[aprssig] MGATES for IS-Mobiles

Steve Dimse steve at dimse.com
Wed Dec 28 05:34:46 EST 2011

I try to stay in the woodwork, but sometimes...

On Dec 27, 2011, at 6:52 PM, Pete Loveall AE5PL Lists wrote:

> My attitude is that amateur radio is amateur radio, not Internet networks.  Yes, amateur radio can use the Internet for transport but using the Internet by itself is, by definition, NOT amateur radio. 

Wow. If there was one person on the face of the earth I would never have expected to hear this from it would be you. I got barraged with this attitude when I was in the process of creating the APRS IS -- I was going to kill ham radio, the internet is not ham ham radio.  They were wrong, and you are wrong. The APRS Internet System _is_ ham radio. When I received the award for Technical Excellence at the 2003 Dayton Hamvention I thought that marked the death of the old prejudice that only RF was ham radio. Guess you never know where prejudice will pop up! I suppose you think I should give the award back too.

That said, Bob's proposal is, as usual, exceptionally complex and kludgy, especially because there is an answer that already exists in the APRS IS. When a station on the APRS IS sends a message to someone on the APRS RF network, a position is sent along with the message by the iGate so the RF user will see the Internet user on their map. As designed the positions are sent once every 30 minutes no matter how many messages you send (I cannot vouch for how this is implemented in all iGate software, but the idea is to limit the impact on RF from a back and forth QSO).

So, if you are on internet and want your position to go out onto a particular RF network send a message every thirty minutes to a station in the area you want your position to appear. I've used this when I travel and it works well (I send the messages to a digi near the iGate so as not to bother anyone with the messages). It requires enough knowledge (to figure out what unmanned station is near the desired area) that it will not be abused. Any mobile phone software author that wishes to support this feature just need to implement a special class of message that is sent once every 30 minutes. Easy. 

And if one wants to automate the process it is possible, just look for the nearest digi and automatically send a message every 30 minutes. Personally I would not be a fan of this because I think there is too great a chance for abuse, and we don't want Pete to take his ball and go home. What he does is a valuable part of ham radio, even if he doesn't think so!

Steve K4HG

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