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

Joseph M. Durnal joseph.durnal at gmail.com
Fri May 23 13:06:50 UTC 2008

I must say, APRS is one of the technologies that helped facilitate my
return to amateur radio after putting the radios in the closet for
about 5 years 99-04.  Oddly enough, I live just across town from Bob
for most of my first 10 years as a ham 93-03, but I never knew what
APRS was.  I think that the 5 years of dust that gathered on my radios
may not have happened if I would have known about APRS back then.
Like many from the no-code tech generation, I entered the hobby the
wrong way, passed a copule of written tests and got a 2 meter rig.
Now, 2 meter FM was cool to a 15 year old before mobile phones were
popular, but even that coolness wore off after a while.  APRS was
always growing, improving, and there was a lot more you could do to be
part of the community.

I send messages all the time with the D710 :) those preprgramed
phrases are nice though!

73 de Joseph Durnal NE3R

On Thu, May 22, 2008 at 9:42 AM, Robert Bruninga <bruninga at usna.edu> wrote:
> 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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