[aprssig] Hop progression

Jim Alles kb3tbx at gmail.com
Fri Feb 18 14:41:17 EST 2011

Hello All,

I want to run an idea for an application past everyone.

I live in central Pennsylvania, with a relatively high density of
digipeaters on mountaintop sites.  2 hops can easily cover the state and
more.  I am working on a map display of which stations hear a first
transmission, which digis transmit the first hop (and their PHG circles),
which stations hear that, etc.

My proof of concept was with URL shortcuts that initiated aprs.fi queries,
based on 1000 raw packets.  Several shortcomings encountered were: slow and
cumbersome, can only request 20 call signs at a time, and the data is
already filtered.

I do understand that we can't analyze the RF network from what we see on the
Internet.  But if paths are reported even once, it does show that the RF
signal is capable of being present.

So I am considering what it would take to take a feed from aprs.is servers,
collect real time data, parse the packets, construct the profile and present
the data graphically.  Doing it once is a chore.  Doing more than once is a
job for a computer program.  I don't even know what programming language to
use (other than guessing PERL).

I believe that if people had a tool that they could plug their Callsign
into, and see the propagation blossom live on a map, it might be easier for
them to ask: "why does my packet need to be out that far away?", and maybe
cut back on the hops a little.

Any feedback or suggestions would be appreciated.


Jim Alles
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