[aprssig] CQ FD shame on you

Jim Duncan jdbandman at earthlink.net
Sun Jun 28 20:50:13 CDT 2009


Unless and until the ARRL puts some value on having an active APRS station
as part of Field Day you're just not going to see much interest in having
somebody manning an APRS station. We opted out of having an active APRS
station by reason of only having 6 people in our FD effort. There was simply
not enough merit to having an active station going especially since we were
working hard just to keep 3 HF rigs active plus a GOTA rig.

I posted our location when I arrive at our site but beyond that it wasn't
worth having to monitor a computer or another radio. Yes, shame on me but
when I can rattle off 3-4 HF QSO's in the same amount of time as it takes to
run a contact on APRS it really becomes an issue of logging 6-8 contacts
points (CW/Digital) versus the 2 points I can get for a single APRS contact.

Now, IF I have somebody who is still APRS "born again" in the midst of my FD
team who want to sit and do that all day I'm going to encourage them and
provide the resources to make it so but when it comes down to taking
somebody off of an HF CW/Digital or Phone station the choice becomes pretty

When ARRL recognizes APRS with some sort of bonus points in the scoring I
really don't see it happening. I'm very sorry to say this, especially with
my 16 year history with APRS (I was User #1 in the Kansas City area, as you
may recall, in January of 1993).

It is, unfortunately, what it is now. APRS has devolved into a vehicle
tracking system. It's because of the least-common-denominator mentality out
there. I routinely watch a bunch of dumb trackers running around this area.
Most of the users in this area are using trackers or some variance: not a
full laptop setup.

ARRL COULD make a difference, at least as far as Field Day is concerned but
rewarding groups who use APRS and make contacts with it with the typical 100
point bonus that they give to message traffic, satellite contacts, etc. A
good move would be for the greater populace to lobby ARRL for what should
ALREADY be in place. The scoring remains biased toward HF CW/Phone/Digital
and has only ever given token acknowledgement to advanced communication
techniques. Granted VHF/UHF transmitters are not counted against the count
for classification but maybe it's time for everyone to start thinking of
emergency communications in a different light. After all, that's what Field
Day is REALLY all about. However, Field Day is an operating contest veiled
in the guise of an emergency communications skills activity.

The solution is to re-educate the APRS community out there. It has been
allowed (through no fault of your's) to degenerate into this mindset and
it's going to take something fresh to put us back "on track." (no pun

73 de Jim, KU0G

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