RF to IS (Igate Question)


Tim Choldas
 

Hello All!

Just downloaded and set up the software for use as an RX/TX Igate. Wow, what a wonder program! For as many features as it has, it really works so well and is very intuitive.

I am using Direwolf as a software TNC from my Yaesu radio hooked to a vertical at 70 feet. I'm hearing a ton of stations (verified by selecting RF only for both the map view and scroll). Unfortunately, I'm barely uploading any to the IS per aprs.fi. Maybe 1 out of every 100 received are being uploaded to the IS. From what I understand, if packets are duplicated, the first one takes priority and the others that are received by servers are disregarded. I'm wondering how/ why the other Igates are beating mine in uploading to the IS. Is direwolf slower than hardware based TNC's? I tried the rotate.aprs2 server as well as noam.aprs2. Everything is working fine per se, just seems to not upload nearly as much as it receives. 

How can I "speed it up"? 


I've been a long time APRS user and am wanting to give back to the community by adding some coverage. 

73 all,
Tim


James Ewen
 

Get a faster network connection. 

On Fri, Aug 21, 2020 at 11:33 PM <timcholdas@...> wrote:
Hello All!

Just downloaded and set up the software for use as an RX/TX Igate. Wow, what a wonder program! For as many features as it has, it really works so well and is very intuitive.

I am using Direwolf as a software TNC from my Yaesu radio hooked to a vertical at 70 feet. I'm hearing a ton of stations (verified by selecting RF only for both the map view and scroll). Unfortunately, I'm barely uploading any to the IS per aprs.fi. Maybe 1 out of every 100 received are being uploaded to the IS. From what I understand, if packets are duplicated, the first one takes priority and the others that are received by servers are disregarded. I'm wondering how/ why the other Igates are beating mine in uploading to the IS. Is direwolf slower than hardware based TNC's? I tried the rotate.aprs2 server as well as noam.aprs2. Everything is working fine per se, just seems to not upload nearly as much as it receives. 

How can I "speed it up"? 


I've been a long time APRS user and am wanting to give back to the community by adding some coverage. 

73 all,
Tim







--
James
VE6SRV


Rob Giuliano
 

I don't understand the question.
   There is no reward for providing the most packets to the APRS system.
Why is it so important to have "your igate" be the one that gets the packet posted?
   The point here is to ensure all packets ARE POSTED. And it appears they are.
    If the packets are being handled, then the system is working. 

If someone else is the one that posts them, there are a number of reasons - none are bad!
1.  The packet was sent direct over IP, and over over RF
     Sorry, you will NEVER win!
2.  Other igates are closer and receiving the packet before you
     How many hops have been used before you hear the packet?
        Any one of those hops may also be an Igate.
3. You antenna is higher than everyone else and they et the signal first.
    Kind of sounds funny to type out. 
    Truth is: that additional height is not likely to make a difference,
       unless that is another igate right next to yours (like next door).

If you are really that interested, you can do a little research to see how things are working.
Go to aprs.fi (or other site that gives details) and choose some stations near you to see
who did gate them.  Compare the stations location and distance to that igate to that station and
your location.  If the distance to your station is closer, you can consider improvements.  If not,
then you are just not in an area where APRS stations are transmitting from. 

Robert Giuliano
KB8RCO



On Saturday, August 22, 2020, 1:33:03 AM EDT, timcholdas@... <timcholdas@...> wrote:


Hello All!

Just downloaded and set up the software for use as an RX/TX Igate. Wow, what a wonder program! For as many features as it has, it really works so well and is very intuitive.

I am using Direwolf as a software TNC from my Yaesu radio hooked to a vertical at 70 feet. I'm hearing a ton of stations (verified by selecting RF only for both the map view and scroll). Unfortunately, I'm barely uploading any to the IS per aprs.fi. Maybe 1 out of every 100 received are being uploaded to the IS. From what I understand, if packets are duplicated, the first one takes priority and the others that are received by servers are disregarded. I'm wondering how/ why the other Igates are beating mine in uploading to the IS. Is direwolf slower than hardware based TNC's? I tried the rotate.aprs2 server as well as noam.aprs2. Everything is working fine per se, just seems to not upload nearly as much as it receives. 

How can I "speed it up"? 


I've been a long time APRS user and am wanting to give back to the community by adding some coverage. 

73 all,
Tim


Mike Jordan <mjordan@...>
 

Hi Robert, for some of us, the reason we set up an APRS station is to be able to contribute and do something for the ham community. Maybe getting enjoyment out of being able to provide something for others is old fashion and out of style, but that is why I do it. What is the fun of setting up a station if a few super stations with lots of power, high antennas, super fast internet speeds, etc., get to do all of the transferring of APRS information? That means there really is no need for my station or any number of stations in my area to even attempt to participate.

