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David Dobbins ddobbins at gmail.com
Sun Oct 8 19:22:52 UTC 2006

I'm posting this to both the APRSSIG and NWAPRSSIG:

I wish the FCC would come along and declare the future of APRS will be
on 440 at 9600 baud, much like they (finally) told the TV broadcasters
to transition to HDTV by year whatever. HDTV brings a whole new level
of enjoyment to TV viewing. If you have HDTV, you know what I mean.

Unfortunately that will NEVER likely happen with APRS, and the
transition to 9600 baud UHF APRS will take years beyond what it
should. Ideally we should have started out the infrastructure on 9600
baud back in '91-92 when the initial growth began. But even I couldn't
afford the cost of the 9600 baud equipment back then. I got in on the
bandwagon about one year after the introduction, and used to dial up
the BBS for yet another version of APRSdos every two weeks or so.
Remember that, you old fogies??

That's different now, and I think we all need to make a paradigm shift
in our thinking about the future of APRS around the world. We should
not encourage (is a better word "discourage"?) further development at
the 1200 baud level on VHF, but rather start the transition now by
committing our growth to the UHF band and at 9600 baud, with a goal of
completing the transition by 2012.

Manufacturers should support this by focusing their product
development, and lower their costs of 9600 baud equipment. A KPC-9+
UHF only TNC would be great, for about $150, while the KPC-9612+ at
$250, not $380, would be equally vundervas!. 9600 baud-capable mobile
data radios should cost $150 like their 1200 baud counterparts (Icom
IC-2100 VHF = IC-4100/4200 UHF)

The new gizmos should all support 9600 baud. Some do, some don't. Yeah
for the guys who are supporting high(er) speed packet. What's wrong
with the rest of you?

A common worldwide UHF freq, or maybe two freqs, would also help, and
those bodies governing those freqs should help make things happen,
rather than hinder the development.

The next generation of APRS satellites should be 9600 baud only.
There'd be plenty of QSO time for everyone.

And, along the same lines, we shouldn't wasting our time deveoping
and/or supporting 1200 baud VHF WinLink. WinLink is one of the coolest
projects to come around since sliced (cinnamon-raisin) bread, but we
could be supporting so much more data at the 9600 baud level. Why not
take the position of "Hey if you want to play Winlink on the non-HF
side, we can be found on 9600 baud UHF".

Were these issues taken up at the recent DCC? Maybe I'm just spitting
in the wind? But it could be worse..... we could just stay on VHF and
1200 baud forever, and not make any improvements. If that's OK with
you, so be it. I say let's keep moving forward with all the facets of
the hobby, not just part of it.

David K7GPS

David Dobbins
Medical Lake, WA

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