Santa Clara County ARES®/RACES
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How To Request Packet Networking Technical Support

User Questions:  Software Only (Outpost, PackItForms, PacFORMS)   |   On Air: (Signal Strength, Session, Message Handling)

Sysop Questions

 


User Questions:

Post questions to the "packet" Discussion Group

We have a large user community with many very experienced users. At least one of them probably knows the answer to your question. So, post your question to our packet discussion group where all of our local users can see the question and benefit from the answer. For information on how to join the discussion group, see our discussion groups page.

 

Software Only Questions

These are situations that involve only software behavior on the local PC. Include the information listed below for the appropriate software. If an issue involves more than one component, include the requested information for both components. For example, if an issue involves submitting a PackItForms message to Outpost, include both the Outpost and PackItForms information.

Outpost Issues

  • Outpost version number
    • In Outpost: Help > About
    • Version number has the format of: "Version #.#.# c##"
  • Step-by-step how to reproduce
  • Screenshot (whenever helpful)
  • Depending on the issue, we may respond with a request for logs
    • In Outpost: Actions > View Outpost Data Directories
    • Open the logs directory
    • We will usually ask for these two files:
      • sessionYYMMDD.log
      • transactionYYMMDD.log

PackItForms Issues (New Forms)

(Browser-based forms, listed in the Outpost Forms menu as "XSC ...", and recognizable by the "PIF..." version number in the upper right of each form)

  • PackItForms version number
    • "PIF: #.#" at top-right of each form
  • Browser type and version
  • MS Windows version
  • Step-by-step how to reproduce
  • Image of the problem
    • For on-screen issues: screenshot
    • For print issues: PDF print
  • All files from C:\PackItForms\Outpost\SCCo\logs
  • It would be most helpful if all files are ZIP'd into a single archive

PacFORMS Issues (Legacy Forms)

(Browser-based forms, listed in the Outpost Forms menu as "Legacy ...", and recognizble by the "PR..." version number at the bottom right of each form)

  • PacFORMS version number
    • "PR-#.#-#.#" at bottom-right of each form
  • Browser type and version
  • MS Windows version
  • Step-by-step how to reproduce
  • Image of the problem
    • For on-screen issues: screenshot
    • For print issues: PDF print

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On Air Questions:

These are situations that involve on air contact (or attempted contact) with one of our bulletin board systems (BBSs)

Signal Strength

If you are having difficulty reaching one of our BBSs, such as you can't here it, or it doesn't seem to hear you, be sure to include the following information:

  • A step-by-step description of the question or problem. Be as clear as possible. Quote any error messages exactly.
  • If you had difficulty connecting or staying connected, include the following information:
    • Your location
    • The call sign of the BBS to which you tried to connect
    • The date and time you tried to connect
    • The call sign you used to connect to the BBS
    • The frequency band you used:  2m or 220
    • Antenna:  type and height above ground (in feet)
    • Coax type and length (in feet)
    • Transmit power (in Watts)
    • Signal strength meter reading (e.g. X of Y bars) of received signal from BBS
    • TNC:  make and model
    • What has changed on your end since the last time this worked?
    • Attach the Outpost session and transaction logs for that day
      • In Outpost, go to:  Actions > View Outpost Data Directories
      • Open the logs directory
      • Attach these two files:
        • sessionYYMMDD.log
        • transactionYYMMDD.log

Session

If you have a question or problem related to connecting to or staying connected to a session with one of the BBSs, and you are certain it is not due to signal strength (in either direction), be sure to include the following information:

  • A step-by-step description of the question or problem. Be as clear as possible. Quote any error messages exactly.
  • If you had difficulty connecting or staying connected, include the following information:
    • The call sign of the BBS to which you tried to connect
    • The date and time you tried to connect
    • The call sign you used to connect to the BBS
    • The frequency band you used:  2m or 220
    • TNC:  make and model
    • What has changed on your end since the last time this worked?
    • Attach the Outpost session and transaction logs for that day
      • In Outpost, go to:  Actions > View Outpost Data Directories
      • Open the logs directory
      • Attach these two files:
        • sessionYYMMDD.log
        • transactionYYMMDD.log

Message Handling

If you are able to connect, but have a question or problem related to the handling of a specific message or what happened during a specific user/BBS session, be sure to include the following information.

  • A step-by-step description of how to recreate the problem. Be as clear as possible. Quote any error messages exactly.
  • If you had difficulty sending or receiving a message, include the following information:
    • The "To" address of the message
    • The "Subject" line of the message
    • The date and time you sent the message
    • What has changed on your end since the last time this worked?
    • If you sent your message via packet radio directly to one of our BBSs:
      • SCCo Packet Installer version
        • Start > All Programs > SCCo Packet > SCCo Version
      • The call sign of the BBS to which you connected
      • The call sign you used to connect to the BBS
      • The frequency band you used:  2m or 220
    • Otherwise, if you sent your message via another BBS in the BBS or AMPRnet networks:
      • The call sign of the BBS to which you connected
      • The call sign you used to connect to the BBS
    • Otherwise, If you sent your message from e-mail or some other Internet-based system, such as Winlink:
      • The system type (e-mail service provider name, Winlink, etc.)
      • Client application (Thunderbird, Outlook, mobile phone e-mail app, Winlink app, etc.)
      • "From" address
  • Depending on the issue, we may respond with a request for logs
    • In Outpost: Actions > View Outpost Data Directories
    • Open the logs directory
    • We will usually ask for these two files:
      • sessionYYMMDD.log
      • transactionYYMMDD.log

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Sysop Questions:

Send questions directly to a SCCo BBS Sysop

Sysops for BBSs outside of Santa Clara County are typically not members of the scc-packet user group.  And BBS-to-BBS details are usually not appropriate for the scc-packet user group list. So, send the information directly to one of the SCCo BBS sysops.

Question Types:

BBS Forwarding Issues

If you are a BBS sysop with a question or problem related to BBS-to-BBS message forwarding with an SCCo BBS, be sure to include the following information:

  • Your (sysop) call sign
  • Call sign and SSID of your BBS
  • Call sign of the SCCo BBS with which you are forwarding
  • Connection method (RF frequency, AMPRnet tunnel, etc.)
  • The date and time of the forwarding issue
  • The "To" address of the message or bulletin
  • The "From" address of the message or bulletin
  • The BID or MID
  • The "Subject" line of the message (if possible)
  • A step-by-step description of the question or problem. Be as clear as possible. Quote any log or error messages exactly.
  • Attach any logs or configuration file snippets that may be helpful

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This page was last updated on 18-Sep-2019