Jump to content
NewcomerTI

Using BBS and downloading files

Recommended Posts

Ok, I dialed into a few TI BBS and navigated to where I can download a file (on the Keep) but my system starts file download but shows the system trying but only opens 128 bytes and then stops with 'bad block' as the error. This is pretty consistent with either Checksum or CRC error checking. Eventually, the file transfer gets aborted and it doesn't complete.  What am I doing wrong?  Is my system unable to negotiate the slow speed for downloading the files I want to view?

Using TI PEB, RS232, HRD4000B, and US Robotics 56K modem.  Dialing in on Telco at 1200 baud 8N1 without too much "handshaking" issues on The Hidden Reef, but The Keep is tricky at times not always providing me an attempt to login.  Again what can I try to get the files to download?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ok, I dialed into a few TI BBS and navigated to where I can download a file (on the Keep) but my system starts file download but shows the system trying but only opens 128 bytes and then stops with 'bad block' as the error. This is pretty consistent with either Checksum or CRC error checking. Eventually, the file transfer gets aborted and it doesn't complete.  What am I doing wrong?  Is my system unable to negotiate the slow speed for downloading the files I want to view?
Using TI PEB, RS232, HRD4000B, and US Robotics 56K modem.  Dialing in on Telco at 1200 baud 8N1 without too much "handshaking" issues on The Hidden Reef, but The Keep is tricky at times not always providing me an attempt to login.  Again what can I try to get the files to download?
What are you using for a phone line
The keep is my BBS are you saying you are dialing into the main Worldgroup BBS and then trying to download from the after hours BBS or from the main BBS file library?

Sent from my Pixel 6 Pro using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am dialing from a home telephone line - verizon fios.  Dialing into the Keep 'after hours number' and then trying to download a file from the TI-Games, I always get to a point where it starts to download then hangs on a 'bad block' error if that helps...  The few times that I have tried other correction protocols it pretty much does the same thing...It gets 128 bytes stops and then tries to retrieve the data but never any success.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am dialing from a home telephone line - verizon fios.  Dialing into the Keep 'after hours number' and then trying to download a file from the TI-Games, I always get to a point where it starts to download then hangs on a 'bad block' error if that helps...  The few times that I have tried other correction protocols it pretty much does the same thing...It gets 128 bytes stops and then tries to retrieve the data but never any success.
There is no after hours number it's telnet only for the after hours BBS

So it seems like you are downloading from the main Worldgroup BBS I'll check the logs and do some tests here



Sent from my Pixel 6 Pro using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your help and assistance... I would think it is on my end though... It seems that on The Hidden Reef that there has been a time when you could download/upload but not recently... so I haven't tried any other BBS for a comparison and whether or not everything is handshaking well on my system... When dialing into The Keep, my system sometimes doesn't negotiate at the correct baud for every time I dial in...Is there a reason for that?  a setting on my modem or in the Terminal setup of Telco might need tweaked for the handshaking to occur each time I want to dial in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for your help and assistance... I would think it is on my end though... It seems that on The Hidden Reef that there has been a time when you could download/upload but not recently... so I haven't tried any other BBS for a comparison and whether or not everything is handshaking well on my system... When dialing into The Keep, my system sometimes doesn't negotiate at the correct baud for every time I dial in...Is there a reason for that?  a setting on my modem or in the Terminal setup of Telco might need tweaked for the handshaking to occur each time I want to dial in.
Usually that's a line quality issue voip lines are not the best for modem codecs the FiOS I used to have worked great and then they offered me a cheaper viop line that was worthless for modem so I made them switch it back. Now with my current line on Xfinity I can dial the reef pretty reliably at low baud rates on my line..

Best bet is to lower the baud rate until it is reliable. The 4a has no buffer on the rs232 port. Handshaking is required. Is your cable made up to the diagram in the Telco manual?

Sent from my Pixel 6 Pro using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

You could try Checksum versus CRC to see which one connects better. Why only 1200 baud? Oh, I see Arcadeshopper, while I was typing my reply, says slower might be better.

 

My next comment was going to be about an electrically noisy location. Change up the location of the many gadgets, connecting cables, power cords and the typical AC wallwart switching power supplies to reduce interference. An AM radio will tell you if you have RF noise and maybe the culprit(s). And yes, if your phone is not a legacy landline it could be a problem-maker too.

