[aprssig] APRS Hardware Survey (Humans)

Bob Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Fri Oct 21 15:57:49 CDT 2011

>  Really interesting graphs, Curt.  
>> Years worth of data...
>> http://wetnet.net/~we7u/usage.html

But, What is completely lost in this data is to me the MOST meaningful data,
and that is WHAT is the USAGE of APRS by LIVE HUMANS???

And back when Steve Dimse did it (2004 time frame?), the statistic was
something like:

"85% of all mobiles that receive and display APRS data are using Kenwoods"
(and now Yaesus).

In other words, yes, there are thousands of internet and PC clients running
24/7 with the lights on but nobody home.  Try interacting with a human
there.  But on the other hand EVERY MOBILE has a DRIVER who is a LIVE human
who is interacting with his local tactical situation in real time and is an
asset to the local community as a mobile ham radio operator.  That is why to
me, the #1 concern of ANY APRS function, is how does it display to the
mobile operator???

I could care less about the number of shacks being warmed with mostly
ignored APRS clients.  Or dumb-trackers driving around with no means to
communicate with other APRS participants).  To me, APRS is out there on RF
where the rubber meets the road and you can interact with ham radio around
you and have a live activity.

Lets look at the big items in the data again from this same perspective:

5376 Mic-E's (Kenwoods and yaesu's)* LIVE HUMANS
5838 digis, igates and generic
4432 PC clients (maybe 10% live?)
2125 dumb trackers*
1807 generic

Assuming that the Mic-E's are almost 100% live and the clients are typically
attended say 2 out of every 24 hours (8%) and all the other devices are
unattended or deaf, I conclude that more than 90% of all human operators
that are on APRS live are using Kenwood or Yaesu, or HAMhud, or 2-way
Display Trackers in their mobiles.

I hope this explains my rather intense focus on the APRS Mobile and live RF
environment.  Oh, and remember this 24 hour snapshot does not count all the
APRS HT's that were not used that day and are only brought out for special
events or hiking?

Bob, Wb4APR

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