[aprssig] Digipeater routing: "Get me to findu"

apratt at bestbits.org apratt at bestbits.org
Mon Feb 27 19:52:45 EST 2006

I have a tyro's grasp of APRS and routing, and I noticed the thread
about configuring digipeaters. I read the "New n-N paradigm" article
at http://www.ew.usna.edu/~bruninga/aprs/fix14439.html and I had an

As much as Bob calls APRS a local, tactical information system, my own
intended use (and that of many others, I think) is based on the
Internet and FINDU. So the key question is, "What route should I use
in my mobile to get my packets to findu reliably as I travel?"

There is a California map in the n-N article (search for APRS-IS) that
shows it can take three hops or more to reach an IGate in some areas,
but one hop is all you need in many others. Running WIDE4-4 might work
statewide, but it's rude and wasteful in the 1- or 2-hop areas. How
are you supposed to know? As you travel statewide, are you supposed to
change settings?

Here's my idea: don't make mobile users guess. The routing I want to
use from my mobile is, "Get this packet to findu."

If digis knew how many hops away from an IGate they were, they could
write the proper number of hops into a packet that arrived with
generic "findu" routing. Mobile users could use one route setting in
any area, without wasting bandwidth in the cities or having their
packets die too soon in remote areas. The right hop count would be
automatic in all areas they passed through.

I don't know the limits of digipeater technology - is this possible? I
know that findu isn't the only use for APRS, but for cases when you
*do* want to reach findu, does this idea seem worthwhile? 

-- Allan Pratt, apratt at bestbits.org

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