[aprssig] The Current Meaning of WIDEn-N

Kenneth Finnegan kennethfinnegan2007 at gmail.com
Mon May 19 12:25:35 EDT 2014

>> When I change my path to a single WIDE2-1 or WIDE1-1 (I don't know
>> which is correct), I can finally stay within my ALOHA circle but the
>> low level digis in places like San Luis Obispo county (tight hilly
>> areas with very deep valleys) consume my single hop and I'm never
>> repeated by the high level digis and heard beyond 3-5 miles.
> You are forgetting that you are hitting ALL digipeaters within earshot of
> your mobile SIMULTANEOUSLY and in parallel.   A home digi on the ground may
> be processing your WIDE1-1 hop,  but at the same time one or more
> mountain-top wides that also hear it at the same time are doing the same
> thing.   If the path is WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1, then a second ring of true wides on
> mountain tops hundreds of miles from the first true wide will process the
> second ("WIDE2-1") clause.
> If you use solely "WIDE1-1", then both the valley-floor fill-ins and the
> nearest mountaintop true wides will respond simultaneously.
> If instead, you use "WIDE2-1" alone, you will get a single hop from the
> nearest mountain top(s) with no response at all from the home fill-ins on
> the valley floor.
> [People seem to overlook (or not know) that hops in digipeater path settings
> are processed SEQUENTIALLY -- The first "clause" in the user path settings
> *MUST* be acted upon and fully "used up", before the second one will do
> anything.]

Then it seems like there is no way for me to request the help of
fill-in digis yet limit my wide assistance to only Tassajera (local

What you've described is what I understand the network can do within
the limitations of TNCs. Wouldn't the ideal behavior be that:
WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1 through a low level becomes LOWCALL*,WIDE2-1
LOWCALL*,WIDE2-1 through a wide becomes LOWCALL*,HIGHCAL*
WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1 through a wide becomes WIDE1-1*,HIGHCAL*

Of course, this uses the concept of preemptive digipeating, which you
have specifically called out as not a thing, yet aprs.org has a whole
page on it.

It seems that getting rid of RELAY has sacrificed the ability to use
fill-ins while ensuring I stay out of the bay area's digipeaters.

>> Furthermore, analysis of bulk APRS traffic from APRS-IS is showing
>> 850ppm of packets being Igated with paths containing hops such as
>> WIDE1-2 or WIDE2-3, which are complete non-sense according to any of
>> the official meanings for WIDEn-N.
> They ARE complete nonsense and indicate confused, ignorant or clueless
> users......

But if the only meaning of the first number is that fill-ins should
respond or not, isn't there no difference between WIDE2-3 and WIDE3-3?
How clueless are they? Wouldn't it be much more clear to call the
first number the "minimum digipeater level" so WIDE1-1 would request a
hop from at least a level 1 digi and WIDE2-2 would request two hops
from at least level 2 digis?

The WIDE1-2 is the only real issue I see in the mal-formed paths, due
to the second hop of WIDE1-1.

Your site also specifically says that only the first WIDE digi should
insert their callsign, but isn't non-trace digis considered bad
behavior now? I thought all digis should insert their callsign? Is
there documentation on the complete expected behavior of an APRS
digipeater somewhere? The closest I've found is the aprs.org's list of
commands to feed into specific pieces of hardware and Scott Miller's
http://wiki.argentdata.com/index.php?title=Digipeater_Setup , both of
which are targeted at existing hardware and not at developers.

Kenneth Finnegan

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