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[aprssig] APRS data entry device

Art KY1K at verizon.net
Sun Oct 29 15:10:48 UTC 2006

Anyone interested in scanning bar codes should know about the Cue Cat 
barcode reader. Originally intended as a privacy invading tool by big 
business and given away for 'free', they are cheap and have been 
declawed (made safe).

They send a globally unique serial number to a keyboard input on a PC 
(wedge), and the contents of the scanned barcode, and then a carriage 
return. The globally unidentifiable serial number allowed the now 
defunct Digital Convergence Inc. to collect information about your 
online shopping habits::>

Hackers discovered a test mode, which defeats the encryption and does 
not send the serial number, so the result is a safe and cheap bar code scanner.




There are USB cuecats, but they are rarer and command higher prices. 
The PS2 keyboard wedge types are very cheap to buy now.



At 09:24 AM 10/29/2006, you wrote:

>The more I think about Scott's idea about a data entry device, the 
>better I like it.
>Especially if it is just a small keypad added to the side of a small 
>tracker device.  This tracker, running on a 9v battery and about the 
>size of a cigarette pack, would make an excellent data entry device 
>in the field.  Plugged into any HT, it becomes HAM radio's data 
>entry system for all kinds of public service:
>1) Reporting scout troop patrols arrival, departure and scores at check points
>2) Reporting triage patient numbers for Disaster exerciese
>3) Reporting passing runners at race events
>4) Inventorying large stuff over large areas
>The packet format of such a numeric key pad would be a standard APRS 
>STATUS packet but with a leading "#" sign as a type identifier.  By 
>being a status packet, then all existing TH-D7's can also enter the 
>same data and be fully compatible.  So here is what it would look 
>like on the air:
>Notice that all the keys of a standard DTMF keypad would be 
>encoded.  And these numbers can mean anything at any event.
>Only the event planners decide what format is required for their own 
>application, since they will also then write the software to parse 
>out the info they want.
>For our scout troop report, we might call this particular format, "format 1".
> >#4*1234*23*95*1115
>Meaning that troop 1234 just left checkpoint/station 23 with a score 
>of 95 at 11:15.  And in the same format
> >#4*1234*24*00*1120
>Might mean they just arrrived at station 24 at 11:20.
>Such status packets would be transmitted by the tracker using the 
>STANDARD APRS DECAY DESIGN... that is, the packet is transmitted 
>imediately, then 8 seconds later, then 16, then 32, then 64, then 2 
>mins then 4 mins, then 8 mins and then 16 mins and then 30 
>mins...  Thus there is excellent probabiliy that the packet is 
>delivereed quickly, but then there is redundancy in case of 
>collisions.  When a new status packet is entered, this cancels the 
>previous one and the decay algorithm begins anew.
>The packet begins with the TYPE digit which can define several 
>different formats such as:
>1 XXXX             a single 3 digit number
>2 xxxx*xxx         a two field record
>3 xxxx*xxxx*xx     a three field record
>4 xxxx*xxxx*xx*xx  a four field record
>5 xxxx*xxxxx*xx    contians a 5 digit field
>6 xxxx*xxxxxx*xx   contains a 6 digit field
>By specifying the exact number of digits also, then the central data 
>engine can use format checking to help eliminate errors.  If 
>someting comes in with the wrong format and wrong number of digits, 
>then it will announce (preferably by voice) "W3XYZ INVALID ENTRY" on 
>the voice channel.
>I used 4 digit numbers in these cases, becasue TIME and TROOP 
>numbers are bot 4 digits.  The above are only representative.  But 
>hopefully as APRS users come up with applications, they will better 
>define some standard formats and also write some neat applications 
>to reecive and tabluate this data.  These then will become 
>defacto-standards, because they will be readily available.
>So if anyone has any formats that would meet their public service 
>needs, let us know.  How many digits are the runner numbers at BIG 
>marathons?  We would need a format to cover that.  Something like 
>TIME, RUNNER, CODE where the code would indicate the type of 
>report... like arrived MM13 or dropped out, or needs assist, etc...
>de Wb4APR
>aprssig mailing list
>aprssig at lists.tapr.org
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