[aprssig] MGATES for IS-Mobiles

Bob Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Tue Dec 27 16:20:24 EST 2011

>> We have got to find a way to accept these mobile hams 
>> into the APRS-RF network as long as they do not generate 
>> any more traffic than a similar mobile on RF would generate.  
>> Remember, our objective for the last several years for APRS 
>> communicating is "any ham device, any time, to be able to
>> communicate with any other ham with any other wireless device".  

> WHY?  Why are they any different than the thousands of other 
> Internet-only connected clients?  

Because they are local, in the RF area, and doing something... with a
real-live-HAM-operator present.  Unlike most of the other
lights-on-nobody-home stations...

> And why do you believe that the local IGate operators 
> must gate to RF any packets beyond the long-established 
> RF messaging support?  

It is not a "must", but a "should be able to" capability.

> You see where the other guy is today if they communicate with 
> (send an APRS message to) an RF station...

That hardly ever works for me (if ever).  A once every-30-minute courtesy
packet with no retry, if and only if I keep texting has an abisimal chance
of being seen (I never see them).  Hence it makes texting blind in most
cases.  If all IGates will add decaying-retry to those courtesy posits, then
I would be much better satisfied that the existing system would work.  But
that only helps for seeing the distant person you are messaging with.  It
does nothing for being aware of the local tactial situation that may contain
mobile hams with IS connectivity. The local RF guy can never see that he has
a nearby APRS mobile (with wireless connection).  Two ships

> Otherwise, we (those of us on RF) DON'T need to 
> see where someone is if  they are only on the Internet.

If they are a ham, and want to be available to the local tactical RF
situation, then I want to find a way to let them.  HAM radio is the people,
not the hardware.  It's the people that contribute to the tactical
situation, emergency response, helpful info, etc.  It is not the particular
hardware.  If there is a HAM mobile nearby even with only wireless access,
he is still a HAM and still a potential player in the local Ham Radio

> I for one will not relinquish any type of control 
> nor put into an IGate software any type of throttling as proposed 
> since it puts in jeopardy both the APRS-IS and the RF networks.

We are only talking about local IS-wireless mobiles here.  Nothing else at
this time.  I do not see this as a significant threat.  In fact, I see it as
the future of HAM radio.  A HAM should be able to use any of his wireless
devices to maintain connectivity with fellow hams in the local RF domain and
to participate in local activity if possible.  The APRS-IS is a great asset.
We should be working for a way to enhance it for the mobile operator, not
stay stagnant with the limitations of the 1997 APRS-IS.

> As I said before, your intent is noble, the implementations proposed are

OK, I am completely open to any suggestions on how to enable this.  I'm just
making suggestions because I do not see anyone else taking a positive
attitude towards finding ways to make it possible.

> There is nothing special about someone who wants to dictate to another 
> ham that their posits are "special" and deserve to be on their 
> RF channel regardless of that other ham's opinions.

I do not see how this is any different than a local ham using a local digi.
Same situation.  His VIA PATH indicates his desire for the local DIGI to
digipeat him.  By the same token, a wireless APP with a "path" of MGATE is
an identical request by a ham radio operator for the same privlige.

> I recommend you drop this concept. 

I do not see how it is in our best interest to ignore the rise of the mobile
HAM with wireless.  If we drop it, we will shrivel up and die.  Everyone is
going wireless.  We either embrace it or get left behind and ignored.  I
hope we can keep APRS relevant in the ham radio spirit.

> No one should ever assume that just because they have a broken 
> TOCALL (your suggestion causes us to not know what software 
> is generating the packets and it does not adhere to your TOCALL 
> standards).

Easily fixed.  Make it MGvvvN where MG means a mobile-gate request.  VVV is
the version number and N is the hop number.

> No amateur radio operator in the US can mandate to another amateur 
> radio operator that they must transmit and that is what you are proposing.

It is no different than every other digipeated packet on APRS.  A few
million a day.  The source sets the path, the network (as enabled locally)
handles it as requested as enabled by the local sysop.

> An IGate operator makes a conscious choice regarding gating 
> messages to RF or not...  However, what you... are proposing 
> is that any "local" ... smartphone owner mandates that their
> packets get transmitted by another ham's station.

Just the same as every digipeater in the country does.  The digi sysop has
control.  Same way with the IGate owner has the control.  Does he choose to
enable local wireless hams to be gated or not.  I think it should be his

I do agree with you about the potential for SPAM.  But I'd prefer to look
for ways to control that, rather than not do anything at all.


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