WWARA Quality Control
I (KC7RBW) sometimes dabble in Ham Radio, mostly on the technical side. I'm not big on talking, and antennas are voodoo, but I like to learn how things work, and to prove my understanding by doing.
For actually about 8 years, I've been quietly working with WWARA, the frequency coordinator for the Western Washington region, to correct inconsistencies in their coordination database. A coordination database is a source of truth for radio repeaters you can reach in your region. Technically coordination is voluntary, but the FCC rules say that if there's a conflict (two repeaters interfering with each other) the coordinated repeater has the right of way.
I got into this because I hate manually configuring radios. It's so tedious, even using the PC software that goes with your radio. So I wrote scripts that convert the data from WWARA into formats that can be imported through your PC software. In fact, the
.chirp format file that's included in WWARA database extracts is generated by a script I wrote (unfortunately CHIRP deprecated that format). I've had scripts to convert to Icom format, various iterations of OpenGD77, and others.
Along the way I've made my scripts easier for me to use and adapt to new formats, and to check for more errors, including where a coordination doesn't align with the Band Plan. It's all in a fairly robust state now. You can check it out at github.com/ajorg/WWARA, but the reason I wanted to blog about it is that we've reached an important milestone: The WWARA coordination database contains no detectable errors. Actually there are just two records that violate some rule or other, but these are grandfathered in. One of them is quite old.
That doesn't mean it accurately reflects what repeaters are on the air in the Western Washington region, but it does mean that every coordination conforms to the rules, and most are probably accurate.
I've even got an AWS Lambda Function that notifies me by Webhook when there are changes to the database, detailing what's been changed or added, and any new errors.
I've also played with automating submissions to RepeaterBook. There are 25 repeaters known to WWARA that don't have any likely matches there, but there are no APIs for submitting new entries, so that's a dead end for me.