[aprssig] Dirty signals vs. hardware TNCs

spam8mybrain spam8mybrain at yahoo.com
Wed May 11 14:13:44 CDT 2016

It seems there is an increasing number of stations with distorted/overmodulated/whatever signals that hardware TNCs can't decode, but software TNCs (AGWPE, DireWolf, etc.) can decode. In some areas (ex.: the vicinity of station W3ATE-1), maybe one out of 20 audibly heard packet bursts can be decoded by a TinyTrak 4 or a Kenwood D710, but all of them could be decoded by AGWPE or DireWolf (except those programs have other issues making them unreliable for something 24/7 like a digipeater).
What is the solution to this problem?  Do we "reward" the users with poor quality signals by using a digipeater with a soft-TNC that can pull their packets out of their distorted signals and retransmit them clean, or do we use hardware TNCs that will reject their signals as QRM and keep them from propagating? Unfortunately, the soft-TNCs do not report the signal quality associated with a packet, such that a digipeater operator could inform those stations that they have lousy signals (and who knows if those stations are listening or contactable?).
Just an observation made from comparing soft-TNC versus hardware TNC performance in a couple of geographic regions.
Andrew Pavlin, KA2DDO 
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