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Old 03-22-2010, 07:17 PM
CaptnKliegle CaptnKliegle is offline
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: NH
Posts: 2

The network is overwhelmed at times here in NH and elsewhere, just with the terrestrial APRS beacons. Digipeaters are numerous (I have three I take care of) and it only takes a few bad paths or too frequent beacons to QRM the network. We have only one, single frequency for trackers, text messaging, weather data, telemtry, etc.

What folks don't realize is that it only take one I-gate or home user running Ui-View to Igate a position report. Once airborn, you are often in receive range of several of these stations. Especially East of the MS River! Take a look at your raw packet data on and you can see who Igated you and how many hops it took. Better than 95% of the time these I-gates and/or home users hear you first and post your position report on the internet. Any digipeating thereafter is QRM to the network. Essentially restricting all other users from transmitting until the resulting mayhem subsides. It makes no sense to run WIDE1-1, WIDEn-N from an aircraft, and is frowned upon by the creator himself, WB4APR, Bob.

Plus, aircraft trackers HAVE to TX in the blind (dumb tracker, no RXR) , i.e. not waiting for quiet squelch activity. There's no way around not TXing atop of another packet because East of the MS River and up at altitude... the channel is busy 100% time!

An excellent site to study up on the effects of bad paths, frequent beaconing, long TXD, long text, etc etc is:

I highly suggest EVERYONE using APRS in an aircraft to read over it, there's more to operating APRS (properly, efficiently, effectively) than what was in the FCC exam book.

APRS was NOT intended for JUST vehicle tracking, but most users now only do just that.

Beaconing position reports every 30 sec is abusive (at times they're 6 seconds apart!) especially when the wrong path is used... for example, todays example is N519RV:

