Getting QRV with DAPNet

Thanks to Jonathan G4KLX DAPNet experiences an explosive growth. That happened since Jonathan implemented support for DAPNet in his MMDVM software. Since then hotspots like the MMDVM_HS_HAT and MMDVM_HS_Dual_HAT can act as a DAPNet transmitter in their idle time.

To have this enabled you’ll need a DAPNet account! This account can be requested via the support website of the radio amateurs of Aachen University. Benelux users can also contact Tom ON3DHC. It’s really important to get the account first before switching on the DAPNet function in Pi-Star! Recently the network got smashed by hotspots attempting to login with incorrect credentials. This ended in a kind of a self made DDOS attack. Since then a failsafe has been implemented, allowing a maximum number of login attempts. If login remained unsuccessful the IP address of the hotspot ends on a block list and no login attempts of this address are accepted anymore. To have this resolved you’ll need assistance via a ticket for the hams of Aachen University.

What does such a login look like?

It all starts with a username (call sign) and a password allowing the user to login to the DAPNet website. In case the user owns a pager, this pager will be linked as a ‘subscriber’ to the user account. From that point on the ham is a known user in the system, having a pager with a unique RIC. That means the person can receive messages via the pager. The credentials of the user account are NOT to be used to login a hotspot!

A transmitter can be linked to the user account. This transmitter has its own credentials to identify itself in the network. The transmitter login can NOT be used to login to the DAPNet website! The credentials of the transmitter (call and authentication key) are set by DAPNet admins and are only used to have a hotspot (or Unipager) login.

Then a transmitter will be linked to one or more transmitter groups. It’s not possible to address a message directly to a specific transmitter. Messages are sent to a transmitter group. Then these messages are sent by all transmitters in that particular group. Examples are groups based on country, province or purpose. The group ‘all’ covers all worldwide known transmitters, but ‘us-all’ addresses only the US based transmitters.

On first sight it seems a bit complex to have two sets of credentials. The reason for this is to distinguish between users aka ‘real human beings’ and transmitters. A human user has no reason to login as a transmitter. And a transmitter doesn’t need the ability to login to the user interface. Furthermore users and transmitters can have a ‘more on more’ relationship: a transmitter can have multiple sysops, one sysop can own multiple transmitters.

To start with DAPNet take the following steps (in this order):

  1. Request a user account;
  2. If you own a pager, have its RIC linked to your account;
  3. Have a transmitter created;
  4. and after receiving the credentials for the transmitter (call and auth. key) you can enable the DAPNet functionality in Pi-Star (or Unipager).

Useful links:
German DAPNet website (multi lingual)
Belgian DAPNet website
DAPNet wiki
DAPNet support tickets

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