And to clarify another point, no fixed station should be using WIDE1-1 as a hop request.
WIDE1-1 is intended to be used as a request from low powered stations for an extra helping hand from home stations to get heard by the main digipeaters (if required).
Improper use of WIDE1-1 as a first hop request by high powered stations such as mobiles and home stations causes excessive local digipeats by home stations, and possible dupes by main digipeaters.
People using WIDE1-1 improperly can make others attempting to act on WIDE1-1 to improve the digipeater network shut down their home WIDE1-1 digipeaters because of abuse and interference, thereby ruining the network
All digipeaters *should* respond to their assigned callsign/alias if implemented properly.
Furthermore, if you are attempting to observe whether the RF network is working properly, you should observe the activity of the RF network directly by looking at what you can hear/see on the RF network.
Don’t attempt to observe the RF network by looking at what you can see on APRS-IS connected sites like APRS.fi or other online sites. The data available there is heavily filtered, and provides only a minor portion
of the information available.
Listen to and observe the packets being delivered by the RF network. If you are trying to observe operation of a digipeater outside of your local reception range, you can set a path that will go out to the far
digipeater and back. If you hear the packet come back, then it was successfully handled by the digipeaters in the used portion of the digi path segment of the packet.
Note that the APRS network is unconnected, and may not always deliver your packets successfully. Also most APRS networks are heavily overloaded and cannot reliably handle the normal day to day traffic on them.
Also long paths are not recommended for normal use as it causes heavy network loads, leading to that heavy network load that makes the networks unreliable.
Having said all that, yes, you can do things to test and observe exactly what you want to do.