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[aprssig] 1-way trackers and APRStt

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Thu Jan 22 22:12:45 UTC 2009


> Bob, I would say that allowing the 
> 1 way trackers on the network was 
> the downfall and caused #2.  Now that 
> the door is open how to stop the cattle?

Easy,

1) Get on the air.  Talk to your fellow APRS ops.  Let APRS show
you when they are available.  Keyboard.  Chat...  Re-discover
ham radio.

2) Put really good and useful LOCAL information out on the local
APRS channel for all those 2-way users and mobiles and visitors
so that the tracker owner will feel he is missing out on all
this real-time info, and will at least add ab audio receiver so
he can hear a call or APRStt announcements and messages.

3) Once we get APRStt (touchtone) going which includes Voice
Synthesis announcements about APRS key objects and messages/
bulletin/ announcements, then the 1-way trackers can get their
data by listening on the APRStt channel.

The French version of APRStt has stagnated, we still need a
dedicated programmer to consider taking on this really vital
project.

Bob, Wb4APR

> K4RJJ Ronny
> 
> 
>  
> 
> 	-------------- Original message from "Robert Bruninga" 
> <bruninga at usna.edu>: -------------- 
> 	
> 	
> 	> I was just pointed to N5FDL Dave's "EMCOMM-U" and his 
> blog entry 
> 	> "The Failed Promise of APRS" 
> 	> (http://tinyurl.com/7n79fb) Here is my response to his

> 	> comments: 
> 	> 
> 	> David, 
> 	> 
> 	> As the original author of APRS dating back 20 years, 
> I have to 
> 	> respond to your blog. 
> 	> 
> 	> You are right!!! 
> 	> 
> 	> You can imagine my frustration over the years at 
> seeing how the 
> 	> APRS concept has deterioriated by all kinds of issues 
> that you 
> 	> have raised. Fortunately beginning in 2004, I had had
enough 
> 	> and was able to break away from the APRS satellite 
> projects that 
> 	> have consumed so much of my time for the last 9 
> years, and get 
> 	> back to APRS full (avocation) time. 
> 	> 
> 	> Your concerns are right on! In this hasty response, I
hope to 
> 	> show you how each of your concerns has been and is
being 
> 	> addressed, though we have to reverse a number of 
> trends. And we 
> 	> must re-educate most existing users and all future
users. 
> 	> 
> 	> 1) Fix the network! See www.aprs.org/fix14439.html.
This 
> 	> initiative began in 2004 and has shown a 2 to 5 fold 
> improvement 
> 	> in local RF network reliability. Not only does it show
the 
> 	> technical how-to-fix the network, it establishes a 
> new baseline 
> 	> for USER EDUCATION. 
> 	> 
> 	> 2) Transmit-only-trackers! These transmit-only devices
were 
> 	> killing the APRS concept of rapid-real-time human
digital 
> 	> communications (APRS) by attempting to turn the 
> national network 
> 	> into nothing more than a vehicle tracking system.
(APRS was 
> 	> never intended to be a "tracking" system. Please read 
> 	> www.aprs.org/APRS-tactical.html.) 
> 	> 
> 	> 3) TRACKER MANEFESTO. I have asked all manufacturers
of such 
> 	> one-way devices to include a copy of the APRS Tracker 
> Manefesto 
> 	> in their products to help educate users about the 
> above topics 
> 	> and to try to get them to join the "2-way
communications 
> 	> network". I also encourge them to design two-way 
> systems in the 
> 	> future or to include speaker monitors for Voice Alert.

> 	> www.aprs.org/doc/TrackerManifesto.doc 
> 	> 
> 	> 4) APRS Voice Alert and TWO-WAY communications for 
> all mobiles. 
> 	> We must be able to communicate at least by voice with 
> all APRS 
> 	> operators including those with TX-only trackers. THe 
> Manefesto 
> 	> tells them to transmit their LISTENING frequency
included in 
> 	> their position reports. APRS positions are NOT
intended for 
> 	> detail tracking, only for locating the comunicator in 
> the APRS 
> 	> network. APRS Voice-Alert replaces the passive 146.52 
> national 
> 	> calling frequency for mobiles with the active pinging
and 
> 	> proximity detection (on the open road) for easy
contact. Far 
> 	> far better than 52 and finding nearby operators. 
> 	> www.aprs.org/VoiceAlert3.html 
> 	> 
> 	> 5) Station and Mobile Attributes. APRS symbols were
designed 
> 	> with at least EIGHT VISIBLE attributes. 8 colors
displayed 
> 	> these attributes by a simple glance at the COLOR of an
APRS 
> 	> station or mobile. None of this is displayed by most
new 
> 	> follow-on "APRS" clients because most of them use
simplistic 
> 	> one-dimensional WINDOWS ICONS instead of 
> 	> multi-layered/multi-colored SYMBOLS. see 
> 	> www.aprs.org/symbols.html 
> 	> 
> 	> 6) FREQUENCY OBJECTS: Since APRS is supposed to
rapidly 
> 	> facilitate communications between operators, ALL APRS 
> 	> digipeaters are supposed to be putting out 
> front-panel objects 
> 	> to the Mobile Radio operator that shows him the
recommended 
> 	> voice repeater frequency in EACH digipeater's coverage
area. 
> 	> Please see www.aprs.org/localinfo.html 
> 	> 
> 	> 7) Universal Amateur Radio Text Messaging. APRS has 
> had keypad 
> 	> text messaging for over 11 years long before it 
> became the rage 
> 	> of today's youth, yet the rest of amateur radio has 
> ignored this 
> 	> powerful real-time communications capability. We are 
> reversing 
> 	> that, by initiating a new initiative (see "Eclectic 
> APRS" in Feb 
> 	> 2009 QST) and the web page:
www.aprs.org/aprs-messaging.html 
> 	> 
> 	> 8) Smart Beaconing: Too many people have been lead to
believe 
> 	> that APRS is a vehicle tracking system, and therefore
that a 
> 	> GOOD APRS network will provide GOOD tracking, and the
smarter 
> 	> the beaconing, the better the track. This is
IMPOSSIBLE on a 
> 	> 1200 baud channel never inteneded for detail vehicle 
> tracking! 
> 	> APRS is a two-way communications system between 
> operators. The 
> 	> purpose of transmitting POSITION is only to inform
others of 
> 	> your activity status, availability, and approximate 
> position in 
> 	> the network. NOT YOUR PRECISE position while moving.
Please 
> 	> see the MISCONCEPTIONS web page under #2 above 
> 	> 
> 	> 9) EDUCATION! We must educate. Simplifying and fixing
the 
> 	> network starting in 2004, was the biggest step towards
user 
> 	> education. By simplifying the network, shortening
paths, and 
> 	> getting rid of old legacy concepts, now we can 
> finally educate 
> 	> users. 
> 	> a) APRS is a 2 way system between live operators 
> 	> b) APRS cannot support detail tracking on the 
> national network 
> 	> c) TRACKERS are ideal for special and LOCAL events on 
> small nets 
> 	> or other freqs 
> 	> d) APRS is about COMMUNICATING with fellow hams, not
pushing 
> 	> one-dimensional objects around an internet map. 
> 	> 
> 	> Hope that helps. 
> 	> Bob, WB4APR 
> 	> 
> 	> 
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> 
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