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[aprssig] APRS Email (better way)?

Greg D ko6th.greg at gmail.com
Sat Sep 8 21:12:25 UTC 2012


Hi Bob, et al,

There are a couple of other dimensions to the APRS / Email gateways to 
consider...

1. The destination "email" may in fact be pretty limited itself. One can 
email to a phone's Text Message service if you know their phone # and 
which provider they have (e.g. 5305551212 at tmomail.netnet for T-Mobile or 
9165551212 at txt.att.net for AT&T). The extra information often doesn't 
come through very well, and will take multiple messages to deliver (if 
even possible with that gateway).

2. Each of the email gateways - there are three that I know of - have a 
different output format. Besides the additional information presented, 
the message text itself can be either in the message Body or message 
Subject. That maps better or worse (or is it worse or better?) to what 
people expect to see on the other end, and as you observed, this can be 
very confusing.

3. One of the message gateways allows for replies (Winlink). Handling of 
replies in an html-rich world is fraught with peril when they're going 
back via APRS to something like a TH-D7.

So, why this email? A request: I would like to have a minimum standard 
for the APRS-email gateways that considers these compatibility aspects 
first, yet allows for the additional information and personalization 
that innovation can supply. The most important part of this is where to 
put the message itself. You have a lot of experience with the various 
message displays and how messages map to them. Is this a good place to 
start, or should we look at the email destination side first?

