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

vk2tv vk2tv at exemail.com.au
Sun Dec 22 08:09:17 AEDT 2019

Thanks Norm.

I see that document was released just 3 weeks ago, and it seems to be a 
great concept. I hope that any outcomes, especially for the Foundation 
callsign debacle, aren't years away.

I wonder how many others, like me, hadn't considered the possibility of 
ALL callsigns coming from the same pool? Interesting concept, and off 
the top of my head I can't see anything wrong with it. Thanks for 
thinking outside the box.

Ray vk2tv

On 21/12/19 5:38 pm, Norm McMillan wrote:
> Here we go.
> https://www.wia.org.au/newsevents/news/2019/20191130-20/index.php
> IMHO, we're never going to run out of VKN*** callsigns, so lets 
> utilise what we have. I'm not sure we need to diff. between licence 
> classes as the info is available online. There are known failings with 
> the old system, X** and Z** tech calls being one, N** novice calls 
> another. Funny they had the same root; licence class disestablished 
> and callsign into the general pool. I like the idea of a callsign for 
> life too.
> Off soapbox
> norm vk3xci
> On Sat, Dec 21, 2019 at 4:51 PM Graeme <graeme at abrona.com.au 
> <mailto:graeme at abrona.com.au>> wrote:
>     Any formal solution needs to cater for VK0F.. through VK9F, not
>     just dropping the 3 in VK3F. Abbreviating by omitting the digit
>     risks producing clashes locally.
>     Graeme VK2HFG
>     *From:* vk2tv
>     *Sent:* Saturday, December 21, 2019 4:25 PM
>     *To:* oz >> Australian APRS Users
>     *Subject:* [OZAPRS] Fwd: Re: Fwd: Re: Foundation and RF APRS new
>     thread
>     I'm a slow learner, ticked the wrong box again. Ho hum!
>     -------- Forwarded Message --------
>     Subject: 	Re: [OZAPRS] Fwd: Re: Foundation and RF APRS new thread
>     Date: 	Sat, 21 Dec 2019 16:24:49 +1100
>     From: 	vk2tv mailto:vk2tv at exemail.com.au
>     To: 	Carlos PECO BERROCAL mailto:carlos.peco at gmail.com
>     Hi Carlos,
>     I got my information from here
>     https://rsgb.org/main/operating/licensing-novs-visitors/international-prefixes/
>     and here
>     https://www.qrz.com/atlas <https://www.qrz.com/atlas>(enter Panama
>     in the search box)
>     I did search for a full example of a 3F callsign but didn't find one.
>     You could be right but I think that a permanent and sensible
>     solution to the Foundation callsign debacle is the preferred route
>     to take.
>     I suggested VI and you suggest AX but in retrospect I see a
>     problem with both of them in that if any amateur can use VI or AX
>     for special occasions, logically the entire VI or AX blocks are
>     already be "allocated".
>     I've been messing about looking for a temporary solution for Jack
>     and using an ALIAS instead of a callsign seems to tick all the boxes.
>     1. In an instance of xastir I used the ALIAS VKFTVZ as the station
>     "callsign" . In the "Comment" box I put "vk2tv APRS test" (beacon
>     text in other systems)
>     2. I created a passcode for the ALIAS, VKFTVZ and entered that in
>     the interface control box of xastir
>     3. I was able to send my normal xastir instance on another machine
>     a message and from that machine I sent a reply. All good.
>     4. aprs.fi <http://aprs.fi> shows the ALIAS and the beacon that
>     was sent ... 2019-12-21 16:03:42 AEDT:*VKFTVZ
>     <https://aprs.fi/?c=raw&limit=&call=VKFTVZ>*>APX215,TCPIP*,qAC,T2TAS:=3102.12S/15252.72E`vk2tv
>     APRS test
>     5. The use of an ALIAS (maximum of 6 characters to met the AZ25
>     spec) should pass unimpeded through Igates. And FWIW, an ALIAS can
>     have an SSID, just like a callsign can.
>     On the surface this method seems to solve Jack's problem of using
>     a callsign (ALIAS, actually) that resembles his real callsign,
>     sends his real callsign in the beacon, satisfies aprs.fi
>     <http://aprs.fi>,
>     lets him appear on aprs.fi <http://aprs.fi>, and meet his
>     licencing obligations.
>     What more could he want except for the ACMA to sort of the
>     callsign debacle they created?
>     HTH
>     Ray vk2tv
>     On 21/12/19 2:56 pm, Carlos PECO BERROCAL wrote:
>>     hi Ray,
>>     So I looked into the Panama callsigns... they all have a number
>>     after the prefix.
>>     So an alphanumeric combination like 3FABC does not match any
>>     amateur callsign anywhere in the world. Happy to be proven wrong.
>>     Foundation calls would be better using a different prefix, like
>>     AX. They would attract more attention from hams overseas.
>>     cheers
>>     Carlos VK1EA
>>     On Saturday, December 21, 2019, vk2tv <vk2tv at exemail.com.au> wrote:
>>         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 mailto:vk2tv at exemail.com.au
>>         To: 	Norm McMillan mailto:vk3xci at gmail.com
>>         Given the international use of APRS, aprs-is and sites like
>>         aprs.fi <http://aprs.fi>, a 3F callsign has the potential to
>>         cause a problem. Would you like YOUR callsign appearing on
>>         aprs.fi <http://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 <http://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> 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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