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[aprssig] Some notes & IGATE questions for the IGATE gurus

Stan - N0YXV n0yxv at gihams.org
Sat Mar 25 21:44:22 UTC 2006

Quoting Jeff Thomas - KD4EVB <kd4evb at yahoo.com>:

> I figure once 99% of the digis are on the new system,
> the improvements will be even more noticeable.  Why
> the slow conversion in this area?  Beats me, my gut
> feeling is that it's probably 75% lack of good
> communication and no area leadership between all the
> digi sysops....something I haven't had to time to ask
> around about.

My gut tells me that it's a lot of sysops that "played" with APRS and moved on
to other forms of Amateur Radio thinking "Well it works doesn't it?" and never
checked to see if there were any changes. Just my gut feeling though.

> Now for an IGATE question.  Can you have too many
> IGATEs in an area?  By this I don't mean a hundred
> igates within a few miles (that would be obvious
> overkill).  Are you better off with say dozen or more
> local home stations gating things into the system
> versus just one or two well located IGATEs?  Does
> having a pile of home stations gating everything on rf
> into the system confuse or degrade the ability for
> return messages getting back out on local RF?

OK I'll be you get a hundred different opions on this one. My local experience
is that as long as they aren't set to IGate traffic from the net back to RF it's
not a problem. As an example we have normally have 4 to 5 IGates in our town of
50,0000ish. (Can anyone say slight overkill?) To the best of my knowledge only
one is set to transmitt traffic from the internet back to RF. Another one
transmitts internet traffic but is limited to WX statements and bullitens only.
The same coverage only contains one Digi at any one time. (One's full time the
others backup digi). Where the multipule IGates come in really handy is what if
you have two transmitters just far enough away from each other that they can't
hear oneanother. Both transmitt packets at the same time because the channel is
clear to them but one IGate hears transmitter A better than B so it IGates A.
The other IGate hears transmitter B better than transmitter A so it IGates B.
Normally with only one IGate you would have lost one of the two packets.

It's really interesting to see how each packet makes it to the network. If your
setting still you might get three packets through one IGate and then the next
two take a different route. Usually they take a different route because of other
packets sometimes it's just an atmospheic thingy ma job.

So I guess my short answer to your question would be as long as they don't all
IGate network traffic to RF and don't beacon every couple of minutes it isn't a

Now watch all the experts disagree with me. :-D

> Thanks in advance.
> 73 de Jeff, KD4EVB

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