So yes, it is natural for some of us to wonder and question if our stations are even doing any good and if not, is there anything we can do that will improve our contribution to the APRS system. Ever since I've set up my station 4 months or so ago, I've looked a number of times to see if my IGate was doing anything for the APRS community around me. I think it is, but then they were doing fine before I set up and would do fine if I take it down... but like the original poster of this thread, I still wonder if my station is doing any good at all.

We each do this for our own reasons, it's human nature.

Mike
KJ4TX

On 8/22/2020 7:59 AM, Rob Giuliano via groups.io wrote:
I don't understand the question.
There is no reward for providing the most packets to the APRS system.
Why is it so important to have "your igate" be the one that gets the
packet posted?
The point here is to ensure all packets ARE POSTED. And it appears
they are.
If the packets are being handled, then the system is working.

If someone else is the one that posts them, there are a number of
reasons - none are bad!
1. The packet was sent direct over IP, and over over RF
Sorry, you will NEVER win!
2. Other igates are closer and receiving the packet before you
How many hops have been used before you hear the packet?
Any one of those hops may also be an Igate.
3. You antenna is higher than everyone else and they et the signal first.
Kind of sounds funny to type out.
Truth is: that additional height is not likely to make a difference,
unless that is another igate right next to yours (like next door).

If you are really that interested, you can do a little research to see
how things are working.
Go to aprs.fi (or other site that gives details) and choose some
stations near you to see
who did gate them. Compare the stations location and distance to that
igate to that station and
your location. If the distance to your station is closer, you can
consider improvements. If not,
then you are just not in an area where APRS stations are transmitting from.

Robert Giuliano
KB8RCO



On Saturday, August 22, 2020, 1:33:03 AM EDT, timcholdas@hotmail.com
<timcholdas@hotmail.com> wrote:


Hello All!

Just downloaded and set up the software for use as an RX/TX Igate. Wow,
what a wonder program! For as many features as it has, it really works
so well and is very intuitive.

I am using Direwolf as a software TNC from my Yaesu radio hooked to a
vertical at 70 feet. I'm hearing a ton of stations (verified by
selecting RF only for both the map view and scroll). Unfortunately, I'm
barely uploading any to the IS per aprs.fi. Maybe 1 out of every 100
received are being uploaded to the IS. From what I understand, if
packets are duplicated, the first one takes priority and the others that
are received by servers are disregarded. I'm wondering how/ why the
other Igates are beating mine in uploading to the IS. Is direwolf slower
than hardware based TNC's? I tried the rotate.aprs2 server as well as
noam.aprs2. Everything is working fine per se, just seems to not upload
nearly as much as it receives.

How can I "speed it up"?


I've been a long time APRS user and am wanting to give back to the
community by adding some coverage.

73 all,
Tim
_._,_._,_
--
Hillsboro, Oregon
Bouvier des Flandres - Herding & Working Dogs
http://www.sitnprettyphoto.com - Photos of Agility, Herding & more


Rob Giuliano
 


But that is exactly my point.  I understand wanting to contribute.
Not trying to say this 'isn't contributing".  

The system may work just fine (now) if this (or that) station is removed, but if too many in the area did the same thing, the system would break.  Keeping your igate up is not a bad thing - unless it is also DIGIing and over flowing the RF capability.  It is there to be used when needed.  Add battery backup or other capability that will continue to feed in power outage or something and your backup becomes even more important.

It is also important to look at the network (as I suggest below) to see why.  If your station becomes a backup - good.  If your station is not contributing for another reason, you can dig deeper.  If other igates are closer, you are VERY unlikely to win no matter how high you put your antenna.

Robert Giuliano
KB8RCO



On Saturday, August 22, 2020, 11:17:27 AM EDT, Mike Jordan <mjordan@...> wrote:


Hi Robert, for some of us, the reason we set up an APRS station is to be
able to contribute and do something for the ham community. Maybe getting
enjoyment out of being able to provide something for others is old
fashion and out of style, but that is why I do it.  What is the fun of
setting up a station if a few super stations with lots of power, high
antennas, super fast internet speeds, etc., get to do all of the
transferring of APRS information?  That means there really is no need
for my station or any number of stations in my area to even attempt to
participate.

So yes, it is natural for some of us to wonder and question if our
stations are even doing any good and if not, is there anything we can do
that will improve our contribution to the APRS system. Ever since I've
set up my station 4 months or so ago, I've looked a number of times to
see if my IGate was doing anything for the APRS community around me. I
think it is, but then they were doing fine before I set up and would do
fine if I take it down... but like the original poster of this thread, I
still wonder if my station is doing any good at all.

We each do this for our own reasons, it's human nature.

