[aprssig] Digipeater FCC ID Requirements

Kenneth Finnegan kennethfinnegan2007 at gmail.com
Mon May 19 14:19:36 EDT 2014

I've seen this conversation come up countless times while researching
my thesis, so I thought I would clarify what my understanding is for
digipeater FCC ID requirements.  Someone please correct me if I'm

The suggested digi beacon schedule is every ten minutes with the follow paths:
1. "WIDE2-2"
2. ""
3. ""
4. "WIDE2-1"
5. ""
6. ""

I take it to understand that periods 2,3,5, and 6 are using empty digi
paths when people say "DIRECT."

I'm also seeing that some listings leave the 4th slot as an empty path
or not beaconing at all if I'm interpreting the TNC commands

The great debate is whether a digi is required to beacon every 10
minutes at all. I don't see anything wrong with trace-enabled digis
depending on IDing by appending their callsign to paths. We already
use the argument that the callsign just needs to be somewhere in the
packet (and I see many that aren't at all obvious as to what their
call is), so that argument should hold for callsigns in the consumed
digi path as well, yes? This would allow low level digis to beacon on
lower intervals (i.e. 30 minutes with a path of ""). The only
exception to this would be digis that don't use an FCC callsign but
use tactical calls, which would still be required to beacon ID every
ten minutes with their FCC call in their status text.

For low level digipeaters that don't support proportional pathing, my
temptation would be to recommend a path every ten minutes of "". Fun
fact: in testing I have discovered that this triggers a bug in some RF
gates (namely APRX) that stations never get added to the "recently
heard" database if they NEVER request any kind of hop.  Before I
submit a patch for that, can I get confirmation that it's kosher to
run trackers with an empty path?
Kenneth Finnegan, W6KWF

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