[aprssig] APRS Email from Space! (ET Phone Home)

Pete Loveall AE5PL Lists hamlists at ametx.com
Sun Jun 30 07:15:21 EDT 2019

I am harsh because Bob approached me about this before the launch of PSAT 2 and I told him at that time that the email servers rely on APRS numbered messaging to differentiate between messages, to report to the sender the status of an email being sent or not, and to prevent abuse of someone generating SPAM (you have a very limited definition of SPAM which does not make my statement factually incorrect) by blasting a server with repetitive emails to a single person.

Because you don't find the content of messages "exciting" that are generated by people experimenting with amateur radio (I thought that is how amateur radio started) doesn't make Bob's statement about a satellite bot trying to generate meaningless emails being "exciting" accurate.  I will argue it is a lot more "exciting" that amateur radio operators are experimenting than setting a bot up to generate packets to servers that violate what the servers were set up to do in the first place.

Steve, you may not think it is one of those times but because I had already gone through this in much more detail with Bob before the launch and because Bob decided to do it anyway, I felt it was time. I did explain to Bob in detail that this would do nothing to advance amateur radio, APRS, or satellite use by explaining exactly what you stated in your "rather senseless" line and if he wanted to generate emails, create a server that monitors APRS-IS and sends him an email when it sees packets from PSAT 2 without having the satellite trying to use numbered messaging without the ability to ack or receive numbered messages in response which is what the email servers require.

Hope this explains why I was very disappointed in Bob's actions and that we are in agreement that this brings nothing to amateur radio or APRS and detracts from the good things PSAT 2 could be providing.


Pete Loveall AE5PL
pete at ae5pl dot net

-----Original Message-----
From: aprssig <aprssig-bounces at lists.tapr.org> On Behalf Of Steve Dimse
Sent: Saturday, June 29, 2019 11:34 PM
To: Pete Loveall AE5PL Lists via aprssig <aprssig at lists.tapr.org>
Subject: Re: [aprssig] APRS Email from Space! (ET Phone Home)

> On Jun 29, 2019, at 8:58 PM, Pete Loveall AE5PL Lists via aprssig <aprssig at lists.tapr.org> wrote:
> Pity you wouldn't listen that those servers are -communications- servers which rely on the bidirectional aspects of APRS messaging and you are trying to brute force an email being -broadcast- from a satellite with no benefit other than making you feel good that you are breaking your own protocol.
> There is nothing exciting about demoing SPAM generation from an inanimate computer in space.  There is plenty of that done right hear on earth every day.
> There are a large number of hams, however, that use the email/APRS servers to benefit amateur radio by providing communications between their stations and recipients on the Internet.  That is exciting and has been in place for many, many years.
This seems awfully harsh, and to a large extent factually incorrect. SPAM is email to a recipient that does not want it, so clearly that term does not apply here. It also implies a bulk quality that one email to one recipient per 24 hours hardly approaches.

Also, if one looks at the messages to email over the last few weeks


one sees no evidence of "exciting" communications, it is about 99% "test" messages - the most exciting is a "happy valentines day" on June 22 (really???) So what if one a day is from a satellite?

That said, it does seem rather senseless, since all the packets are caught by IGates and appear on the APRS IS and the various database web sites, including the telemetry which carries far more info than the email. 

I'm not shy about calling Bob out when he does something damaging, but this just isn't one of those times...

Steve K4HG

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