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Author Topic: unproto question  (Read 12108 times)

Posts: 62

« on: January 26, 2009, 03:27:44 PM »


I'm slowly getting into APRS and learning as I go. I've searched this forum and the web and I'm mystified by something in the APRS packets. Specifically in what Xastir calls the Data Path. Actually it's the UNPROTO information if I understand this correctly.

I currently have an older 2 meter radio hooked up to my computer via Soundmodem and Xastir to monitor the APRS activity in my area.

All packets received by the Xastir program, either through the radio or by way of the internet, include information in the Data Path that I can't figure out. Here is an example of a few lines from my log file...

# 1233009625  Mon Jan 26 15:40:25 MST 2009
# 1233009628  Mon Jan 26 15:40:28 MST 2009
KD7YAT-3>APN382,W7MOT-3*,WIDE2-1:!3321.12N/11225.81W_ESTRELLA WX, GOODYEAR
# 1233009633  Mon Jan 26 15:40:33 MST 2009
# 1233009634  Mon Jan 26 15:40:34 MST 2009
LEMMON>APN390,KB0BWG-1*,WIDE2:=3226.51N/11046.81W_KB7RFI Mt. Lemmon  9000 ft.

Looking at the second line I understand the "WA6LSE-4" is the sending station. And I understand that "MINGUS*,WIDE2*" are digipeaters it has gone thru. But, what is the "APN382"? Is that another digipeater?

Here's another one. This is part of the information I see when I look at a station's info from within the Xastir program itself...

Packets received: 91    Last Heard:01/26/2009 16:04:44
Heard via the TNC on device 1, last via TNC on device 1, and has moved
Data path: SSSYSP,WIDE2-2
Status  01/26 16:04 : TT3 Haz Primary
Comment 01/26 16:04 : Mic-E Off Duty

Here again, on the Data Path line, I understand WIDE2-2 is a alias for a digipeater. But, what is the SSSYSP?

If these are just other digipeaters why are they not identified by there actual callsign? Or by a common alias such as RELAY or WIDE?

Any enlightenment would be appreciated.


Posts: 98


« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2009, 04:48:40 PM »

OK, some basics first...

APRS stand for Automatic Position Reporting System.

The packets you are seeing have different information embedded in them. Take this one for example:


Of course WA6LSE-4 is the station callsign and SSID.

APN382 denotes what type of TNC he is using.

MINGUS*,WIDE2* is his "real" UNPROTO path, and the * denote that path as being "used up". More than likely his setting in his software could be WIDE1-1,WIDE2-2.

The rest of his path is telemetry of some kind, maybe weather data.

Look at this one:

KD7YAT-3>APN382,W7MOT-3*,WIDE2-1:!3321.12N/11225.81W_ESTRELLA WX, GOODYEAR

KD7YAT-3 is callsign and SSID
APN382 Is tnc type
W7MOT-3,WIDE2-1 is the "real" UNPROTO
!3321.12N/11225.81W_ is his lat/lon abd symbol for display on an APRS map.

IDing on APRS is a little different. A station ID's with it position report. If you watch long enough, you will see digiptears ID with a position report (provided they set it up right).

By the way, have you loaded a map in Xastir? That will help you understand APRS much better. Everything you are seeing was meant to be displayed on a map....

Hope that helps!

de NA4IT

Posts: 62

« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2009, 05:34:00 PM »

OK, that's makes sense. I never thought about that being the TNC type. Is there a way to determine what the actual TNC is from that information? Just out of curiosity?

I did know the "*" indicated the path of WIDE2-2 or whatever was used up. Thanks.

I appreciate the quick response.


Posts: 62

« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2009, 05:36:06 PM »

Almost forgot. Yes, I have the maps loaded. Very interesting to watch sometimes. The other day I watched a train come out of southwestern New Mexico and go thru Tucson and then almost up to Phoenix.

Thanks again,

Posts: 98


« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2009, 06:32:10 AM »

There used to be a page out there on the internet that told what denoted what TNC, I couldn't find it again.


Posts: 285


« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2009, 07:17:01 AM »


Actually, you're wrong.  It stands for AUTOMATIC PACKET REPORTING SYSTEM.

Copied from the APRS website:
"#  Misconception that P stands for Position instead of PACKET "


Posts: 2086

« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2009, 10:19:38 AM »

...and APN382 stands for Lane County Oregon.

