[aprssig] APRS Status Quo

Curt, WE7U archer at eskimo.com
Fri Feb 18 12:29:40 CST 2005

I changed the subject line to better reflect the current thread.  It
was "APRS routing strategies".

On Thu, 17 Feb 2005, Robert Bruninga wrote:

> >>> "Curt, WE7U" <archer at eskimo.com> 2/17/05 6:44:31 PM >>>
> >If there were auto-configuration via the local network
> >it'd be easy for the mobile/portable user to move about
> >the world without worrying about messing up local RF/
> >worrying about whether their posit was making it into an
> >igate or even across town.
> But it violates the KISS principle and wont be worth anything
> unless the ENTIRE NETORK completey adopts it "everywhere"
> and 13 years of history with APRS PROVES that that will
> never happen...

There are those of us that will never be satisfied with the status
quo, continuing to look for a better way no matter how unpopular it
is to do so at the time.

There's the way it's always been done, and then there's the vision
of what the future _could_ be.

Just because we have years of history with APRS/things are slow to
move doesn't mean that they will never move, never adopt new

> >We've limped along with this manual transmission long enough and
> >need to upgrade to one of these whiz-bang new automatic
> >transmissions.  Keep the manual tranny around for advanced users/for
> >special circumstances, but relegate it to only those uses.
> Like I say.  Such an "automatic plan to work everywhere"
> by definition is USLESS unless *** adopted everywhere***.
> So think  about it.   YOu have a real problem with how to
> get from "here" to "there".  In the meantime.  Switch to
> the New n-N paradigm and yuou dont even have to leave
> your shack...

Strange comment.  I have no idea what you're getting at with that
last bit.

So because you can't see a migration path yourself, that's enough
reason to throw out the idea altogether and not work towards better
networks in the future?

We've been running WIDE2-2 as a recommendation in the western
Washington area for quite a while now.  We also have a few digi_ned
digi's in the area and do some advanced experiments with them from
time to time.  We also have a few UHF digi's that are tied into the
VHF system, and an alternate low-power 2m frequency that's tied in
the same way.  I'd say we're not at the lower rungs of the ladder
when it comes to APRS methodologies...

With respect to getting from here to there:

*) We've added OpenTrac decode support to Xastir.
*) We'll be adding more SAR support to Xastir, plus we have added
   another developer that is also an active SAR person.
*) We've added checks for long paths into Xastir that annoy the user
   immensely until they change their paths to socially acceptable
   ones.  Better for the network.
*) We've converted our messaging and object/item transmit intervals
   to the exponentional decay algorithm.  Better for the network.
*) I'm sure we've done other changes to Xastir in the last few years
   to become better network neighbors.  Can't think of them all 'cuz
   we're constanly changing it and I can only manage to keep a small
   set of the recent achievements/bug-fixes in my head.  CVS keeps
   track of that stuff anyway so that I don't have to!
*) I'm working on hardware for APRS (did I mention I'm a hardware
   guy too?) which most likely will support OpenTrac as well
   eventually.  I see OpenTrac as a useful adjunct to SAR
   operations, particularly if some of Scott's advanced networking
   ideas can be put into practice.  I'll do my best to help that

If new ideas are brought forth for APRS networking in our area which
need client support, I'll be willing to tweak Xastir in order to
support experimentation.

So, progress is not dead, but it is slowed down by the attitudes of
those that say:  The APRS network is working, has always been
working, and will continue to work as-is.  Come on, support progress
and it'll support you!

If I'd have taken to heart all of the negative comments I heard when
I brought up new ideas for Xastir, I'd be off doing something else
by now, not APRS.  Instead, I've implemented a good portion of them
anyway and the program and the users are better off for it.

I get weary of all the squashing of ideas that goes on around here.
Henk, Scott, and MANY others here have done incredible things for
APRS through their unique ideas and hard work.  Let's support them,
not silence them.  People like that are the future of ham radio.

Curt, WE7U.   APRS Client Comparisons: http://www.eskimo.com/~archer
"Lotto:    A tax on people who are bad at math." -- unknown
"Windows:  Microsoft's tax on computer illiterates." -- WE7U
"The world DOES revolve around me:  I picked the coordinate system!"

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