UI-View Bashing (was Re: APRS RF DX? (Was RE: [aprssig] APRS inAtlanta - flooding the network))

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Thu Oct 13 12:43:24 CDT 2005

>>> rmccoylist at blueantservices.com 10/13/05 12:43 PM >>>
>Why was PHG set up as a manual entry with 
>static data? 

It wasnt.  In the original APRSdos, the user was
asked these prompts during setup so that every
station was transmitting its owner's best assessment
of his station:
1) Transmitter power
2) Antenna Height above average terrain
3) Antenna gain
4) Directivity.

Done, it never changes, unless someone changes his
antenna (or power).  And hoepfully users know
this information.  Though apparently #2 seems to
ba a big problem for some...

>It seems like we have all the information we 
>need for a digi to dynamically create a coverage
>object surrounding it on a map.

Yes, and no.    Most digis, (say 98%) do not 
have PC's and  must be set up by the SYSOP.

>By keeping track of the locations of directly heard 
>stations over a period of time, real performance 
>could be used to draw the digi-coverage polygon
>(not likely to be a circle)...Why would this be a bad idea?

Yes, and that is built-into APRSdos and some other
programs and is available as an add-on for UIview.
They draw lines to all stations that are being hit
direct by the digi.  This capability is becoming better
and better as people update their digis to the new-N
paradigm where all paths are traceable.  This makes
it easy to draw these kinds of dynamic coverage
areas.   But it is not built-into the digi.

So the sysop is supposed to enter PHG manually into
the DIGI's beacon so that people can see if the
digi is a BIG one on a high mountain, or a peanut
whistle ontop of the local firehouse.

de Wb4APR, Bob

-----Original Message-----
From: aprssig-bounces at lists.tapr.org [mailto:aprssig-bounces at lists.tapr.org] 
On Behalf Of hasan schiers
Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2005 10:32 AM
To: TAPR APRS Mailing List
Subject: Re: UI-View Bashing (was Re: APRS RF DX? (Was RE: [aprssig] APRS
inAtlanta - flooding the network))

Unrefined out of the box PHG circles based on user entered data that has not

been RF verified for actual coverage is an illusion. PHG for the sake of 
PHG, without CALIBRATING the PHG values to reflect ACTUAL digi performance 
is a waste of time, and worse.

Bob is correct that many PHG's aren't entered via add-on's for ui-view. What

Bob sometimes doesn't take into account is that probably 75% of the PHG's 
circles don't reflect (even remotely) the REAL coverage, because they 
haven't been "tweaked" to match the actual coverage, and this is NOT unique 
to UI-View...it is a disease that afflicts all the aprs clients that support

PHG in one way or another. This is a user disease, not a client disease. The

users do not know, care or have the time to properly "tweak" the PHG values 
so they represent actual RF performance.

Largely, because it requires active user intervention to set it up properly 
(and I don't mean entering in the actual values for power/height/gain), it 
is boderline useless.

Basically, you have to "fake out" the PHG to match the actual RF coverage of

the digi. Very few people have taken time to do this, so we end up with a 
bajillion phg circles that are worse than meaningless, because they create 
the impression that a certain coverage exists, when in fact the actual 
coverage is far greater (typically) than the PHG circle would indicate by 
typing in the actual Power/HAAT/Gain.

Remember how freaked out things get when we talk about changes that have to 
be made, even one time, by the users of APRS, like digi-maintainers?  PHG 
suffers from the same problem, only many times worse, because it creates the

illusion that one only has to enter Power/Height-HAAT/Gain, and everything 
is ducky. Well, it isn't ducky.

So...are we better with totally erroneous PHG circles (most of the time), or

none at all, except those that are verified in terms of coverage? Maybe it's

a good thing that UI-View doesn't "natively" support PHG.

The whole issue is silly. PHG as implemented is a farce. If one wanted to 
make a valid point in discussing PHG, it wouldn't be in the context of 
UI-View, but rather in the context of how to PROPERLY set up PHG so that it 
reflects reality...that's the REAL problem, which has ZERO to do with 
UI-View or any other client. The requirement that the user "fudge" the 
values to reflect reality for PHG to be useful, makes it nearly useless in 
practical terms, as most users won't go to the time and trouble to make the 
coverage measurements which will allow them to properly fudge the program.

PHG (or the lack thereof) debates are much ado about nothing. PHG "is" the 
problem, not anything to do with client software. Thinking it is client 
based is not seeing the forest for the trees.

...hasan, N0AN
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "William McKeehan" <mckeehan at mckeehan.homeip.net>
To: "TAPR APRS Mailing List" <aprssig at lists.tapr.org>
Sent: Wednesday, October 12, 2005 6:45 PM
Subject: Re: UI-View Bashing (was Re: APRS RF DX? (Was RE: [aprssig] APRS in

Atlanta - flooding the network))

> I'be been looking at PHG rings (in Xastir) recently. What exactly does 
> this
> tell me about the network?
> My PHG circle is small, but there are digi's outside of my circle that can
> hear me. And I can hear other stations and not be in their PHG circle. 
> Then
> there are some stations inside of a digi's PHG circle that do not get seen

> by
> the digi.
> It seems PHG tells you very little about a station.
> Someone educate me please.
> On Wed, October 12, 2005 3:59 pm, Robert Bruninga said:
> <snip>
>> Seeing the PHG on home stations becomes valuable
>> when the digi dies or is flooded out and you want
>> to see who's home stations you can digipeat through
>> to get from point A to B.  Usually when you are in
>> this kind of circumstance, it does not work well to
>> then try to ask everyone, "please now enter your PHG
>> because now I need it, even though I never
>> really needed it before"...
> <snip>
> -- 
> William McKeehan
> Internet: mckeehan at mckeehan.homeip.net 
> http://mckeehan.homeip.net 
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