73 de Lindy

Posts: 2086

« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2009, 10:27:47 AM »

Whats really going to be fun for me is our next vacation. I will replace the tiny track in the airplane with a Delta Fox digi and lap-top for Igate. It will be fun to see how it works at 5000' or so.

73 de Lindy

Posts: 293

« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2009, 10:46:11 AM »

Please don't run a high power airborne digipeater in my area, we have enough frequency congestion as is. You are just going to needlessly key up hundreds of other stations in a huge area.

Posts: 2086

« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2009, 06:11:16 AM »


Yes, good point, I will be monitoring it on APRS.FI. I run a 5 watt HT with rubber duck. My area of the country is APRS sparse. I left L.A. in 1989 (retired LAPD) and hope to never return (:-)

73 de Lindy

Posts: 293

« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2009, 10:12:59 AM »

WW5AA, thanks for being a considerate operator.

For reference, WB4APR's page, updated last year:


Posts: 19


« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2009, 05:06:42 PM »


Looking at the second line I understand the "WA6LSE-4" is the sending station. And I understand that "MINGUS*,WIDE2*" are digipeaters it has gone thru. But, what is the "APN382"? Is that another digipeater?

ANN382 identifies the device that sent the original packet. Basically what WA6LSE is using. In this case he's using a Kantronics KPC3+ with the version 8.2 firmware. See for the full list. It's handy to know what capabilities exist when replying or sending messages to that station.


Here again, on the Data Path line, I understand WIDE2-2 is a alias for a digipeater.

WIDE2-2 is a 'generic, decrementing Unproto path'. That means any digipeater that responds to WIDEn-n digipeat request should digipeat that packet, but decrement the 2nd number by one. So, first digipeater that hears WIDE2-2 will digipeat that packet - but sends it on as WIDE2-1. Next digipeater hears it decrements it again - it goes out the 2nd digi as WIDE2 (-0 is assumed for all anyway, no need to type it). The 3rd digipeater hearing that packet will NOT digipeat it any further as there are no more 'hops' left in the path.


But, what is the SSSYSP?

Tad trickier and I'm not as sure on this one. Looks to me like SSSYSP is in the 'To Call' position of the packet (my Xastir shows station info that way) - but it's not a 'valid' To Call (All valid APRS To Calls begin with A or AP). Ah Ha! This is a different station than your earlier example. Sneaky too in that you didn't include his call sign so we could look up his traffic. But, he is using a MIC-E encoded station. MIC-E uses the To Call slot as part of it's position report - I bet that SSSYSP is actually part of the position report itself. (could also be a tactical To Call so his packets go out via a specific digipeater. May be other options as well.)

Really - you should be asking these questions on the TAPR APRS SIG - that's where the best place for APRS questions really is. By comparison - this place is fairly dead.

Posts: 17

« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2009, 09:38:31 PM »

use this chart to designate your tnc in the unproto Tocall command parameter. this tells the aprs network what tnc firmware you have

APRS TO-CALL VERSION NUMBERS                            9 May 2007
Added APDPRS   for D-Star originated packets
Added APnnnU/D for uSmart devices
Added APDFxx   for automated DF units
Added AP1WWX   for TAPR T-238+ WX station
Added APCLxx   for celllular applications
Added APFGxx   for Flood Gages

In APRS, the TOCALL is not used for packet routing as is normally
done in AX.25.  So we use it for two things.  The initial APxxxx is
used as a group identifier to make APRS packets instanantly
recognizable on shared channels.  Most applicaitons filter out all
non APRS packets.  The remaining 4 bytes of the field are available
to indicate the software version number or application.  The
following applications have requested a TOCALL number series:

