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[aprssig] !x! (was: IS-to-RF proposal (rev b))

Steve AB3LT at RoseAndSteve.us
Tue Jan 3 05:10:32 UTC 2012


On Fri, Dec 30, 2011 at 4:58 PM, Heikki Hannikainen <hessu at hes.iki.fi> wrote:
> Someone has requested it from me a few years back, and I have implemented it
> in aprs.fi, but it seems like my code requires it to be in the beginning of
> the comment string for position packets. For positions I probably thought it
> could be a bad idea to allowed it to appear anywhere - it might be valid
> encoded thing in some APRS data extension, or could appear in someone's
> comment text accidentally. Or maybe I read the specification that way for
> some reason. Maybe it wasn't documented anywhere at that point, I don't
> remember. :)

Hessu, that was me. Sad story. I was sending objects with !x! in the
object description and the source of the data found their data via
google on aprs.fi. I explained to  them that I had tagged the data
with the no-archive flag and that it would be on the site for only a
short time 'as-it-happens' but not long term, which they were ok with.
Turned out, that wasn't the case, I lost access to the data, and they
stopped working with me (and I heard they stopped working with other
hams too), I never knew why until now. i really wish aprs.fi had
implemented !x! for object descriptions.

As part of a separate project, I send incident objects with !x! in the
object description and NOGATE,RFONLY in the path. Even with that there
is at least one igate and aprs-is entry point (KB1RXA and where he
connects into) which _both_ ignore RFONLY,NOGATE and gate the objects
to APRS-IS anyway.

Now if all a station has to contribute to APRS is 'here is my house'
or 'here is my car' then i can see why !x! seems unimportant. -- On
the other hand, as long as !x! and NOGATE,RFONLY are in the spec but
remain unsupported or only partially implemented then hams might make
no-archive/no-gate assurances in good faith to agencies providing
data, only to get a black eye when !x! and NOGATE,RFONLY don't work.

I'm not complaining, this is just a cautionary tale for others why
might try to make APRS more than a vehicle tracking system by enticing
data sources to participate based on no-archive and/or no-gate
functionality which doesn't work and remains marginalized.

Steve AB3LT

On Fri, Dec 30, 2011 at 4:58 PM, Heikki Hannikainen <hessu at hes.iki.fi> wrote:
> On Fri, 30 Dec 2011, Steve Dimse wrote:
>>
>> On Dec 30, 2011, at 10:50 AM, Lynn W. Deffenbaugh (Mr) wrote:
>>>
>>> And is it honored by other APRS-IS viewing implementations?
>>
>>
>> A quick check of LB9KE-7 shows aprs.fi ignores it and APRSWorld respects
>> it (the latter has a posit from Dec 6 that did not include !x!). That
>> aprs.fi never got called on it shows just how few people care.
>
>
> Someone has requested it from me a few years back, and I have implemented it
> in aprs.fi, but it seems like my code requires it to be in the beginning of
> the comment string for position packets. For positions I probably thought it
> could be a bad idea to allowed it to appear anywhere - it might be valid
> encoded thing in some APRS data extension, or could appear in someone's
> comment text accidentally. Or maybe I read the specification that way for
> some reason. Maybe it wasn't documented anywhere at that point, I don't
> remember. :)
>
> My database shows a whopping 3 callsigns transmitting positions with !x! in
> there. Not a hugely popular option. I do understand the requirement but if
> someone really, really does not want to be archived, they shouldn't transmit
> in the first place as there is no hard requirement for anyone to actually
> implement this.
>
> With the arrival of big hard disks and wideband SDR recording solutions, the
> fact that nothing can ever be deleted from the Internet once published
> there, will probably extend to HF, too.
>
>  - Hessu
>
>
>
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