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

Carlos PECO BERROCAL carlos.peco at gmail.com
Sun Dec 22 10:36:14 AEDT 2019

Hi Ray,

We went through some changes in Spain not long ago. If I remember
correctly, the last status was:

- We had three categories (EA, EB and EC) corresponding to different
privileges. That merged into a single, advanced category. All or nothing.

- The Regulator (not third parties) organizes the proficiency test, four
times a year. They issue the callsigns, too. Clubs conduct trainings for
those who cannot (or don't want) study on their own.

- You pay for your license only once, but every five years you have to let
the Regulator know that you are still alive and want to keep your callsign.

- We got 60 meters the week after being announced by ITU. There are some
rules in place to manage potential collisions with the military (pretty
much symbolic, most are on SATCOM)

- Less than a month ago one letter callsigns were approved due to popular
demand (i.e. EA4X)

Carlos VK1EA

On Sunday, December 22, 2019, vk2tv <vk2tv at exemail.com.au> wrote:

> 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> 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 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,
>> lets him appear on 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, 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> 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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