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[aprssig] SSID Standardization

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Mon Jun 7 14:25:38 UTC 2010

There are a lot of opinions on SSID's kinda like the proverbial
fleas on an elephant.  We see totally different perspectives
depending on where we are and what our interests are.

The SSID issue that I have raised mostly applies to those people
that see APRS callsigns flashing across their small handheld
screen, or cell phone, or mobile front panel.  It is nice to
have a degree of recognition as to what a given callsign *might*
indicate...  This helps with hands-off situational awareness...
Which is important in the mobile environment.

We want to minimize (if not eliminiate) the need to go
button-pushing, or knob twisting or map zooming just to get an
idea of what a station is when most of them are not what we are
interested in at the momemnt.  Having the possibility of SSID
indication is a great hands-off-first-order-filter to help the
mobile or handheld operator monitor APRS for the info we might
want -without- having to search through lists to see what kind
of station it might be.

To everyone else, most don't care what the SSID is because they
have far more resources, like maps and displays and ICONs and a
MOUSE and hands-not driving-a-car with which they can manipulate
the data to derive the information they want.

So in commenting, consider that most users do not need to care
about SSID's and so that is just fine.  They don't care what
they are, nor do they care what they transmit.  That is fine and
so it should not impact those that do care.

But the mobile community that can receive and display APRS (as
originally intended) is a category of users (a very GROWING
category as more and more radio's display APRS directly) that do
care about being able to have an idea of what type of station an
APRS callsign represents as it flashes by.

I hope that clarifies why some people want to encourage the use
of standard SSID's where possible and others could care less.
Both can coexist, and neither has to convince the others to do
it their way.  But it is nice to have the standards for those
that have the flexibility to choose one to use for their
particular mission.


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