[aprssig] Missing Digipeater

spam8mybrain spam8mybrain at yahoo.com
Fri Feb 7 11:46:36 EST 2020

Ok, let's look at some of your assumptions.
1. Digipeater != I-gate. Just because a station is a digipeater does not mean it has Internet connectivity. In fact, the characteristics of a good digipeater site (high on a mountain) tends to make it difficult to get an Internet connection, so most I-gates are home stations, and very few I-gates are also digipeaters. So the digipeater could be operating fine, but no I-gates are operating within range to forward its packets to the APRS-IS backbone.2. Your station may or may not be able to communicate directly with the W7SRA digipeater. Check your logs from when you were last hearing the digipeater's beacons, and look at the digipeat path. Was there another (fill-in) digipeater between you and the W7SRA digi? If so, is _that_ digipeater still operating? Note that said fill-in digi may not do path tracing, so you'll have to check if any aliases were used up, even if the fill-in digi's callsign wasn't inserted into the path.Basically, if you were depending on a fill-in digi, and it's gone out of service, it's not the wide-area digipeater's fault that you can't hear it without the fill-in. 3. What _is_ the range and coverage of your station? Check the locations of all stations you can hear directly (without digipeating) to see what your coverage is? Did some building project near you recently add an obstruction to your line-of-sight to the digi you were directly using (without intermediate relays)?For example, my QTH is on the North side of a granite hill (not at the top), such that I can walk up my back yard and look _down_ at my 25-foot-high antennas. So I cannot see any stations to the South directly, only via digipeater.4. As has been said many times before, aprs.fi is _NOT_ a propagation analysis tool. The APRS-IS backbone deliberately drops duplicate packets, so only the first I-gate to insert a particular packet into the network will have its packet path counted.5. Please be nice to your fellow ham radio operators. Remember, these digipeaters and I-gates are not a government-funded public service. Just like voice repeaters, they are privately owned by individuals or clubs, who are prohibited by law from being financially compensated for running these stations (and tower rentals are _expensive_!), and have no obligation to run them other than their charitable instincts towards the general amateur radio community (or at least to their dues-paying club membership).Many people who were gifting to the community in this way (or in other related areas like open-source free software) have given up doing so because of obnoxious users who were either abusing the resource or were demanding a level of customer support one would only get from a business if you were paying for a high-level support contract (and these people are doing it in their spare time after their day-jobs at their own expense).So please be nice to the people who are allowing you to use their stations.Andrew, KA2DDOauthor of YAAC (one of those open-source free software packages)

-------- Original message --------
From: wa7skg <wa7skg at wa7skg.com> 
Date: 2/7/20  10:41  (GMT-05:00) 
To: aprssig at lists.tapr.org 
Subject: [aprssig] Missing Digipeater 

We have a prominent digipeater in our area (W7SRA) that has excellent coverage and most of the stations I hear are relayed through it. According to my logs and looking at aprs.fi, it was last active on 1/26 at 2218L. The aprs.fi log does show one beacon on 2/6 at 0122L, but no other activity as best as I can tell.Since it went down, I now receive almost no information from anyone but one station a mile from me I hear direct and an occasional transient mobile.I believe my equipment is working properly and I believe the aprs.fi website is also functioning and reporting properly. I have tried contacting the sysop who basically said as far as he is concerned the digipeater is functioning properly and he will entertain no further communication on the subject. I received that info indirectly, as no one will tell me who the actual sysop is so I may contact him directly.I guess my question is, am I interpreting the information on aprs.fi correctly? Other than aprs.fi and my own base station (my mobile station is not operational at this time), are there any other ways to determine if a digipeater is functioning? If it is functioning properly, why does it not show up on aprs.fi?BTW, I am still very new to APRS and trying to figure all this out.Thanks for any comments or suggestions.Michael WA7SKG_______________________________________________aprssig mailing listaprssig at lists.tapr.orghttp://lists.tapr.org/mailman/listinfo/aprssig_lists.tapr.org
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