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[aprssig] Voice Repeater ==> APRS Interface

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Thu May 8 21:07:20 UTC 2008

In 7 years, we still do not have APRStt (Touch tone).
So still only 5% of ham radio is accouted for on APRS.

So now I am approaching the repeater controllers, and the
Echolink and IRLP and any other manufacturer of any device in
HAM radio that already has systems that LISTEN to ham radio with
a DTMF decoder.   All they have to do is take the DTMF callsign
of any voice user and send it out their serial port to an
attached TNC, or send it directly to the APRS-IS.

This way, everyone can be found on APRS to the nearest repeater
and we will know his freuency, tone, and node number or even
reverse-path phone number!

Here is what I am sending to the repeater manufacturers I know
ARCOM, CAT, Pacific Research, and link-com.  Are there others?

-----Original Message-----
Dear Repeater or VOIP manufacturer:

There is something you can do for APRS that will revolutionize
APRS and also revolutionize Amateur Radio Voice communications.
Please take a quick look at the opening paragraphs on this web


Simply it allows any DTMF HT to report the location, frequency,
and tone with a SINGLE BUTTON on *any* (DTMF) HT.

You have the DTMF decoder in every repeater community in the
world.  All I need you to do is to have a SET-UP menu in your
software that lets the repeater owner enter these fixed fields
that apply to this repeater:

LOCATION (LAT/LONG to nearest minute or so)
TONE (if any)
APRS TNC [x]  or APRS Internet [x]

That's it!

When your repeater controller hears a DTMF Memory burst that
contains a CALLSIGN in DTMF code, then you simply take the above
info, and compile the following ASCII string and send it out
either a serial port for an attached TNC, or via TCPIP telnet
into the APRS internet system.

What the APRS world sees is:

1) The station's CALL at that TIME (now) throughout the global
APRS system
2) with a 1 mile ambiguity posit in the vicinity of -that-
3) The packet contains the FREQUENCY and TONE for that repeater
for a return call

Anyone in the APRS world now has the info, either locally on RF
or on the APRS system to call that person and QSO.

I have had this working in APRSdos (with hardware DTMF decode)
since 2001 and have been pushing someone to write a windows
soundcard version since then... With no success.

Now I realize, your repeater controllers already have the entire
system and structure already in place.  You could to this in a
day! (well we all know
what that means)..  So rather than trying to get yet another
author to write code, all I need to do is convince you to add it
to your repeater controllers.  Its only software...  It is
simply DTMF input, generates a one-for-one packet output... The
global APRS network does the rest.

By the way, with the FREQ&Tone in the packet (as above) the new
D710 Kenwood radio when it receives this packet, can QSY to that
freq and TONE with the press of a single TUNE button.

Thus, anyone with a DTMF radio can IDENTIFY to the global APRS
system with one press of his DTMF memory and someone wishing to
talk to him by voice can answer with a single button on his

We simply choose a starting DTMF digit (I prefer the letter "A"
key which is compatible with all of my existing documentation)
that identifes a DTMF string as a callsign.

Then you add the fixed data above to that callsign and the
result is a PACKET  you send to the serial port or to RF:

XXXX Repeater

Where FFF.FFF is the repeater frequency,
Where Tnnn is the Tone (drop the .X hz)
Where XXXX is the repeater club, or VOIP node number or reverse
patch number

That is all there is to it!

I will also ask this to be added to Echolink, IRLP and to ALL
Voice Repeater controllers.  In otherwords, ANY DTMF listening
device in Ham radio, should accept this DTMF CALLSIGN format and
generate the resulting packet on APRS.

This is a dream of HAM radio and the ARRL.  That is, instant ID
and localizing of ham radio operators by locality, and contact
frequency for connectitivy anywhere on the planet.  All they
have to do is key a DTMF memory burst.

I hope you are game for this project...

The above web page has lots of stuff that dates back to the
original concept in 2001.  But the only thing I am asking
initially, now,  is the simple DTMF decoding of this universal
"DTMF CALLSIGN" as the new starting point.


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