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I'm new to APRS and trying to setup a RaspberryPi APRS GPS Tracker. I've installed Direwolf and configured it, my transceiver transmits the signal, and I've decoded it with GQRX via an RTL-SDR and I get the following (i've substituted the actual GPS coordinates):

fm KC1KAZ-0 to APDW15-0 UI PID=F0 !gpsCoordinatesHere;360/001

And it isn't picked up by any of the local digipeaters. So I fired up my iPhone and used PocketPacket to check if I could get a signal out, it sent the following:

fm KC1KAZ-0 to APZP22-0 via WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1 UI PID=F0 =gpsCoordinatesHere;testMessage

And that does get picked up by the local digipeater. Of course now that I write this all out, I'm thinking it's because I don't have the via=WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1 path defined in my configuration file. Though, I'm trying to take advantage of smartbeaconing and when I RTFM it says to use smart beaconing I should just have the following in my config:

SMARTBEACONING 60 2:00 5 15:00 0:15 30 255

Is the fix as simple as adding via=WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1 to the config line?

Also, curiously, and probably unrelated, if I use PulseModemA on my iPhone to try to get a signal out it isn't picked up and I get the following from GQRX:

fm KC1KAZ-0 to APRS-0 via WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1 UI PID=F0 !/8grS<HOS;

Here's my config file:

ADEVICE  plughw:1,0
ACHANNELS 1

MYCALL KC1KAZ

MODEM 1200

AGWPORT 8000
KISSPORT 8001

GPSD

SMARTBEACONING 60 2:00 5 15:00 0:15 30 255

Thank you in advance for reading this and taking your time to help out.

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to ham.stackexchange.com! Someone with Direwolf experience may well come along and answer your question, but then again maybe nobody will. If no one does, then I suggest that you try adding "via=WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1" to your config line, and then posting the results as an answer to your own question. $\endgroup$ – rclocher3 Aug 6 at 14:54
  • $\begingroup$ Awesome, thanks for the heads up. Yeah, I was working on this late last night, decided to give it a break. Then of course I couldn't stop thinking about it this morning, and in posting this I noticed the path issue, I figured I'd post anyway to maybe get confirmation. If I don't hear anything else, I will definitely post the results tonight. I've been having trouble finding specifics about Direwolf setup (besides the manual, which isn't bad), so hopefully this thread will help someone else eventually. $\endgroup$ – user1359337 Aug 6 at 15:14
  • $\begingroup$ When you've solved your problem and want to give the details, it's better to post your own answer — even if you're going to accept another answer — than to put it as an "EDIT" in your question. This puts things in a better organization in the page (question, accepted answer, more details on the solution), and also we generally prefer not to have "EDIT" sections at all. So if you could post an answer with that text, that would be good. $\endgroup$ – Kevin Reid AG6YO Aug 9 at 14:43
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Yes, the lack of WIDE1-1 and WIDE2-1 is why no other stations are picking up your beacon. For example a station (mine is n9ds) listens for a packet with "WIDE1-1" in the routing. Since it's still "WIDE1-1", the station knows it hasn't been retransmitted. It then deducts 1 from the number after the dash (* means zero) and resends it. (I may have a detail or two slightly off, but that's the general idea.)

WIDE1 are "fill-in" digis, smaller stations like mine where there may be gaps in coverage for mobile stations. WIDE1s generally relay the packets to a WIDE2 somewhere. WIDE2 are the bigger stations and frequently the IGates.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks fo the reply, and explanation of what each of the path values mean! I added those lines to my Direwolf config last night, but ran into unrelated GPS issues, ugh. I'm planning attacking it again tonight to confirm that the config update fixes the issue. As I mentioned in my question, the path isn't addressed in the manual for the GPS tracker config, so once I confirm this, I'll post my updated config for anyone else who might find themselves in this situation. Thanks again! $\endgroup$ – user1359337 Aug 7 at 17:06
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So it seems like Duston's answer below was correct, adding the via=WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1 to the config file under the beaconing properties seemed to fix it. Full config file below:

#############################################################
#               Configuration file for Dire Wolf            #
#                   Linux version                           #
#############################################################
#
#############################################################
#               FIRST AUDIO DEVICE PROPERTIES               #
#               (Channel 0 + 1 if in stereo)                #
#############################################################
ADEVICE - plughw:1,0
ACHANNELS 1
#############################################################
#               CHANNEL 0 PROPERTIES                        #
#############################################################
CHANNEL 0
MYCALL KC1KAZ
MODEM 1200
#############################################################
#               VIRTUAL TNC SERVER PROPERTIES               #
#############################################################
AGWPORT 8000
KISSPORT 8001
#############################################################
#               BEACONING PROPERTIES                        #
#############################################################
GPSD
TBEACON EVERY=60 SYMBOL=car via=WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1
SMARTBEACONING 60 2:00 5 15:00 0:15 30 255 via=WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1
#############################################################
#               INTERNET GATEWAY                            #
#############################################################
IGTXLIMIT 6 10

I left both TBEACON and SMARTBEACONING uncommented, I think I'm only getting results from the TBEACON though. My U-Blox7 USB GPS module seems to have a lot of issues getting a fix on my position. Outside and in a static position it seems to work, as soon as I start moving though, it just can't get a fix. I'm sure it's because it's a cheapo USB GPS, I'm just a little disappointed because multiple online resources heaped a lot of praise on it.

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