[aprssig] Open Source/Commercial Use acceptable APRS Alternative?

Scott Howard showard at nd.edu
Wed Aug 16 10:56:15 EDT 2023

On Tue, Aug 15, 2023 at 7:36 PM John Gorkos <jgorkos at gmail.com> wrote:
> I started this thread because I got the impression that Bob didn't want non-amateur use of the APRS protocol.  If that's not the case, it's all kind of moot.  But if it opens the door to discussions of new protocols and new applications of our technology that can serve to keep us relevant, well, that's not a bad thing.

I think you hit on an open question that will define the future of
APRS: what is APRS? Is it the physical layer, the protocol, the
application, or some combination of the three? Is APRS trying to do
too much by trying to do all three at the same time? APRS's success
came about because it provided all three simultaneously, but the
current state of technology and applications might be pushing to more
interoperability (Helium/Things Network LoRaWAN and the VHF APRS
network and the HF APRS network all able to message with each other
via somegateways or repeaters+translators or APRS-IS). That could be
some kind of mega-APRS using the existing APRS protocol and
infrastructure. There's nothing stopping that from happening right now
(I believe), as ARPS-IS would just see a gateway, and it's the new
developer's job to make the gateway bi-directional and the packets be
properly formatted for parsing and relaying to and from the existing

There's a role for the APRS foundation that was started last year to
moderate discussions for changes to the protocol (supporting new
applications, for example). The current application protocol is
designed for a specific physical layer implementation, which isn't
ideal - so supporting both interoperable networks and evolving
application interests might be something for the new group to

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