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Author Topic: Efforts to modernize APRS and its software  (Read 11920 times)
WG2W
Member

Posts: 10




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« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2011, 02:50:06 PM »

   I, too, have been frustrated by problems with APRS software programs like N5VEI. It is because of rude retors as were posted to his request that I, and others I believe, are reluctant to post requests for info.
    I previowent to usly was a user of APRSPoint but when I bought a new laptop and a netbook to use with ham programs, I was unable to connect due to MS 7. Now, I may have been wrong about the fault being with MS 7 but some APRS programs excluded 7. I then went to Lenux in an effort to use Xastir. Now I found that to be exceptionally difficult to work with and still daily read the postings on the user group eventhough I have gone back to MS platform. If there is a straight forword way to install and configure I welcome that advice.
     One of the main attractions of being a ham, to me, is the never ending opportunities to continue to learn, and sometimes master  the different facets of this hobby.
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K4FMH
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Posts: 259




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« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2011, 08:56:51 AM »

Like KC2PN and N4VEI, I am looking for ways to get APRS into a more mainstream mode of usage.....just ran into Xastir. It's multi-platform (runs on Windows, Mac, Linux...if you compile it) and open-source so those are two good attributes. UIView isn't an open-source package and development is minimal to none. On the bright side, there are developments, largely on the commercial side for emergency work, in APRS hardware and software combinations.

I just ran across an APRS TNC Digi Tracker with built in GPS receiver from a company in the UK called Cross Country Wireless (Bolton, UK), for example, and it purports to work with UIView and other APRS software. (Haven't confirmed Xastir but I've e-mailed the company.) It has USB drivers for Win/Mac/Linux OSes. While this isn't an endorsement for this company's offering, I'm just using it as an illustration. It can work as a portable digipeater and it illustrates some of the positive developments regarding APRS.

As Bill N5VEI's low-level rant was really illustrating, we need to get a software platform that's user-friendly---on par with Ham Radio Deluxe, etc.---for APRS use. The open-source, multi-platform Xastir package looks to be a promising start for right now.

Frank
K4FMH
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N5VEI
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Posts: 29




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« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2011, 09:15:28 AM »

I feel your pain KC2PTN.  I was not trying to put down any profession, but was expressing lots of frustration with the current programs and methods.  When we launched our balloon into near space many users/balloon recovery specialists were VERY frustrated with the configuration and setup.  We have lots of old school APRS guys in our club, but really do not know how to explain it, configure any other system besides WINAPRS, and really cannot explain the hardware. 

It just seems like there should be an easier way to configure the software to work with a little more user friendly touch.  Oh wait... I did not mean to offend anyone!

One thing I would like to work on would be a way to send a command to a remote APRS unit to execute something.  Something like a command for a cut down mechanism to trigger on a high altitude balloon.  I do not get into all that, but would love to collaborate with others on it.

Anyway, I am glad to see that I am not alone in this matter
Bill Richardson
N5VEI
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WG2W
Member

Posts: 10




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« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2011, 10:48:55 AM »

      You might try the Xastir Yahoo forum as there was a gentleman, KC9LDH, who was also using APRS for balloon flights . I think he was using Windows APRSIS32 as well as Xastir on Linux. However, unlike some of us, he was successful! I was impressed with his willingness to help; he reminded me of my mentor when I did the emergency Comm course.

73  KC2PTN
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K4FMH
Member

Posts: 259




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« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2011, 12:37:55 PM »

UPDATE!
I e-mailed Cross Country Wireless in the UK and Chris responded very quickly. Adding Xastir compatibility to his company's Digi Tracker is now on the drawing board with an estimated three days of work to get it done. It might be awhile before this gets this done but it is in the hopper!

Frank
K4FMH

I feel your pain KC2PTN.  I was not trying to put down any profession, but was expressing lots of frustration with the current programs and methods.  When we launched our balloon into near space many users/balloon recovery specialists were VERY frustrated with the configuration and setup.  We have lots of old school APRS guys in our club, but really do not know how to explain it, configure any other system besides WINAPRS, and really cannot explain the hardware. 

It just seems like there should be an easier way to configure the software to work with a little more user friendly touch.  Oh wait... I did not mean to offend anyone!

One thing I would like to work on would be a way to send a command to a remote APRS unit to execute something.  Something like a command for a cut down mechanism to trigger on a high altitude balloon.  I do not get into all that, but would love to collaborate with others on it.

Anyway, I am glad to see that I am not alone in this matter
Bill Richardson
N5VEI
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