[aprssig] Did an airplane crash in Martinsburg WV?

Boyd Prestwood K5YKG k5ykg at arrl.net
Sat Feb 9 11:55:51 CST 2008

I have been involved in one way or another with APRS since its release 
in 1992.  I've been a trustee of digis, weather stations, mobile 
trackers, the whole 9 yards!

For the 20-some odd years as ARRL SEC in Southern New Jersey, I 
contended that if you wanted your served-agency officials to take APRS 
(and ham radio for that matter) seriously, it was imperative that ham 
operations be conducted with maturity and professionalism.  This, and a 
license, is what separated us from CB'ers who might have had good 
intentions but not all the resources and technology hams had & continue 
to have.

APRS is NOT a Monopoly game.  You don't get to pick-&-choose the playing 
piece you want to use.  It important to use the symbol that best 
describes the purpose of your station at that location and make the data 
it transmits as serious, truthful, accurate and professional-looking as 
is possible.

APRS is a 24/7 tool that contains status of situations within your RF 
LAN, however large that may be.  Even if there's no emergency or special 
event going on, practice what can be done with it using that same 
truthfulness and accuracy.  Be professional.  Be consistent.  If you're 
a cop or a fireman and you're allowed to have ham radio & APRS in your 
"company" vehicle, then beacon as such if you think that's appropriate 
but if you're off duty and using APRS elsewhere, use the symbol/icon 
that best describes the station from which you're operating.  Testing 
should include such a notice in the COMMENT field.  Avoid redundant text.

If you think this is a game, or for fun & chuckles, then that's the way 
APRS is gonna be perceived and EOC, disaster scene, and/or incident 
command officials aren't going to take you, ham radio, and/or APRS 
seriously either.

I'm retired and live in Houston, TX now and no longer involved with the 
public service aspect of ham radio but principles are principles and 
apply today as much as they did when this all started.

Have fun but be serious with APRS.  Be professional!
Thanks for the soapbox. Flame suit on!
73 de Boyd Prestwood, K5YKG (ex-W2HOB)

Joseph M. Durnal wrote:
> Is there some sort of training exercise going on?
> No, just someone trying to be cute with APRS.
> 140   *080739z3926.66N\07756.47W'K8SDG owes $140 he barrowed for an
> Icom
> This is a huge packet that I don't really understand.  but in any
> event, it is probably best not to use \' for fun and games.  I see
> folks using fire trucks, ambulances, police cars, etc not because that
> is the type of vehicle they are in, but more as a personalization.
> While this is generally harmless, it could be pretty confusing if
> there was an actual emergency and folks were trying to figure out
> where the assets are.
> APRS gives the casual op room for some personalization, and this
> packet is a good example.
> N2NWK>APU25N,KV3B-2,N3KTX-2*,WIDE2:>082349zWe Support Hillary Clinton
> for the Presidency of U.S.A
> I'm not trying to spoil the APRS experience for anyone, just to inform
> that the selection of an icon that looks they way you like, could have
> a very different meaning to other users on the network.  I'm probably
> preaching to the choir here, maybe I should whip up an article for
> eham.
> 73 de Joseph Durnal NE3R
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