[aprssig] Digipeaters with local sysop rules...

Stephen H. Smith wa8lmf2 at aol.com
Fri Sep 14 01:36:46 CDT 2007

Robert Bruninga wrote:
> APRS at 1200 baud sharring a common VHF frequency among ham
> radio operators for local situational awareness and information
> exchange is so different from the IP, that it is dangerous to
> try to make any comparisons.  The IP is designed for 99.999% use
> by appliance operators.  That is why in the case of the IP, it
> depends on the brilliance of network designers like you to make
> it work.
> On the other hand, Ham radio operators are supposed to know how
> the RF channel works, be able to respond and re-constitute
> minimal communications with only what they bring with them...

Except that an appallingly large number of hams licensed under the new 
era of dumbed-down practically-zero-knowledge-required exams preceeded 
by 1-hour memorize-the-questions cram courses


about RF channels or anything else about radio!!!

I experienced these three incidents within 12 hours of each other:

1)      At a recent radio exhibit, a supposedly General-Class-licensed 
ham at a special event station spent 3 hours unsuccessfully trying to 
make a contact.  When I pointed out there was no antenna connected, they 
replied that they didn't need an antenna because they "had an antenna 
tuner", pointing to the AC power supply for the Icom IC-751 !

2)      10-year-licensed ham seeing an APRS mapping display on my mobile 
laptop in the car asks me "how do I get an Internet connection in the 
car?".    I reply that there is no Internet; it's all received locally 
off RF.   Still total lack of comprehension.    Turns out the visitor a) 
assumed the only endpoint of APRS is findu  and b) thought the only way 
to have maps on a computer is from the Internet.     Visitor is utterly 
dumbfounded to discover that  a) APRS is intended to communicate BETWEEN 
RADIOS, and b) a computer can actually do stuff without being connected 
to the Internet !!!

3)     APRS newbie comes to my house with problems trying to get a dumb 
tracker going in their car.   70-watt output transceiver wired to 
battery with 26-gauge zip cord, causing a two volt drop on transmit.  
Again, assumption that APRS is an AVL system with it's end point on the 
Internet at findu.   The usual complaint "I'm not showing up on 
findu.".   I ask if they have listened to their own transmissions in a 
nearby radio.  Seem uncomprehending.  I explain that the transmitted 
audio level from the tracker (i.e. deviation)  is critical, and that the 
only way to set it is to monitor the transmitted signal in another radio 
or receiver.     Still lack of comprehension.  Then they insist that 
they don't need to monitor the transmitted signal  "because  they have a 
Windows program to calibrate the Tiny Track" !!!

These were all supposedly "licensed hams".    Arrrrrgggh !!!!!


Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com
EchoLink Node:      14400    [Think bottom of the 2M band]
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