Edited by Ed in SoDak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cable is set up to the telco diagram as far as I can remember....

image.png.ccd71bcb43d358f2e78d253451d7f530.png

I believe the document shows this as a configuration, correct?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cable test check shows it is not set up to what documentation shows in Telco documentation but instead is:

 

Modem      RS232

1               1

2               3

3               2

7               7

6               20

20              6

 

There is other documentation that says to just hook up 2 to 3, 3 to 2 and 7 to 7 since at this time only software X-On and X-Off is needed.  I'll attempt this for the connection to see if there is a change.... 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ra232 pin out
1 Ground
2 RXD
3 TXD
5 CTS
6 DSR
7 Ground
8 DCD
20 DTR

Should be 1-1 2-3 3-2 7-7 5-20. TI-modem

Sent from my Pixel 6 Pro using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cable is set up to the description you suggested now...will try to login when it auto-senses my connection.  Still requires several times for me to dial in to get connected then to have the three options available to me...I get a few small "x"'s across the screen   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Still get the same result with having an error on the file being downloaded...shows up as 'bad block'... Incidentally, if I leave the aborted downloads from 'discard' to 'save' in Telco setup of the FILE TRANSFER SETUP the file shows in the catalog as the correct size but obviously the file won't load since it is only the first block of the file...The file never makes it to the disk I'm trying to save it to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it because Im trying to save it to the RAM disk?  I know the RAM disk is fast in accessing but could that be causing this 'hiccup'?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, NewcomerTI said:

Is it because Im trying to save it to the RAM disk?  I know the RAM disk is fast in accessing but could that be causing this 'hiccup'?

I wouldn't think so, I do not own a RAMdisk to be certain. In my own method I link the TI to my Mac with a Serial to USB adapter. I download files to my Mac and transfer them to the TI.

 

Quite often the transfer fails as you describe. One side or the other halts while the other system keeps attempting connection. I just redo the transfer on the machine that halted and it links up second or third try. If the data sent starts counting up it usually completes successfully.

 

If your TI is receiving text and what you type on your TI shows on their end the cable is most likely correct.

Edited by Ed in SoDak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Ed in SoDak said:

Why only 1200 baud? Oh, I see Arcadeshopper, while I was typing my reply, says slower might be better.

Anything over 1200 bps uses some kind of phase rotation.  This is not always picked up by VoIP systems.  Some systems are capable if you have the line configured for fax -- while a dying breed, this is still offered, at least to businesses, which enables special encoding.  While I lack details on how this works (engineers sometimes liken themselves to magicians,) I can say this holds up in my own testing on customers.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anything over 2400 baud with Telco is going to be too fast for file transfers.  As Greg mentioned, try at 300 baud first for file transfers.  If that doesn't work, try switching to another terminal emulator and see if you have any better luck.


Beery

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tonight I will try at 300 baud on Telco to see if that will download the file. I kind of like the idea of downloading to the Mac and then transferring via cable to the TI, Ed from SoDak mentioned this, but the Telco program loads so fast from RAM (about 4-5 secs to get it to dial out) I'd sure like to figure out the system and get it working to download files.  I am unsure if I have any another terminal emulator that Beery suggests to try to see if I have better luck.  Any suggestions on which one(s) might do better with the TI would be appreciated and on how one would obtain a copy for use?

11 hours ago, Ed in SoDak said:

I wouldn't think so, I do not own a RAMdisk to be certain. In my own method I link the TI to my Mac with a Serial to USB adapter. I download files to my Mac and transfer them to the TI.

 

Quite often the transfer fails as you describe. One side or the other halts while the other system keeps attempting connection. I just redo the transfer on the machine that halted and it links up second or third try. If the data sent starts counting up it usually completes successfully.

 

If your TI is receiving text and what you type on your TI shows on their end the cable is most likely correct.

Ed what's your serial to USB adapter? And could you outline the steps for the Mac download - i.e. do you use zTerm or download differently other than from a dial up that I am attempting...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use an older Keyspan Serial Assistant. Here's a current model: https://www.tripplite.com/keyspan-high-speed-usb-to-serial-adapter~USA19HS

 

The only difference that matters is the cable. Mine uses the pre-USB Mac 8-pin barrel-type mini ADB connector. A standard Mac modem cable with a DB-25 on one end and ADB on the other works perfectly. The new model needs a DB-25 to DB-9, also pretty much a standard for PC fare.

 

Transfers are made through Zterm and Telco using Xmodem. Match baud rates and checksum/CRC and have at it. I'm able to transfer at 14,400.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, NewcomerTI said:

Tonight I will try at 300 baud on Telco to see if that will download the file. I kind of like the idea of downloading to the Mac and then transferring via cable to the TI, Ed from SoDak mentioned this, but the Telco program loads so fast from RAM (about 4-5 secs to get it to dial out) I'd sure like to figure out the system and get it working to download files.  I am unsure if I have any another terminal emulator that Beery suggests to try to see if I have better luck.  Any suggestions on which one(s) might do better with the TI would be appreciated and on how one would obtain a copy for use?

