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[aprssig] Ham Radio, Use it or Lose it!

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Thu May 22 13:42:29 UTC 2008


Ev said:
> Do you realize the significance of APRS?  
> It was the ORIGINAL social network!  Don't tell 
> me that Amateur radio stopped advancing the state 
> of the art in the technological and social arenas 
> when our parents passed away. :)

At the ARRL Technical Challenge Forum at Dayton, the ARRL
technology leaders were lamenting that HAM radio needs something
for youth to get excited about.  Something like: "Look at how
kids have taken text-messaging as the be-all-end-all excitement
of communications!  We need something like that in ham radio!
Why aren't we developing things like this?"

To which I jumped up from the audience and could not contain
myself and exclaimed!  "We have!  We have had local/global text
messaging and text email from a handheld since 1998 in APRS!  It
is exactly what kids are doing today, but we have been doing it
for 10 years!  But you know what?  All the old fuds in ham radio
say 'How crude.  We need a keyboard.  No one is ever going to
communicate by punching buttons on the front of an HT'!"  SO
still, only 1% of ham radio is even aware of this routine global
connectivity from a handheld that we have had for 10 years.

As pogo said, "we have met the enemy and the enemy is us."
Everyone keeps waiting for the "perfect dream" solution and then
they dream of all the things they could do.  But you know what?
The perfect dream solution is always in the future.  The few
instances in ham radio that really excell in actual needed
practical communications are those that ALWAYS take what they
have and just do the MOST with it, NOW!

My 4 cents (inflation)

Bob, WB4APR





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