[aprssig] APRS-IS and metadata

Borja Marcos ea2ekh at gmail.com
Thu Aug 17 03:35:30 EDT 2023


I am new to the list, I hope this is the right place to discuss this issue. This is not a complete proposal, of course,
just a “weather balloon” ;)

As many members will be aware, there is an effort underway to use LoRa modulation on 433 MHz for
APRS. There are several open source projects which, as a plus, are based on dirt cheap and easy to obtain


There is also one commercial product available, picoAPRS LoRa. It is more pricey, but, well, all of us know
that developing and supporting an actual product is hard.


All of it is a bit ad-hoc now with no agreed standards (as far as I know). While some of the developers have
agree informally to use APL?? device IDs for LoRa based equipment, not every developer is following that

As far as I know there are also other modems/phys used with APRS. For example VARA on HF.

I think it would be great to add some metadata to the databses used by the APRS mapping applications including,
as a minimum, a modem/phy identification (and frequency, which could be useful for HF) so that they can be
more useful to study/check certain kinds of APRS activity. 

Right now, for example, there are dashboards relying just on APL??? device IDs. 


Another interesting possibility offered by a more flexible database model could be adding some metadata specific
to certain modems. As an example, LoRa chips can provide RSSI and SNR data which could prove valuable for 
propagation/coverage studies.

What do you think?


Borja Marcos / EA2EKH

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