Ed what's your serial to USB adapter? And could you outline the steps for the Mac download - i.e. do you use zTerm or download differently other than from a dial up that I am attempting...

 

 

@NewcomerTI,

 

I don't know much about you to know your situation, but if you have the means, I would highly suggest a TIPI/PI setup.  As you obviously have some kind of memory expansion, the SAMS 1 MB optional upgrade is not necessary but nice to have.  I say this because it would open up the ability to connect to Telnet accessible BBS's and download files.  For the TI-99/4A, I think only Mass Transfer would allow you to download files if you got the TIPI/PI setup.  However, Matt's Telnet client for the TIPI (no file downloading) and Mass Transfer (file downloading) would open some more doors for you.  Also, there is an FTP client I think Matt released but seldom discussed you can use as well with the TIPI.  That would allow you to grab files from whtech.

 

There is also a RS232 module you can plug into a RS232 cable skipping the regular modem that uses the RS232 channel to give you telnet access.  You will still be at the mercy of the terminal emulator dropping characters so higher baud rates are not possible, but it would remove the use of phone land lines for connecting to BBS's.

 

As far as other programs to try, the other option would be try Fast Term.  That program is likely to give you the best option to run at a higher baud rate during a file transfer without dropping characters.

 

Beery

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Thanks for the suggestions and on suggesting getting a TIPI/PI setup...It is something that I will likely delve into for the system.  On getting the TI to connect at 300 baud...the TI connection dialed out and logging in was not a problem ...noticed a significant speed drop on the 300 baud and did the same scenario on attempting the download but did not complete the download, still only 128 bytes gets to the system and then timeouts with 'bad block' errors occurring. So the same situation.

I'm reseating the RS232 card in the PEB box to see if that is a solution... I can also try a second RS232 card to see if the same occurs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, NewcomerTI said:


Thanks for the suggestions and on suggesting getting a TIPI/PI setup...It is something that I will likely delve into for the system.  On getting the TI to connect at 300 baud...the TI connection dialed out and logging in was not a problem ...noticed a significant speed drop on the 300 baud and did the same scenario on attempting the download but did not complete the download, still only 128 bytes gets to the system and then timeouts with 'bad block' errors occurring. So the same situation.

I'm reseating the RS232 card in the PEB box to see if that is a solution... I can also try a second RS232 card to see if the same occurs

I have a suspicion you are dealing with an issue of IAC bytes if even 300 baud is not working.  If that is the issue, there is no TI-99/4A RS232 based terminal emulator that is going to solve that issue.  IAC bytes are tied with the telnet protocol and I am wondering if the BBS is using some kind of TCP to phone access and not stripping the IAC bytes from the negotiation.


What BBS are you connecting too?


Beery

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have a suspicion you are dealing with an issue of IAC bytes if even 300 baud is not working.  If that is the issue, there is no TI-99/4A RS232 based terminal emulator that is going to solve that issue.  IAC bytes are tied with the telnet protocol and I am wondering if the BBS is using some kind of TCP to phone access and not stripping the IAC bytes from the negotiation.

What BBS are you connecting too?

Beery
No he's connecting with a modem to my serial port modem connection. Either the xmodem protocol is not working correctly with Telco or there is some sort of flow control issue still even at 300 baud .. I need to set up a modem and do some testing here..

Sent from my Pixel 6 Pro using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, arcadeshopper said:

No he's connecting with a modem to my serial port modem connection. Either the xmodem protocol is not working correctly with Telco or there is some sort of flow control issue still even at 300 baud .. I need to set up a modem and do some testing here..

Sent from my Pixel 6 Pro using Tapatalk
 

Is everything from your computer to the serial port via a RS232 or COM based protocol, or is it stepping through any TCP connection to the serial port modem?  Any chance the modem is a Wimodem232 or similar? My thinking here is the WiMODEM232 has settings to deal with the IAC bytes and I had to deal with particular connection strings with @InsaneMultitasker PORT program back a few years ago.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Is everything from your computer to the serial port via a RS232 or COM based protocol, or is it stepping through any TCP connection to the serial port modem?  Any chance the modem is a Wimodem232 or similar? My thinking here is the WiMODEM232 has settings to deal with the IAC bytes and I had to deal with particular connection strings with [mention=25764]InsaneMultitasker[/mention] PORT program back a few years ago.
It's a serial port to a us robotics vanything modem locked at 38400 baud

Sent from my Pixel 6 Pro using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...