2010-03-22 16:28:00 EDT: N519RV>ST2T5T,N4GMT-3*,WIDE2-1,qAR,WB4EPG-3:`w+B'[,'/"G{}DIRECT->4M3(32nm),C=409,KD0IQK
2010-03-22 16:28:30 EDT: N519RV>ST2U2X,WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1,qAR,KE5OVE:`w,2'o+'/"Gq}DIRECT->4M3(31nm),C=410,KD0IQK
2010-03-22 16:29:00 EDT: N519RV>ST2V0P,WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1,qAR,KE5OVE:`w- ()-'/"Gs}DIRECT->4M3(30nm),C=411,KD0IQK
2010-03-22 16:29:30 EDT: N519RV>ST2V7U,N4GMT-3*,WIDE2-1,qAR,WB4EPG-3:`w-u(3,'/"Gt}DIRECT->4M3(29nm),C=412,KD0IQK
2010-03-22 16:30:00 EDT: N519RV>ST2W4W,WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1,qAR,KE5OVE:`w.c(=,'/"Gp}DIRECT->4M3(28nm),C=413,KD0IQK
2010-03-22 16:30:30 EDT: N519RV>ST2X2Q,WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1,qAR,KE5OVE:`w/S()-'/"Gr}DIRECT->4M3(27nm),C=414,KD0IQK
2010-03-22 16:31:00 EDT: N519RV>ST2X9X,WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1,qAR,KE5VRO:`w0E(e-'/"Gp}DIRECT->4M3(26nm),C=415,KD0IQK
2010-03-22 16:31:30 EDT: N519RV>ST2Y7R,N4GMT-3*,WIDE2-1,qAR,WB4EPG-3:`w17(o,'/"Gn}DIRECT->4M3(25nm),C=416,KD0IQK
2010-03-22 16:32:00 EDT: N519RV>ST3P5V,LTROCK,WIDE1*,WIDE2-1,qAR,W5CI:`w22)<0x1f>,'/"Gk}DIRECT->4M3(24nm),C=417,KD0IQK
2010-03-22 16:32:30 EDT: N519RV>ST3Q3W,WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1,qAR,KE5OVE:`w3*)o-'/"GN}DIRECT->4M3(23nm),C=418,KD0IQK
2010-03-22 16:33:00 EDT: N519RV>ST3R2S,N4GMT-3*,WIDE2-1,qAR,WB4EPG-3:`w4(*=,'/"F_}DIRECT->4M3(22nm),C=419,KD0IQK
2010-03-22 16:33:30 EDT: N519RV>ST3S1Q,LTROCK,WIDE1*,WIDE2-1,qAR,W5CI:`w5(*G,'/"Ed}DIRECT->4M3(21nm),C=420,KD0IQK
2010-03-22 16:34:00 EDT: N519RV>ST3S9V,WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1,qAR,KE5OVE:`w6%*Q,'/"Dt}DIRECT->4M3(19nm),C=421,KD0IQK
2010-03-22 16:34:30 EDT: N519RV>ST3T8S,WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1,qAR,KE5OVE:`w7$*=,'/"D)}DIRECT->4M3(18nm),C=422,KD0IQK
2010-03-22 16:35:00 EDT: N519RV>ST3U7Q,WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1,qAR,KE5OVE:`w8#*=,'/"C+}DIRECT->4M3(17nm),C=423,KD0IQK
2010-03-22 16:35:30 EDT: N519RV>ST3V5Y,WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1,qAR,KE5OVE:`w9$*Q-'/"B9}DIRECT->4M3(16nm),C=424,KD0IQK
2010-03-22 16:36:00 EDT: N519RV>ST3W5P,WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1,qAR,KE5OVE:`w*Q,'/"AD}DIRECT->4M3(15nm),C=425,KD0IQK
2010-03-22 16:36:30 EDT: N519RV>ST3X3X,WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1,qAR,KE5OVE:`w*[,'/"@]}DIRECT->4M3(13nm),C=426,KD0IQK
2010-03-22 16:37:00 EDT: N519RV>ST3Y2W,LTROCK,WIDE1*,WIDE2-1,qAR,K5MCM:`w<+*e,'/"?i}DIRECT->4M3(12nm),C=427,KD0IQK
2010-03-22 16:37:30 EDT: N519RV>ST4P1W,WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1,qAR,KE5OVE:`w=/*o,'/">r}DIRECT->4M3(11nm),C=428,KD0IQK
2010-03-22 16:38:00 EDT: N519RV>ST4Q0T,WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1,qAR,KE5OVE:`w>/*o,'/">"}DIRECT->4M3(10nm),C=429,KD0IQK
2010-03-22 16:38:30 EDT: N519RV>ST4Q8X,LTROCK,WIDE1*,WIDE2-1,qAR,W5CI:`w?,)Q-'/"=h}DIRECT->4M3(9nm),C=430,KD0IQK
2010-03-22 16:39:00 EDT: N519RV>ST4R7S,WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1,qAR,KE5OVE:`w@)*<0x1f>+'/"<X}DIRECT->4M3(7nm),C=431,KD0IQK
2010-03-22 16:39:30 EDT: N519RV>ST4S5Q,WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1,qAR,KE5OVE:`wA!(G*'/"<F}DIRECT->4M3(6nm),C=432,KD0IQK
2010-03-22 16:40:00 EDT: N519RV>ST4T2S,LTROCK,WIDE1*,WIDE2-1,qAR,W5CI:`wA(<0x1f>''/"<G}DIRECT->4M3(5nm),C=433,KD0IQK
2010-03-22 16:40:30 EDT: N519RV>ST4T9S,LTROCK,WIDE1*,WIDE2-1,qAR,W5CI:`wBx(y*'/"<6}DIRECT->4M3(4nm),C=434,KD0IQK
2010-03-22 16:41:00 EDT: N519RV>ST4U7S,LTROCK,WIDE1*,WIDE2-1,qAR,W5CI:`wCu)y.'/";$}DIRECT->4M3(3nm),C=435,KD0IQK
2010-03-22 16:41:30 EDT: N519RV>ST4V6V,LTROCK,WIDE1*,WIDE2-1,qAR,W5CI:`wDk)[3'/"9S}DIRECT->4M3(2nm),C=436,KD0IQK
2010-03-22 16:41:36 EDT: N519RV>ST4V8V,LTROCK,WIDE1*,WIDE2-1,qAR,W5CI:`wDx(yG'/"9?}DIRECT->4M3(2nm),C=437,KD0IQK
2010-03-22 16:41:42 EDT: N519RV>ST4W0P,LTROCK,WIDE1*,WIDE2-1,qAR,K5MCM:`wDz(oU'/"99}DIRECT->4M3(2nm),C=438,KD0IQK
2010-03-22 16:41:48 EDT: N519RV>ST4W2S,LTROCK,WIDE1*,WIDE2-1,qAR,W5CI:`wDx'&$'/"9;}DIRECT->4M3(1nm),C=439,KD0IQK
2010-03-22 16:42:42 EDT: N519RV>ST4X2Y,LTROCK,WIDE1*,WIDE2-1,qAR,K5MCM:`wE$#<0x1e>s'/"7_}DIRECT->4M3(1nm),C=443,KD0IQK
2010-03-22 16:43:12 EDT: N519RV>ST4X3S,LTROCK,WIDE1*,WIDE2-1,qAR,W5CI:`wEf"<d'/"6/}DIRECT->4M3(0nm),C=444,KD0IQK

Low power (QRP, non need to QRM for hundred miles around you!)
Low TX rate (you don't test flight for NASA or Boeing, so why so many reports?)
Use a simple path of WIDE2-1 (Don't QRM the other users for hundreds of miles!)

Then we can all get along just fine!


