19 October 2018

use of the radio address format "RSPeer" for direct delivering of messages (R&S PostMan II)

This post can be considered as a continuation of the previous one in which the use of Rohde & Schwarz PostMan was shown: in that post, rsmail sending "classic" email over HF, was analyzed. In order to find other interesting RSX.25 sessions I started to look for my files and old recordings and finally I recovered an interesting transmission of the Italian Coast Guard (Guardia Costiera, say It-GC) on 12270.5 KHz/usb dated January 2016 consisting of the combined RSX.25 and GM-2X00 HF waveform.
Fig. 1
I probably went late on that transmission and so I probably lost the initial RSX.25 exchanges but after the demodulation of the signal - although weak - an interesting session came up that uses the Rohde & Schwarz address format "RSPeer" to send a file between two radios. The received signal does not have a good SNR but its interpretation is nevertheless possible, below the file I got after the removal of the GM2X00 HF waveform and RSX.25 demodulation:

c„%Ì, TNF8c19f176-c647-11e5-ab22-000c2940a7d1.tmp v˜ xŸ>"©  ' E €  1 1
CP940 RSPEER:CP940,Administrator   N €  à  1 O   € !  +*V    ,ØCµá ªG )@§Ñd€
+ ¤¾£ n Ý T  ROMA RSPEER ROMA,ROMA   0  'ROMA'  0  0   *)  ì  #  &)

file being sent (most likely, see below)

RSPeer address format addresses
CP940, Administrator = patrol vassel "DATTILO" CP-940, callsign IGUB [1]
ROMA, ROMA = Guardia Costiera HQ Roma, callsign ICI [2]

Quoting the paper ADP010679 [3] "The R&S address format RSPeer ensures the direct delivery of the message to the computer of the addressee, i.e. the message is physically available on the hard disk of the recipient, the usual detour to the SMTP server being avoided. This delivery procedure excludes any misuse of and unauthorized access to the mail traffic of a network and ensures that one's own information is secure. This type of addressing also minimizes the data exchange on the frequencies available and so eases the traffic load of the radio network."

Further and more interesting details emerge if the HDLC protocol decoding is used at data-link layer, i.e. just before the RSX.25 demodulation(!): in particular, the strings related to MicroSoft Exchange  are highlighted

940a7d1.tmp v˜   xŸ>"©      •þÿÿÿþÿû(F°€œøÞÿÿÿ6(F°àš›Þÿÿÿ
ÿ(F¿ 2   Ì, TNF8c19f176-c647-11e5-ab22-000c2940a7d1.tmp v˜  

xŸ>"©    tÑ(F°   ä    è € IPM.Microsoft Mail.Note 1 € €    
PIM 291000A GEN 16 ô €    à 6 (F± ' E €  1 1 CP940 RSPEER:CP940,Administrator
O € ! h›(F² 74F1198C47C6E511AB22000C2940A7D1 ý  þ    ÿ Z µ;ÂÀ,w ¡¼ 
 Úµ(F³ +*V    ,ØCµá ªG )@§Ñd€  Ñd€ + ¤¾£ n%Ý T ROMA RSPEER:ROMA,ROMA 'ROMA'

I believe the CP940 user is sending an outlook message in rich text format (RTF) encapsulated into Microsoft "Transport Neutral Encapsulation Format"(TNEF) [4] instead of sending an SMTP (HTML or Plain Text mode) email. The original filename is probably 940a7d1.tmp while the filename TNF8c19f176-c647-11e5-ab22-000c2940a7d1.tmp and the 32-char lenghth string 74F1198C47C6E511AB22000C2940A7D1 are something related to MS-Exchange TNEF encapsulation (I believe the TNF converted file and the key/identifier of the message).
For what concerns PIM 291000A GEN 16, it is probably the time when the message was prepared, expressed in the format: DayHourMinuteAnte(Post)Meridiem Month Year (something like PIM = Product Information Management ???), i.e. 29 January 2016 10.00 AM; indeed it matches the time I recorded the transmission, i.e. 29 Jan 2016 at 10.25 or sent 25 mins after its preparation (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2
That said, PostMan performs an "address gateway" to email networks (SMTP, X.400, MS-Mail) with different address formats (Fig. 3).


So far, I never heard 188-141 ALE messages form It-GC ships and ashore stations but I have a guess about it. Several times I copied on 12270.5 and 8196.5 KHz (frequencies operated by It-GC) R&S-ARQ 228.6Bd/170 "ALIS" selcalls such as:

Called address: 40
Pool size: 8
ALIS 2000: No
Ack: true
Followon type: External modem
Spectral diversity: Adaptive
Data rate: Fast
Data encryption: No (clear)
Rephase: false
Sending counter: 1

Assuming that 40 is the ALIS address of CP940, it could be that they use the ALIS selcall instead of the 188-141 mode, but it is only a speculation of mine without any confirmation.

https://yadi.sk/d/liJWgfG8jZGqXQ (OHDLC-layer.bin)

[1]  http://www.guardiacostiera.gov.it/.../scheda-dati-nave-dattilo-cp-940
[2]  http://www.mediasuk.org/archive/ici.html
[3]  http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/p010679.pdf
[4]  http://www.fiction.net/blong/programs/tnef2txt/apptnef.txt 

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