[aprssig] Text Messaging Radios (mile-marks)

Bob Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Thu Feb 12 18:20:46 CST 2009

>> almost 100% of the volunteers that 
>> show up with their old trusty HT 
>> can send DTMF text messaging.
> How many of those will go to the trouble..

Considering some of the responses on this SIG, in some cases very few, because its something new and one of  the hardest things in ham radio is to get anyone to try something new...

But then some clubs are more progressive and look for opportunities, and pride themselves on good training for their operators.  Surely any club with teenagers would laugh at all the grumbling of old men being forced to enter a simple text message into their existing HT keypad.

>  What is the actual payback for this extra effort 
> - just free up a few minutes' voice traffic?

Well they said that about the telephone too.  "Who needs it, we have plenty of page boys"...  IE, we havent even begun to think outside of the box and think about where this simple technique could come in handy...

> It is a gross violation of the "come as 
> you are" ad-hoc networking
> paradigm that APRS espouses.

Preparedness is also a mantra of amateur radio.  And asking first responders or active and interested ham communicators to pre-program their unused DTMF memories to a few useful pre-loaded messages should just be part of preparedness.

> Sorry, but like someone already said, 
> it's a solution in search of a problem.

Exacly, so lets hash out some of these useful "problems".  I have already thought of another one...  I could preload this into a memory:


Which are my callsign ID followed by the beginning of the two main highways I use on my routine travels.  At any time, I can press one of these two memories, and then MANUALLY press NN# when I want to report my position at milemark NN on that highway.  Thus, I pressed 4 buttons and entered my position in a manner that puts me on the APRS map *** using my existing radio***.

I think that would be a nice backup capability for *everyone* in their club to have preprogrammed.  Even if they only pre-programmed 993*277# which is the pre-amble (for my numeric ID) to ANY milemark on any road, then all they have to do to finish that report at any time, anywhere is enter 5 digits NN_NNN to report their position anywhere in the USA to within a mile using the milemark technique.

And since all APRS clients are supposed to have the entire USA milemark database built in, adding these users to the APRS map is trivial.

So yes, still "searching for those simple problems" where this "solution" might come in handy...


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