[aprssig] what is RELAY, WIDE, TRACE, etc?

Larry Cerney lcerney at viawest.net
Mon Aug 2 14:25:56 EDT 2004


No user should use WIDE9-9.  APRS is a local tactical network with
capabilities to send information a long way.  For each of us user we should
have paths no farther than the first Igate.  Once a position beacon gets to
an Igate it goes into the Internet to APRS-IS server system and anyone with
internet access and appropriate software can track a station around the

As to who should use RELAY, WIDE and WIDEx-x, the way I explain it is the
WIDE's should be the highest, most powerful stations in an area.  Talk with
the other operators in your region and see if there is a need for another
WIDE.  If you can easily hear a WIDE or two there is no reason for a second
or third.  WIDE's are the mountain or hill top stations, if your station is
low, you're a RELAY.  Older TNC's would only work WIDE.  Most newer or
upgraded TNC's support WIDEx-x.

As to how to handle lids with WIDE9-9, that's up to you.  I would try to
inform/educate them.  Configuring your digipeater not to pass a station
because its path is WIDE9-9 isn't going to fix all the other stations that
receive positions from the lid.  Ask if it is necessary for their position
to be digipeated across 5 states.  Most operators will understand and back
off to the more reasonable WIDE2-2.  

Bob Bruninga writes very detailed analysis of APRS, but it is verbose and
the answers you might be looking for don't just jump out at you.

I'd suggest if you don't see any WIDE's in your area, set one up.  If you do
have WIDES, set your self up as a RELAY.  If you have full time Internet
access consider setting yourself up as an Igate as well.


Denver Igate and RELAY station. WIDE's are at 12,000 feet.  

"There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what
the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be
replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. 
There is another theory which states that this has already happened."
Douglas Adams (1952-2001)
-----Original Message-----
From: aprssig-bounces at lists.tapr.org [mailto:aprssig-bounces at lists.tapr.org]
On Behalf Of Jason Winningham
Sent: Monday, August 02, 2004 11:23 AM
To: TAPR APRS Mailing List
Subject: Re: [aprssig] what is RELAY, WIDE, TRACE, etc?

On Aug 2, 2004, at 10:48 AM, Larry Cerney wrote:

> But you ask about digi operators reigning in users.  We are all
> users with no central control.  Getting on APRS isn't like signing up 
> with
> an ISP.  We all try to operate for the betterment of APRS.

So let's say I'm in north Alabama and I routinely get traffic from 
stations in Indiana, Kentucky, Florida, etc because they're using 
WIDE9-9.  Do I let it go because we're all "just users", do I try a QRZ 
lookup and contact that operator and educate him, or do I try to 
configure my hypothetical digipeater so that I drop packets with what I 
consider hostile paths?  I'm already seeing a lot of Atlanta area 
traffic as compared to local traffic, probably because of a couple of 
mountain-top digipeaters and stations with 3 hops.  On the other hand, 
I see practically no traffic from the Nashville area even when I drive 
around 840, so I wonder if it's because of terrain or if APRS in that 
area has already reached critical mass and imploded.

Thanks to all for the answers.  I've read DIGIS.TXT and some of the 
other references, but most of what I read is "you should do this, not 
that".  I can only assume that the difference in RELAY, WIDE, WIDEn-n 
is in the way callsign substitution and traffic history for duplicate 
suppression is handled.

I asked these questions mainly because I'm considering setting up a 
digi at home (there are none in my area).  I really haven't found 
enough information to make me feel confident I can set up the station 
the correct way.


aprssig mailing list
aprssig at lists.tapr.org

More information about the aprssig mailing list