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[aprssig] BALDY APRS Station

John Gorkos jgorkos at gmail.com
Mon May 21 13:11:24 UTC 2012

I'm going to play devil's advocate here, for what it's worth.
Tactical calls are just that:  TACTICAL.  They're designed to make the
network easier to use at a tactical level, for people on RF networks.  If
I'm putting together an MS-150 bike race, I shouldn't need to scour the
internet to make sure SAG1, SAG2, FINISH, MIDPOINT, and START aren't taken
this weekend; indeed, I have the freedom to use exactly those callsign
within the FCC rules (i.e. I properly identify in the body of the message,
etc).  If someone in California is doing an MS-150 bike ride the same
weekend, there's a good chance they're going to pick the same tactical call
signs.  From a tactical, get 'er done standpoint, that's ok.  From an
arm-chair, watch-APRS-on-the-internet point of view, it's Armegeddon, but
APRS really wasn't designed for those people anyway.  Now, since that
MS-150 bike ride will almost certainly happen in an area at least partially
served by twoway IGates, there's the distinct possibility that there will
be confusion caused when a message telling SAG1 to report to milemarker 75
sends both sag wagons (the one here in Georgia, and the one in California)
racing off to Mile 75, but hopefully that would be backed up with a voice
call.  A considerate APRS manager would include RFONLY or NOGATE in the
path of all tactical stations.
The more I think about it, the more I'm opposed to infrastructure stations
having tactical callsigns.  In my world, tactical means short-duration,
mission specific operations.  I think tactical callsigns in this situations
make sense, because you're far more likely to be including operators who
are a) less familiar with APRS operations, and b) stations with limited
front-panel displays and/or no mapping capability.  But having a
permanently installed Digi on an 800' tower with the callsign "DRYGLCH" is
just asking for trouble.  IMHO, it doesn't contribute to the clarity of the
network layout, and it creates confusion at the mapping layer because one
assumes that something with a tactical name is an object or something
important to the tactical nature of the network, not just another piece of
Anyway, I would extend you "bad digi operator" to anyone that tactically
names a permanently installed digi.  Just my $.02 worth.

John Gorkos

On Mon, May 21, 2012 at 8:44 AM, Randy Love <rlove31 at gmail.com> wrote:

> The issue in this case isn't that it's tactical-ly called. It's that the
> creator of the newest digi didn't check uniqueness of his tactical call.
> Bad digi operator!
> Tacticals need to be manually checked on the aprsis for uniqueness when
> being tactically named - same as a repeater object would be.
> It's a lot easier when analyzing a local network where you can only see
> the raw packets ( such as the raw packet history in aprs.fi or other
> archiving sites or live packet display on a D700/D710 head ) when the call
> insertions are, for example LANSNG, HOLLY, SFLDV, and SFLDU instead of
> W8FSM-3, W8FSM-4 W8FSM-12, and W8FSM-13.
> Tactical naming of digis is more for human recognition of network layout
> when a visual display isn't available. And there are times when we don't
> have a nice, pretty map based client available.
> Randy
> WF5X
> On Thu, May 17, 2012 at 2:05 AM, Lynn W. Deffenbaugh (Mr) <
> ldeffenb at homeside.to> wrote:
>> Greetings "owner"s of the BALDY APRS station,
>> (Well, I would have copied both of you, but VE7WRT doesn't have an e-mail
>> address at QRZ.com)
>> What's wrong with Tactical-ly named APRS stations?  It gets really
>> confusing when two different parts of the world use the same one. Consider
>> what you'll see at:
>> http://aprs.fi/?c=raw&call=**BALDY <http://aprs.fi/?c=raw&call=BALDY>
>> Lynn (D)- KJ4ERJ - Author of APRSISCE for Windows Mobile and Win32
>> PS.  No, I'm not trying to start a flame war about Tactical station IDs.
>>  I'm just trying to help the collisions get sorted out as I notice them.
>>  If anyone can forward this to VE7WRT, I'd appreciate it.
>> I only noticed this when a communications path line shot 1/4 the way
>> across my map.
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