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[aprssig] Different UI-Path's etc, (was RE: Time to UPGRADE obsolete DIGIS!)

Dave Baxter Dave at emv.co.uk
Mon Jun 9 09:08:55 UTC 2008


>From my own personal observations, as a part time APRS user, and "fill
in" digi owner.  (Fireproof suit ready!)

The "problem" in the UK, is that what particular UI "Path" to use, is
not regulated or enforced by any "Authority" of any kind.
Notwithstanding, the unattended operating restrictions we have for some

That, and so many people have so many different experiences of APRS in
the UK they each end up recommending their own pet method.  (Some ideas
are just plain mad!)

Plus of course, the default "out of the box" settings of one particular
very popular APRS program that are somewhat dated now, and so many
people do not expect to have to sit down and truly "Read" the manual
before using a program or whatever.

Currently (so I believe) the "recommended" UK path setting is
"RELAY,TRACEn-N", functionally (I believe) the same as (or very similar
to) "WIDE1-1,WIDEn-N" (someone tell me different if need be)   Most TNC
based digi's do have some sort of dupe checking, when using RELAY, that
I also know, so the "RELAY ping-pong" problem is nowhere near as bad as
it could be.

This is currently being propagated by the APRSUK list...

"Maximize the capacity of our network use APRS,TRACE3-3 Mobile Trackers
Please do not use WIDEn-n or WIDE in your unproto address and digi

Other variations (the n-N settings) can bee seen on RF bourn packets.

But, there are also many travellers from Europe (where WIDEn-N is used)
so you often find frustrated continental truckers with Ham licences and
APRS, who just don't understand why their APRS messaging fails when they
come to the UK as a result, and take some convincing they need to change
settings to make it work again.

Of course, with "just a radio" a D7 or D700/710?  It is not possible to
see what path is in use (certainly not with a D7) you have to "poke and
hope" to try and make things work.

What is often quoted in the UK, is that the WIDEn-N paradigm is not
traceable, where as TRACEn-N is.  Now, I do know that the New Paradigm
can be traceable as well, depending on digi settings etc.  But, is full
traceability really a good thing, with "Long" paths, that sometimes we
*Need* to use here due to the fragmented i-gate coverage, as the packets
just get longer and longer.  OK, so it's nice to see where a packet has
been on occasions, but once it's at it's destination, who cares how it
got there, just that it did?   It's a pity there is not a way (that I
know of) where a user can select if their packets are traceable or not.
The idea being, to only turn traceability on, for diagnosis or network
maintenance use.

I won't go on any more, there is already enough here to start another
flame war...    I personally wish that we all could agree and use just
one method, and at the moment I personally think that the "New WIDEn-N"
paradigm could be the way to go.   But, it's not me you've got to

Oh yes, as to long paths etc.  For some silly reason, I regularly see
beacons reporting coastal lighthouses etc, when about as far from the
coast as I can get!   Just one example of perhaps inappropriate
beaconing that seems endemic in the UK at the moment, clogging up the
channel in some places.  That and the odd i-Gate that insists on
spitting out Eastern European, or US APRS traffic from the IS to RF,
with a long path set, just for maximum "effect".   Where as in other
places you might as well have unplugged the antenna, as there is zero
APRS coverage at all.

Tin hat on, fire extinguisher at the ready...


Dave G0WBX.
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