[aprssig] Proposal for APRS tocalls allocation process

Heikki Hannikainen hessu at hes.iki.fi
Thu Feb 17 03:12:25 EST 2022


I drafted a proposal for an APRS deviceid allocation policy. The idea is 
to have a document which specifies what kind of things are allocated 
unique APRS device identifiers (tocalls, mic-e type codes), what data goes 
in the allocation, and how it gets done. This would in turn help people 
requesting allocations create good requests, and help the team doing 
allocations to do a consistent job.

The data contents described match what is *already* in the existing 
database, and the database is already used by a number of applications in 
this form and format, so at this point I would not change it much. There 
is more space for discussion in the surrounding process and policy.

On "who gets an allocation": I think the main point is that everyone 
creating and distributing APRS things (devices, software, services) should 
get one, and the maintainers should only reject applications if they do 
not meet the written criteria. Requests and responses should be public so 
that the process is open and everyone sees if the allocations happen like 
they should.

I added a clause saying unique, personal experimental stations should not 
be allocated with identifiers, because I'm afraid there might be many 
requests for such, and the database size may grow with such quite a lot, 
if it becomes a norm to allocate vanity tocalls which are then only used 
by a single station. There is one ticket from last week requesting 8 
different tocalls for an individual, and I'm not entirely sure what to do 
about it before getting more information from the requestor. In 
experimental use & unique custom scripts it might be simpler and more 
effective to just describe the station in the comment field.

I considered adding something about how unused identifiers could be 
removed after a few years of inactivity, but couldn't come up with a good 
wording, and some old devices may reappear later on, so I left it out. 
Maybe it can be added later if necessary, if/when the database size is 
annoyingly big.

The document focuses on destination callsign allocations, Mic-E specific 
details are missing for now and might go to a second document.

PR: https://github.com/hessu/aprs-deviceid/pull/60

Direct link to the proposal:


Please read through it, and comment. If there are obvious speling 
mistakes, weird English or such, you can just make a review note on Github 

   - Hessu, OH7LZB/AF5QT

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