[aprssig] Re: [SCR-L] School CLub Roundup on APRS

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Tue Oct 25 15:44:02 CDT 2005

Here are some comments and questions on using 

My thoughts in suggesting APRS was in the value of
the geography lesson of seeing contacts pop up on
the map live during an APRS exchange.  But Im not
sure how it woudl fit into the "rules" for SCR.
Maybe the easiest thing is just to let it be a scoreless

1) APRS is kind of like driving a car with cruise control.
You type in your CQ's and then check every minute or
so to see if you got any responses.  So I dont konw
how you would operate it as an additional transmitter
since the way I read the rules, you can only have one
scoring "station" working at a time.  It depends on
what "working" means.

I was thinking of it more as an "adjunct/demo" kind
of station that was running the entire time.  It kind
of needs to be running all the time to be there when
someone tries to send you a mesage.

Or do the rules lawyers alow you to rapidly time-share
transmitters, that is, while the HF station is tuning 
around or waiting for another QSO to finish on HF,
that the APRS station could be running

ALL THAT ASIDE, here is how I would suggest it
be used:

1) All SCR participants interested in operating APRS,
set up in the USA on 144.39 MHz normal APRS
but be sure to make your SYMBOL be a SCHOOL.

2) If you see any other schools on your APRS map
via RF then work them using normal APRS msgs.

3) Periodically send a one line message to "SCR" 
announcing your presence and operating times.
Do this days, or weeks before the event.

4) As needed, check this URL to see what other
schools have sent their own CQSCR messages
and are, or will be, on the air for SCR:


Also, you can simply see what other APRS
stations are on the air with SCHOOL symbols
using this URL:


(Unfortunately this is returning both pickup trucks
AND schools, so Ill try to get this fixed)...

Using the above list of callsigns of other schools,
then, during the event you can use APRS on
your local RF to attempt a 2-way LIVE message 
exchange with those other school calls.

5)  Of course this is all on RF, and you just use
the WEB pages above to get the callsigns you
will need to attempt to make QSO's.  APRS 
does not allow CQ's beyond local RF, but if the
distant callsign is known, then an APRS msg
can go anywhere on the planet live.

6) Clearly for NO-POINTS, it is also simple to
bring up yoru APRS system using the WEB and
then you can simply set your software to only
see SCHOOLS and then just sit there and
try to QSO the other schools you see.  THis is
clearly NOT the intent of APRS on RF, but
it can be used as a kind of "spotting" system
to let the students see the big picture of all
the other schools that are participating...

We could even have a live WEB PAGE map that
shows all APRS schools on the air at any time.
In fact, why dont we have this up ALL the time
for all schools that have active ham stations.
This way, a quick WEB check will show who is
on the air at any time...

So many ideas.  and all of this is already done
and working within the APRS infrastructure...

Again, I am not trying to wheezle-in on the SCR
contest.  But simply provide a means for kids
to contact each other and see the REAL-TIME
activity all over the world via the APRS system.


>>> n2rq at optonline.net 10/24/05 12:38 PM >>>

Thanks for the heads up.
I am not familiar enough with the APRS mode.
The little I know is that it has some things in common with packet.
The scoring for SCR might simply be in the "other" category with each 
contact getting 2 points, just like CW and other non voice modes. For 
packet, store and forward messaging via pbbs are not counted, but "real 
time" contacts are.
Please help us out with how we should consider APRS contacts.

I agree with your intent. The more we have interesting activities, the 


Lew N2RQ
n2rq at arrl.net 

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
 safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Robert Bruninga" <bruninga at usna.edu>
To: <kg4wfx at yahoo.com>; <SCR-L at yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Monday, October 24, 2005 11:45 AM
Subject: Re: [SCR-L] School CLub Roundup on APRS

>>>> kg4wfx at yahoo.com 10/24/05 11:05 AM >>>
>>Will APRS contacts have a different multiplier
>>then regular contacts?
> Oh, sorry.  I forgot SCR was a contest.  I
> was thinking more along the lines of just
> interesting activities for students.  My thinking
> was that usually only one can be at the mic
> at a time, and so the others could be trying
> to make some VHF APRS contacts as something
> to keep them busy.  Just an idea.
> But since APRS is global (although you send
> and receive on local VHF), you sohould be
> able to make contacts all over the country
> with other such APRS stations and so you
> can still put pins in the map.... etc...  Bob
> Robert Bruninga <bruninga at usna.edu> wrote:
> SCR and APRS:
> If anyone wants to add APRS to their school club
> roundup, it is now possible to get a list of
> participating school club calls in real time to
> help in making on-air APRS message contacts.
> If you are familiair with APRS you know that
> you can send and receive messages anywhere in
> the world via APRS in real time as long as you
> know the callsign of the station you want to
> QSO.  The hard part, is knowing who is on
> the air and so who to call.
> This now automated and simplified.  Stations
> desiring to make SCR APRS contacts simply send
> an APRS message to the callsign SCR prior to
> the event.  THen prior to the event download
> the list of all such stations that have sent these
> messages and that gives you a list of calls
> to attempt to contact live on the SCR day.
> See:
> http://www.ew.usna.edu/~bruninga/aprs/aprs-jota.txt 
> And where it uses the example of "scouts", just
> insert "scr"...
> Good luck.
> de WB4APR, Bob

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