[aprssig] APRStt

D. Daniel McGlothin KB3MUN kb3mun at mcglothin.us
Fri Jan 23 10:59:05 CST 2015


Jason,

>> And we have had that in the wings since 2001.  And it is called APRStt.

> Is this actually in use anywhere?

We have used it in a limited form at several events--sorta a testbed for 
larger deployment for reporting individual 'runners' in a thru a 
checkpoint.  A variation of the APRStt was discussed about a year and a 
half ago and was dubbed "Runner Mode".  The discussion lead to 
development in both DireWolf (released) and TinyTrak4 (not yet 
released).  Discussion occurred about end-user customization of Android 
variation of APRSIS32 to display the runner list at each checkpoint.

The use case is out MTeC event.  The goal is to track individual 
team/runner progress thru the event course (event is an adventure 
triathalon, and recently most of the course legs are optional to the 
individual team).  When the course is sequential, all teams traverse the 
identical path; with the 'do the portion you want in the order you want' 
scheme, the teams are scattered throughout the entire course.

The checkpoint ID is stored in the radio DTMF memory.  The ham types in 
the (numeric) team number and the radio sends the memory and the team 
number.  Thus each team passing a checkpoint can have its presents 
tossed onto the APRS network, and the central locations show a 
'instantaneous' view of all of the runner's progress.


> I could maybe see a use case 14 years ago, when the cool kids could
> type text messages on a numeric keypad.  that skill is gone, since all
> the phones have full QWERTY keyboards now.
>
> Sticking a fixed message in a DTMF memory sounds suspiciously like a
> TX-only device, which you would normally denounce as a "dumb
> tracker"...

See use case above.  The 'fixed' component is the checkpoint identity, 
and maybe the ham's callsign.  The 'variable' or 'typed in real-time' 
component is the team/runner identity.


> I don't disagree that people _could_ use APRStt.  I just don't think
> they _will_.  open trackers are cheap; IMO if you won't lay down $30
> for a tracker, you won't bother learning how to use APRStt.

We still have a use case for this.  We cannot (or at least choose not 
to) afford placing about 60 trackers (one for each team involved in our 
event).

We continue to use develop this application of APRStt and hope to use it 
as the primary event progress reporting system in the near future.

Would the above work in an event with compact bunches of runners (say a 
large marathon)?  Probably not as  well.  But the concept works for us 
as we have a manageable number of teams, and due to the nature of the 
event, the teams often approach the checkpoints one at a time.


73 de Daniel KB3MUN



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