[aprssig] Repeater FREQ Objects (the Big Idea!)

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Thu Jan 26 09:58:36 CST 2017


Over a decade ago, APRS added voice frequency to its data formats to serve
two VERY powerful tactical communications functions:

1) Travelers can see on their radio, the closest voice repeater frequency
and tones
2) We can see how to contact the OPERATOR of a station by voice
immediately

See http://aprs.org/localinfo.html

VALUE: a properly formatted repeater FREQUENCY named object shows all of
this info in a single packet:

* FREQUENCY
* LOCATION (direction and range)
* TONE and/or SHIFT if non standard
* Weekly NET times
* Monthly club Meeting dates

There are two problem areas we need to fix to fully realize this powerful
addition to APRS communications.

A) In 10 years, more than half of the DIGIs in the country still haven't
even implemented it yet
B) There is confusion about format caused by Yaesu's incomplete
implementation

Every one of you can FIX problem A in your area by simply looking on your
radio, and if your PRIMARY traveler repeater frequency is not showing up
on your radio LIST in your area, then your local digipeater is not doing
its job.  Fix it at the digi.  Do NOT just throw another object on the air
from your home QTH.  This adds, QRM, SPAM and congestion.  Placing it at
the digi where it belongs does NOT impact channel loading.

FORMAT:  Remember, no one outside of your digi area wants to even see YOUR
objects.  Hence they must be sourced at your own digi DIRECT (no hops).
And no one outside of your area gives a hoot about your repeater's
callsign.  All they need to see when they travel in your area is the
FREQUENCY.  So the NAME of the object should be the frequency.

BEST: These objects show up on ALL APRS radios and brands from 1998 to
present as the FREQUENCY.  And are instantly seen in the 10-second popup
window as well as showing up in the station LISTS of all APRS radios of
all brands.  This fulfills this vital travelers service for all.  PLUS
they are easy to SORT in the station list in all recent radios of all
brands.

IMPLEMENTATIONS for FREQ-Named Objects in addition to the above:
* Kenwoods since the D72 and D710 will also one-button TUNE if the radio
is in VFO mode
* Yaesus will not one-button QSY (though they will on embedded frequency
content when in VFO)

GOAL:  Therefore, we consider that the FLASH of the frequency on receipt,
and the frequency's high visibility in the station list in ALL ages and
brands of APRS radio DO meet the full goal of this capability.  Plus, the
last several years of these radios and brands can also sort the
frequencies to the top of the LIST.  The one thing missing is Yaesu's
one-button QSY (that is rarely used by most people anyway).

COMPROMISE:  Some areas have attempted to fix the Yaesu problem by placing
the frequency both as the NAME of the object and also embedding it in the
status.  This works, but it gives up the very valuable WEEKLY NET and
MONTHLY MEETING info that was possible in the protocol.  More than once,
when visiting an area, I have not only been able to join in local nets,
but have also just dropped into a local meeting due to this info.  If the
specific frequency object in your area does not have weekly nets or
monthly meetings, then also add the frequency in the status for the
Yaesus.

THEREFORE I strongly encourage Repeater Frequency Objects to put the
FREQUENCY as the object name always.  really, no one cares about the
repeater callsign.

REMEMBER:  The frequency named object must be UNIQUE worldwide and so
there are 3 bytes available for that purpose.  For example see this list
of all repeaters worldwide on 146.7XX:
http://www.findu.com/cgi-bin/find.cgi?146.7*

Or to see all other repeaters on exactly your frequency using  FINDU.COM,
just enter your frequency ending with the wildcard*

I hope I got this summary right (I'm sure you will correct me).  Again,
see details on:
http://aprs.org/localinfo.html

Bob, WB4APR


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