Question About Yellow Path Lines & MSGs That I receive


I've only been running APRSIS for a couple of weeks and really only been doing packet starting just before that. Some of the things are pretty clear, some I've been able to figure out and a few I've made guesses at... which leaves a bunch of stuff I'm still trying to figure out. There is a lot of information about setting up APRS with various modems, sound cards, TNC's, etc., but not a lot about actual day to day running of the thing in any one place.

APRSIS was pretty easy to get set up and running along with Direwolf and SoundModem, which I switch back and forth on because I think SoundModem is cleaner but Direwolf seems to decode faster and provide more information. I had it up and receiving APRS information in just a couple of days on my Icom IC-746Pro. I then switched it over to an older Icom IC-V8000 I had sitting on the shelf so I could free up the IC-746Pro. It's been running just fine for the last week on the IC-V8000.

Now that I've had a chance to watch it run for awhile and dig for answers to some of my questions I have a few things I'm curious about. I'm set up as a TX/RX IGate with one hop (wide2-1).

First question is about the yellow lines that shoot out from my position icon and zig zag back and forth (something crossing back over itself) all over the place. I assume these are internet paths but I've read (without any detail) that they are RF paths, yet I don't see anything come into me over the radio. What are these showing and why do they go through so many other nodes? Sometimes they go way out and then angle back to a closer node before ending. I haven't found anything in the logs that I've looked in to tell me anything.

Second question is the messages that I'm receiving. Every hour to a couple of times a day, I will get a message indicator in the MSG box. They appear to be from a mobile radio in beacon mode. One example is:

KE7VGF-15 <-> KJ4TX-10
06:14:23 New Chat Between KE7VGF-15 and KJ4TX-10 on 2020-06-17
20:07:41> Mic-E:KE7VGF-15 Transmitted Status(Special)
New Date 2020-06-19
12:38:41> Mic-E:KE7VGF-15 Transmitted Status(Special)

In the message box it has Ack and Best checked. I can change it from RF to internet. There is the send button and a place to enter a message.

What do, if anything, with these? I have tried clicking Send with nothing happening and Xing out of them. I assume I can enter a message and send it back but I haven't done that. Should I be doing anything with these messages or just ignore them and close them after opening them up? I get them from about 7 or so stations through out the day.

It's been interesting, especially seeing all the different kinds of symbols that show up. I'm not sure if I'm providing any benefit to my area though. We have several big digipeaters and a number of IGates in my area. Most are WinAPRS and D-Star nodes though. But the coverage around the Portland, OR area is pretty good, and though I have both RF and internet traffic of some kind going through me, I'm not sure if my node is actually doing anything useful. It is giving me something to do with my radios and all of the computers I have laying around though and kept me off the streets. LOL!

Thanks for any help on these questions.


Hillsboro, Oregon
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