[aprssig] Traffic Objects (new subject)

Stephen H. Smith wa8lmf2 at aol.com
Thu Sep 4 14:53:50 CDT 2008

Robert Bruninga wrote:
>> I often wish I had an easy way to transmit a 
>> traffic report from my D700....
>> I'm often stuck in traffic, 3 or 4 times a month...
> The easy way (I think you tried it) is to quickly bring up the
> APRS menu on your radio and change your call to TRAFIC.  THen
> press the BCON button a few times to make sure it is digipeated.
> THen press the PM# button to re-load your normal config (and
> callsign).

Simpler approach:

Connect a TinyTrak,preprogrammed with the callsign "TRAFIC" , to the 
radio's Mini-DIN6 "Data"/"Packet" connector.  Configure the TT for 
Mic-E-on-Unkey PTT operation.     Then all you have to do is push a 
dedicated push button connected to the TT's PTT input a couple of times 
to send the beacon.  No fumbling with PM modes, or dealing with the 
Kenwoods horrible and distracting user interface while driving.  

Further, I think any traffic-warning scheme that involves pushing 
publicly-available traffic info collected off the web (or elsewhere) 
onto APRS RF is basically useless, and just a generator of additional 
congestion and clutter on 144.39.

In my experience, in the Traffic Congestion Capital of the Universe (c), 
i.e. Los Angeles,  the time delays in collecting the traffic data from 
in-road sensors and then formatting and distributing it from government 
agencies to the public renders it stale by the time it reaches users.  

I have compared what I hear on local all-news radio stations ("Traffic 
Every 6 Minutes!!!), what the MSN traffic data shows on my Garmin Nuvi 
GPS, and what I see from the CalTrans (California State Transportation 
Department) website. I have seldom seen any correlation between what the 
media are reporting and what I am actually experiencing.  [Except for 
truly major accidents such as a rolled-over 18-wheeler blocking ALL the 
lanes of a major freeway during rush hour (which here means 5:30AM to 
10:30 AM and 2:30 PM to 8:00 PM).]     Particularly, alerts continue to 
be issued long after the incident has cleared.

To keep 144.39 from being totally saturated with stale and useless 
traffic reports, one would have to filter out only these truly major 
events that are known locally here as "SIGALERTS", to push onto APRS. 

[A SIGALERT, named for Loyd Sigmon who first developed the 
selective-tone signaling scheme used to send alerts from police agencies 
to the broadcast media, is defined as an unplanned closure of a freeway 
for more than 30 minutes.     WiKipedia article here:  


Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com
EchoLink Node:      14400    [Think bottom of the 2M band]
Home Page:          http://wa8lmf.com  --OR--   http://wa8lmf.net

World Digipeater Map

JavAPRS Filter Port 14580 Guide

"APRS 101"  Explanation of APRS Path Selection & Digipeating

Updated "Rev H" APRS            http://wa8lmf.net/aprs
Symbols Set for UI-View,
UIpoint and APRSplus:

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