[aprssig] Newbie Path Question

Keith VE7GDH ve7gdh at rac.ca
Sat May 16 23:57:25 EDT 2009

Josh KD8HRX wrote...

> I have changed this setting to relay,wide4-4 and things seem to be
> working much better now. I'm not very confident in my understanding
> of this setting but I believe that this means that my packet will be
> digipeated by up to 4 digipeaters before it "expires". Could some one
> tell me if my understanding is correct?
> Also what is the difference between using wide and trace in the path
> setting and which should I use for my normal operations?

You have already received some good replies from Ron and John. It
has unfortunate if there is still a digi in your area that responds to
RELAY. It has been obsolete in North America for something like 4-5
years now. If you did actually hit a digi that still responded to the
obsolete RELAY, the four additional hops from WIDE4-4 would make a
total of 5 hops which would be considered an overly long and abusive
path in most locations. Read up on the ALOHA principal. You should try
and keep your beacons within your own ALOHA circle. Any more than that
is just creating QRM.

Most places in North America, WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1 will be the path to use.
If you really need a longer path, try WIDE1-1,WIDE2-2 but only if it is
really needed. You can always use "state flooding" if you truly need to
propagate something to greater distances than you normally need to go.
Such a path would be referred to as SSn-N where "SS" is the two letter
abbreviation for your state. It should be preceded by WIDE1-1 to make
it traceable... e.g. WIDE1-1,SSn-N where again, the SS represents your

Both the WIDEn-N and fill-in digis will respond to WIDE1-1, but if you
are heard direct by a high WIDEn-N digi, that's great. In WIDEn-N, the
"n" is the number of hops requested, and the "N" is how many hops remain
or are as yet unused. The digis that respond to WIDE1-1 only are called
"fill-in" digis. Their purpose is to help mobile stations make it to
higher WIDEn-N digis usually in hilly terrain or in the "concrete
jungle" in town. As each digipeater acts on your beacon, it inserts its
own callsign to make it traceable. The "N" is decremented when it goes
through the digi. When it reaches zero, the "N" is used up and it won't
be digipeated any further.

Just remember that RELAY, WIDE, TRACE and TRACEn-N are
obsolete in North America. If you are aware of a digi that responds
to the obsolete RELAY, try and contact the operator and politely ask
them to update their digi's settings. The replacement for RELAY is

PS - you did the right thing in asking about your path! You can't be
criticized in initially using RELAY as it is one of the default settings
in the D7. While it is now obsolete at least in this continent, you can
now update your settings knowing that you are using the recommended
path for mobile stations.

73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
"I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"

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