[aprssig] Why Not "Gate in Vicinity"

Pete Loveall AE5PL Lists hamlists at ametx.com
Mon Dec 26 07:20:21 EST 2011

But what you ask for requires a network protocol.  I never said anything about a "standards-based" protocol; the protocol between clients is a TCP (or UDP) stream of bytes basically in TNC2 (or AEA) monitor format.  There is no room for QoS or other signaling without breaking existing clients.  It is not a network protocol but simply a bunch of point-to-point transports.  The carried protocol is APRS which also is not a network protocol.

Regarding "appropriate" beacon rate, what is an appropriate rate on RF?  That is your measuring stick.  There are lots of opinions but I lean towards a minute interval should be the shortest allowed but that is my opinion, not an agreed to standard.  Again, this is amateur radio and because there is no way to throttle what is passed through APRS-IS without breaking its underlying premise, it cannot be assumed that the amateur radio operators must alter their operation just to accommodate non-amateur radio equipment.

The focus should not be "how to gate everyone to RF" but how to provide for the primary purpose of APRS-IS: support amateur radio communications.  A cell phone is not amateur radio communications.  An Internet-attached APRS client of any sort is not, by itself, amateur radio communications.  A cell phone running an APRS app with properly distributed passcode by the software author and messaging with an amateur radio station on RF is amateur radio communication; this is supported today with no modification.  But if you have "passcodes for everyone" as pushed by some recent authors, you have third-party messaging occurring which also puts in jeopardy the entire premise of APRS-IS.  Unfortunately, to change either the underlying network protocol, authentication, etc. will immediately disenfranchise thousands of hams using clients that cannot be updated to any new protocol.


Pete Loveall AE5PL
pete at ae5pl dot net

> -----Original Message-----
> From: aprssig-bounces at tapr.org [mailto:aprssig-bounces at tapr.org] On
> Behalf Of Greg Dolkas
> Sent: Monday, December 26, 2011 1:50 AM
> To: TAPR APRS Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [aprssig] Why Not "Gate in Vicinity"
> My point is that an interconnect is a piece of a network, whether there is a
> standards-based "protocol" driving it or not. I guess I'm attaching a looser
> meaning to "network" than you.  Whatever you call it, there are a set of
> interfaces and procedures that are used to communicate, and as the uses of
> APRS and IS (separately and together) grow, it is my opinion that we should
> consider putting in some controls to protect the flow of information.  That
> way, a mis-configured radio or slightly buggy application can't prevent the
> intended communication from taking place.
> I asked a while ago (year or so?) what an appropriate Beacon rate would be
> for a cell-based IS application would be.  This was in regard to a mis-
> configured cell phone that was driving up the local freeway, submitting its
> location every few seconds.  I contacted the owner, and had him change the
> setting, but was unable to get a specific recommendation for him from this
> list.  And, in this latest exchange, I still haven't seen one.  Can we start there?

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