Last edited by CaptnKliegle : 03-25-2010 at 06:58 AM.
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Old 09-06-2010, 05:43 PM
Greg Arehart's Avatar
Greg Arehart Greg Arehart is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Delta, CO/Atlin, BC
Posts: 2,328

Interesting to read through this thread again. While I agree with the concept of not clogging the fequency, one of my goals is safety. I had been using Wide 2-1 and not getting decent paths at all. Once, my wife made a couple frantic calls when my path stopped (I was still flying for quite some time, but no hits, so she thought I had gone down! - see track from May 30). This past weekend, I switched to Wide 1-1, Wide 2-1 and got really good results. To show the difference, compare my tracks from May 30 of this year (I actually flew all the way to Ely but the track stops far short of there), or August 14 (the flight went all the way to Elko) with my track from today (September 6). Note that the two earlier flights were at considerably higher elevations (at least some of the time up to 13,000 ft) whereas today I never got above 11,000 and was below 8500 some of the time. The difference in hits and track quality is considerable. I intend to continue using these settings, at least while flying out west, primarily for safety reasons. I will probably decrease my TX frequency and hope that helps with any congestion issues.

Greg Arehart
RV-9B (Big tires) Tipup @AJZ or CYSQ
N 7965A
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Old 04-18-2011, 04:29 PM
gnuse's Avatar
gnuse gnuse is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Georgia / 0GE5 / KSSI
Posts: 379
Default Any changes to APRS configuration recommendations?

Sam or anyone for that matter.......any changes to your original setup screen shots?

As it has been a while, I just thought I would ask prior to sticking mine in the wing tip.

"God does not deduct from one's time on earth that which is spent in the air."
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Old 04-18-2011, 07:54 PM
Sam Buchanan's Avatar
Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is offline
been here awhile
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 3,910

Originally Posted by gnuse View Post
Sam or anyone for that matter.......any changes to your original setup screen shots?

As it has been a while, I just thought I would ask prior to sticking mine in the wing tip.
The screen shots will serve you well. There has been some sniping over the years saying the SmartBeacon settings don't make sense, but they work fine.

Just make sure your tracker isn't too hard to get to in case you want to tweak the config for your particular installation. Somewhere in the forum are some posts about putting a mini-jack in your wingtip so you can reprogram without taking off the tip.

Happy trackin'!
Sam Buchanan
1999 RV-6
1918 Fokker D.VII replica
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:47 PM
gnuse's Avatar
gnuse gnuse is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Georgia / 0GE5 / KSSI
Posts: 379

As always Sam, thanks for your help.

"God does not deduct from one's time on earth that which is spent in the air."
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Old 06-06-2011, 02:18 PM
rdoerr01 rdoerr01 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 115

For those of you who have setup your own I-Gate/DigiPeater, please read the following link to ensure your Station isn't introducing delayed packets back into the APRS Network. Since I have been flying with my Tracket that I have designed/built, I have found 3 Station in the Kansas City area that had this issue of digipeating packets that can be anywhere from minutes to hour old. When this happens in the APRS Network it starts showing trackers jumping back in time and will reject good position reports while accepting old ones.

The statement below was from a HAM in the area that was able to assist the Station owner to correct the problem.

Just to clarify... The station in question is an igate (a station which relays packets from the radio channel to the Internet). I'm not sure if it's a digipeater at all (don't have time to verify now - it's 1 AM and we just won the ice hockey world championship .

The delay can be caused by a bad TNC (Kantronics KPC3+), possibly bad serial line flow control settings, or even a bad Internet line at the igate. I've written a couple of blog posts on the subject:


Ray Doerr
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Old 07-23-2011, 04:55 AM
humptybump's Avatar
humptybump humptybump is offline
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Eastern Shore of Virginia
Posts: 3,111
Default If at all possible, use WIDE2-1

APRS iGate coverage is no uniform. There are a few areas that have very sparse stations. However, from a couple hundred feet elevation, an APRS tracker transmits a long distance.

The start of this thread recommends the APRS bet configured for WIDE2-1. Some trackers come configured for WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1. This is causing some problems when those units get above the ground.

When I was testing my configuration, I thought I was seeing spotty coverage so I reset my tracker and had WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1. Turns ou that was a bad idea.

A local APRS station operator saw the mid atlantic area light up. It turns out that when I was at 3,000 ft, I was directly received from more than 100 miles away and with WIDE1-1, it was relayed further. Stations were trying very hard to relay the packets so it was hitting nearly every station from multiple points. OOPS.

Thankfully they staff at Byonics where I purchased my tracker is very involved with the Amature Radion community side of APRS. They sent me a note with better settings.

If you are running WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1 it would be good to visit one of the Internet tracking sites and take a look at the raw data.

I was looking around and found another aircraft APRS track that had WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1 and it was making stations over 350 miles away. With WIDE1-1 the packets were being repeated and it was creating large numbers of duplicate data.

I confess, prior to finding out my mistake, I never gave much thought to exactly how the APRS system worked and how my tracker participated (and affected) the network.

My new tracker supports two profiles. I'm going to look into a way to switch profiles automatically based on speed (switch at something below stall) so I can have coverage when on the ground but not blanket the network when atvaltitude.
- Glen, ESVA
RV-8 FP IFR | Track my RV-8 | 53VG

Last edited by humptybump : 07-23-2011 at 06:03 AM. Reason: Switching based on speed is more widely applicable than using altitude
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