APRS-IS Core Servers

I’ve been running WG3K-NJ, an APRS Firenet server, for a few years now, which is configured to connect to a core APRS-IS server to provide upstream connectivity to the rest of the network. Tonight I got thinking about network efficiencies and wondered if this connection could be made any better. Here’s what I found out.

There are nine core APRS-IS servers, each located in a variety of locations around the U.S.:

  • FIRST Oklahoma

  • SECOND New Jersey

  • THIRD United Kingdom

  • FOURTH Oklahoma

  • FIFTH New Jersey

  • SIXTH New Jersey

  • SEVENTH Oklahoma

  • EIGHTH Idaho

  • NINTH Idaho

You can see that there are actually three major areas where these servers live: Oklahoma, New Jersey, and Idaho. (I should mention that this information was had from looking at the IP address’s WHOIS information so the actual server could actually be elsewhere!) WG3K-NJ lives in New Jersey, somewhat logically close to SECOND, FIFTH, and SIXTH. Unfortunately, WG3K-NJ was connecting on a regular basis to EIGHTH, meaning that all the upstream packets had to flow to and from the other side of the continent (nearly) just to propagate out. Now that just doesn’t seem efficient.

With that in mind, I hard-coded those New Jersey servers into my configuration file while leaving the 'rotate' address last. That should hopefully make things a little more efficient, network-wise, although I doubt anyone will notice.