Outpost Packet Message Manager

BBS and PBBS Information



General Information:

27-Mar-07: FBB is a bulletin board software package for amateur packet-radio that is free of charge.  It is supported on MsDos, Windows 16, Windows 32,  and Linux on PC hardware.  All the versions have almost the same functionality.  Some differences may exist due to the capabilities of the operating and windowing systems.

The last listed update to the Windows version was in 2001.




http://nl3asd.tripod.com/fbb.html - alternate download site (June 2012)

FBB Implementation Guide

User Notes:

F6FBB  BBS users must be registered and set up as EXPERTS before starting any Outpost sessions.  The following F6FBB commands should be executed during a manual BBS session before using Outpost.


Registration BBS Commands

First time users may be prompted to register with the BBS with one or more registration commands.  If this is the case, the user may be continuously reminded to register every time you log on until you do so.  The commands are:

  1. N - Enters or modifies the name (max 12 characters allowed).

  2. NH - Enters or modifies the Home BBS. A point (.) deletes the current Home BBS.

  3. NL - Enters or modifies the QRA locator (i.e.: CM87xv).

  4. NQ - Enters or modifies the city (Qth).

  5. NZ -  Enters or modifies the Zip Code.

Expert and Paging Commands

You must set yourself up as an EXPERT user on the BBS before using Outpost with F6FBB. Manually log on to the BBS, and enter the command here.

  1. X : Toggles "normal" or "expert" status. "Normal" shows extended menus, "expert" provides only minimal information.  
    Select EXPERT.

You also must turn Paging off. This "feature" was originally built into many BBSs to accommodate a time when we used dumb terminals that didn't have much display memory and we didn't want messages to fly by w/o seeing the text.  The Options command covers a variety of things, the one we care about is to be set as follows:

  1. OP :  toggles paging on messages.

  2. OP [number-of-lines] to select paging with a specific number of lines per page.  Set "OP 0" for no paging.

Outpost Notes:

SID = [FBB-7.00i-AB1FHMRX$]
Outpost looks for the "[FBB" phrase of the SID as the means for identifying this BBS.  Additionally, the F6FBB Prompts are configurable; Outpost automatically will determine the prompts at connect time.


1.  Outpost will automatically determine the BBS prompt for a F6FBB BBS.

2.  ER#723 (v2.3) added special handling for NTS messages on the BBS.  NTS messages that originate on a BBS may be forwarded off of the BBS if the message addressing requires this.  Once a message is forwarded, it may still show up on the Message List (LT) until the FBB housecleaning job runs (usually once a day).  

Outpost was changed to handle this case.  In the event that the message status is T-and-F (Traffic and Forwarded) or T-and-K (Traffic and Killed), the message will not be retrieved.   

BBS Notes:

FBB is very flexible with how it can be set up.  Given Outpost's need for a structured message list to determine what gets pulled next, getting the BBS options set correctly is critical.   Refer to the FBB documentation for information on the definitions of the field control variables: http://www.f6fbb.org/fbbdoc/doc.htm, then click on Variables.  All changes must be performed by the FBB Sysop.

1. Message List Field Order
The entire Message List line can be configured.  The F6FBB setup to support how Outpost will parse the message line is as follows:


$WMsg# TSLD Size To @ BBS From Date/Time Title (LC-choice: $l)$W

# Contents of each line when listing:

$M $t$s$r%r $n $G$O $P $i $1$W

... or

$M $t$s$r%r $n $G @$O $P $i $S $l$W

2. Date format
Note the date/time format in the above listing.  Outpost expects to see the message listing date in the format: MMDD/HHMM.  The following describes how to set this date format. 

On the Linux version, and possibly more recent Windows versions, there is a file called "english.txt" (in the "/etc/ax25/fbb/lang" directory) that contains all the internationalization strings for English that are dynamically set at run-time.  The $i and $j parameters control the date format as follows: 

$i : Date and time of the message header (Format

$j : Date of the message header (Format 29-Dec)

Set the date format parameter to "$i".  See the Message List Field Order entry above to see how this parameter looks. 

3. Stuck Packets
One change you may need to be made is with the telnet setup on the BBS.  Bill VE7QC reported that the following change corrected a problem with "stuck packets" where the BBS prompt was not being displayed for large files retrieved by Outpost.  In the port.sys file, change the MaxFrame parameter from 7 (in Bill's case) to 1 if you experience this problem...

# Same number of lines as number of TNCs.
#TNC NbCh Com MultCh Pacln Maxfr NbFwd MxBloc M/P-Fwd Mode Freq
6   4    2   t1     250   7     2     20     10/60 UTYW Telnet

#TNC NbCh Com MultCh Pacln Maxfr NbFwd MxBloc M/P-Fwd Mode Freq
6   4    2   t1     250   1     2     20     10/60 UTYW Telnet



The following is a typical listing of the FBB BBS that could be seen by Outpost.




Hello Club. 33 active messages, last is 368, last listed is 279.

Assigned channels:

Ch. 1 (147.555) : KB9SZK-14 - Thu 27/01/05 13:25



Msg#   TSLD   Dim  To    @ BBS   From   Date/Time Title (LC...

346    PNL    177  KB9SZK        N9ZZK  0127/0355 test of SSID



You have 1 new (unread) message(s).





Msg#   TSLD   Dim  To    @ BBS   From   Date/Time Title (LC...

346    PNL    177  KB9SZK        N9ZZK  0127/0355 test of SSID


You have 1 new (unread) message(s).




You have been connected 48s - Computer-time : 0s

Bye, Club, and welcome back


Install: 8/30/09: Access to the WinFbb download files do not appear to be working off of http://www.f6fbb.org/.  These files are provided here:

General Feedback

Please send any feedback to

updated:  July 01, 2012