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[aprssig] APRS RAIN Report

Bob Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Sun Sep 28 20:06:11 UTC 2008


Starting this coming Friday, the RAIN (Radio Amateur Information Network) audio program will carry a 15 minue segment on APRS for the next week.

In the Interview, I mention how, APRS is an information resource, just like the RAIN report, but it is real-time.  So while this "interview" is being replayed on amateur radio repeaters all over the place, maybe only 10% of the actual mobile operators on the air at that time, will hear it because only 10% of them remember the FREQUENCY and TIME that the RAIN report is being played in their area.

So while the RAIN report is on the air, some APRS operator in that area should be putting out an APRS FREQUENCY object LIVE at the time of the event, that shows up on the front panel of every APRS mobile, showing him:

1) The FREQUECNY to listen to
2) (the D710 radio can auto tune it with one button)
3) The direction and Distance to the repeater
4) The TOPIC

THAT is what the APRS channel is for... alerting the local area to something going on NOW by sending that info on the single national APRS info channel to alert everyone in range.

Its like the dead band conundrum...  We rarely see these beacons, because no one is transmitting them. I cannot stress enough that APRS operators are -not- there to just watch what others are doing.  Your first job is to INPUT to APRS everything you know that IS happening, then watch what others are doing.

Conversly, we do NOT want to see OLD/STALE info or SPAM coming in from the next county that we cannot use or participate in.

The SUCCESS of APRS is dependent on sharing relevant real-time information!  And unless someone takes the effort to TRANSMIT it, then there is nothing for anyone to RECEIVE.

So, I challenge APRS operators to find out when the RAIN report is played in their local area, and make sure there is a pre-event APRS bulletin, and during the event, a FREQUENCY object showing people where to tune.

Doing that, the other 90% of mobiles out there on the road at the time can be alerted to the RAIN report on the air...  (ah, but only if they are receiving APRS in their cars.. and what is that?  5% of all hams?)

So, yes, an effort on one person's part to improve the audience by 5%, but if we do this enough, sooner or later the other 95% of ham radio will learn that the place to monitor for local activity is the APRS channel!  THen the chicken-egg problem is solved because more people -with- useful information will post it on APRS to help out his fellow neighboring hams.

Bob, Wb4APR




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