Greg KO6TH


Robert Bruninga wrote:
> All of your comments appear to be from the perspective of a clairvoyant
> APRS internet user and are overlooking what others who are not so
> clairvoyant see when they receive an APRS message via EMAIL.  All they see
> is an email with about a half a line of sender's text with no other
> context.  Sure, if they are APRS savvy, they know how it got there and
> why.
>
> But if they are APRS savy, they could have been messaged DIRECTLY via APRS
> MESSAGE and would not need to get an email.  Please look at it from the
> perspective of someone receiving these emails that has no clue about APRS
> and then you would see what I am talking about.
>
> That is, our APRS Email servers can do a LOT more about making the
> received APRS email message make more sense to the general recepient.  My
> wife for example would make no sense whatsoever out of this current way
> the EMAIL servers handle it.  Look at these two examples:  First, how it
> works now:
>
>> Subject: KJ4ERJ-AP: Test via EMAIL-2
>>
>> From: KJ4ERJ-AP
>> Test via EMAIL-2
>>
>> DO NOT REPLY
>>
>> Find KJ4ERJ-AP athttp://www.jfindu.net/find/KJ4ERJ-AP
>> Track KJ4ERJ-AP athttp://www.jfindu.net/track/KJ4ERJ-AP
>>
>> Received from KJ4ERJ-AP via APRS by EMAIL-2
>> More info athttp://www.aprs-is.net/email.aspx
> To the average reader it is almost all gobbledygook and the actual TEXT is
> buried with nothing to highlight it!  Whereas I am saying an APRS email
> engine can easily do better like this:
>
> -------------------------------------------
>> Subject: KJ4ERJ-AP: Test via EMAIL-2
>>
>> This is an APRS message received from a ham radio operator: KJ4ERJ-AP
>> with the name of Lynn Deffenbaugh (according to the FCC data base)
>> who has sent you the following one-line of TEXT:
>>
>> TEXT:  Test via EMAIL-2
>>
>> DO NOT REPLY,  This email is only a forwarding service.
>> His transmitter was last located 14 miles SE of Denver at 2130z 7 Sept
> 2012.
>> His signal was heard via Amateur Radio Station W3XYZ which is 12 miles
> north of denver.
>> See map of KJ4ERJ-AP athttp://www.jfindu.net/find/KJ4ERJ-AP
>> See Track of KJ4ERJ-AP athttp://www.jfindu.net/track/KJ4ERJ-AP
>> See map of the relay station W3XYZ http:...............
>>
>> This email was Received from KJ4ERJ-AP and processed via the APRS
> EMAIL-2 server
>> More info athttp://www.aprs-is.net/email.aspx
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> Something like that.  Remember, if you are sending to another APRS
> operator, it is FAR FAR more efficient to just send the APRS message to
> his callsign.  The EMAIL server is for sending to ANYONE and since
> 99.9999% of the rest of the people on the planet do not have a clue about
> APRS, then I think the email engines can do a much better job of making
> sense of the message.
>
> If any of the data items are NOT KNOWN, then "-not-known-" can be
> inserted, though the syntax remains.
>
> Bob, WB4APR
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: aprssig-bounces at tapr.org [mailto:aprssig-bounces at tapr.org] On Behalf
> Of Lynn W. Deffenbaugh (Mr)
> Sent: Friday, September 07, 2012 4:56 PM
> To: TAPR APRS Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [aprssig] APRS Email (better way)?
>
> Oh yeah, I had a "duh" moment just as I hit send.  Since APRS messages
> don't contain any position information, in order to do any of the fancy
> stuff, the e-mail servers would need to buffer the most recent position
> for every station on the planet just in case they send an e-mail through
> the server.  Either that, or they'd have to hold off the e-mail hoping
> that a posit comes through to complete the information in the body.
>
> Sites like aprs.fi make it easy to forget that they represent a
> composite, time-accumulated view of APRS backed by a full planetary feed
> and a database of APRS-supplied information for every station.  Like I
> suggested below, a simple, robust, single-function e-mail server would
> be my preference.  If someone wants more data, they can click a link or
> access the information elsewhere.
>
> Lynn (D) - KJ4ERJ - Author of APRSISCE for Windows Mobile and Win32
>
> On 9/7/2012 4:52 PM, Lynn W. Deffenbaugh (Mr) wrote:
>> On 9/7/2012 4:27 PM, Robert Bruninga wrote:
>>> I sent an Email via the APRS system today.
>>>
>>> Here is how it comes into my email box.  Notice there is lots of other
>>> useful APRS information that could have also been included such as:
>>>
>>> --------------------------------------
>>> > From Bob Bruninga [from the FCC data base]
>> APRS, and the EMAIL servers, are used by a whole lot of licensed
>> amateur operators that aren't registered in the FCC database.  QRZ has
>> more, but even that doesn't have everyone.  And to provide such a
>> lookup means that the data being queried has to be refreshed
>> periodically.
>>
>>> Located 1 mile E of Annapolis [Based on WB4APR-3 position]
>>> Heard via WA5VHU-1 located 2 miles west of Glen Burnie [based on
>>> WA5VHU-1
>>> position]
>> I realize that some of the APRS web sites show such information, but
>> reverse geocoding doesn't always come free.   For that matter, I'd
>> just as soon see an embedded map showing the location of the sender in
>> context (not really, see my simplicity comment below). Something like
>> the image at:
>>
>> http://aprs.fi/static/?call=WB4APR-3&z=13
>>
>>> And if RS0ISS-4* is in the digi path, it could have taken that special
>>> case and said "Via APRS on the International Space Station".
>> The e-mail servers are just that, e-mail servers.  They're "set and
>> forget" and I'd suggest they not try to keep up with every special
>> detection that's out there.  If someone wants to know they made it
>> through the ISS, there's plenty of ways to find that out via APRS-IS
>> and the various web sites like http://www.ariss.net/
>>
>> I didn't write nor do I maintain the APRS e-mail servers, but simple
>> is, in many cases, better, especially for servers designed to run
>> robustly and unattended.
>>
>> At least the EMAIL-2 server puts some helpful links in the body for
>> people that may want to know more.  Here's what I received from that
>> server:
>>
>> Subject: KJ4ERJ-AP: Test via EMAIL-2
>>
>> From: KJ4ERJ-AP
>> Test via EMAIL-2
>>
>> DO NOT REPLY
>>
>> Find KJ4ERJ-AP athttp://www.jfindu.net/find/KJ4ERJ-AP
>> Track KJ4ERJ-AP athttp://www.jfindu.net/track/KJ4ERJ-AP
>>
>> Received from KJ4ERJ-AP via APRS by EMAIL-2
>> More info athttp://www.aprs-is.net/email.aspx
>>
>> And there are instructions at the bottom of that last link that
>> describe how to set up the system so that short responses can be sent
>> via e-mail which will then be delivered to the originator via an APRS
>> message.
>>
>> Lynn (D) - KJ4ERJ - Author of APRSISCE for Windows Mobile and Win32
>>
>>
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>>
>
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