[aprssig] APRS message-handling algorithms / libraries

Gary Schelske gs2042 at yahoo.com
Mon Apr 9 23:37:12 CDT 2012

Sent from my iPad

On Apr 8, 2012, at 12:24 PM, John Goerzen <jgoerzen at complete.org> wrote:

> Hi folks,
> I am looking to write some APRS software, and I'm hoping to avoid re-inventing the wheel.  I am particularly interested in libraries in any cross-platform language (C, Perl, Python, Java, etc.) that can be used to receive and generate APRS messages.
> In my research, there are quite a few libraries that receive APRS messages, but I have found none that are helpful with generating them.  This seems to be something with some complexity; such as:
> Splitting data up into packets of the appropriate size (APRSLink for Winlink appears to somehow detect the type of device in use and generates shorter messages for TH-D7A.  Anyone know how to do this, and what are the appropriate sizes for the D7A, D72A, 710, and VX-8GR?)
> Processing/generating ACKs, REJs, etc.
> Proper timing for retransmit of packets that weren't ACKed.
> None of this is hugely complicated, and the APRS spec is fairly clear on the ACK, REJ, etc. process.  The maximum message sizes appear to be undocumented and I'm hoping someone can help me out there.
> My project, incidentally, is to build a bidirectional APRS-XMPP bridge.  XMPP is the protocol behind the instant messaging tools such as Jabber and Google Talk, and is available for free on every modern platform.  In the spirit of both amateur radio and the Free Software communities I'm a part of, full source code to this project will be available.  I actually already wrote a much simpler piece of related software, letting someone take a connected AX.25 session and bridge it to XMPP, [1] so I do have some experience under my belt.  This is obviously a more complex project, but XMPP looks like an excellent way to bridge APRS to other systems.  I think it is a better fit than the email gateways out there, and in fact, XMPP already has fields for carrying presence information and location information with presence packets.
> Are there any particular notes available to those implementing gateways between APRS and non-APRS sources?  I have taken note of what sites such as OpenAPRS or Winlink do to validate people for access, and plan to do something similar here.
> Thanks,
> -- John
> KR0L
> [1] source code at https://github.com/jgoerzen/ax25xmpp
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