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

Burton Sampley bsmply at gmail.com
Wed Jan 6 11:54:27 EST 2016

Greetings Everyone,

I have been lurking on this group for a while.  I agree with Andrew, there
is a wealth of information on http://www.aprs.org, but the way it is
currently organized is very difficult for a "newbie" to find a good,
concise "recipe" for their first APRS setup and configuration.  When I
first started getting interested in APRS, I dug through the site and was
quickly lost in the sea of information.  I eventually figured it out and
got on the air using a borrowed KPC3+ and some homebrewed cables.  I'm
still not 100% sure I have my KPC3+ configured correctly, but I have
confirmed through http://aprs.fi and running XASTIR with an internet only
connection that I am getting something reasonable transmitted over RF.

>From a "newbie" perspective, I would like to see a configuration guide,
showing the common TNC's as well as recommendations on proper timings and
settings.  I would also like to see some real-world examples of both
hardware and software configurations for those of us who do not have a
Kenwood rig with a built-in TNC.  I was able to find some websites with
information like this, but it was specific to their personal use, not a
generalized document that Andrew appears to want to create.

I would like to help with this documentation project, however I am already
over-committed (work, family and commitments to SJRA).  I should be able to
find time to review the document.  Please contact me off-list to coordinate.


Burton, NJ2IT

On Wed, Jan 6, 2016 at 11:14 AM, Andrew P. via aprssig <aprssig at tapr.org>

> > 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")
> http://www.ka2ddo.org/ka2ddo/YAAC.html
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Your mind is like a parachute, it works much better when it is open.
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