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[aprssig] Local Info Objects

Greenhalgh, Christopher K. cgreenhalgh at studentaffairs.osu.edu
Wed May 28 18:46:28 UTC 2008

> > 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?

Desktop/home/storm spotters/races/storm tracking all comes to mind.

> > 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.

Sounds good.
> > 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.

Correct, and its sad.

> 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...

That's not quite true...I have 4 trackers (my Jeep, car, truck, and
boat), and my family, friends, employer, ect. all enjoy tracking me via
aprs.fi, and I know other locals doing the same thing, so there *is*
interest. I know a couple guys who got their licenses because of APRS.

> In fact,
> driving through Columbus I saw far less activity than I used to
> see in years past.

Correct. I stated that in a previous comment. Most have decided to leave
RF, and simply insert their data directly onto the internet. Or even
sadder, mobiles inputting their data via cellular modems. :(
> > 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).

I see.
> 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.

Well, I personally don't travel enough (outside of central Ohio) to
justify an APRS rig, however, I still personally maintain Columbus' only
high-profile digi, and home (RF) station as well (both out of my own
> > 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 keep my directory up to date when I do rarely land travel, and usually
plan the repeaters on the way...I certainly wouldn't want to be close to
anyone trying to read the pocket directory going 70 mph!  ;)

> 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.

I concur that it is a good application for those traveling thru, and
have an APRS radio...one thing I have always tried to do, is keep up
with the ever changing APRS specs, and I will update my digi ASAP.
> 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. 

Aside from my previous comments above, I still enjoy watching other
stations, whether their tracking, or outputting weather info, but
then...I'm an easily entertained guy.  ;)

> 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.

Like I said Bob...I'm getting older, and don't travel terrestrially much
at all...my 15 minute trek to work m-f doesn't justify it for me, but I
see your points, and they are well taken. Like I said, I will update my
digi ASAP.

Thanks as always for your comments Bob!

73, Chris.

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