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