[aprssig] is there a complete APRS primer out there?

Andrew P. andrewemt at hotmail.com
Wed Jan 6 11:14:08 EST 2016

> http://www.aprs.org/

Well, that's the most obvious raw source of information, but it is not organized as a clear and efficient tutorial for the newbie, hence my proposed documentation project. I expect much information from WB4APR's website would be included or referenced in the proposed document, but not in the order presented on the website.

Andrew, KA2DDO

From: Andrew P. via aprssig <aprssig at tapr.org>
To: "aprssig at tapr.org" <aprssig at tapr.org>
Sent: Tuesday, January 5, 2016 9:36 PM
Subject: [aprssig] is there a complete APRS primer out there?

Greetings, all.

I've been receiving complaints/suggestions from my software users regarding the difficulty of properly configuring an APRS station to "play nicely" with others. Does anyone know of a good complete summary for the APRS newbie that explains how (and why) they should set up their station a particular way so both they and other users will have optimal use of the APRS network? Things like:

  *   symbol choices,
  *   SSID preferences,
  *   tocall values,
  *   propagation, bandwidth, and local capacity (aloha limit) issues,
  *   beaconing rates and digipeat paths, especially for the special cases of fixed station, mobile station, and fixed digipeater announcing Local Information about repeaters for mobile users,
  *   transmit power and antenna height,
  *   geographically where it is good vs. bad to deploy a digipeater, Rx-only I-gate, or Tx I-gate,
  *   special rules for the balloon and rocket trackers, and even for ground-based Tx-only trackers,
  *   etc., etc., etc.

If no one knows of a good document that I can point them at, I would like to start composing/compiling one, based on the collected (or, more accurately, scattered) wisdom we've accrued over the past 20+ years of APRS operations. In the latter case, suggestions of good partial documents that I can draw upon for wisdom would also be appreciated. I'm looking to end up with a single document (or small set of linked web pages) that isn't product-specific, but applies to all vendors and types of hardware and software, doing special cases by function (tracker vs. digipeater, for example) rather than by specific product instances.

If we can come up with something like this, we should then reference it from everywhere to cut down on the repeated "How do I set up my station?" requests we keep getting because it _is_ difficult to figure out until you become a wizard that understands in detail the innards of how the network works.

Just my $.02.

Andrew Pavlin, KA2DDO
author of YAAC ("Yet Another APRS Client")

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