First of all I realise that this subject was mentioned in a thread a few days ago, but on re-reading much of what was said it seems to me that the current available option for this sort of facility is a little cumbersome to use, in that it requires anyone that wishes to use such a facility to register for a PIN (via email) and having got the PIN use that to generate a unique authorisation code (on a web site) for each summit and use the correct code in the appropriate APRS message.
Whilst the other option that Martin (VA3SIE) is working on seems to have a dual aim of generating both QRP spots and SOTA spots from a single message, it occurs to me that this might not be what some potential users of such a system would want from it (esp anyone carrying out a non-QRP activation).
Therefore I have continued with creating and testing my own version that I envisage will require potential users to register with me (perhaps at a later time via a web site) but will not require any authentication code to be sent in the APRS message and will be quite flexible with APRS data format (see later).
Now I’m not really familiar with many of the APRS enabled radio’s so would like to get some idea from any potential users as to how messages that a system such as this would accept might be formatted.
From what I see if you have a system configured and sending APRS position reports the ‘destination’ of the APRS UI Frame is set to something that very much depends on the system in use (i.e. each system uses its own destination fields like: APRS, APRNMA, APN382, APNU19 etc)
So I have questions relating to this:
Would it be acceptable to SOTA activators that might use APRS to use a ‘destination’ such as ‘SOTA’ or similar when sending a message for the APRS to SOTA spots gateway ?
Would using something different (that does not start with the letters ‘AP’) be generally acceptable on the APRS system or would that cause things not to work somewhere else ?
Is it necessary or desirable to register for a unique ‘destination’ field for this purpose ?
Can these ‘portable’ APRS systems be configured to send APRS position reports using whatever ‘destination’ field they normally use and send a APRS to SOTA specific message when required (or is this too fiddly or complex to configure when out and about).
My current test code will accept messages with the destination field starting with ‘SOTA’ and requires as a minimum the following information in the UI Data frame:
The Summit Reference (i.e. GW/NW-010) The Frequency (or band) in MHz The Mode (same list of options as on SotaWatch)
It will also accept:
A callsign (which may be different to the APRS originators) such as ON/G0LGS/P A comment
These must all be contained in a single UI Frame, but can be in any order and separated from each other by one (or more) of a list of separators which include any of #^!|@%,:;’" or space (others might also be possible).
Would this work ? have I forgotten or overlooked anything ?
ON/ON-010:ON/G0LGS/P;144.310!SSB,APRS Test Ignore