[aprssig] Re: increasing WideX-X

Chris Kantarjiev cak at dimebank.com
Fri Oct 1 15:34:42 CDT 2004

I'll start off by saying that I'm new to APRS and ham radio in
general (you can tell that by my freshly-minted call, KG6VYD). APRS
is a big part of why I finally got my ticket. My comments are from
the perspective of someone trying to figure it all out, rather than
from the folks who have been developing it from early on:

Bob WB4APR sez:

> Let me preach to the choir if I may:
> 1)  APRS is for local tactical real-time operations, not
> statewide nets.

I certainly believe that it started out that way, and that
it continues to be used that way - but my observation is
that the addition of Internet relaying, IGATEs and findu.com
have really changed that. 

There appears to be a great interest in doing what I'll
call long-distance tracking. My personal example is deploying
trackers in the backcountry south of Yosemite National Park,
where digis are very sparse and IGATEs are many hops (typically
four, where I've been) away. The terrain relief is pretty high,
and despite what it may look like from the east coast, the
state is *not* well covered - highway 41, the main corridor
into Yosemite from Fresno, is poorly served by digis once
one leaves the Fresno area. It's possible to get a tracker 
signal into findu from Oakhurst, but the path needs to be
at least WIDE3-3, sometimes more. If you go one ridge farther
east, chances are good that your tracker's signal won't hit anything.

It's abundantly clear that this isn't what APRS was designed
for. But I think it's the reality of what it has become, or
how people are trying to (ab)use it. In my part of the world,
collisions aren't part of the immediate problem (though I'm
sure they are at the end of the path!).

73 de chris KG6VYD

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