 APn  3rd digit is a number
      AP1WWX  TAPR T-238+ WX station
      AP4Rxy  APRS4R software interface
      APnnnD  Painter Engineering uSmartDigi D-Gate DSTAR Gateway
      APnnnU  Painter Engineering uSmartDigi Digipeater
 APA  APAFxx  AFilter.
      APAGxx  AGATE
      APAGWx  SV2AGW's AGWtracker
      APAXxx  AFilterX.
      APAHxx  AHub
      APAWxx  AGWPE
 APB  APBxxx  Beacons or Rabbit TCPIP micros?
      APBLO   MOdel Rocketry K7RKT
 APC  APCLxx  Cellular applications
      APCLEZ  Telit EZ10 GSM application ZS6CEY
      APCYxx  Cybiko applications
 APD  APRSd,  etc
      APDTxx  APRStouch Tone (DTMF)
      APDFxx  Automatic DF units
      APDPRS  D-Star originated posits
 APE  APExxx  Telemetry devices
      APERXQ  Experimental tracker by PE1RXQ
 APF  APFxxx  Firenet
      APFGxx  Flood Gage (KP4DJT)
 APG          Gates, etc
 APH          HamHud, etc
 API          Icom, etc
      APICQx  for ICQ
      APJExx  JeAPRS
      APJIxx  jAPRSIgate
      APJSxx  javAPRSSrvr
 APK  APK0xx  Kenwood THD7's
      APK1xx  Kenwood D700's
 APL          Liunx applications
 APM          MacAPRS, etc
 APN          Network nodes, digis, etc
      APN3xx  Kantronics KPC-3 rom versions
      APN9xx  Kantronics KPC-9612 Roms
      APNAxx  WB6ZSU's APRServe
      APNDxx  DIGI_NED
      APNMxx  MJF TNC roms
      APNPxx  Paccom TNC roms
      APNTxx  SV2AGW's TNT tnc as a digi
      APNUxx  UIdigi
      APNXxx  TNC-X  (K6DBG)
      APNK01  Kenwood D700 (APK101) type
      APNK80  KAM version 8.0
      APNKMP  KAM+
 APO  APRSpoint
      APOTxx  Open Track
      APOD1w  Open Track with 1 wire WX
      APOU2k  Open Track for Ultimeter
 APP          pocketAPRS, etc
 APQ  APQxxx  Earthquake data
 APR  APR8xx  APRSdos versions 800+
      APRDxx  APRSdata, APRSdr
      APRKxx  APRStk
      APRS    Generic, (obsolete. Digis should use APNxxx instead)
      APRXxx  APRSmax
      APRTLM  used in MIM's and Mic-lites, etc
      APRtfc  APRStraffic
      APRSTx  APRStt (Touch tone)
 APS  APRS+SA, etc
 APT  APTIGR  TigerTrack
      APTTxx  Tiny Track
      APT2xx  Tiny Track II
      APT3xx  Tiny Track III
      APTAxx  K4ATM's tiny track
      APTWxx  Byons WXTrac
      APTVxx  for ATV/APRN and SSTV applications
 APU  APU1xx  UIview 16 bit applications
      APU2xx  UIview 32 bit apps
      APU3xx  UIview terminal program
 APV          Voice over Internet  applications
      APVRxx  for IRLP
      APVLxx  for I-LINK
      APVExx  for ECHO link
 APW  APWxxx  WinAPRS, etc
      APWSxx  DF4IAN's WS2300 WX station
 APX  APXnnn  Xastir
      APXRnn  Xrouter
 APY  APYxxx  Yeasu
 APZ          Experimental
      APZ0xx  Xastir (old versions. See APX)
      APZPAD  Smart Palm
      APZWIT  MAP27 radio (Mountain Rescue) EI7IG

Authors with similar alphabetic requirements are encouraged to share
their address space with other software.  Work out agreements amongst
yourselves and keep me informed.


ALTNETS are uses of the AX-25 tocall to distinguish specialized traffic
that may be flowing on the APRS-IS, but that are not intended to be
part of normal APRS distribution to all normal APRS software operating
in normal (default) modes.  An example is when testing; an author
may want to transmit objects all over his map for on-air testing, but
does not want these to clutter everyone's maps.  He could use the
ALTNET of "TEST" and client APRS software that respects the ALTNET
concept should ignore this packet.

An ALTNET is defined to be ANY AX.25 TOCALL that is NOT one of the
normal APRS TOCALL's.  THe normal TOCALL's that APRS is supposed to
process are:  ALL, BEACON, CQ, QST, GPSxxx and of course APxxxx.

The following is a list of ALTNETS that may be of interest to other
users.  This list is by no means complete, since ANY combination of
characters other than APxxxx are considered an ALTNET.  But this list
can give consisntecy to ALTNETS that may be using the global APRS-IS
and need some special recognition:

   none at this time

de WB4APR, Bob
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