Monday, December 31, 2012

Parser updates and new delayed packet filtering feature

I've updated the APRS device identification module Ham::APRS::DeviceID to include detections for new APRS devices (KissOZ, anyfrog, unknown mic-e, SARTrack, Altus Metrum, SM2APRS, aprsc, NW Digital Radio UDR56K). The new version, 1.06, has been published on CPAN for your open source pleasure, and installed on

I also published version 1.19 of the Ham::APRS::FAP packet parser used by It only includes a small fix to the binary value telemetry bit order in Base91 comment telemetry. But at least that keeps me in the regular 1 release per year schedule! Just in time!

The larger feature in the upgrade is that it now utilizes the sequence number present in Base91 comment telemetry for detecting delayed packets.

APRS packets notably lack any sort of sequence number that could be used to detect old duplicate packets arriving late, or to place them in the correct order. Newer Byonics trackers can transmit telemetry (battery voltage, temperature, etc) within position packets using the new Base91 comment telemetry format, which is quite tightly packed, and also includes a sequence number in a range of 0...8280. This makes it really easy to detect a packet having an older sequence number than the previously received packet. There are already a lot of those devices in use. has now been updated to make use of the sequence number when available. It's more reliable and faster than the old methods of detecting too high speed or duplicate packet content. Due to the amount of broken igates and digipeaters delaying packets for minutes or tens of minutes (often due to a buggy Kantronics KPC3+ in KISS mode) it can make sense for a tracker to transmit the sequence number alone without any actual telemetry! Packets dropped due to this will be shown with this error message:

Delayed or out-of-order packet (sequence number)

In practice it will usually be shown together with the error message about dropped telemetry, since the telemetry content is also ignored due to the duplicate sequence number: 

2012-12-31 00:24:51 EET: N0CALL-9>SY0UWY,WIDE1-1,WIDE2*,qAR,N00CALL:
[Duplicate telemetry sequence, Delayed or out-of-order packet (sequence number)]

You can use the Decoded mode of the raw packets view to see sequence numbers and telemetry values decoded from each packet.

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