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

Pete Loveall AE5PL Lists hamlists at ametx.com
Sun Jun 30 09:48:52 EDT 2019

Bob, it is not using an unnumbered format, contrary to your statement:

PSAT2-1>APOFF,ARISS,qAR,VK6HAM-2::EMAIL    :changed.to at prevent.spam PSAT2 reporting Home [004960,0I801]{019

If you did not ignore my objections, then why did you try to promote it here last night?  Even if the server for EMAIL was on the air, using a numbered message as a broadcast message is not how the servers function and your original post was stating it is "exciting" to misuse that server (numbered messages as broadcast email generators).  That is what I object to and the blatant promotion of trying to misuse the EMAIL servers when they are trying to perform bidirectional communications per the spec and you are promoting "spoofing" them into sending email without bidirectional communications.  What your stated original intent was in 1990 to simply provide line numbering is not what is in the spec so let's not try to break everything that has been written since the spec because you didn't think it through 2 years ago...

I appreciate your continued development of satellites and other amateur radio projects that require a huge amount of effort.  After I expressed to you privately the issues involved with trying to do this and requested that you focus on telemetry collection using telemetry packets and I also stated that generating an email using your own server based on that data collection is the modern way to go that does not go against the intent of the email servers, the APRS numbered message protocol, and unidirectional SATGATE functionality, you ceased communication and failed to indicate that the Sprouls had taken down their server.  Even if I get one of the sysops who expressed interest in setting up a replacement server, it still would not support your PSAT messages (for other reasons which I also told you about).

My recommendation to you: if your PSAT message is hard coded and cannot be disabled or changed, I recommend one of your computer experts write some simple code to connect read-only to an APRS-IS server-side filter port (port 14580), set a filter of b/PSAT2*, and have that code send you an email when it sees the message from PSAT2 (plus you can easily collect all the telemetry data and any other packets being generated by the satellite with that code).  I recommend you approach it this way instead of trying to get someone to set up a server without knowledge of the ramifications of what it means to setup such a server.

Again, I appreciate your extensive and exhaustive efforts in supporting these projects.  I just wish you would promote the good things. Leave the things that go against the spec or other intended purposes of independently provided services rest.


Pete Loveall AE5PL
pete at ae5pl dot net

-----Original Message-----
From: aprssig <aprssig-bounces at lists.tapr.org> On Behalf Of Robert Bruninga
Sent: Sunday, June 30, 2019 7:55 AM
To: TAPR APRS Mailing List <aprssig at lists.tapr.org>
Subject: Re: [aprssig] APRS Email from Space! (ET Phone Home)

As I explained before, when Pete raised his objection back in March, it was already after PSAT2 had gone through software certification and was less than a month to delivery when it is impossible to change flight software after all space qualification testing has completed.

Then two years of incremental launch delays just one or two months at a time brings us to here.  In March I contacted you to let you know that the Sproul Brothers had agreed to release the original "EMAIL" address and I asked if you wanted to support it (in addition to your EMAIL2 engine).

I wanted to make sure an "EMAIL" engine existed because that was what was already programmed into PSAT2 and could not be changed.

When you objected to my experiment, it was too late and there was nothing I could do to change the experiment.   So do not think that I simply ignored your objections.  It was just too late and I had enough other things that urgently needed attention and so no need to keep arguing.

The main APRS value is being a one-to-all packet distribution system.  But with one exception, messages.  And so the APRS design included the ability to send one-to-one messages as well to cut down on unnecessary "broadcast" when there was a single intended recepient.  It also included an optional line number in case the sender wanted to get an ACK.

PSAT2 uses an un-numbered APRS message format to send me an EMAIL status once a day so that I can be aware of its status wherever I can receive email.  It depends on a working "EMAIL" engine to pull that status report from the APRS-IS and forward it to my email address.

Bob, Wb4APR

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