> in a search & rescue effort you will lug along
> another 2m radio/TNC hooked to a GPS.
The hardware supports a microphone connection through the APRS interface, and will inhibit data transmission while the frequency is busy.
> Wouldn't it be faster to communicate your GPS
> location via voice while in a foot search?
The advantage of the APRS interface is it will do it for you, based on time interval, distance traveled or a change in course. The map at the command center is continuously updated with everyone's location. You would tie up a lot of net time asking each participant their location if there were more than a few team members.
> very active T Hunter... the last thing we want to
> tell fellow hunters is our location -
Nothing says you have to have it on all the time, I carry mine in my "go-bag" along with all my other portable/mobile equipment.
> I can see some reasons for APRS but few that
> couldn't be handled by voice and GPS.
The main advantage is that there is no human intervention. You could put it on a boat, car, tracking dog or whatever and it will do it's thing unattended.
> I'm trying to understand why APRS is being put on
To be able to track without being in range of a node linked to the internet. Very handy out here in the boonies where radios, much less internet, may not be within range. Must say though I've only heard of it being done, haven't seen it in action myself (maybe the next thing I figure out).
> Also very few ARES groups can aford to equip all the
> memebers with a mobile ARPS station.
Any ARES group I've ever been affiliated with, the members provide all their own equipment. As mentioned in my last post, all it takes is a $32 accessory (less than the cost of a spare HT battery) to equip yourself with APRS, over and above what most people already have (HT, GPS, etc.).
> There are no ARES/EMA groups in Western Ohio that
> have APRS systems nor could they aford this.
Affordability aside, a need would also have to exist. I doubt no one in that group has considered it, so perhaps it doesn't fit into their plans or procedures. That doesn't make it bad or useless to someone else.
> APRS is more of a localized usage tool but I see it
> trying to go world wide - why?
Having a location on a fixed object can be useful, if you're associating it with other objects in motion. Having worldwide coverage means you can be anywhere and be tracked, not just within limited coverage areas.
> I feel their are some other modes that would really
> benifit in developement.
Why do you think that APRS is taking away from that development?
> I'm looking into developeing my own PC based short
> range WX doppler RADAR using a gunnplexer for mobile
> SkyWarn use.
Sounds like a challenging project. Not sure how APRS is keeping you from doing that.
Not all modes/capabilities are for everyone, each ham finds their niche and runs with it. I think APRS was a novel idea that has been reduced to practice, has generated a fair amount of interest in the ham community and has breathed new life into ham packet. Can't see how this is a bad thing.