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[aprssig] deaf, dumb and blind

Bob Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Sat Oct 29 18:30:32 UTC 2011

>> Am watching the flight of the U Alabama Balloon from 
>> Huntsville to N. GA. (UAH-1) 
>> There is not a chase vehicle in sight.
>> But there are at least 3 local APRS mobiles within 10 
>> miles and everyone of them is a deaf, dumb and blind 
>> APRS tracker.

On descent, the balloon passed within about 5 miles or less of all of these APRS locals:

1) a MicrotrackFA CAR (about 10 miles west).

2) An APOTC open tracker truck (who lives about 3 miles away).

3) An APOTC opentracker WX station (also about 3 miles away).

4) An APT311 TinyTracker (about 25 miles NW).

5) A Dstar jeep (about 25 miles NW).

Although the balloon passed within less than 5 miles of these mobiles, the distances shown above are the final distance to the landing site from their final destination.  But since they cannot see any APRS around them, they had no clue.

> and a couple of UI-View mobiles.

Yes, there was one UIview mobile which is pretty amazing.  Though apparently he was not chasing.  Yes, a few minutes later, I saw the chaser (with UIview) drive right to the balloon!

>> Ain't deaf-dumb-and blind APRS just great. :-(

>I don't understand what you're ranting about here, Bob.

I'm sure most of these hams probably had other things to do, but for me, if I had a balloon passing within 5 miles of me and on its way down at over 1000'/min, I'd drop everything and go on the chase.  Better than even chasing ambulances.

But vehicles with one-way TX-only trackers cannot even see what is going on in ham radio around them... the original fundamental purpose of APRS..  I'm so glad that we are now starting to see TWO-WAY trackers with displays.

Anyway, its now 90 minutes later and the balloon has moved to the backyard clearing of the house, so I can imagine they are having a good ol'e time explaining it all to the locals there.


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