamcomm" and similar 
In terms of software, each binary bit is encoded as the repective morse code 
for a zero or one respectively - although a "fast" mode is possible whereby 
zeros are send as "E" and ones are sent as "I". CW users will recognise this 
as one or two dits respectively.
How Well Does It Work?
Recent tests have shown that TOMC using BEM is capable of outperforming most 
human operators in sending of text files (using ftp transfers). Of course, 
human operators cannot send graphics or binary files with morse, whereas 
TOMC can, so no meaningful comparison is possible here.
In noisy conditions TOMC can easily outperform AX25 packet operations, thus 
reinforcing the need for amateurs to continue to use morse code.
How Is It Configured?
TOMC comes with a simple configure program:
morseattach [-d] [-f] ser_device ax25_portname
[-d] is used for debugging, and displays the CW dits on the screen
[-f] is "fast mode" -see above. If a "fast mode" TCP/IP arp is received by a 
station not in fast mode (or vice versa) the driver will temporarily switch 
modes to match the incoming arp request, and continue in that mode for the 
remainder of the connection. The other parameters are:
   ser-device is the serial device used (/dev/cua00 etc)
   ax25_portname is the port name from the /etc/ax25/axports file which will
be mapped to this device (many people use ax0, ax1 etc)
The kernel IP and TCP stack will automatically use the driver, and normal 
TCP/IP routing etc must be configured (in exactly the usual way) for this 
port as it is for all other ports. The file consists of a series of kernel 
patches, under the GPL licence.
Is it Legal?
The use of this mode may not be legal in all countries. I'd suggest 
contacting your local regulatory authority and asking them about it before 
using it. You may need to explain the mode to them. As it is "pure" morse I 
do not expect too many problems.
Where Do I Get It?
A server for anonymous ftp has been set up (but the DNS entries have not yet 
been done) so you'll have to use its IP number.
Just do:
(log in as anonymous)
cd /tmp
get TOMC.1.4.98.tar.gz
(if it's not there yet try again in a few days)
Problem Reports.
If you encounter any problems, please email the maintainer: