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FREESCO Support • View topic - Dialback Feature

Dialback Feature

Remember this is a 1.44Mb floppy disk router, space is limited.

Postby fr2654 » Sun Mar 25, 2007 11:41 pm

I would like to replace an old Multitech Proxyserver 100 dialup router with a PC running Freesco, but there is one feature that it has that doesn't seem to be in Freesco. It has a setting where an incoming call to the modem telephone line will cause the router to initiate a dialup connection. This is not a remote access (aka dialin) router; the incoming call only acts as a trigger to initiate the dialout to the default ISP.

This feature is really handy for a remotely located server using a dialup ISP with connect time restrictions. The call to the remote location is free since you can hang up after you hear one ring, and the call to the ISP is free because it uses the local access number programmed in the router. Once the IP connection is established (and the dynDNS update has been completed) it is possible to connect to the remote server using its known hostname. Otherwise the connection can be idle; except for an occasional NTP request.

This seems like a handy feature, and one that should be simple to add to Freesco. The modem presents the RI (ringing indicator) to the PC on one of the 9 serial port pins. The serial port driver could trigger the connection initiation on receipt of a change on that signal as well as demand from the LAN port(s). It seems to me this would be the same bit of code that monitors the DCD (carrier detect) to see when the ISP has disconnected to signal a connection loss. This suggestion should just be a few more lines of code.

BTW, if anyone is curious, that Multitech router has been in service for over 10 years (it has a 25MHz 80186 inside!). It is about the size of a pack of playing cards and has a 25pin D connector on one side to talk to a modem, and an RG45 LAN port on the other. It has all the essential services (NAT+DHCP). I would keep using it except that it has no web based administration page (only a hokey Windows UDP app), and I need to change the ISP account if I go over 200 hours in a month. With Freesco I could change the default ISP by connecting remotely to it.

Of course, if I could get DSL in my little mountain paradise this would be moot.
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Postby CDFiXER » Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:52 am

Actually it is available as an add-on package. It is on Freescosoft and is called 'callback'.

Plus Freesco is fairly easy to modify and has a great forum!
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immane mittam.
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Postby fr2654 » Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:00 pm

Have you actually used that package? I saw it in the past, but at the time it did not look like it would do what I want. Also, there does not seem to be any documentation short of installing the package and looking at files that are created. Since my Freesco router is in a remote location I am hesitant to do an install that may break the basic connection function of the router. There must be something more than the single line in the description from freescosoft. The other two links are not very helpful. How can I see what is in /pkg/man/callback.txt without doing a package install. I would prefer something already in English, but I may still be able to find a Russian speaker to translate.

Specifically, I think what the callback package provides is this service: User calls router to establish a dialin session. For security the router calls back a 'known' number for the user and the user authenticates (2-way action). What I am looking for is a 3-way action: User calls router and hangs up (typically before modem picks up) triggering router to dialout to a different number which is the local ISP. The 2-way method will not work for me since the freesco router is expecting to do the authentication, where in the 3-way method the authentication is at the ISP's RAS server.

Maybe someone that has used (or written) ;-) the callback package can post a comment.
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Postby fr2654 » Mon Mar 26, 2007 3:44 pm

BTW, I did try modifying Freesco. I downloaded the sources and found a routine named serial.c IIRC. I made some simple hacks to it and recompiled and rebuilt freesco, but the result was badly behaved. That code looked like it is rarely touched, so mucking with it may be like touching the 3rd rail of a subway.

The ideal solution to my problem would be to associate a command with the toggle of the signal on the modem (serial) interface. That would allow me to make my own poor man's dynDNS, since I could have the command 'telnet my_home_server.somedomain.foo' mapped to the change in RI signal, and then detect the port 23 request and capture the IP address on that server. The next step is a simple ssh to that IP address and voila I have a remote connection up without any toll call expense and without needing any external HW support. FYI, I chose telnet because it is a well-known port that shouldn't be blocked by the ISP and that I know is filtered at my server.
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Postby Lightning » Mon Mar 26, 2007 7:09 pm

If you are afraid that you might make a mistake. The chances are high that you will never learn anything.
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Postby fr2654 » Mon Mar 26, 2007 11:51 pm

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Postby CDFiXER » Tue Mar 27, 2007 1:40 am

Catapultam habeo.
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immane mittam.
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Postby Slowpoke » Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:11 am

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