There are many causes of zig zag errors in APRS tracks, and they fall generally into two main categories:
incorrect positions (ie the tracker was never there); and
correct positions with incorrect timestamps.
The first is common and has a number of causes, but principally defects in software used in iGates, most of which is not maintained either by the iGate operator or original developer. APRS is pretty static, but most old software has significant defects.
The second category is again common, and mostly the result of the design of the APRS radio network and its vulnerability to network delays (some of which can be caused by defective equipment).
This article looks at a case in the second category where a vehicle appears to have done a U-turn on the highway, travelled back some distance then another U-turn and caught up their original track speed at the next posit. It is clearly an out of order packet. This article shows how to diagnose the cause from the raw packet log for the tracker.
Above is a map of the glitch that is not uncommon in APRS for one of several reasons. No, VK2HJ has not done U-turns on the highway, the zig zag track is incorrect. Continue reading Zig zags in APRS tracks
A drive test of the OpenLog logger collecting raw NMEA data in parallel with the TinyTrak (VHF) was conducted. To maximise the performance of APRS, a fill-in digi / iGate was run at my home. The tracker used a 65W transmitter with quarter wave vertical in the centre of the car roof.
defect ridden iGates that lose, duplicate and corrupt packets;
poorly configured mobiles;
network congestion and interference;
unpredictable equipment failures;
basic geographical coverage of the network; and
dependence on the ionosphere for HF APRS.
This article describes an enhancement to the popular TinyTrak (and its clones) to also capture the GPS stream to an inexpensive local data logger.
The logger does not interfere with normal radio APRS, it coexists with it and creates a properly timestamped fine detail log of positions over a very long time, a log that can be post processed into a range of graphic / map and tabular reports.
The datalogger used in an OpenLog. It is a simple logger that writes data to a micro SD card, costs about $A12 (inc post) for the logger and about A$10 (inc post) for a 16GB Class 10 micro SD card. (A slower card could be used, but they aren’t much cheaper.)
Adjusting KISS TNC AFSK tx level using an isochronous test packet explained a technique to drive a KISS TNC with a specially constructed packet that contains an ISOCHRONOUS test packet, a packet that will produce equal high and low tone alternation in the transmitted AFSK signal. The improved packet should be repeated by most digipeaters, allowing observation of their modulation performance.
The message “ashim at shell servo” must be an important one.
I have heard VK2UBQ-9 sending this message to VK2XSO-5 for many months, a couple of hundred times a day when VK2UBQ-9 has his radio switched on.
The intended recipient was last reported on aprs.fi in May 2014, seven months ago, yet the APRS system is still wasting bandwidth trying to deliver this message, presumably waiting for a delivery acknowledgement. Continue reading ashim at shell servo
It has been apparent to me that the two local digipeaters often collide.
One uses UIDIGI and therefore is conformant with the p-persistence channel access algorithm.
The other is a Argent Data T3-135 which does its own thing.
To discover how many packets are detected with bad CRC, I installed 6PACK on a TNC. 6PACK reports receive CRC failures which are logged by the Linux kernel. Data was collected for seven hours through the middle of the day to ensure that there was traffic, but that channel utilisation was low. Continue reading Packet loss by digi collision