Mike
KJ4TX


On 8/22/2020 7:59 AM, Rob Giuliano via groups.io wrote:
> I don't understand the question.
>    There is no reward for providing the most packets to the APRS system.
> Why is it so important to have "your igate" be the one that gets the
> packet posted?
>    The point here is to ensure all packets ARE POSTED. And it appears
> they are.
>      If the packets are being handled, then the system is working.
>
> If someone else is the one that posts them, there are a number of
> reasons - none are bad!
> 1.  The packet was sent direct over IP, and over over RF
>      Sorry, you will NEVER win!
> 2.  Other igates are closer and receiving the packet before you
>      How many hops have been used before you hear the packet?
>          Any one of those hops may also be an Igate.
> 3. You antenna is higher than everyone else and they et the signal first.
>      Kind of sounds funny to type out.
>      Truth is: that additional height is not likely to make a difference,
>        unless that is another igate right next to yours (like next door).
>
> If you are really that interested, you can do a little research to see
> how things are working.
> Go to aprs.fi (or other site that gives details) and choose some
> stations near you to see
> who did gate them.  Compare the stations location and distance to that
> igate to that station and
> your location.  If the distance to your station is closer, you can
> consider improvements.  If not,
> then you are just not in an area where APRS stations are transmitting from.
>
> Robert Giuliano
> KB8RCO
>
>
>
> On Saturday, August 22, 2020, 1:33:03 AM EDT, timcholdas@...
> <timcholdas@...> wrote:
>
>
> Hello All!
>
> Just downloaded and set up the software for use as an RX/TX Igate. Wow,
> what a wonder program! For as many features as it has, it really works
> so well and is very intuitive.
>
> I am using Direwolf as a software TNC from my Yaesu radio hooked to a
> vertical at 70 feet. I'm hearing a ton of stations (verified by
> selecting RF only for both the map view and scroll). Unfortunately, I'm
> barely uploading any to the IS per aprs.fi. Maybe 1 out of every 100
> received are being uploaded to the IS. From what I understand, if
> packets are duplicated, the first one takes priority and the others that
> are received by servers are disregarded. I'm wondering how/ why the
> other Igates are beating mine in uploading to the IS. Is direwolf slower
> than hardware based TNC's? I tried the rotate.aprs2 server as well as
> noam.aprs2. Everything is working fine per se, just seems to not upload
> nearly as much as it receives.
>
> How can I "speed it up"?
>
>
> I've been a long time APRS user and am wanting to give back to the
> community by adding some coverage.
>
> 73 all,
> Tim
> _._,_._,_

--
Hillsboro, Oregon
Bouvier des Flandres - Herding & Working Dogs
http://www.sitnprettyphoto.com - Photos of Agility, Herding & more




K5DAT
 

The most significant factor is the latency between your station and the IS server to which your station is connected. When I had an IGate in Northern VA a few years back I noticed a similar situation and concluded my ISP was back-hauling traffic to what I assume was a data center down in Culpepper, VA.  Others who were using different ISP's had an advantage in terms of lower latency. All that meant was my station was contributing as a backup to the one that was feeding packets to the Internet faster.

One time I did some ping tests and found the Baltimore IS server was closest in terms of lowest latency, so I set up the IS connection to use that individual server.  Sure enough, I had the fastest gating at that point. To my amusement I noticed the next day that the operator of the IGate that had been dominating the gating before my change had changed his server to one that allowed him to take over most of the gating again. So I was still foiled by the backhaul.  :-)

73,
Lee K5DAT

On Sat, Aug 22, 2020 at 12:33 AM <timcholdas@...> wrote:
Hello All!

Just downloaded and set up the software for use as an RX/TX Igate. Wow, what a wonder program! For as many features as it has, it really works so well and is very intuitive.

I am using Direwolf as a software TNC from my Yaesu radio hooked to a vertical at 70 feet. I'm hearing a ton of stations (verified by selecting RF only for both the map view and scroll). Unfortunately, I'm barely uploading any to the IS per aprs.fi. Maybe 1 out of every 100 received are being uploaded to the IS. From what I understand, if packets are duplicated, the first one takes priority and the others that are received by servers are disregarded. I'm wondering how/ why the other Igates are beating mine in uploading to the IS. Is direwolf slower than hardware based TNC's? I tried the rotate.aprs2 server as well as noam.aprs2. Everything is working fine per se, just seems to not upload nearly as much as it receives. 

How can I "speed it up"? 


I've been a long time APRS user and am wanting to give back to the community by adding some coverage. 

73 all,
Tim
_._,_._,_


Virus-free. www.avast.com


Michael Coslo <mjcn3li@...>
 

If I could interject here, I had a fill in digi and igate that covered a hole in the local area. It doesn’t gate often, but what it did was fill that hole.

