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Author Topic: What's the THRILL in APRS???  (Read 52315 times)
NN6EE
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« on: August 29, 2015, 12:54:49 PM »

I've always wondered what the THRILL of APRS really WAS or IS???

Back in the 90's I dabbled in PACKET, which is kinda along the line of RTTY or PSK of course BUT after a few months of operating simplex/rptrs & BBS junk I gave up on it and went back to FM rptrs!!!
Any intelligent takes on WHY APRS???
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W9CMG
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« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2015, 02:31:58 PM »

Its a useful tracking tool.  Especially when used with mapping software. There are a couple internet data bases that terrestrial stations  can log mobiles and interested parties (like grandma) can see where you are. I've had hams seek me out to eyeball QSL because they saw where I was parked. A bell can be rung to alert if another station wants contact you. I've had several QSLs that way. One with an aeronautical mobile that saw me on APRS. I have seen equestrian mobiles. The National Weather Service uses APRS home weather stations for data. They also post maps of watch and warning boxes. I've seen tornado icons! Messaging is possible and an APRS radio can be set up for APRS Voice Alert to facilitate making voice contact with other APRS stations like 146.52 on the highway.
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KA8MZJ
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« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2015, 04:37:30 AM »

For me it's the ability to watch propagation openings (and closings).
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K5UNX
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« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2015, 05:59:28 AM »

I don't use it on a daily/personal level. However our club just worked a Tour de Cure bike race where the moving stations in safety vehicles and such all had APRS. The net control set up at the local minor league ballpark was running SARTrack. Software that shows maps with APRS locations, can timers for stations, such as alert if they don't beacon in 30 minutes. So it worked out very nicely. One major thing it did was take all the "Where are you k5unx?", "I am at rest stop 1". . . off the air almost completely. That way the repeater could be used more efficiently for handling exceptions to the race, such as broken bikes, riders in need of assistance etc.  We didn't use any messaging but are talking about it for next time.

So APRS is very useful and there is one example of the possibilities.
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NN6EE
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« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2015, 04:04:19 PM »

TO ALL who contributed thanks for the "INPUT" on APRS and since it can serve the (PUBLIC) like what you guys have explained here I'M (ALL FOR IT!!!).

THANKS!!!

Jim-NN6EE
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K0JEG
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« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2015, 04:15:01 PM »

You're implying that everything has to be a thrill. Is checking into the weekly club net a "thrill?" Is working yet another PSK31 macro station a "thrill?" Spending an hour in a pileup trying to get a rare DX station in the log?

Very little in amateur radio is thrilling. And maybe that's a good thing. APRS as a utility is a great thing, but hardly thrilling. A reliable but boring network has a place in search and rescue, asset tracking, weather monitoring, and general alerts.

I recently drove from Colorado to Michigan to visit family. My family was able to track my progress and knew that I was OK. That's not very thrilling, but it added a lot of peace of mind for my perpetually worried father.

And remember, we aren't really using all of the capability of the APRS system. It can be used for SMS-like messaging, and the original idea was to just let your friends know what you're up do (ex: K0JEG - listening to the maritime net on 20 meters). No position necessary, but helpful.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2015, 04:19:06 PM by K0JEG » Logged
KG7CSS
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« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2015, 08:29:41 AM »

It more  of an utility so I guess it not thrilling to use it to track a weather  balloon package or  put a tracker in a light weight pico balloon and watch it  circle the earth.

Lack of uses is a issue  in part of neglect in the ham radio community.


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KK2DOG
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« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2015, 09:35:50 AM »

It's a useful tool that lets burglars know you're not home.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2015, 10:26:08 PM by KK2DOG » Logged
AC7CW
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« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2015, 01:40:23 PM »

I recently drove from Colorado to Michigan to visit family. My family was able to track my progress and knew that I was OK.

Cellphones can do that.
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Novice 1958, 20WPM Extra now... (and get off my lawn)
W9CMG
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« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2015, 03:29:45 PM »

It's useful tool that lets burglars know you're not home.

I'm not that paranoid and I live in a good area. Besides, I'm not the only one living here.

I recently drove from Colorado to Michigan to visit family. My family was able to track my progress and knew that I was OK.

Cellphones can do that.

Sure can , with an APRS app.

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KD5KFL
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« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2015, 06:07:02 PM »

my friends don't get stressed when I go off roading alone.
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K0JEG
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« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2015, 10:09:27 AM »

I recently drove from Colorado to Michigan to visit family. My family was able to track my progress and knew that I was OK.

Cellphones can do that.

Sure, except where there's no service. Which still happens in a surprisingly large part of the US.
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AC7CW
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« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2015, 10:57:00 AM »

I recently drove from Colorado to Michigan to visit family. My family was able to track my progress and knew that I was OK.

Cellphones can do that.

Sure, except where there's no service. Which still happens in a surprisingly large part of the US.

I was sort of just being facetious but in retrospect I should have said "Verizon service cellp..."
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Novice 1958, 20WPM Extra now... (and get off my lawn)
KG4RUL
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« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2015, 02:03:36 PM »

I've always wondered what the THRILL of APRS really WAS or IS???

Perhaps is it not intended to thrill you at all?
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KG7NXH
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« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2015, 09:47:37 PM »

Ok, I'll join in.  I don't think too many people thing of APRS as thrilling although I do enjoy digipeating APRS across most of the USA via the ISS.  And I do like using APRS.fi to track my travels sometimes.

The "thrill" in APRS is the utility that it provides.  I was in a part of Utah this summer off-roading for 4 days and APRS was the only means of communication from me to my wife at home.  No cell phones work where we were at - Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile all useless.  Nonetheless I was able to get my position reports out and send messages to my wife's e-mail and SMS messages to her phone via APRS.  She was "thrilled" to know everything was OK.  
« Last Edit: September 27, 2015, 09:49:39 PM by KG7NXH » Logged
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