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[aprssig] APRS & IRLP / Echolink

VE7GDH ve7gdh at rac.ca
Mon Jun 12 14:57:55 UTC 2006

Richard VK3JFK wrote...

> I assume that the APRS Status script has to be run on each IRLP node for
> this to work. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

That is correct. It is up to the node owner to install the script. It is
available in the files area on the IRLP Yahoo support group.

> What I was thinking was one instance of an Application/Script that would
> have information on all IRLP/Echolink nodes world wide. It would be great
> if it was something like an information Kiosk that gave you the closest 2
> or 3 Nodes based on your location posit. The IRLP/Echolink information
> could automatically be gathered from the appropriate systems. (You could
> choose what was appropriate for your local area to pass to RF)

An information kiosk could have some static information about an IRLP node
or whatever. However, the APRS Status script that I have been describing
sends out updates when the node status changes. Apparently another script
(or was it an earlier version of it?) required a TNC and radio and sent it
via RF. The current APRS Status script sends it via TCPIP to the APRS-IS.

My comments apply to IRLP & APRS. There is a status page where a human could
go and view a list of IRLP node numbers, status including whether connected
to another node and so on. I suppose someone could write a script to grab
information from that pate and do something with it. I don't know what the
impact would be if thousands of scripts were hammering away refreshing that
page every minute to get fresh information. However, I just don't think it
is necessary. The existing APRS Status script that I have been describing
runs right on the IRLP node itself. It isn't even dependent on the "node
info" page at irlp.net being available. It simply creates an object and
sends it to the APRS-IS once each hour and when the status change. The node
operator can edit it at any time to show a frequency change, but of course
if that happened, the information shown on the individual node status page
should be updated too. To me, the only downside is that it doesn't come as
part of the standard installation. If the node owner doesn't install it, it
doesn't get done. However, the APRS status script was easy to install. To
make it back out to RF, the local IGate operator just needs to tell their
IGate to gate the object created by the local IRLP node(s).

You are describing a completely new application. First someone would have to
write the program. It would need to "get" the information from somewhere.
Either it would have to decide what information it distributed, and how, or
IGates would have to "get' that information from where it was stored. To me,
it just sounds like a make-work project because the APRS-IS already exists
and the IRLP APRS Status script already exists. It would be nice if the "
bug fix" was rolled into the script so it didn't need to be updated after it
was installed. In my opinion, it would be nice if the APRS Status script
became part of the standard installation. Other than installing it, the IRLP
node owner just needs to enter the lat/long of the node, the node number,
the symbol to be used, the frequency, offset, tone, which APRS server to
connect to (rotate.aprs2.net:14580 would seem to be the right one) and a
callsign and corresponding APRS validation number. The IRLP node with the
help of the APRS Status script pushes the information to the APRS-IS.
Obviously, all IRLP nodes already have a TCPIP connection. Without it,
the node just wouldn't function.

> This is the type of Application/Script that I thought might be available.
> Here in Australia the APRS station density is pretty low, the highest
> being about 50 stations in a 500Km radius.

I still think it's a make-work project because at least for IRLP, the tools
already exist. However, if someone builds it, they might come! To be useful,
it either has to accomplish something worthwhile that hasn't already been
done, or it has to do it better.

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

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