Mine has been down for a while because the traffic has died down in my area, but post plague I’ll start it up again. The Digi we have on top of the mountain gets inundated during normal times, and our radios in the valley have to compete with the scads of traffic it gets during normal times, since it’s receiving a lot of traffic from all over. So right now, the few people in our area that are skwaking are hitting the main digi.

It is quite possible that your area is being served well with the igates in service now. You would have to do a survey of the locale to see if you are in a dead spot. You’d have to look at the data. As well, it could be fun to RF map the area to see just what the coverage is, and who’s radio is catching and gating the signals. In the meantime, you aren’t doing any harm.

- 73 -
- Michael Coslo -
Frequency Coordinator, Beaver Stadium
814-404-3991
mjc5@psu.edu
mjcn3li@gmail.com

On Aug 22, 2020, at 11:17 AM, Mike Jordan <mjordan@europa.com> wrote:

Hi Robert, for some of us, the reason we set up an APRS station is to be able to contribute and do something for the ham community. Maybe getting enjoyment out of being able to provide something for others is old fashion and out of style, but that is why I do it. What is the fun of setting up a station if a few super stations with lots of power, high antennas, super fast internet speeds, etc., get to do all of the transferring of APRS information? That means there really is no need for my station or any number of stations in my area to even attempt to participate.

So yes, it is natural for some of us to wonder and question if our stations are even doing any good and if not, is there anything we can do that will improve our contribution to the APRS system. Ever since I've set up my station 4 months or so ago, I've looked a number of times to see if my IGate was doing anything for the APRS community around me. I think it is, but then they were doing fine before I set up and would do fine if I take it down... but like the original poster of this thread, I still wonder if my station is doing any good at all.

We each do this for our own reasons, it's human nature.

Mike
KJ4TX


On 8/22/2020 7:59 AM, Rob Giuliano via groups.io wrote:
I don't understand the question.
There is no reward for providing the most packets to the APRS system.
Why is it so important to have "your igate" be the one that gets the
packet posted?
The point here is to ensure all packets ARE POSTED. And it appears
they are.
If the packets are being handled, then the system is working.

If someone else is the one that posts them, there are a number of
reasons - none are bad!
1. The packet was sent direct over IP, and over over RF
Sorry, you will NEVER win!
2. Other igates are closer and receiving the packet before you
How many hops have been used before you hear the packet?
Any one of those hops may also be an Igate.
3. You antenna is higher than everyone else and they et the signal first.
Kind of sounds funny to type out.
Truth is: that additional height is not likely to make a difference,
unless that is another igate right next to yours (like next door).

If you are really that interested, you can do a little research to see
how things are working.
Go to aprs.fi (or other site that gives details) and choose some
stations near you to see
who did gate them. Compare the stations location and distance to that
igate to that station and
your location. If the distance to your station is closer, you can
consider improvements. If not,
then you are just not in an area where APRS stations are transmitting from.

Robert Giuliano
KB8RCO



On Saturday, August 22, 2020, 1:33:03 AM EDT, timcholdas@hotmail.com
<timcholdas@hotmail.com> wrote:


Hello All!

Just downloaded and set up the software for use as an RX/TX Igate. Wow,
what a wonder program! For as many features as it has, it really works
so well and is very intuitive.

I am using Direwolf as a software TNC from my Yaesu radio hooked to a
vertical at 70 feet. I'm hearing a ton of stations (verified by
selecting RF only for both the map view and scroll). Unfortunately, I'm
barely uploading any to the IS per aprs.fi. Maybe 1 out of every 100
received are being uploaded to the IS. From what I understand, if
packets are duplicated, the first one takes priority and the others that
are received by servers are disregarded. I'm wondering how/ why the
other Igates are beating mine in uploading to the IS. Is direwolf slower
than hardware based TNC's? I tried the rotate.aprs2 server as well as
noam.aprs2. Everything is working fine per se, just seems to not upload
nearly as much as it receives.

How can I "speed it up"?


I've been a long time APRS user and am wanting to give back to the
community by adding some coverage.

73 all,
Tim
_._,_._,_
--
Hillsboro, Oregon
Bouvier des Flandres - Herding & Working Dogs
http://www.sitnprettyphoto.com - Photos of Agility, Herding & more



Rich
 

I have the dubious distinction of being one of the few igates in this part of NE PA according to APRS.fi.  Lots of digipeaters but no igates.  I liken that distinction to being the elephant (big ears) in the room with a bunch of alligators (big mouths, e.g. repeaters.)  I hear most of the digipeater traffic and send it to the internet.   

Ya play the hand you are dealt.  :)

On Sat, Aug 22, 2020 at 11:35 Rob Giuliano via groups.io <kb8rco=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

But that is exactly my point.  I understand wanting to contribute.
Not trying to say this 'isn't contributing".  

