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[aprssig] Broken digis (W0APR-3, for example)

J T w0jrt at yahoo.com
Thu Apr 26 20:06:08 UTC 2007

Robert Bruninga <bruninga at usna.edu> wrote:If they have none of the above, then they are obsolete.
W0APR-3>BEACON,WIDE3-3,qAO,K0SUN-10:!3832.43N\09333.23W_PHG9760 W-R-T Windsor MO KCAWG Digi/WX Stn
W0APR-3>APRS,WIDE3-3,qAO,K0SUN-10:blna :Contact Sysop KU0G (jdbandman at earthlink.net) if problems.
W0APR-3>APRS,WIDE3-3,qAO,K0SUN-10:blna :W0APRS-3 back on air with temporary radio Apr18 06

The above is an example of a woefully out of date digi.  Despite a few very polite e-mails using the address shown in the beacons, nothing has been done to get this digi updated.  The really sad part is that this operator reads and posts on the APRSSIG. It is a mystery why some people don't want to make the simple changes needed to make APRS a useful tool especially since, like Bob said, getting things updated to the new WIDEn-N paradigm is a win-win situation.

In an e-mail conversation with the operator of this particiular digi, it was observed that he seems to think that it's fully compliant with the new paradigm except for an obsolete beacon string.  Unfortunately this is not the case:
* Tests have shown that it does not do path tracing of WIDEn-N as the new paradigm states.  It supports WIDEn-N, but only in the old non-traceable way.
* Tests have shown that is still digis on RELAY, which is obsolete and only encourages mobiles and other users to not update their systems.
* It digis on WIDE and TRACE, both obsolete -- same comment as RELAY.
* The beacons are going out with a three hop path.  Since this is a digi, that's equivalant to a mobile station using a four-hop path.  These beacons are providing QRM in all of the surrounding states -- especially the bulletins which provide no useful information.  (No one 300+ miles away cares that the radio was replaced with a temporary one 12 months ago.)
* The type of TNC/software is not shown in the destination field.
* Nor is the proper overlay being used.
* Nor is the proper symbol being used -- It's advertised as weather station but does not send any weather data and has not for a long time.

It is such a shame to see this digi go to waste because if properly configured it would be one of the best in the state of Missouri.  Polite e-mails have been exchanged with the sysop but no action has been taken.  It's sad because these changes can probably even be made remotely in just a few minutes, so there wouldn't even be a need to drive to the site.  It's unfortunate that travellers passing through this and similar areas (Atlanta?  St. Louis?) are subjected to a broken network.

-Jerome, W0JRT

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