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[aprssig] EchoLink and other Local Info - Future?

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Thu Jul 23 14:05:46 UTC 2009

> 3) The same goes for the automated APRS 
> announcements generated by UI-Event... 
> for... monthly meetings and swapmeets...
> ...for a year now, and have not yet had 
> a SINGLE attendee at one of these events 
> discover it via the APRS announcements.    

Thanks for the service... Keep trying!

I'd be interested in the mobile statistics in that local area.  

I have found widely separated densitites of one-way Trackers
versus 2-way APRS mobiles with displays.  Some areas are
saturated with one-way TX only trackers.   Other areas that
offer mobile content are saturated with Kenwoods, Hamhuds, and
now Yaesu's.  It's a snowball effect.  It just kinda depended on
how APRS grew in an area.

Around here, (DC/Baltimore) 85% of all mobiles are 2-way.  We
look for info content.  On the other hand, some areas report 85%
1-way trackers.  Putting out content there is of little value,
because no one is watching.  I suspect LA where the above
comment originated, is a tracker town.

Bob, Wb4APR

> -----Original Message-----
> From: aprssig-bounces at tapr.org 
> [mailto:aprssig-bounces at tapr.org] On Behalf Of Robert Bruninga
> Sent: Thursday, July 23, 2009 9:55 AM
> To: 'TAPR APRS Mailing List'
> Subject: [aprssig] EchoLink and other Local Info - Future?
> >> ... the numbers of transient mobile hams
> >> routinely reviewing their RF APRS displays for 
> >> locating nearby Echolink stations... Will be 
> >> just about the same... as APRS stations 
> >> actually transmitting !x! or RFONLY...
> >
> > I have been beaconing the presence of my RF-link 
> > Echolink node... In two years... exactly ONE user 
> > discover it via APRS. 
> AH, but that is thinking only inside the tracker box.
> Using the above logic is like taking one word in the
> (out of 600,000) and looking at the statistics of how often
> word is looked up, and since probably 95% of all the words are
> only looked up 0.0000001% of the time, they should be
> eliminated...  Keep going and about the only word left in the
> dictionary is antidisestablishmentmonterianism.
> On APRS, keep that attitude up and the only thing left will be
> dumb trackers, and on-line shack-potatoes, with no information
> content at all.  We have got to buck that trend by thinking
> outside of the tracker box.
> In the above case, I consider that beacon a success!  That one
> user (who uses APRS as an info resource) was happy, and APRS
> fulfilled the promise of what it was designed to do.
> > [but] I HAVE had numerous users discover the node 
> > via the online listings at echolink.org, or by using 
> > the CQ-equivalent random-connect feature of Echolink.   
> In talking with the Echolink Author, he too is as fed up with
> EchoLink being used by shack-potatoes instead of RF as I am
> about APRS being treated like an on-line video game.  One of
> recent requests to better integrate APRS (a data and universal
> frequency independent contact system) with EchoLink (voice
> contact), involved data that was only best viewable on-line.
> rejected it out of hand, because he now tries to add nothing
> EchoLink that enhances the on-line experience at the expense
> the RF experience.
> As far as this EchoLink objects project, we have arrived at a
> show-stopper (traffic load).  To me, that simply offers a
> challenge.  I see two possible approaches?:
> 1) A widget that runs in parallel with a local Igate, but that
> can share the TNC.  It gets the Echolink status periodically
> just for the local object, and then it beaons that object ONLY
> to its own path (independent of the Igate's path).
> 2) An upgrade to the APRS-IS that provides regional feeds, so
> that Lynn's engine can inject only regional info into regional
> feeds.
> I asked Pete Lovell if there was a way for the two-tier
> to provide a regional feed of these objects and got a one-word
> answer "no".  That may be true for the existing system.  But I
> challenge the APRS-IS, then to move on and figure out a way to
> do it anyway.  To meet the needs of Amateur Radio, we need an
> alternative to global distribution of local info.
> There are some very clever people working the APRS-IS.  Given
> the challenge to provide more pertenant info direct to the
> mobile operator, I would hope that they can figure out a way
> the future to provide this info without flooding the global
> system.
> It seems to me that some kind of regional feeds might be a
> solution...  If the current system cannot do it, then is there
> way to figure out how to add it for the future without
> anything?
> Bob, WB4APR
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