[aprssig] DX-cluster Messaging?

Ron Stordahl N5IN ronn5in-aprssig at yahoo.com
Tue Oct 6 17:22:22 EDT 2009


I run 2 dxclusters, N5IN an AR-Cluster at dxspots.com and N5IN-2 a CC-Cluster at dxspots.net.  There several forms of messages intended for a specific individual...cluster mail and talk messages.  Initially when clusters were all radio networks these were somewhat popular, but with the cluster network now being worldwide on the internet and simultaneous growth of e-mail and other such messaging systems, the use of cluster mail and cluster talk has declined dramatically.  Another reason is that the protocol for these works poorly in todays large networks.  Back when a network was only a handful of nodes, it worked well, but now the tables which are supposed to direct the traffic to the correct node are so inaccurate they are nearly useless.  As such, some inconsiderate users are adding personal messages to bogus dx spots they generate, or using the broadcast Talk sending their personal messages to everyone, which usually results in a flurry of responses
 telling them to 'shut up'.

So in short personal messaging is broken!

Lee, VE7CC, who is the author of CC-Cluster, has a solution to the talk message issue, and so within the network of CC-Clusters it now does work reliably.  But this would need to be extended to the entire network which is a mix of CC-Cluster, AR-Cluster, DXSpider and perhaps a few more cluster systems.  

It would be nice if it worked, people might return to using it.  It could happen.

Lee, VE7CC, said he could add code to his CC-Cluster software to deliver individually directed talk messages to the APRS network, but of course would not do this unless it is really wanted.  So it is possible, but is it a good idea?  I suspect only a tiny fraction of such messages would actually be directed to someone who would actually be in a position to receive them.  An alternative would be to have a special Talk command specifically for sending these to the APRS network.  Then the originator would be responsible for directing them so, and we would have to rely upon the originator knowing that it was likely that the recipient could receive such a talk message.  This approach would keep 99%+ of  useless talk messages off the APRS network.

Others who have replied to your initial message have brought up the subject of placing DX spots on 144.39.  I did so for quite a while here in NW Minnesota for a user who was able to see them on a D700.  The frequency is not very busy up here in NW Minnesota, and set them so that they were not digipeated, so  it was not a problem.  I finally did stop doing it for the reason that the interest in it dried up.  Obviously doing this where the frequency is busy would be inconsiderate!

Ron, N5IN

From: Robert Bruninga <bruninga at usna.edu>
To: VX_8R at yahoogroups.com
Cc: aprssig at tapr.org
Sent: Monday, October 5, 2009 7:16:34 PM
Subject: [aprssig] DX-cluster Messaging?

> By 'spotting' I meant I had sent an email to 
> a group of QRP-folks... who were... alerted and 
> watching me on on APRS.fi... Donno any clusters 
> that'll except an email input/post?? Do you?

I am not a DX cluster user, but if the DX clusters have a
message or chat mode, then we should make every effort to get it
tied to the Universal Ham Radio Text Messaging initiative.  See

We should be able to message any callsign, anywhere, anytime, on
any system by interconnecting all ham radio message systems.

Any DX-cluster power users that can tell us if such a capability
would make sense and how?

Bob, Wb4aPR

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