The system may work just fine (now) if this (or that) station is removed, but if too many in the area did the same thing, the system would break.  Keeping your igate up is not a bad thing - unless it is also DIGIing and over flowing the RF capability.  It is there to be used when needed.  Add battery backup or other capability that will continue to feed in power outage or something and your backup becomes even more important.

It is also important to look at the network (as I suggest below) to see why.  If your station becomes a backup - good.  If your station is not contributing for another reason, you can dig deeper.  If other igates are closer, you are VERY unlikely to win no matter how high you put your antenna.

Robert Giuliano
KB8RCO

















On Saturday, August 22, 2020, 11:17:27 AM EDT, Mike Jordan <mjordan@...> wrote:









Hi Robert, for some of us, the reason we set up an APRS station is to be
able to contribute and do something for the ham community. Maybe getting
enjoyment out of being able to provide something for others is old
fashion and out of style, but that is why I do it.  What is the fun of
setting up a station if a few super stations with lots of power, high
antennas, super fast internet speeds, etc., get to do all of the
transferring of APRS information?  That means there really is no need
for my station or any number of stations in my area to even attempt to
participate.

So yes, it is natural for some of us to wonder and question if our
stations are even doing any good and if not, is there anything we can do
that will improve our contribution to the APRS system. Ever since I've
set up my station 4 months or so ago, I've looked a number of times to
see if my IGate was doing anything for the APRS community around me. I
think it is, but then they were doing fine before I set up and would do
fine if I take it down... but like the original poster of this thread, I
still wonder if my station is doing any good at all.

We each do this for our own reasons, it's human nature.

Mike
KJ4TX


On 8/22/2020 7:59 AM, Rob Giuliano via groups.io wrote:
> I don't understand the question.
>    There is no reward for providing the most packets to the APRS system.
> Why is it so important to have "your igate" be the one that gets the
> packet posted?
>    The point here is to ensure all packets ARE POSTED. And it appears
> they are.
>      If the packets are being handled, then the system is working.
>
> If someone else is the one that posts them, there are a number of
> reasons - none are bad!
> 1.  The packet was sent direct over IP, and over over RF
>      Sorry, you will NEVER win!
> 2.  Other igates are closer and receiving the packet before you
>      How many hops have been used before you hear the packet?
>          Any one of those hops may also be an Igate.
> 3. You antenna is higher than everyone else and they et the signal first.
>      Kind of sounds funny to type out.
>      Truth is: that additional height is not likely to make a difference,
>        unless that is another igate right next to yours (like next door).
>
> If you are really that interested, you can do a little research to see
> how things are working.
> Go to aprs.fi (or other site that gives details) and choose some
> stations near you to see
> who did gate them.  Compare the stations location and distance to that
> igate to that station and
> your location.  If the distance to your station is closer, you can
> consider improvements.  If not,
> then you are just not in an area where APRS stations are transmitting from.
>
> Robert Giuliano
> KB8RCO
>
>
>
> On Saturday, August 22, 2020, 1:33:03 AM EDT, timcholdas@...
> <timcholdas@...> wrote:
>
>
> Hello All!
>
> Just downloaded and set up the software for use as an RX/TX Igate. Wow,
> what a wonder program! For as many features as it has, it really works
> so well and is very intuitive.
>
> I am using Direwolf as a software TNC from my Yaesu radio hooked to a
> vertical at 70 feet. I'm hearing a ton of stations (verified by
> selecting RF only for both the map view and scroll). Unfortunately, I'm
> barely uploading any to the IS per aprs.fi. Maybe 1 out of every 100
> received are being uploaded to the IS. From what I understand, if
> packets are duplicated, the first one takes priority and the others that
> are received by servers are disregarded. I'm wondering how/ why the
> other Igates are beating mine in uploading to the IS. Is direwolf slower
> than hardware based TNC's? I tried the rotate.aprs2 server as well as
> noam.aprs2. Everything is working fine per se, just seems to not upload
> nearly as much as it receives.
>
> How can I "speed it up"?
>
>
> I've been a long time APRS user and am wanting to give back to the
> community by adding some coverage.
>
> 73 all,
> Tim



--
72,
Rich Hurd / WC3T / DMR: 3142737  
Northampton County RACES, EPA-ARRL Public Information Officer for Scouting
Latitude: 40.761621 Longitude: -75.288988  (40°45.68' N 75°17.33' WGrid: FN20is


James Ewen
 

Tim,

One thing that would help is including your callsign so that we have a chance of helping you understand your local RF environment.

It appears that your email address is your name, and your name is fairly unique (ie not Smith or Jones), so a search on QRZ.com gives me a callsign of KC8WCJ.

