[aprssig] was: Old adnauseum subject: APRS Source Routing (now: thesummary of reality)

Brian Webster bwebster at wirelessmapping.com
Mon Jul 7 17:09:15 EDT 2008

	Very well stated and very much to the point. Thank you for taking the time
to spell that out. Many new hams do not realize the history of the old
packet equipment that got us to where we are today with APRS.

Thank You,
Brian N2KGC

-----Original Message-----
From: aprssig-bounces at lists.tapr.org
[mailto:aprssig-bounces at lists.tapr.org]On Behalf Of Tim Cunningham
Sent: Monday, July 07, 2008 4:45 PM
To: TAPR APRS Mailing List
Subject: [aprssig] was: Old adnauseum subject: APRS Source Routing (now:
thesummary of reality)

What most fail to realize is the summary of reality:

1. Hams are cheap.

2. AX.25 infrastructure is in place, abundant, and working.

3. It is natural for humans to resist change.

4. DSTAR as it stands is a single vendor implementation.

AX.25 has been around for more than 20 years and thus, quite a few people
have accumulated AX.25 hardware. It has been used in various applications in
that time frame. HAM's are comfortable with it and most people like to work
in their comfort zone. The AX.25 hardware is abundant and one of the reasons
it has been successful. The HAM population has an investment in this
hardware and that will not change overnight. Remember reality #1. Until
reality #4 changes and other vendors hop on the bandwagon DSTAR will remain
what some may call an elitist novelty, much like some think about us
satellite operators. This is not a dig at DSTAR or satellite operators. It
is simply the reality of the HAM population. Money controls most of the
world. If little investment is made in DSTAR, little progress will me made.
Until other manufacturers invest in DSTAR, there is little hope it will
proliferate the airways like the AX.25 hardware. In the mean time the bridge
networks will tie them together to take advantage of what a bridged network
will offer between the protocols in exchanging digital traffic. If other
vendors develop hardware/firmware, it is more likely DSTAR will experience
rapid growth. Growth is good for Amateur Radio, but it takes time. The "us
and them" attitude is not good for growth in any area of life.

When the AX.25 TNC's became available back in the mid 1980's it took a short
period of time for them to become popular as the BBS systems emerged and
offered a wireless network to those who invested. However, you must keep in
mind that it was a very different time too. There was no abundant wireless
networking for the average person at that time. The Internet was not widely
available for civilian use at that time. Things were very different and the
excitement of networking computers via radio modems was an exciting
adventure and a learning experience as well. I ran a BBS and a automated
Satellite Gateway through the 90's moving traffic at higher data rates. Time
changes things and we experienced the rise of the Internet, the decline of
the BBS network, and at the same time we experienced the rise of the APRS
protocol providing the opportunity to re-use all those AX.25 TNC's that were
starting to collect dust. A whole new world opened on 145.79 MHz and the
hardware was available in abundance collecting dust and ready to be
implemented in a different environment. It was the right ingredient at the
right time. Had things been different, APRS may have never evolved in what
it is today, but the hardware was abundant and available. The next change
took place when APRS moved to 144.39 MHz. How much grief did that create?
Refer to reality #3 and #1. In some areas those who could not get off of
reality #3 remain on 145.79 MHz.

Change is only natural, but is also natural to resist that change. Time is
the greatest ingredient for change. We cannot stop time. It changes us and
ages our equipment. Old equipment gets replaced by new equipment and new
features. What we face is the decision to change with time. We either work
and develop together or we become obsolete. One day our entire radio network
could be linked between various bands and satellites for a worldwide
wireless radio network utilizing all of our resources. The possibilities are

There are many trolls on this list that jump at the opportunity to put
somebody down, make digs, or add fuel to the fire. They do nothing for
progress except to make a topic ramble into useless idle chatter. We work
with what we have by the contraints of those who are willing to invest their
time in the hobby and we should be thankful for their contributions to any
part of the hobby so others can enjoy it.


Tim - N8DEU

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ron McCoy" <rmccoylist at blueantservices.com>
To: "TAPR APRS Mailing List" <aprssig at lists.tapr.org>
Sent: Sunday, July 06, 2008 1:20 PM
Subject: Re: [aprssig] Old adnauseum subject: APRS Source Routing

> As too often happens on mailing lists, everyone staking out turf and
> talking past each other. Do all of you _really_ talk this way to people
> when you are face to face? That would be a remarkably unpleasant crowd
> to be around.
> I take issue with Bob's frequent assertion that APRS is "perfect" for
> whatever topic is at hand, but, in most cases I don't have anything
> positive to offer so I watch from the sidelines.
> Pete seems to be protecting his on D-STAR turf and bristles at Bob's
> suggestion that _it_ is less than perfect.
> Rather than hunkering down in our various bunkers and tossing grenades
> over the walls, what if we used this medium for, oh, I don't know,
> communication? This type of turf warfare is one of the reasons that
> amateur radio is on the decline.
> In this post, Jason tells Bob he is out of touch with the networkigencia
> of today. That doesn't seem to advance understanding on any side. Bob
> has stated his reasons for preferring source routing in a world of
> absentee digi owners. Wouldn't it be more to the point to advance an
> argument on how modern networking concepts could be implemented
> sucessfully in such an environment along with their advantages? The same
> would go for all the complaints about Kenwood-centic protocol
> restrictions, sloppy documentation, etc, etc, etc.
> Approaching these questions as problems to be solved by discussion and
> consensus seems to be much more interesting than flamefests. But maybe
> I'm in a minority. These types of interactions, both on lists and in my
> local ham group are what have driven me back to computers, networking,
> electronics and the maker ethic while my radios gather dust.
> [/soapbox]
> I'll now return to my corner waiting to be told I'm ignorant, off topic
> or in violation of FCC rules...or more likely all three. Have fun.
> Jason KG4WSV wrote:
>> On Sun, Jul 6, 2008 at 10:16 AM, Bob Bruninga <bruninga at usna.edu> wrote:
>>> I strongly defend "source routing" for the APRS network.
>> Then you're out of step with virtually ALL modern networking techniques.
>> I guess since our network is built with core components that were
>> designed 20 years ago, it's apropos to use networking paradigms from
>> 20 years ago, even if they are models that have been long since
>> abandoned by the rest of the world.
>> -Jason
>> kg4wsv
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