[aprssig] Event Time Data Extension Proposal

Kenneth Finnegan kennethfinnegan2007 at gmail.com
Fri Jan 27 00:17:47 EST 2017

On Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 7:58 AM, Robert Bruninga <bruninga at usna.edu> wrote:

> VALUE: a properly formatted repeater FREQUENCY named object shows all of
> this info in a single packet:
> [...snip...]
> * Weekly NET times
> * Monthly club Meeting dates

As far as I can tell, the format for net and meeting times is only
mentioned in passing 3/4 of the way down on the freq spec and local info
pages without a specific recommendation on format. Running some queries on
my database of APRS traffic, it looks like the use of NET and MTG notes
is... remarkably low.

To give operators more concrete guidance on what to enter, and maybe even
be computer-parsable, I'd like to propose and solicit feedback on an "Event
Time Data Extension"


Event Time Data Extension Specification

This document formalizes the radio net and in-person meeting time spec
which is mentioned in the APRS Freq Spec text file (
http://www.aprs.org/info/freqspec.txt). This data extension is meant to
indicate weekly or monthly nets/meetings which would be of interest to
amateur radio operators. It does not include any information on where or
what frequency the event happens, so that should be clear from the context
of the rest of the packet. (i.e. Meeting events could be included in a
"club shack" object beacon, and net events could be in repeater object
beacons or accompanied by a freq spec)

These data extensions may be used similar to all other APRS data
extensions, so may be included anywhere in location packet comment fields,
in status packets, in object comment fields, messages, etc.

The length of this data extension is not limited to 7 bytes and may be
dynamic based on the specificity of the event time.

These data extensions are not meant to replace ISO 8601 time/date stamps,
which should be used for specific non-recurring events such as annual

There is no way to express biweekly events in this extension. Other methods
should be used to advertise events on that schedule.

[Event Identifier](Week of Month)[Day of Week][Time of Day](Time zone

Items in square brackets are required; those in parenthesis are optional.

The event identifier indicates what kind of event is being advertised:

   - NET - Radio net
   - MTG - Club or social in-person meeting

Week of month is optional to indicate that an event only happens on a
certain week of a month. Value may be one or more of:

   - 1st
   - 2nd
   - 3rd
   - 4th
   - 5th

Day of week is required and indicates the days of the week an event
happens. Values may be one or more of:

   - Mo (Monday)
   - Tu (Tuesday)
   - We (Wednesday)
   - Th (Thursday)
   - Fr (Friday)
   - Sa (Saturday)
   - Su (Sunday)

The week of the month is calculated per day, not including partial weeks
where the day of interest falls in the previous month.

Time of Day is required and indicates the time of the event in 24h local
time. It is a four digit number less than 2400.

The time zone abbreviation is an optional indication of which time zone is
used, and should only be used when near the edge of two time zones and it's
unclear which conventional local time to use. This field should be very
rarely used.

NETTu1745 - A net happens weekly on Tuesday at 5:45PM.

MTG2ndWe1900 - A meeting happens on the second Wednesday of the month at

NETMoTuWeThFr0900 - The morning talknet happens every weekday at 9AM.

MTG1st3rdSu1000 - Brunch is had on the first and third Sundays of the month
at 10AM

Kenneth Finnegan, W6KWF
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