[OZAPRS] uSmartDigi for the TNC-X

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Sat Nov 4 01:00:41 EST 2006

> Wow, This baby really lets a Sysop take charge.
> Have a read on what the uSmartDigi for the TNC-X is capable 
> of,  http://www.usmartdigi.com/. This is one very smart add 
> on daughterboard for the TNC-X. ...
> ... Eg define Sectors, Circles, Donuts etc 
> etc from a fixed point and whether traffic from the defined 
> areas is dropped or digipeated. Well worth a look.....

Or if missued, it could lead to the fragmentation of APRS into
fiefdoms of unknown and inconsistent performance of the network.
Unless the EXACT performance, limitations, restrictions,
filters, exclusions, traps, and packet modifications performed
by each such "super digi" are included in the 10 minute LOCAL
beacon of said digipeaters, then the users have no clue what is
going on and are powerless to use any flexibility to communicate
to meet their immediate needs in a responsive manner.

I am Not saying there is not an application for such localized
czar control of packets, but in general, I fear the dangers in
many areas are worse to the selmelessness of the network than
any particular problem such draconian measures would appear to
fix.   We have too many digipeaters with absentee sysops that
take months to respond to make responsive changes to their
digipeaters to keep up with the ever changing network.

Yes, back 3 years ago, the APRS network was a mess and a
hodgepdge of too many packets using too many legacy paths, with
no local sysop control, and inconsistent support of any single
common path that would work everywhere.  Many proposals were
made to introduce all kinds of such filtering, trapping, path
modification, etc.. 

But then the best idea evolved that was the New-N Paradigm that 
1) Simplified the user path down to one thing, WIDEn-N that
would work everywehre
2) This totally simplified user education down to one thing (the
value of N)
3) Gave LOCAL SYSOP control of ONE parameter (Trapping HOPS
above N)
4) Included that TRAP N setting in all digi beacons ("Wn") to
inform all users

The result was a consistent network that worked the same
everywehre (which is what APRS is all about)... Had the same
guidance to users everywhere, simplified education, yet gave
local sysop control in a well published and real-time
distributed-to-users display on their radios when in the area.

So I suggest caution in setting up digipeaters with unusual
filters, traps, path conversions, and anything that changes the
sender's intent.  This should only be attempted in live networks
with LIVE digi operators, able to change such draconian settings
in a responsive manner to the real-time needs of the network and
local users.  Although I hear that some areas do have sysops
with such local control, I have not seen any in my area...


> Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2006 09:09:54 +1000
> From: "Darryl Smith" <Darryl at Radio-active.net.au>
> Subject: Re: [OZAPRS] European v US new paradigm and path
> To: "'VK / ZL APRS Users'" <ozaprs at aprs.net.au>
> Message-ID: <04ca01c6f953$d9372730$4e3b780a at dell8600>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
> Also improving Digi hardware would help... Look at the 
> uSmartDigi that goes
> with the TNC-X. It is an amazing piece of software and can 
> solve all manner
> of sins
> Darryk
> ---------
> Darryl Smith, VK2TDS POBox 169 Ingleburn NSW 2565 Australia
> Mobile Number 0412 929 634 [+61 4 12 929 634 Int] - 02 9618
> www.radio-active.net.au/blog/ -
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> Ozaprs mailing list
> Ozaprs at aprs.net.au
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