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[aprssig] Local Info Objects

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Wed May 28 16:47:24 UTC 2008


>> The idea to make travelers aware of the recommended 
>> voice repeater as they pass through the coverage 
>> area of your digi,  when they are close enough to 
>> actually hit it; not a hundred miles away.
> 
> I got it...so this aids APRS (display) radios only.

And HAMHUDs and laptops, etc... Which are over 85% of all
mobiles (in my area)...  What good is APRS if mobiles aren't
watching it?

> I'm curious...with all this talk about keeping 
> transmissions short, I wonder how the scale
> of benefit-to-bandwidth would read...

About 100%.  Remember, these objects are only supposed to be
originated at-the-digi, and so the digi will not transmit them
until there is a clear slot that will not interfere with any
other packets or any users.  It is free bandwidth.  So the
benefit is very high.

> I'm in Columbus, Ohio, and know just about all 
> the local users, and not one has an APRS radio,

Wow, In that case, it appears that APRS in that area has been
reduced to nothing but an internet vehicle tracking system.
Basically of no interest to anyone.  Everyone is transmitting
and no one is watching.  No wonder they cannot excite the rest
of ham radio to see it as a communications system...  In fact,
driving through Columbus I saw far less activity than I used to
see in years past.

> however, I do see mobile stations "passing
> through" on I-70, but can't confirm what 
> radio they are using.

Most client software should display the equipment type.  When I
look at a list of all mobiles here in our area... (just now) I
see 95 total mobiles.  Of those, 75 are D700's, 11 are trackers,
3 are D7 walkie talkies, 3 are unknowns and 1 is Uiview and 1 is
a NMEA tracker.  So about 88% of them are two-way systems that
can see the world of HAM radio around them on APRS. (which is
what APRS is all about).

If your area is only transmitting GPS data, then maybe it is
time to start an education campaign about how APRS is so much
more valuable and interesting to the users as an information and
communication service TO mobiles, not just one-way broadcasting.

> When I'm on the road, I always carried a pocket repeater 
> directory...it has served me fine over the years.  :)

Not my experience at all.  There are over 10,000 listings, and
usually dozens listed in any given area.  Of those, many of them
are dead with no one listening.  And it takes a lot of one-hand
driving and page flipping to find the info!   I'd much rather
have the local community agree on the "best repeater" in an area
for travelers and transmit that to my mobile when I enter the
envelope of that service.  Then I can tune it in (on the D710)
with the press of a single button.  Or 6 presses on the Mic key
pad on other radios.

Think outside of the tracker box.  Driving around with a
broadcasting tracker is really of little value to a ham or
anyone else for that matter except for special events.  Most
people could care less where someone else is.  This is what
keeps too many people from considering APRS.  There is little
value to them.  But put an APRS display in the mobile that can
show them everything going on around them live in ham radio, and
it starts to look a lot more interesting to the general ham.
And a lot more useful.

Please see http://www.ew.usna.edu/~bruninga/localinfo.html

Bob, WB4APR





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