It looks like your igate is KC8WCJ-10. https://aprs.fi/#!call=a%2FKC9WCJ-10&timerange=3600&tail=3600 aprs.fi is showing that there are 13 other stations gating traffic to the APRS-IS within 40 km of your location. So, you are competing with all those stations in the race to get packets to the APRS-IS first.

But as others have said, putting an APRS infrastructure component on the air isn't a competition. In fact putting APRS infrastructure on the air is something that needs to be done with planning and forethought. Putting a digipeater on the air needs to be thoroughly researched and planned before one should be making the decision to put it  in place. Digipeaters heavily impact the RF network by resending the packets back into the RF network.

I-gates are less of an impact on the RF network due to the fact that they are mostly a listen only device. Only when there are messages destined for a local RF station from a remote station will the i-gate push traffic to RF. Having too many i-gates in an area can cause a bit of traffic congestion when they all try to push the same remote traffic into the overlapping coverage area. But for the most part, there's not a lot of IS-RF messaging happening.

So, if the purpose of putting an i-gate into service is to try and "win", you've got your work cut out for you. Probably the easiest way to "win" is to disable all other i-gates for 50 miles or so. Arson works well, but it is frowned upon. Seriously, you are not alone in wondering why your i-gate isn't gating everyone around you. You have stated that you understand the race conditions, and the anit-dupe filtering, so the issue you are facing is the delay in your station. That is a factor that is contributed to by every component between the RF spectrum and the APRS-IS network. I wouldn't bother trying to tweak every component to try and "win the race". it's not important.

What is important is not the number of packets that you have gated to the APRS-IS, but the fact that you have gated packets to the APRS-IS.

This page https://aprs.fi/info/?call=KC9WCJ-10 can show you all the stations that were "heard" by your i-gate station. The fact that aprs.fi labels this list as "Stations heard directly by KC9WCJ-10"  is perhaps where a lot of people get hung up. It really should say "Stations heard directly by KC9WCJ-10 that managed to get to the APRS-IS first, and therefore not get killed by the APRS-IS duplicate packet filters". You can see another view of the same information here: https://www.aprsdirect.com/details/statistics/sid/3018703

You can also look at the graphs of what your station is doing...


You can click on one of the callsigns in the list and have a look at the raw packets from that station to see that your i-gate was able to move those packets to the APRS-IS. You can see all the rest of the stations acting as i-gates as well.

2020-08-22 00:01:24 MDT: KD9OAJ-9>TQUX9Q,WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1,qAO,KC9WCJ-10:`sK7l{M>/`"5v}_%
2020-08-22 00:02:07 MDT: KD9OAJ-9>TQUX6T,WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1,qAO,KC9WCJ-10:`sK4m\|>/`"5x}_%
2020-08-22 00:02:51 MDT: KD9OAJ-9>TQUX6U,WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1,qAR,AB9FX:`sK<0x1d>m 7>/`"5w}_%
2020-08-22 01:14:22 MDT: KD9OAJ-9>TQUX6Y,WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1,qAR,WA9SGF-2:`sK<0x1d>l!`>/`"5D}_%
2020-08-22 02:08:45 MDT: KD9OAJ-9>TQUX6Y,WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1,qAR,WX9O-3:`sK<0x1d>l!#>/`"6)}_%
2020-08-22 08:54:35 MDT: KD9OAJ-9>TQUX6X,WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1,qAR,KD9KAF-1:`sJ~l"q>/`"6C}_%
2020-08-22 08:57:32 MDT: KD9OAJ-9>TQUX6Y,WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1,qAR,KD9KAF-1:`sJ~lI\>/`"5s}_%  

One of the key things you need to keep in mind is that there is probably a lot of competition on the RF network between stations. APRS by it's design does not attempt to eliminate packet collisions. They happen all the time. By having multiple receivers available, you have multiple chances to be able to copy the packets on RF. This station above was on N Nagel Ave, just south of the Kennedy Expressway, not far from your house when you gated these packets. Is that because your station finally won the timing race, or was it because your station was the first station to get a clear copy of his packets? There may have been packet collisions happening that corrupted the packet reception at other local i-gates, but due to proximity and FM capture effect, your station managed to copy the full packet, and was able to gate it to the APRS-IS. Had your i-gate not been operating, it is possible that a local fill-in digipeater would have acted upon the WIDE1-1 path element, and then another i-gate might have copied that packet, and pushed it to the APRS-IS. Just as likely, it may not have happened, and those packets would have never made it to the APRS-IS network. You can't know for sure. We do know for sure however that some combination of events and conditions meant that your i-gate helped these two packets from this station get to the APRS-IS network.

In areas of high APRS traffic, we can see people putting up digipeaters with little regard to the impact they have on the RF network. The "more is better" mentality kicks in when people see that their packets aren't making it to the APRS-IS, when in fact the issue is that there are too many packet collisions happening. Adding another digipeater compounds the issue, by increasing the number of packets on the air. The addition of more i-gates on the other hand can help in a situation like this as they generally are listening and not retransmitting packets. Lots of i-gates end up masking the overcrowded RF network by capturing local RF packets and forwarding them to the APRS-IS. 

