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[aprssig] RE: N1547C tracker

Thu Oct 20 13:35:02 UTC 2005

If you will recall my original message:
"I'm seeing N1547C sending positions without identifying with an amateur
callsign. I'm mobile right now but can someone check all his packets to see
if there is a callsign somewhere in there?"
I no where said that the tracker was out of whack.  I asked for others to
check it for me because I was not available to do so at the time I sent the
message.  I was hoping that by getting the information out to the masses
that someone would be able to confirm if the station was transmitting a
valid callsign.  That is all.  You are definitely reading too much into my
statement whereas I meant for the statement to be taken literally.  I was
seeing N1547C sending packets without a valid callsign.  I wanted someone
that was sitting at a computer and could pull up findU to check to see if
everything was correct.  That is it!
As such, I don't agree with putting trackers on the vehicles of non-licensed
persons.  I wouldn't do it.  You do.  But I did my job of reporting
suspicious behavior to the community so that we could rule-out foul play.  I
guess in some people's eyes it hasn't been ruled out, yet...


From: David Dobbins [mailto:ddobbins at direcway.com] 
Sent: Thursday, October 20, 2005 8:45 AM
To: Christensen, Eric
Cc: aprssig at lists.tapr.org
Subject: RE: N1547C tracker

Eric, info the group:
I agree Eric that we're all responsible to patrol the RF spectrum. A D700 is
not necessarily the best tool to do so, and a check of findu.com to confirm
any suspicions, or further check of your home station computer if you have
one (you probably do) would have easily confirmed the status text including
my callsign. On top of that, it's not even necessary to transmit the status
text on the same output path as the position reports. Ergo, any tracker
could use a position path of WIDE7-7, and no path on the status text,
meaning it goes out but does not get digipeated as far as the position
report (which would include the tactical call only). The rules are satisfied
as they call for a transmission of the info, not necessarily the receipt of
that info by someone monitoring the frequency. So it is not a fair
assumption that the tracker is out of whack just because you don't receive
the data. That used to bother me, but not as much anymore as I know our
people are responsible enough, and we ask them to set up a similar path for
both status text and position info. You just need to be cautious and do your
homework for some sort of confirmation of your suspicions before
"complaining" on a huge list like the aprssig. I've been playing this game
with trackers and APRS since 1993 when is was APRSdos and nothing else. I'm
still learning, but have a pretty good base of knowledge built up. The
comment you quoted does not say I'm not interested in watching too. It was
my tracker, my postings to the sigs, my time spent getting pictures and text
for the web page, and my personal email exchanges with several people along
the way who reported watching with interest. That should be the obvious "I'm
interested" comment I previously posted.
Dave K7GPS

-----Original Message-----
From: Christensen, Eric [mailto:CHRISTENSENE at MAIL.ECU.EDU] 
Sent: Thursday, October 20, 2005 4:43 AM
To: David Dobbins
Cc: aprssig at lists.tapr.org
Subject: RE: N1547C tracker

My assumptions, sir, came directly from your website.
"I am installing a tracker for friends and family to keep up with their
progress, using their N number as the tracker callsign."
That sounds an awful lot like you installing a tracker for a non-ham so
other non-hams can keep up with him.  AND, I watched well over fifteen
minutes position reports come across my D700 without seeing a callsign.
Maybe I didn't get the ones that did have a callsign or maybe the callsign
wasn't showing up on the D700.  As my original e-mail stated, I was mobile
and couldn't look at the packets and wanted someone to take a look at them
for me.  It is every ham's job to patrol the RF spectrum to protect it from
commercial ventures or we might just loose our spectrum.
And, no, I don't have a problem with tactical callsigns.  


From: David Dobbins
Sent: Thu 20-Oct-05 00:15
To: Christensen, Eric
Cc: aprssig at lists.tapr.org
Subject: N1547C tracker

I'm watching every inch of the N1547C travels on both findu.com and
APRS. The tracker was not installed for the express use of the pilot's
family/friends. What a ridiculous assumption, as was the oversight of
not watching for a couple of minutes and seeing the status text which
properly included my call when using a non-ham tactical callsign for the
tracker. While I doubt the Delaney's will run out and get their ham
licenses, I've already heard from Tim that his nephew in California has
been watching too, is taking a ham class right now, and is sharing the
excitement of watching his Uncle and Aunt fly around the country. The
flight will be completed in early Nov, when the Delaney's return to
Santa Rosa (not Santa Clara), CA. Then they'll send the tracker back and
I'll get it ready for one of our local marathon's and continue using
tactical callsigns. It seems some people have issue with the tactical
callsign being the same as the N number of their airplane. I don't see
the issue here, and believe me, this tracker is operating well within
FCC part 97. I also have contact with Tim while he's flying, or on the
ground, via cell phone, so if the tracker suddenly locks up or goes
awry, I just give him a call. The cell phone is wired into his headset,
along with aircraft radio and XM satellite. I just talked with Tim
today, and it looks like they may have to detour some because of
Hurricane Wilma. In advance of their trip, I posted a message to both
the nwaprssig and aprssig mailing lists. I included all the data that is
also posted on the http://nwaprs.info/n1547cexpedition.htm web page. If
you still have a gripe about the tracker, then send it to me. My email
addresses are posted all over the place, or you can try k7gps at arrl.net
as I've reactivated that one again to see if the spam and porno offers
are finally gone, as ARRL has promised. I guess I'm more surprised at
the bitching going on rather than people watching some cutting edge use
of APRS that keeps things interesting here. When the fellow flew around
the country last year in his plane, the tracker loaned him used a ham
club call that had no connection to the pilot, and the pilot was not a
ham either. He turned the D7A and GPS on and off manually. My tracker in
N1547C is wired to the ignition. So I guess the issue is the use of a
tactical callsign, which is really a non-issue, because tactical
callsigns are used/have been used everywhere APRS can be found. Need I
ramble on further, or can we return this threads to more positive

Dave K7GPS

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