[aprssig] SMART Networks

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Wed Mar 26 17:16:33 EDT 2008

> Bob, your 1600:1 is wrong...

I think it is correct for the assumptions I made.  That is,
using WIDE1-1 at altitude for any balloon, airplane or rocket..

> if for no other reason than you ignore the
> fact we are using smart trackers.  I haven't 
> bothered to verify any of the other assumptions.

I agree.  If your tracker is smart and not using WIDE1-1 at
altitude, then my assumptions do not apply, and WIDE1-1,WIDEn-N
is a great path on the ground or at low altitude.

> Even a dumb tracker would have little impact 
> IF we had a smart infrastructure, which is where 
> the brains of any network really belongs.  

Aw now you went and pushed my button!

A "smart" network only does what the "brains" of the network
define.  And it is extremely clear on this APRS SIG that many
people disagree as to what APRS is for, what it should do, and
where each packet should go and how it should get there, and
what packets are worthy, and which are not.  There are
exceptions to EVERY "smart" rule that the network would try to

I strongly resist ANY attempts to make an APRS "smart" network,
because as a user, I am sure that I will disagree at some time
or another with any given "smart rule" defined by some local
SYSOP depending on what I need the network to do at any given
situation which can be just about anything, all different.  Only
the originator of an APRS packet is the one that knows for sure
what he wants the packet to do...

Just take my usual definition of APRS.  "The intent of the APRS
network is to inform all surrounding users of all that is
happening in the area and to allow communications among them and
global connectivity via the internet if available".  Now, then I
can take that sentence apart and find MANY definitions of almost
every single word in that sentence, all of which could have a
different impact on the definition of a "smart" network.  In
fact, some people will argue what "is" is.  <grin>.

I never want to see APRS become a "smart" network, because that
then completely limits what it can do.  And with 3000 digi
sysops each having their own opinion of what "smart" means, then
APRS user flexibility would die in never ending squabbling.

Ham radio works when the ham can control his own radio.  When
smart networks take over (think 800 MHz trunked radios), some
really neat things can be implemented by codewriters, but then
it can all fail miserably with the slightest anomoly.

I want to stick to the basics.  Add "SMARTS" in the applications
that then use the fundamental packets from APRS...  For example,
Smart Trackers and smart Beaconing and SMART Weather and Smart
ACKing are all GREAT.  But these smarts belong at the user and
application, not the APRS local digipeater.

We can argue this forever. But I like the KISS principle.


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