Trying to fix an overcrowded APRS RF network is almost impossible. It's like herding cats. You need to educate people, get them to listen, understand the issues at hand, and then finally commit to actively work on correcting the problem. Most of the source of the perceived problem is people not seeing their packets on the APRS-IS. They will increase power, increase path lengths and increase their beaconing rates in an attempt to "fix" the problem. By having a lot of i-gates listening and  gating packets to the APRS-IS, this "fixes" that problem, and perhaps keeps some people from increasing power, increasing path lengths, and increasing beacon rates. If they are shown to be successful with low power, and a short path, perhaps they will back off, and subsequently reduce their impact on the network, which in turn leaves more room for others, and reduces the number of collisions on the RF network.

So while your station might not be winning the race every time, you are still helping to push packets to the APRS-IS.

Say "Hi" to Roger and Steve! That's a pretty busy block for amateur radio!


James
VE6SRV


On Sat, Aug 22, 2020 at 11:41 AM Rich <rich@...> wrote:
I have the dubious distinction of being one of the few igates in this part of NE PA according to APRS.fi.  Lots of digipeaters but no igates.  I liken that distinction to being the elephant (big ears) in the room with a bunch of alligators (big mouths, e.g. repeaters.)  I hear most of the digipeater traffic and send it to the internet.   

Ya play the hand you are dealt.  :)

On Sat, Aug 22, 2020 at 11:35 Rob Giuliano via groups.io <kb8rco=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

But that is exactly my point.  I understand wanting to contribute.
Not trying to say this 'isn't contributing".  

The system may work just fine (now) if this (or that) station is removed, but if too many in the area did the same thing, the system would break.  Keeping your igate up is not a bad thing - unless it is also DIGIing and over flowing the RF capability.  It is there to be used when needed.  Add battery backup or other capability that will continue to feed in power outage or something and your backup becomes even more important.

It is also important to look at the network (as I suggest below) to see why.  If your station becomes a backup - good.  If your station is not contributing for another reason, you can dig deeper.  If other igates are closer, you are VERY unlikely to win no matter how high you put your antenna.

Robert Giuliano
KB8RCO

















On Saturday, August 22, 2020, 11:17:27 AM EDT, Mike Jordan <mjordan@...> wrote:









Hi Robert, for some of us, the reason we set up an APRS station is to be
able to contribute and do something for the ham community. Maybe getting
enjoyment out of being able to provide something for others is old
fashion and out of style, but that is why I do it.  What is the fun of
setting up a station if a few super stations with lots of power, high
antennas, super fast internet speeds, etc., get to do all of the
transferring of APRS information?  That means there really is no need
for my station or any number of stations in my area to even attempt to
participate.

So yes, it is natural for some of us to wonder and question if our
stations are even doing any good and if not, is there anything we can do
that will improve our contribution to the APRS system. Ever since I've
set up my station 4 months or so ago, I've looked a number of times to
see if my IGate was doing anything for the APRS community around me. I
think it is, but then they were doing fine before I set up and would do
fine if I take it down... but like the original poster of this thread, I
still wonder if my station is doing any good at all.

We each do this for our own reasons, it's human nature.

Mike
KJ4TX


On 8/22/2020 7:59 AM, Rob Giuliano via groups.io wrote:
> I don't understand the question.
>    There is no reward for providing the most packets to the APRS system.
> Why is it so important to have "your igate" be the one that gets the
> packet posted?
>    The point here is to ensure all packets ARE POSTED. And it appears
> they are.
>      If the packets are being handled, then the system is working.
>
> If someone else is the one that posts them, there are a number of
> reasons - none are bad!
> 1.  The packet was sent direct over IP, and over over RF
>      Sorry, you will NEVER win!
> 2.  Other igates are closer and receiving the packet before you
>      How many hops have been used before you hear the packet?
>          Any one of those hops may also be an Igate.
> 3. You antenna is higher than everyone else and they et the signal first.
>      Kind of sounds funny to type out.
>      Truth is: that additional height is not likely to make a difference,
>        unless that is another igate right next to yours (like next door).
>
> If you are really that interested, you can do a little research to see
> how things are working.
> Go to aprs.fi (or other site that gives details) and choose some
> stations near you to see
> who did gate them.  Compare the stations location and distance to that
> igate to that station and
> your location.  If the distance to your station is closer, you can
> consider improvements.  If not,
> then you are just not in an area where APRS stations are transmitting from.
>
> Robert Giuliano
> KB8RCO
>
>
>
> On Saturday, August 22, 2020, 1:33:03 AM EDT, timcholdas@...
> <timcholdas@...> wrote:
>
>
> Hello All!
>
> Just downloaded and set up the software for use as an RX/TX Igate. Wow,
> what a wonder program! For as many features as it has, it really works
> so well and is very intuitive.
>
> I am using Direwolf as a software TNC from my Yaesu radio hooked to a
> vertical at 70 feet. I'm hearing a ton of stations (verified by
> selecting RF only for both the map view and scroll). Unfortunately, I'm
> barely uploading any to the IS per aprs.fi. Maybe 1 out of every 100
> received are being uploaded to the IS. From what I understand, if
> packets are duplicated, the first one takes priority and the others that
> are received by servers are disregarded. I'm wondering how/ why the
> other Igates are beating mine in uploading to the IS. Is direwolf slower
> than hardware based TNC's? I tried the rotate.aprs2 server as well as
> noam.aprs2. Everything is working fine per se, just seems to not upload
> nearly as much as it receives.
>
> How can I "speed it up"?
>
>
> I've been a long time APRS user and am wanting to give back to the
> community by adding some coverage.
>
> 73 all,
> Tim



