[aprssig] Balloons abusing our network

Bob Burns W9BU w9bu_lists at rlburns.net
Sun May 1 13:54:30 CDT 2016

I think we all agree that HABs should not use abusive paths or beacon rates.


However, the reality is that many of these balloon launch teams are populated with inexperienced hams who simply are not aware of how the APRS network works or how their HABs impact the network. Those of who do have considerable experience have a responsibility to educate the balloon teams. Discussion of abusive balloon launches occasionally pops up in online APRS communities. But, we have to keep in mind that we are preaching to the choir. Typically, these balloon teams don’t hang out in APRS groups or reflectors.


Jason is quite correct. While the balloon launch may seriously impact the APRS network for the time the balloon is in the air, that time is short and the network will get back to normal after the balloon is down. Meanwhile, we should take note of the callsign being used by the launch and attempt to reach the holder of the callsign to politely educate them about APRS networks.


BTW, in my experience, Jason does, in fact, have a clue. Berating him really doesn’t accomplish anything.





From: aprssig [mailto:aprssig-bounces at tapr.org] On Behalf Of Ron via aprssig
Sent: Sunday, May 01, 2016 12:21 PM
To: Jason KG4WSV <kg4wsv at gmail.com>; TAPR APRS Mailing List <aprssig at tapr.org>
Subject: Re: [aprssig] Balloons abusing our network


You have no clue.

A device at 25,000 ft hits every digi within 300 MILES or more. 

Every one of those digis has to re-transmit that  packet because of the path used.

At a rate of every 30-40 seconds its abusive. (EVEN APRS.FI says so)


Anyone who has done ballooning with APRS should have known this if they bothered to research.


NO Hops are required above a few thousand feet and transmit rates should be set by speed, just like everyone else does in their cars.


YOU should be glad that some people still care to maintain APRS Nodes and networks so EVERYONE can SHARE it.


de VE1AIC.





On Sunday, May 1, 2016 11:53 AM, Jason KG4WSV <kg4wsv at gmail.com <mailto:kg4wsv at gmail.com> > wrote:


> On May 1, 2016, at 9:34 AM, Ron via aprssig <aprssig at tapr.org <mailto:aprssig at tapr.org> > wrote:
> Today 2 balloons at the same time out of Maine are pounding our network with abusive settings that are unacceptable.

Please explain how this is significantly different from the perspective of the LOCAL network than a terrestrial station with the same settings? (Hint: practically not at all assuming your network is built correctly.)

If a single station with these settings can cause your local network significant problems you should spend some effort on fixing your local network. 

> Why would a balloon at 26,000ft moving at 15kmh need to beacon every 40 seconds and use WIDE hops across our network?

To track it and get the payload back?

> At this rate they'll be blasting our network all day long.

A typical HAB flight lasts approximately 2 hours. 

Be glad someone is doing something more useful/interesting than letting the wife track you on your way to the grocery store. 




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