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

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Thu Oct 13 13:57:23 CDT 2005

<steve.jones at rogers.com>
>> 3) There is an add-on to UIview that does this, but
>>     only a small percentage of people use it.
>So what are the number of people using the add-on 
>vs the number of  people not using the add-on?
>Got any real concrete number to back up your "facts"?

Sure, anyone can do it.  I just did it...
I just captured the APRS-IS stream for an hour and 20 
minutes and sorted out 1768 different UIview stations.
Of those, then I did a string search for PHG, and only
145 of those stations are transmitting PHG.

Thats about  8%.  Which is why I used the term 
"only a small percentage" of UIview stations are
transmitting PHG and even fewer have the add-on
to display it.  And since the majority of APRS users
these days are using UIview, this means the
majority of APRS users are relatively blind to the 
RF ranges of the APRS network and range
capabilities of most of its users.

Hence my concern that APRS these days is not 
living up to its original expectations of users being
aware of their RF network and able to quickly visualize
the network and its capablities on their maps in
real time.  This leads to bad user paths, unreallistic
expectations, a lack of flexibility to changing
conditions, and a number of other problems we
see often on the RF network.

It is this majority's inability to see radio ranges and 
typical coverages on maps, and an inability to see
the impact of the selection of N, and a lack of apprectiaion
of the difference betweem a shared 1200 baud RF 
channel and a 56k internet connection which has
contributed to a number of problems we see every
day on our local RF nets.

APRS was designed around these fundamental

1) Users should be prompted and assisted in entering
    their vital PHG data during setup.  The relative
    height and gain of their antenna in a HAM radio 
    RF network is almost as important as their position!
2) PHG data should be transmitted in all fixed station posits.
3) Routinely Display PHG data when asked, or as a 
    minumum ,  on DIGIs periodically so users have a 
    feel for their local RF network relative coverage
4) And recently added: ALWAYS display the ALOHA circle 
    on the users map so that he is always aware of his 
    RF coverage limitations (this is a real-time measured
    parameter which works well anywhere in any topography)

If APRS software did these minimum things, then
we would not keep seeing a lot of the problems, 
quesitons, concerns and issues we see here and 
on the air, and users would have a better feel for the
RF environment they are operating in.

Which was the original intent of APRS...  See many
of the APRSdos displays which attempted to
give the user a feel for his RF network:


de WB4APR, Bob

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