[aprssig] New User Question(s)

Keith - VE7GDH ve7gdh at rac.ca
Sun Jun 4 17:33:02 CDT 2006

Jim W4BQP wrote...

> I am a new user and could use some handholding. I have two APRS 
> stations. The first uses a laptop running UI-View through an MFJ-1274 
> (KISS mode) into the home 2-meter station running about 10 watts into a 
> Ringo Ranger II. The second a TinyTrack3+ using a Deluo GPS and driving 
> an HT running about a watt. I have tried the HT with a rubber duck as 
> well as a 5/8 wave mag mounted antenna on my car.

Welcome to APRS! Just in case you aren't aware, there are UI-View and TT3 
specific support groups as well. I picked up a Deluo GPS a few weeks ago. 
It works great, but puts out some junk right on 147.320... the frequency 
that I usually listen on. I haven't scanned across the band yet to see if 
that's the only place it puts out junk or if there are other frequencies 
that it wipes out. Other than that, nice small GPS that locks up quickly.

> The laptop can see local APRS stations as well as the TinyTrack3+,
> but none of the local digis appear to see either of my stations. I'm 
> wondering if the problem is in setting up the routing.  Initially, I had 
> the TT3 set up with a route of WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1.  I believe the home 
> station had just APRS as the route, but as I stated earlier I'm new and 
> not sure if that is the entry for routing.  Should I set my routing as 
> "APRS,WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1"?

In UI-View, the "APRS" must remain in the "unproto address" in the station 
setup, followed by the path. UI-View will translate the "APRS" to APU25N 
if you are using ver 2.03. Look in the help for "UI-View32 Destination 
Address" for an explanation on this. Your example of WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1 is 
the accepted path for mobiles in most places in North America. The home 
station should really use just WIDE2-2 if it can hit a WIDEn-N digipeater 
directly... or even WIDE2-1 if the footprint of that digi takes you out to 
your aloha circle. Using a one hop path like that would place less load on 
the APRS network, but use a two hop path if you need it. The home station 
could also beacon less often than a mobile station... minimum 10 minutes, 
but 20-30 minutes should be OK for most home stations.

Re not being digipeated... it comes down to using a path that is 
compatible with the digipeater and it actually hearing your signal. I see 
Robbie has replied already suggesting you set your home station up as a 
WIDE1-1 digi. That may help your mobile station, as well as others.It 
looks like you are at least 15 miles from the first station that could 
potentially be a digi or an IGate. There are a couple of others with TCPIP 
connections, but they didn't enter their APRS validation number, so can't 
as an IGate. The station at 15 miles W4VOR could act as an IGate if it had 
a radio & TNC attached and if the IGate function was enabled. I didn't do 
any digging to see if it was acting as a digi. The nearest digis 
advertising themselves WIDEn-N digi are about 40 miles from you to the 
west and the northwest. It could just be that there aren't that many digis 
around you. Enabling your home station as a WIDE1-1 digi is starting to 
look like a good idea. You are running the TNC in KISS mode, so it is 
possible. It's pretty straight forward setting up a WIDE1-1 digi... just 
enable it in the "digipeater setup" and enable UI ONLY, ALIAS 
SUBSTITUTION, enter your callsign-SSID and WIDE1-1 in the alias(es) and 
your callsign-ssid in the sub alias and dupe seconds of 30-45 seconds and 
you should be all set. For a WIDEn-N digi, one of the configuration files 
needs to be modified a bit to fall in line with the recommended settings. 
More on that later, but only if your geographic location plus the antenna 
you are using makes you suitable to be a WIDEn-N digi.

It looks like W4BQP using a TT3 made it to an IGate over 4 days ago.

It looks like W4BQP-5 made it to an IGate just over 2 days ago. I'm 
assuming that this too was using the TT3. 

I don't see any sign of the UI-View station having made it to an IGate, 
but what callsign-SSID was it using? If you have an Internet connection, 
you could even run an IGate from your home station.

> In watching other local stations, I see the following kinds of routing:
> 1)  ...>APRS,W4ABC*,W4DEF*,...
> 2)  ...>3URS6T,W4GHI*...
> I understand that the first item in the routing list is really the 
> destination, so the "APRS" makes sense as a generic destination. 
> However, the "3URS6T" is a total mystery to me.  Also, does the "*" 
> indicate that the message has been digipeated?

The "APRS" you see in your first example is indeed the destination. 
However, when the station is using MIC-E (compressed) beacons, the 
destination becomes part of the payload. The asterisk does indicate that 
the beacon was digipeated, but I'm not sure why two asterisks would appear 
in your first example.

> I'm in a low-usage area.  UI-Aloha tells me that there are only 33 
> stations in my area.
> I realize that I've asked several questions here, but any help would be 
> much appreciated.

Ask away! There is activity around you. It may just be that there aren't 
all that many digipeaters around you.

73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
"I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"

More information about the aprssig mailing list