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[aprssig] Subject: Re: SKY1 - callsign? Wayne County, Ohio.

Joel Maslak (N7XUC) jmaslak-aprs at antelope.net
Fri Aug 13 13:06:17 UTC 2010

On Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 2:06 AM, Heikki Hannikainen <hessu at hes.iki.fi>wrote:

> Giving a nice call to the airport's officials was the Right Thing To Do.
> They have the proper authority and (at least usually over here) the
> responsibility and experience to teach and advice private pilots on safety
> and regulations.


I think most people doing this type of thing, if they aren't beaconing a
call (we don't know that for sure - CW beacons were mentioned), know it is
illegal and don't care, but maybe someone can get through in some cases.  I
think of the teenage kids who might think they can get away with it - with
the right adult acting properly, they can end up licensed and law-abiding
(granted, this is a small, small minority, but a huge victory for ham radio
when it is the case).

> I don't believe that jamming (on RF or APRS-IS) is the right approach.
> It'll only have the same effect as (the more effective) filtering specific
> tactical callsigns at the web sites. The offenders will just switch to valid
> callsigns owned by other individual hams. Then we won't notice. OTOH,
> everyone will be happy since no-one will know something illegal is
> happening. :)

I agree.  I also think that it would encourage escalation.  Do we really
want someone turning up their beacon time to once per second or whatever to
try to get through the jamming?  Do we want an unlicensed but somewhat
radio-savvy person to jam the local area's .39 channel because he's mad at
those hams?

I also don't think this is going to be a huge problem for long.  I suspect
the unlicensed operators are going to use what is easy - and I suspect cell
phones are going to be that easy solution soon.  Without APRS IS being
involved at all.  Perhaps part of the solution is to point people towards
low cost, non-ham tracking solutions?  Maybe a "Just need to track your
vehicle?" link on APRS websites (particularly sites that display a location
of a station) that links to a page that talks about cell phone tracking
options, SPOT, personal emergency beacons, etc.  Most of the people doing
this illegal activity are using ready-to-run gear, so I suspect they would
be open to other ready-to-run options that are legal and non-interfering.

And maybe someone should set up a non-APRS IS for the smartphone
crowd...give them something to use that doesn't hurt us.  I would suggest
that the people making money off of the apps would be a good group to fund
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