[aprssig] Discouraging long paths and other bad settings

Paula g8pzt at blueyonder.co.uk
Tue Jan 15 16:12:16 EST 2013

I have nothing sensible to say on this subject, as I don't understand what 
you're aguing about, but...

I was trawling through this thread getting rather annoyed at the perjorative 
language used (e.g. "evil", "perpertrator", "offender", "witless", "abuser") 
and by the assumption that "bad guys" who set "wrong" paths are of low 

Then at last, a breath of fresh air from Brian Webster, who points out what 
might be the real problem, which is a lack of *knowledge* not a lack of 

I have been around Packet Radio from the very beginning, and I consider 
myself to have average intelligence. At least good enough to write software 
for most of the ax25 and TCP/IP protocols the hard way, long before "open 
source" made everyone and his dog a programmer.

Of all the dozens of protocols I've implemented, APRS has been the most 
frustrating. The APRS protocol spec is "fuzzy" and difficult to understand. 
The goal posts keep moving, and recommended "good practice" has changed so 
many times, I've lost track.

It may all be obvious to those who do nothing else but APRS all day, but to 
be honest most of what you lot argue about in this forum might as well be 
written in Swahili as far as I'm concerned.

I WANT to understand APRS, but as Brian points out, the documentation is 
weak, and the truth is hard to find amongst the dross. Where is the simple, 
authoritative documentation? If it doesn't exist, because "this is amateur, 
not professional radio", then you can't be surprised that there are people 
like myself who are lost.

I wouldn't dare transmit an APRS packet these days, in case someone bit my 
head off for being a clueless idiot!

73, Paula

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Brian Webster"

> The problem as I see it on most cases of bad paths, is a lack of 
> education.
> Most of the problem with this education seems to be relative to the lack 
> of
> standards coupled (I know we have recommended settings, but documentation 
> is
> weak) along with a good centralized authoritative documentation system for
> APRS. It's understandable it does not exist in a volunteer organization 
> such
> as this. That takes a lot of work. We easily assume most people actually 
> do
> research and thoroughly SEEK OUT and read documentation when they start a
> particular aspect of the hobby. For those new and clueless to APRS the,
> coolest whiz bang feature is making yourself visible on the internet for 
> all
> to see. They have no idea how they are getting to the internet based web
> sites nor any clue to the consequences of the ramifications of path 
> setting
> to the RF network that gets them on the internet. We assume most people 
> have
> a much greater knowledge than they typically possess. 

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