[OZAPRS] Fwd: Re: Foundation and RF APRS new thread

vk2tv vk2tv at exemail.com.au
Sat Dec 21 14:19:23 AEDT 2019

Ticked the wrong box and sent this only to Norm.

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: 	Re: [OZAPRS] Foundation and RF APRS new thread
Date: 	Sat, 21 Dec 2019 13:49:08 +1100
From: 	vk2tv <vk2tv at exemail.com.au>
To: 	Norm McMillan <vk3xci at gmail.com>

Given the international use of APRS, aprs-is and sites like aprs.fi, a 
3F callsign has the potential to cause a problem. Would you like YOUR 
callsign appearing on aprs.fi if you didn't initiate it? We shouldn't be 
trying to fix one problem by creating other problems.

I don't see having the callsign as an object as problematic, per se, but 
the aprs-is authorisation to allow a station to send an object is based 
on the callsign (without SSID) that's set in the config file (certainly 
for xastir and Direwolf). Whilst that config file "might" accept a 
callsign longer than 6 characters, and so might aprs.is we eventually 
hit the AX25 specification conflict that will probably drop an 
improperly formatted source station address - a letter appearing in the 
numerical -only SSID field -, or maybe corrupt the callsign therein.

Australian amateurs can use vk, vi or ax, under prescribed circumstances 
so maybe something along the lines of an extension of the (say) VI 
prefix to allow Foundation licencees to use it would be a simple 
solution - Jack could become VI3JTS, as an example. Perhaps the use of a 
data friendly callsign could be optional for stations who need it. I'm 
just tossing ideas into the air, we need to start somewhere to resolve 
the mess.

Can anyone confirm/deny that the WIA is actually working with the ACMA 
on a solution, or is everyone waiting for somebody else to start the 
ball rolling? Just curious. If the ball isn't already rolling, maybe we 
from this group should start its journey. Maybe Jack should contact his 
local federal member of parliament, asking him to find out why the ACMA 
permitted the use of data by Foundation licencees but kept a callsign 
structure that prevents that happening in practice. Take it up with the 
Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, there must be a disabled Foundation 
licencee who wants to use Packet/APRS but can't because the callsign 
structure discriminates against him/her. Play it for all it's worth. We 
have both the power and the right to make a noise about this and we 
shouldn't have to wait years for a result.

Soapbox safely stowed away ... for now:-)

Ray vk2tv

On 21/12/19 12:59 pm, Norm McMillan wrote:
> Hmmmm,
> looks like all the nF... prefixes are internationally allocated, is 
> that going to cause a problem?
> The proper answer of course, is to get rid of the 4 letter suffix, the 
> numerical area id suffix, and have a "callsign for life"
> Like that's going to happen!
> For now, I'll tell users to use nFxxx and put a callsign in the 
> comment line. It's all we've got 'till someone tell me different.
> norm vk3xci
> norm vk3xci!
> On Sat, Dec 21, 2019 at 11:34 AM Josh <vk2hff at vk2hff.ampr.org 
> <mailto:vk2hff at vk2hff.ampr.org>> wrote:
>     Hi Norm,
>     On 21/12/2019 10:30 am, Norm McMillan wrote:
>     > Someone with more knowledge than I might like to comment on the
>     > legality of both cases? I'm not an APRSdroid user so I don't know if
>     > it's possible to put a comment with a callsign in APRSdroid.
>     Yes, APRSdroid allows a custom comment but defaults to the
>     aprsdroid URL
>     if no comment is provided.
>     Regarding legality, there is no requirement to identify yourself on
>     every transmission.
>     And your ID doesn't have to be sent via AX.25 - sending your full
>     callsign via CW (or voice etc) once every 10 minutes would fulfill the
>     requirement, providing it was sent on the same frequency as your APRS
>     transmissions - not that I'd recommend this option.
>     Including your callsign in your APRS beacon comment field would
>     obviously also meet the requirement.  From ACMA's perspective your
>     APRS
>     object name does not have to match your callsign - that's just our
>     convention for position beacons.
>     >
>     > Another question... would a 3F*** call be gated IS to RF? Guess it
>     > depends on the software etc.
>     >
>     That comes down to each individual igate's configuration.
>     As an example, mine won't gate any objects from IS to RF except for
>     messages for nearby stations recently heard directly via RF, or
>     WXSVR-AU
>     alerts within my igate's area. The callsign makes no difference.
>     IMO the best approach for F calls is to set their callsign field to
>     nFxxx, and include their full callsign in the comment field.
>     - Josh VK2HFF
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