[aprssig] Weather Stations and Net Neutrality

Steve Dimse steve at dimse.com
Thu Aug 14 15:33:36 EDT 2008

On Aug 14, 2008, at 1:22 PM, Joseph M. Durnal wrote:

> It isn't just kenwood, if I have the xastir setup in the car it can be
> even worse, as nothing is displayed on my screen when positionless
> weather is received.

I'd be very surprised if xastir doesn't do this, it is a pretty easy  
thing to implement. I'm sure they will answer the question shortly. If  
they don't support positionless weather, maybe they will consider it.
> If the station transmits its postion every 30 minutes, weather data,
> every 5, for stations that are not in range for the position, but move
> into the area just after, will receive 6 packets that aren't very
> helpful.

Worst case, but on average three without knowing the location. I still  
wouldn't call it useless, just not as useful (to you) as knowing the  
position as well. On the other hand, if they send weather with  
position, and people say fixed stations should only transmit the posit  
every 15 to 30 minutes, then you have no data at all during that  
period. You are at best even, but the other 99% of people that do  
already know the station's position are deprived of useful data. Is  
that really better?

The RF network is a very limited resource. Each area needs to decide  
what is most valuable to it. Weather data in Kansas during tornado  
season has a much higher value that Southern California during a lazy  
summer. Like so many things involving the RF network, this is  
something that I think should be decided at the local level. There is  
no way to dictate a single nationwide or worldwide "correct" interval  
that fits all needs.

I still think that on a nationwide level, when you have the  
opportunity to save some bandwidth, at the cost of only a little extra  
programming, it is worth it. That was the opinion of everyone (besides  
Bob) developing in APRS when it was proposed (I think it was 97 or 98,  
not 95 like Bob says, that was before my time, in fact I think that  
1995 before everyone except Bob's time). I've implemented positionless  
weather three different times in three different parsers, and compared  
to some abominations Bob has done with the protocol, this is trivial  
to program.

Steve K4HG

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