--
72,
Rich Hurd / WC3T / DMR: 3142737  
Northampton County RACES, EPA-ARRL Public Information Officer for Scouting
Latitude: 40.761621 Longitude: -75.288988  (40°45.68' N 75°17.33' WGrid: FN20is


Max
 

Not all of the APRS-IS are created equal. Some are faster than others and some have faster internet connections. Aprs.fi and findu.com don't always agree either and it depends on which servers they happen to be connected to. If you happen to be connected to one of the servers that aprs.fi is connected to it might show that you igated a packet whereas if you are connected to a different server it could show that someone else igated that same packet because it took a few milliseconds longer to get there and gets discarded as a duplicate.

My igate gates very little most days. But the other igate seems to go down a lot in which case mine takes over. Always good to have a backup igate

For me running an igate from home is a problem since I only have one antenna that is up 65FT so I no longer have a good antenna for voice. And even if I did have another antenna up high there would be the problem with desense having multiple radios on VHF.

I also have a satgate and a aprs igate on an alternate frequency so I have tuned my main digi/igate to transmit very little so that the other radios don't get desenced (is that a word?) as much.

Max KG4PID

On Saturday, August 22, 2020, 12:33:03 AM CDT, timcholdas@... <timcholdas@...> wrote:


Hello All!

Just downloaded and set up the software for use as an RX/TX Igate. Wow, what a wonder program! For as many features as it has, it really works so well and is very intuitive.

I am using Direwolf as a software TNC from my Yaesu radio hooked to a vertical at 70 feet. I'm hearing a ton of stations (verified by selecting RF only for both the map view and scroll). Unfortunately, I'm barely uploading any to the IS per aprs.fi. Maybe 1 out of every 100 received are being uploaded to the IS. From what I understand, if packets are duplicated, the first one takes priority and the others that are received by servers are disregarded. I'm wondering how/ why the other Igates are beating mine in uploading to the IS. Is direwolf slower than hardware based TNC's? I tried the rotate.aprs2 server as well as noam.aprs2. Everything is working fine per se, just seems to not upload nearly as much as it receives. 

How can I "speed it up"? 


I've been a long time APRS user and am wanting to give back to the community by adding some coverage. 

73 all,
Tim


Tim Choldas
 

Good Afternoon All,

Wow! You folks replied with some awesome information. I really appreciate it all. 

A few points to answer a few questions.. The igate in question is KC9WCJ-10. I'm located in Chicago. We have a fairly busy APRS system here with many digis. My goal in setting up the igate was to relieve some network congestion from the busy ones. Although I know it's not a race, like KJ4TX said I am more so curious about how much I am truly contributing. I do understand that even if I'm not uploading as much data to the servers as others, I'm still providing redundancy and actual 2-way service for messaging. I currently am just running it through Direwolf as an RX-only gate for testing. 

What prompted this question is looking at other igates in the area, as VE6SRV did. Specifically, the two closest ones which are AB9FX and N0LSR-1. Just by looking at the "iGate'd packets" graphs for the gates, it appears they upload around 10 and 40 packets an hour, respectively. For my station, most hours I get none (especially when looking at the "RF packets heard first" graph). I found this strange considering I have fast internet and a stellar antenna setup with some great height. 

From what I've gotten out of these responses, it seems like I'm doing everything right on my end. As K5DAT said, it seems like the latency in uploading to the IS is where the difference comes from. 

I will do some more toying around with selecting different servers but otherwise will just go ahead and run it as planned. My goal is to have it on battery backup and solar by the end of the year, so if nothing else I will be providing some redundancy.


Thanks again for you replies everyone! Glad I found the group. 
Tim