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[aprssig] Using the D7 for event data

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Tue Aug 21 20:39:47 UTC 2007

Regarding using the D7 as an object entery device at events, see
this page:

> I've found that if you mess around with the callsign, 
> the radio gets tweaky.  

Hummh, I've never noticed something like that..

> Besides, if you change the mycall setting [to the 
> OBJECT name] then you have to remember to ID once 
> every 10 minutes to be compliant.

That is part of preparation I mentioned.  Put your callsign in
the text of the object once and it will work for all objects and
the entire event.  Also set your TX rate to once every 10
minutes and you are guaranteed to be legal.

> at some point you'll get two or three bunched up 
> together coming past.

I assumed one would write down the numbers on a scratch pad and
then send the data as convenient.  Its always a good idea to jot
info on a notepad first in case of radio problems as a backup.
Any such data application usually should be planned with a paper
trail anyway.

> Not only that, they would also pass each other at 
> times, so simply incrementing/decrementing the ID, 
> is not an option.  

That was not what I meant.  What I meant was that you can use
the TUNE knob on the D7 to rapidly increment or decrement each
digit and be able to quickly change one vehicle number to
another with just a few clicks and turns. Instead of having to
key in an entire multi-digit number from scratch each time.  You
can do it in under 10 seconds per vehicle for even a 6 digit
vehicle number. (faster than voice...)..

Done.  The vehicle object shows up in the vicinity of that

> That's only really doable with a PC attachced running 
> something like Link700, and I don't know how successful 
> that would be. Forget about a stand alone D7, it's 
> not viable for that sort of use.  

Not my experience at all.  We used D7's handheld at a boy scout
event to report Troop number and score from dozens of stations.
It worked beautifully, and even the old codgers at Netcontrol
that said it couldn't work appreciated it and agreed it was a
benefit for them.

There was not even any PC at net control either to receive the
data.  It was just a D700 with its Front Panel attached to his
Clipboard.   Here is why he appreciated it though he had never
seen a D700 before:

1) He was harried by 20 different voice reports of scores coming
in from dozens of voice operators.  And he was trying to take
check ins, write down the data, acknowledge the number, and move
on to the next one all by voice.

2) For the D7 data coming in, that was one less
check-in-voice-transcription-re-check-evolution for each D7.   

3) For the D7 data, he just waited for most of the voice stuff
to come in, or during any lull in activity, and then he could
simply press the LIST button and there was the data from each D7
station.  He could write it down at his leisure and delete it at
his leisure

4) Meanwhile he could respond with immediancy to anything new
that came up on the net, because he could interrupt his
transcription of the D7 data at any time and come back to it at
any time.

In other words, using a D7 to report data had these advantages:
A) removed a load from the voice reporting net
B) gave guaranteed, error free delivery
C) recorded instantly at net control for later review
D) moved transcritption from immediacy to background
E) Could be auto recorded by a PC with TNC/software
F) or simply a D700 control head puts the data at point of use.

> Someone else... mentioned using bar codereaders 
> and trackers at known fixed locations.   An 
> equivalent would be a numeric pad for an
> operator to just key in the competitors number 
> into, as they passed.

Yep, that's exactly what the D7 is.  A keypad with built-in APRS
transmit capability.  People just need to think outside the box
to use it in all kinds of applications.
> They'd need a collegue too, to write it down as 
> backup for safety cover.

That's what the large screen on the D700 can be used for as we
did at this scout event...

Sure, poor planning or poor application of sensible formats for
the data can make such an application unwieldy, but on the other
hand, the D7 can make a fantastic data entry device in many
applications if prior thought is put into it formats and the

Again, see how we did it for the Scout Event:

Bob Bruninga

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