[aprssig] Why APRS mobile?

Steve Bragg KA9MVA steve at hamhud.net
Sat Apr 14 10:19:58 CDT 2007

I'm sorry to be so late replying to this thread.  In fact, I did reply 
to the thread, but apparently my reply only went to Bob WB4APR, not the 
list.  I will try to re-construct what I wrote from memory, since it's 
also not in my 'sent' box.

Bob was replying to these questions:
 > >/ How come you want to run a TNC mobile ? /
 > >/ Why not just use a tinytrack or opentracker ?
/> Because the essence of ham radio is two-way communications. Because 
the essence of APRS is situational awareness. Having a channel that is 
the be-all-end-all of information on all ham radio activities going > on 
in the immediate area.

Agreed.  The mobile situational awareness that APRS provides is what 
inspired me to create the heads-up APRS terminal called HamHUD 
(www.hamhud.net) back in 1997, before the Kenwood D7/D700 came out.  
It's why our team stuck with it, refining HamHUD in four iterations over 
nearly ten years.

And it's why we're unveiling a demo version of our latest iteration, 
HamHUD V (pronounced "vee") at Dayton this year.  Please come by booths 
503/504/505 (Argent Data Systems / RPC / APRSWorld / HamHUD Nichetronix) 
if you're going to Hamvention this year.

Bob continued:

 > I have nothing against trackers at all. There are many many 
applications for them and everyone should have a few... But it makes 
little sense in a ham radio network concept to encourage active ham radio
 > operators to be driving around transmitting only without listening, 
without reciving any local info, without any ability to receive messages 
or be called in case needed, basically without participating in the
 > network they are using. APRS is about receiving, displaing and 
exchanging tactical real-time useful information amongst a network of 
active ham radio operators that are doing something on ham radio. Of
 > ccourse it is nice to have something to receive, so someone has to 
transmit too. So nothing wrong with trackers, but hams should be 
encouraged to install two-way communications where possible so that they
 > are a useful asset to the network, instead of just a noise source 
with no means of being contacted.

Bob's comments about the importance of 2-way mobile APRS serve well to 
articulate the reasons the HamHUD team included the following features 
in HamHUD V:

- Two virtual TNCs (one for internal APRS, one for an external APRS client)
- Seperate heads-up bitmapped display, as large as user desires (I'm 
currently testing with a rear-view-mirror integrated display)
- Seperate user interface, on the microphone or a 
steering-wheel-mountable wireless remote
- PS/2 and USB keyboard inputs
- Integration with external voice and APRS radios

I hope you guys will come by the booth, take a look, and give us your 


Steve Bragg KA9MVA
"The HamHUD Guy"

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