[aprssig] NE Illinois Balloon Tracks

Bob Poortinga aprssig at k9sql.us
Mon Jul 27 14:15:55 CDT 2009

Bob Bruninga WB4APR writes:

> No, only the ORIGINATOR of a packet knows what he wants to accomplish with
> it, and not some absentee sysop with power issues.  Ham radio operators
> using the APRS network need to learn how it works and what it can do, and
> not treat it like some dumb appliance operator.

If this were a perfect world, I'd agree with you 100%.  However, as evidenced
by some emails in this thread forwarded from the Balloon reflector, it is clear
that many hams do not care how APRS works and any amount of education
is not going to change their attitude.  In fact, it will probably make it worse.

> Conversly, APRS is a local communication channel for sharing information
> between local operators (yes, real people actually out there doing something
> with Ham radio).

And of what use is a local RF channel jammed so full of packets from a mis-
configured balloon tracker 150 miles away that nothing else is heard?

It is clear to me that APRS is at a turning point.  More and more hams are
using APRS (good) and more and more stations are poorly configured (bad).
The current digipeater infrastructure is going to have to adapt.  The days of
"dumb" digipeaters are numbered if we are to avoid a total collapse of APRS.
Now that we have compute power available at low cost, it is time to develop
some "smart" digipeater software that it is able to dynamically determine a
service area (perhaps using ALOHA) and will NOT digipeat a packet if it
originates from outside its service area.  It should also determine and enforce
maximum beacon rates for each type of station.

Yes, any ham is free to transmit APRS packets as he sees fit, BUT is it NOT the
duty or responsibility of the digipeater to digi every packet.  As a
matter of fact,
it is the duty of the digipeater to NOT digi any packet that is
abusive of the local
RF channel.

73 de
Bob Poortinga  K9SQL
Bloomington, IN  US

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