[aprssig] how to implement 'No more relay' for dummies

Wes Johnston aprs at kd4rdb.com
Tue Apr 5 23:10:20 EDT 2005

I see this as a fix (or kludge if you want to word it that strongly)
that can be implemented very inexpensively in existing TNCs.  Any
solutions that require hardware (even if the hardware is $30) will not
happen in some areas and will be extremely unlikely in other areas. 
This is something Bob has repeatedly nailed me on... getting 1000 TNC
owners to implement some firmware upgrade or other hardware fix that
requires money.  I'm not upset that Bob's nailed me on this sticky
wicket, but rather accept the practical side of it... hams are cheap. 
The thing that gave APRS a kick in the pants 10 years ago was that it
worked with any TNC that was collecting dust.

Given that this RELAY/WIDE1-1 is a software solution, the price is
zero.  I am keenly aware that it'll take a good long while to get the
word out and fully make this change.  So actually what I'm in favor of
is a dual system where we continue to support RELAY while supporting
WIDE1-1 for a while.  That's why in my first post on this subject, I
suggested that digi owners need not do anything, but after a while turn
off RELAY.  While some folks' TNCs can support UIDIGI with WIDE1-1 and
RELAY on their home stations, I thought that would cause my posting to
get too long and dilute it's punch.

I spoke to a fellow in the outer banks of NC this weekend by phone and
we both agreed the best way to proceed was to support both, audit the
users who continue to use RELAY, and contact them.  I even likened this
to the switch to DTV... we run both analog TV and digital DV for a time,
then eventually sunset analog tv in various markets over time. 

I know all this flux in the paths and now RELAY has got to wear thin on
the casual APRS users, but it's the price we pay for growing.  In a
perfect world, Bob would have worked all of this out 15 years ago,
right? lol.  Seriously though, I figured my email today was just a
broad, easy to read summary of what's been worked out that might catch
the eye of the casual readers.

Isn't it ironic that last Friday a loose knit (and perhaps loosely
wound) group of folks came up with and debated an idea.  And within 5
hours, we'd worked out a solution and it was being tested in SC,
Michigan, and Netherlands... but getting that solution spread to the
masses may take years.  It's human nature at work, eh?

Again, my suggestion for implementation is that we need to continue to
support RELAY for the time being, but support WIDE1-1 also.


Robert Bruninga wrote:

>>>>ad6nh at arrl.net 04/05/05 2:23 PM >>>
>>To implement this WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1 as a blanket 
>>nationwide change is a BAD idea.
>I think we agree.  I think Wes confused everyone when
>his message appeared to imply for everyone to implemnt
>it.  That was never the intent.  I think Wes was just trying
>to simplify how it could be implemented, and I hope did not 
>intend for it as a blanket solution for everywhere...
>The only reason that WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1 was offered as a
>replacement for RELAY,WIDE2-1 was to offer an alternative 
>in those remote areas and to those few individuals that felt 
>they wanted that FILL-IN DIGI capability but also wanted to 
>get rid of all the RELAY-caused dupes...
>>I am still not in agreement with this plan.  I seriously do not 
>>think the number of dupes generated by RELAY packets is 
>>in any way a detriment to the system.  I can say that with 
>>proof of how it is working in L.A., with the trap digi plan and 
>>a few digis supporting RELAY, we still cut traffic by almost 
>>75% even while still supporting RELAY.
>Yes, RELAY is supported in LA still, because one of the main
>digis is a UIDIG ROM that can support pre-emptive digipeating
>which also solves the RELAY-DUPE problem and is
>why it works OK in LA and you dont see that much of an impact.
>But in areas where there are no UIDIG ROM digis, and RELAY
>is used by most mobiles, it is a big problem.
>>[RELAY,WIDEn-N] is easier to understand than 
>>WIDE1-1,WIDEn-N, and it is best in my opinion.  I am 
>>100% against implementing this and eliminating RELAY.
>Again, everyone should temper my enthusiasm for all the
>details of the New n-N Paradigm and not think of it as trying
>to enforce any specific application in any particular areas.
>That is a local decision.  My enthusiasm is that now the
>New n-N Paradigm is complete and now has a good solution 
>for every single issue that has been raised during its 
>Deciding how and when to implement it in an area is a local 
>decison.  My job was only to make sure that every element
>of it was compatible with the other elements and would work
>with all the digi hardware that is out there for those areas
>that did decide to improve their networks.  There are at least
>10 fixes listed in the New n-N paradigm that digi owners can 
>take.  Many of them are independent so sysops can imlement
>those that are most compatible with their area...
>>I still plan to use RELAY and will be using it on some 
>>upcoming events with some new APRS folks as we set up 
>>a temporary digi in a canyon for some added coverage.  
>>They can set their path to RELAY,WIDE2-2 and understand 
>>what  is going to happen.  
>I agree, that is the prudent thing to do in your area.  It will
>be a long time until RELAY is phased out.  The only point
>about WIDE1-1 as a future substitute is that it already works 
>in ALL main digis everywhere, so areas that decide to start
>using it don't have to wait on anyone else to do it...
>Just some thoughts...
>Bob, WB4APR
>aprssig mailing list
>aprssig at lists.tapr.org

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