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[aprssig] Displaying Operating Frequency

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Wed Aug 1 16:30:55 UTC 2007


You nailed the concerns that were growing in my head as I wrote
Yes, just like we are asking the Local Voice Repeater Initiative
to nail down the one-and-only "best" frequency in an area, I
guess, the FREQ idea is for contact purposes only, and so
listing the One VHF/UHF frequency that is being monitored in the
shack is the real objective.  Thanks  Bob, WB4APR

> This scheme assumes you are using one of the "DC-to-light" 
> multimode rigs with CAT-enabled serial ports (i.e. FT-100, 
> TS-2000, IC-706, etc), that are more likely to be on HF than 
> VHF/UHF.   I am far more likely to be monitoring/operating 
> VHF/UHF bands with FM-only radios that don't have CAT ports. 
> As a mobile, are you really interested in what HF frequency a 
> fixed station is on?   Wouldn't the current VHF or UHF 
> frequency be of more interest since you are far more likely 
> to have a VHF or UHF radio in the car than HF?  Further, even 
> if you have HF in the car, you are FAR more likely to be 
> heard on VHF/UHF than on HF from the far side of town.    
> (80M or 40M groundwave without the benefit of repeaters 
> doesn't go very far....)
> If the fixed station is using a dual-band FM-only rig or 
> several mono-band FM rigs on various bands (i.e. FT-1500s, 
> TM-G707s, TM-742s, etc) to monitor VHF/UHF, this scheme won't 
> work since most of these FM-only rigs are not CAT-capable.    
> Further, is there going to be enough space in the comment 
> field for all this stuff?       [In my own scenario, I would 
> have to somehow fit Echolink on 438.150MHz (Node 14400),  
> voice on 146.52 and on 147.09, APRN on 146.700 and voice on 
> 52.525 into the beacon.]   
> I suppose one could have a processor-based gadget with a 
> keypad and serial ports, that could interrogate some rigs via 
> serial CAT, and provide keyboard data entry for other radios. 
> It would then generate APRS packets to be beaconed by a 
> dedicated radio on a rotating basis; i.e. comment field info 
> about a different radio on each successive beacon.    This 
> gadget would probably also have to have some sort of serial 
> port splitter/feedthrough functions since the CAT ports of 
> radios so equipped are often already in use for automated 
> logging, antenna selection/control, remote control, ALE or 
> other functions.    
> Just a thought:   The Kenwoods would be simpler for this 
> application since their CAT ports can be set to 
> "auto-reporting". In this mode,  they spit out frequency info 
> periodically on their own with no command/response two-way 
> interaction required.  As a result, the APRS status-reporting 
> box can just passively bridge any existing hookup on the CAT 
> port,  just listening and never talking.  (This would be 
> similar to the way one connects the input of a D700 GPS port, 
> and a laptop serial port, in parallel across a GPS receiver.)
> Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com 


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Stephen H. Smith [mailto:wa8lmf2 at aol.com] 
> Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2007 12:15 PM
> To: bruninga at usna.edu; TAPR APRS Mailing List
> Cc: danny at messano.net
> Subject: Re: [aprssig] Displaying Operating Frequency
> Robert Bruninga wrote: 
> 		You mentioned "EVERY ham would monitor APRS to
> 		what was going on locally, and EVERY ham's
> 		would beacon on the APRS channel a STATUS packet

> 		about what he was doing on any other frequency
> 		band or activity so everyone would know."  
> 		The $6 word for that is "Presence", and it's a
> 		we DON'T have something like that for hams now.

> 	Actually, after Katrina, the ARRL made it an initiative
to come
> 	up with a mechanism for determining and distributing the
> 	OPERATING frequency of all stations on the air, so that
> 	could easily be found when needed.  It is called WOTA
for "Who
> 	is On the Air".  Since we have always encouraged the
addition of
> 	Operating FREQUENCY as a standard field, we tried to
make APRS a
> 	big part of that initiative.  But I got little support.
But we
> 	have now formalized a standard for including FREQUENCY
> 	packets to improve this situation down the road...
> 	What I want to see are PIC processors connected up to
> 	stations that will MONITOR the operating frequency of
the main
> 	RIG in the hamshack and automatically insert that
frequency in
> 	that station's APRS *local* beacon.
> 	I do not want to see these beacons all over the state,
> 	simply locally, so that if the need arises, that person
can be
> 	contacted.
> 	In fact, I think it would make a nice set of Add-on's to
> 	client software so that that software could monitor the
> 	other radios and include their operating frequencies in
> 	stations beacon.
> 	IN fact, a TinyTracker or OT tracker or any PIC device
could be
> 	made for the major CAT interfaces for Kenwood, Icom and
> 	Plug this device into the shack radios and plug it into
> 	unused HT on the APRS channel, and there you go...
> 	Bob, WB4APR

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