[aprssig] Why Not "Gate in Vicinity"

Pete Loveall AE5PL Lists hamlists at ametx.com
Mon Dec 26 10:16:54 EST 2011

5000 requests; funny that there aren't 5000 APRSDroid clients on APRS-IS.  Makes me wonder if many of those are bogus callsign requests.  If you don't want to take responsibility for the distribution of your software, that is your choice but it directly affects the other hams using APRS-IS and gating to RF expecting some level of human intervention on the distribution of passcodes.  I agree that APRS-IS shouldn't be a big draw to the uninitiated but the easier you make it, the more likely the abuse.  All it takes is a few to mess it up for the thousands.

APRS-IS is carried over a transport that is inherently more reliable than APRS on RF.  Therefore, it should be expected to be more reliable.

The underlying premise is to provide RF-RF connectivity.  If  you throttle at the IGate, as pointed out earlier, you break the underlying premise.  Internet users are not "second class".  They are not amateur radio stations.  They are Internet users who, hopefully, hold an amateur radio license so they can communicate with other amateur radio operators on RF.  They can do that today.  There is nothing that says they should force IGate operators to transmit their beacons on demand.  As stated before, your APRSDroid users, if licensed hams, have every benefit that other Internet-connected APRS clients have.  They don't have a "right" to be beaconed to RF.

Apparently these concepts of "manual, multistep passcode distribution to reduce abuse" and "Internet clients are not amateur radio stations" are foreign concepts to you.  Since that is the case, all other discussions regarding amateur radio RF-centric APRS-IS use is apparently pointless.


Pete Loveall AE5PL
pete at ae5pl dot net

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Georg Lukas
> Sent: Monday, December 26, 2011 8:21 AM
> I do not understand the panic about abuse of APRS-IS by non-HAMs. Of the
> by now almost 5000 passcode requests issued via the APRSdroid request
> form, there was around a dozen with non-callsigns, and I tend to attribute at
> least half of these to people who made an error in filling out the form,
> whereas the other half probably was by actual non-HAMs.
> As you wrote yourself, there are better free geolocation services out there.
> Why should anyone in their right mind try to use APRS(IS) instead?
> APRS is unreliable by definition. Why should APRS-IS be more reliable in that
> regard? There are already retransmissions defined as part of the protocol for
> the really critical things (messaging).
> But it is very well possible to throttle what is going from IS to RF on an igate
> without breaking anything.
> > 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.
> I'm in full agreement to this statement. It was my main motivation for
> developing APRSdroid and I have not given up on it since. An APRS-IS
> application on your cellphone gives you many advantages when mobile or
> portable: it frees up the second band on your dual-bander or allows to
> participate in APRS without spending >500$ for the gear.
> However, as it is now, APRS-IS stations have second class value because their
> positions are mostly not forwarded to RF at all and their messages get
> through with luck only. We as a community need to decide what way should
> be followed: should APRS-IS be kept a one-way street with no reverse
> igating at all, or should it become a full class citizen allowing 100% interaction
> between RF and IS?

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