[aprssig] APRS in the North East

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Mon Jun 18 17:44:36 EDT 2007

> Let me know how I can help in my state!

Here is what each ARRL section APRS coordinator should do:

1) Decide your ARRL sec wants APRS to support visitors
2) Choose an APRS coordinator in your section
3) Make a list of all digipeaters in your ARRL section
4) Make sure they are New-N Paradigm Compliant
5) Make sure they are Local-Info-Initiative compliant
6) Educate users (do not try to force compliance on air)

Step 1:  The settings for the New-N Paradigm and all the
supporting justificaion is found on the following web page.
Most digis are slowly coming in to compliance...

To check on them, Go to http://map.findu.com/digicall for each
digicall and confirm these settings in the digipeaters position

A) The path used is WIDE2-2 or less (3-3 in rare areas)
B) Confirm the digi has an "S" overlay
C) Confirm the digitext begins with "PHGabcd" data
   and then has "W#,SSn-N..."
   where W# is W2 or W3 for your area and 
   SSn-N is your ARRL section.
D) Additional text may follow those required fields

Step 2: Determining the Local-Info-Initiative is not as easy,
and this is why your job as ARRL coordinator has been
established.  It is not possible to monitor the APRS-IS or
FINDU.COM to determine if the digi is properly set up for the
local-Info-Initiative, since those packets are objects of
unknown names and are DIRECT in the vicinity of those digis
only.  One method is to work your section and enlist the
assistance of local "monitors" in direct range of each digi.  Or
find someone that drives throughout the state with a D700.  They
should show up on the radio front panel no matter where he

What they should see on their maps (or on the D700), in the
local direct range of each digi, is a "repeater object" with the
object name of FFF.FFF-X showing the location of the recommended
FFF.FFF voice repeaer for that area.  The -X can also be +X for
a plus offset and the X is chosen (0-9 and a-z and A-Z) to make
that particular FFF.FFF repeater be unique in the country.  If a
local monitor does not see these objects on his local APRS
screen or APRS mobile after monitoring for 10 minutes or so,
then it can be assumed that the local digi is NOT properly set
up to transmit this info.  You will need to contact the local
repeater operator and get him to add this voice repeater Object
into the Btext of his digi.  See how:


Another way, is to agree (if you can) at the ARRL section level,
what these recommended wide area voice repeaters should be for
each digi.  Then proactively contact each digi owner and
convinec him to add it to his Btext.  If you know that 146.94-DC
should be the 146.94 repeater in Wachington DC, then you can use
MAP.FINDU.COM to confirm if that object is being received.  But
again, this only works if you can guess what the name of the
local object should be.  You can use a WILDCARD on FINDU to find
all of the 146.94 repeaters and see if you can find it that way.

The hard part is chosing a 9 character name for the repeater
that is unique.  But there are almost 3600 different
combinations for 10 KHz repeaters and over 62 for 5 KHz

OBJECT PATH:  Lastly, you want to make sure that the voice
repeater objects are being sent LOCAL-DIRECT-no-hops only.  This
eliminates any QRM and makes this system work very well. IE, if
you see the packet, then you can work it...  If you do not see
the object after 10 minutes, then you cannot work it.

CLIENT OBJECTS:  If you see any repeater objects beign
originated by local home station clients, then that is the wrong
way to do it for many reasons.  It adds QRM, reduces channel
reliability, and usually covers way too much territory and is
missleading to recepients.  Get those off the air and replaced
by these objects originated only at the digis.

FORMAT:  Lastly, make sure that the repeater object is using the
standar format that shows very well on the 10x10x8 format
displays indicated in the Local-Infor-Initiative web page.

Good luck!

> -----Original Message-----
> From: aprssig-bounces at lists.tapr.org 
> [mailto:aprssig-bounces at lists.tapr.org] On Behalf Of Robert
> Sent: Monday, June 18, 2007 2:00 PM
> To: aprssig at lists.tapr.org
> Subject: [aprssig] APRS in the North East
> Driving though NJ, NYC, CT, VT and MA (on a college tour):
> Subject: Not what APRS was designed for
> Throughtout this entire 1000+ mile trip, I only heard two
> Alert packets and raised no one.  I did see one mobile with
> in his packet and made a contact as he passed within a mile.
> had a D700, but had never heard about Voice Alert.
> I never made any contacts on 2 meters either over 4 days.  I
> not one single APRS Voice-Repeater Object the entire trip.  I
> saw a few repeaters in digi beacons, but they were coming in
> from over a hundred miles away, and not local.  I heard some
> voice repeaters, but could not get in because I could not
> out the PL. (PL scan didn't find them either)...  APRS is
> supposed to show this ON THE RADIO...
> I found two College radio clubs by following the coax from
> obvious antennas, but both appeared "abandoned"...
> Bottom line, ham radio on this trip was useless.  Exactly the
> opposite of what ham radio with APRS assist is supposed to do.
> Here, I had APRS.  It should have showed me on my mobile APRS
> radio front panel:
> 1) the location of *local* voice repeaters
> 2) The recommended frequency, and PL
> 3) Their meeting nights or net times
> 4) possible link to their club page
> 5) I should have been alerted to every D700 in simplex range
> 6) I should have been able to voice QSO any of them mobile
> in simplex range.
> 7) I should not have heard voice alert packets with no one
> monitoring for a reverse call.
> I was on a marathon college tour with my son to see some
> colleges in the Northeast.  Path was Baltimore, through NYC to
> Connecticut.  Up the middle to Vermont and NH, then down to
> Haven, through RI up to Boston, then west to upstate NY then
> down to NYC and home.  Did hear a few voice alert packets in
> NNJ, but no one ever answered.
> I'd like to sign up volunteers in each state or ARRL section,
> take on the task of FIXING APRS in their area.  APRS is not
> a bunch of moving vehicles with operators oblivious to their
> surroundings.  This means:
> 1) New-N Paradigm
> 2) Education campaign about Voice Alert
> 3) Getting all digis to transmit the local voice repeater
> object.
> This takes work.  It won't happen by just talking about it. 
> Volunteers?
> Bob, Wb4APR
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