[aprssig] APRS Message Idea

A.J. Farmer (AJ3U) ajfarmer at spenet.com
Wed Mar 2 22:43:36 CST 2005

With APRS, when you send a message to another station, the software (or
hardware in the case of Kenwood radios) tries a number of times to deliver
the message, then gives up if the receiving station does not ACK the
message.  With the connectivity available through the APRS-IS, we can now
send text messages via APRS anywhere in the world.  The problem is, if you
are messaging a far away station, you don't know if they are actually active
on APRS during the particular moment that you send the message.

This concept is very similar to cell phone text messages, however, the
cellular "system" will store a message for days (7 or so?) until the
recipient device is available on the "network" so it can make the delivery.
In most cases, this is just a matter of the person being in a temporary "RF
hole" such as inside a building or on a rural road.  With cellular, the
message gets delivered as soon as the person gets back in range, with APRS,
sorry, you missed the guy by a few minutes...

I know this was not the original design or intent of APRS, but what do you
all think of enabling this type of store and forward capability?  This
system could be separate from the standard "tactical" type of messaging
currently used.  I envision it would be set up similar to the EMAIL gateway.
Perhaps there would be a gateway with an alias of "MSG".  To use this store
and forward system, send a message to "MSG" with the recipient callsign-ssid
as the first piece of the message and the actual message as the remainder.
The "MSG" gateway will pick it up from APRS-IS and handle storage and
delivery.  I'm not going to get into further "how it works" details at this
point.  I just wanted to throw the general idea out there to see if there is
any interest in this.

What do you all think?  Good idea?  Stupid idea?  Already available somehow?


A.J. Farmer, AJ3U

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