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[aprssig] Barcodes, D7 msgs and APRStt

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Wed Feb 28 18:14:45 UTC 2007


> /*SEND K9FRT START 9 CAR 43*/
> 
> which would result in car 43 put into the "START 9" 
> (stage 9 start) column at the net control's (K9FRT) computer. 

I am all in support of a barcode scanner application, so don't
take this wrongly, but don't overlook that you can do all of
this today with the D7 (or any HT) at each checkpoint, just like
we do it for reporting scores at a scout event.  

See:  http://www.ew.usna.edu/~bruninga/aprsevent.html

In this case above, the D7 operator could enter this message on
his keypad as just "S9 43" And that would be transmitted as an
APRS message to Netcontrol computer as meaning START 9 CAR
number 43.  And without any of the dangling cables of a barcode
thinggy.  

Not only that, but using my APRStt program at net control, ANY
HT with a DTMF pad could send the same APRS message.  Still 7
years after APRStt was introduced, we still need someone to
write a Windows version (mine is DOS) that implements it all in
software on a soundcard (mine used external DTMF chip).  Then
ANY HT can be used by EVERYONE at any event for 100% APRS data
entry at all stations.  Please see the
APRStt system: 
http://www.ew.usna.edu/~bruninga/aprstt.html

In anycase, it would be best to design for all data entry
methods so that you can have a higher probability of
participation at as many points as possible.  Field as many
barcode scanners as you can and also D7's.  Getting enough
equipment at every station is the hard part, so plan on multiple
methods. That is why APRStt (IMHO) is the single biggest need in
APRS today.  It would bring in ALL volunteers at an event into
DATA ENTRY mode, not just the D7 and barcode users.

For known events, some very powerful data reporting can be done
in some very short codes.  So in addition to adding a barcode
scanner to an opentracker, I'd like to see a TTpad added to the
handheld tracker so that APRS messages (and in this case data
entry) can be done by anyone with any HT.  (though again, with
APRStt software at Headquarters, any HT with a DTMF pad can do
the same thing).

APRStt is a very powerful system to bring in ALL users at an
event and allow EVERYONE to be seen on APRS and to enter data
with just a standard HT and no cables.  It is long past time to
get this implemented in windows so people can use it.  Until we
get closer to 100% data entry from APRS, APRS will remain a cute
sideshow at most events... APRStt and ideas like this barcode
scanner can do it.


Bob, WB4APR





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