eHam

eHam Forums => APRS => Topic started by: NN6EE on August 29, 2015, 12:54:49 PM



Title: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: NN6EE 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???


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: W9CMG 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.


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: KA8MZJ on August 30, 2015, 04:37:30 AM
For me it's the ability to watch propagation openings (and closings).


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: K5UNX 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.


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: NN6EE 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


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: K0JEG 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.


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: KG7CSS 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.




Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: KK2DOG on September 24, 2015, 09:35:50 AM
It's a useful tool that lets burglars know you're not home.


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: AC7CW 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.


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: W9CMG 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.



Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: KD5KFL on September 26, 2015, 06:07:02 PM
my friends don't get stressed when I go off roading alone.


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: K0JEG 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.


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: AC7CW 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..."


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: KG4RUL 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?


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: KG7NXH 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.  


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: KC9YTJ on September 28, 2015, 07:31:37 AM
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.  

I'll chime in with a variation on that theme.  I don't off-road, but I do spend a lot of time on the road on business between my QTH and points East to DC.  I used to text my wife when I got to various checkpoints so she knew I was OK and where I was.  (Yeah, she worries a lot.)  Now I just digipeat and she watches my progress on APRS.fi, and I don't have to text anything.

(I'm seriously considering putting an APRS beacon on my 87-year-old mother's car.  Just for my own peace of mind.  She's still driving and doesn't look like she's going to stop any time soon -- I dread taking the keys away from her and I think that time is drawing near.)


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: W0DLM on October 01, 2015, 07:20:09 AM
I've always wondered what the THRILL of APRS really WAS or IS???
What's the thrill in CW? What's the thrill in QRP? What's the thrill in rag chewing? What's the thrill in DXCC, or WAS, or WAC, or any of the other awards?

Most importantly, though, my God wouldn't this be a boring world if we all had to get our thrills in all the exact same ways? The amateur radio tent is big enough to fit a whole bunch of different people, with a whole bunch of different interests.


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: KB2HSH on December 11, 2015, 07:55:25 AM
Don't forget APRS via satellite (NO-44, ISS, and some of the newer satellites like NO-84).  Also, APRS is useful for sending messages back and forth.  With an I-Gate, you can even send a brief email...handy when you mail a phone directly via its "email address).

A few local hams and I have kept in touch when I work in NYC via APRS. 

It's a cool mode that doesn't require a ton of cash to do a LOT of different things with.  If the $25 Chinese HT crowd knew it!

John KB2HSH
Springbrook, NY


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: W4AMP on December 11, 2015, 05:45:12 PM
When Commander Bruniga developed it at FLENUMCEN Monterey it was a excellent way to track Russian submarines and ships using GPS. Used to drive Ivan crazy.


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: ZS6JMB on January 18, 2016, 08:24:01 PM
When Commander Bruniga developed it at FLENUMCEN Monterey it was a excellent way to track Russian submarines and ships using GPS. Used to drive Ivan crazy.

I kind of like the James Bondian thought of idly walking past a random car in the mall parking and sticking a magnetic APRS beacon under the wheel arch...

But in reality, my son (also new ham, ZS6HMB) and I will be participating in the running of a 100+ km (60+ mile) cycle event next month. We'll be sweeping a sector for stragglers and injuries (HMB is an EMT) and the dozens of vehicles will all either have APRS beacons on VHF or be using a phone app like aprsdroid on GSM. Control will know where we all are in real time and we'll be in 2m contact through the local repeater and simplex to the nearest water table.

Not a "thrill" really, but nice for me as a new ham to do something useful not just talking nonsense on the local repeater net.

The amateur radio tent is big enough to fit a whole bunch of different people, with a whole bunch of different interests.

Hear, hear. That's what appeals to me....


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: N6GOF on January 21, 2016, 09:13:12 AM
As with ALL Ham ventures; the thrill is in the what the operator finds the thrill to be.  Your an FM RPTR guy; but there are HF guys that want nothing to do with it.  AMSAT; ARISS; HF; VHF; EME; CW; etc etc...  Each ham finds their own joy..

For me:
Tracking = Meh... I can take it or leave it.
MSG = Fun
Telemetry = Fun
APRSIS = Very fun
Digi's = Fun
iGAte = Fun

Specifically:
Disemmination of information is what I love. iGating critical (or often not critical) information to the network; gating IS to RF.  APRS Object Management is neat.  Basically information , information , information.   


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: KS2G on January 21, 2016, 03:15:29 PM
Very little in amateur radio is thrilling.

Maybe for you.

But I've been at it for nearly 40 years and still get a thrill out of lots of things -- like busting a big Dxpedition pile-up for an ATNO, getting the last section for a Clean Sweep in Sweepstakes, seeing our club at the top of it's category in the Field Day results, and on and on...  ;)


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: W8RBT on March 19, 2016, 04:48:22 PM
With APRS, you could be in the middle of nowhere, way back in the boonies without cell phone coverage, an Internet connection or a reliable power source and still send a short email message by bouncing it off the ISS digipeater. That may not be thrilling, but it sure is fun.


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: KC8DE on April 17, 2016, 11:40:11 AM
What's the thrill?

When i know a packet of mine was digipeated, my vision gets blurry, my heart races, my toes tingle, classical music runs through my mind and I recall every roller coaster I've ever ridden simultaneously.

Maybe I should make sure the antenna isn't so close to my head...


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: KA2LHO on May 12, 2016, 08:52:13 PM
APRS is useful to me in a couple of ways. First of all as a county hunter, stations can monitor my progress when I am running counties and plan for my arrival in a county they may need. Additionally, as explained elsewhere, as a professional photographer I am often travelling 200+ miles a day round trip to and from a location. My wife can check online to determine where I am and, as stated before, know that I am OK and progressing toward a location or toward home.

Like many aspects of amateur radio operation, people find their own niche in the hobby and there are opportunities for variety.


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: K4KRW on May 14, 2016, 07:49:10 PM
Tracking a weather balloon sent up 70 to 100 thousand ft in altitude is thrilling.
I participated in maybe 6 weather balloon flights and some traveled over 100 miles away and we always recovered them.  APRS was fabulous (and fun).
Richard - K4KRW


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: KG4RUL on May 17, 2016, 05:06:40 AM
The thrill in APRS?

No way - the real thrill is WSPR.

Nodding off - head falling toward desk - OUCH!


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: KD2E on June 12, 2016, 04:44:36 AM
You can track strangers as they drive home from work!!!
I agree...pretty much useless.
But....when used for its strong points, it is pretty slick!!
I know NOTHING of the following subject, but gave it a whirl last summer.
With the scouts, we got a big latex balloon from amazon (6 feet or so), rented a big tank of helium from the
party store (my bad...paid for the whole thing, and used probably 1/6th of it!!).  We attached an APRS transmitter to the balloon,
and let 'er fly!!   Of course, in New Jersey, we pretty much knew the package would be a total loss....what with the big drink only a 1/4 mile away...But for the scouts to help filling the balloon, letting it fly, then running into the school cafeteria and watch it on the big TV with computer hooked to aprs.fi....was PRICELESS!!!  As far as Amateur balloon launches, it was a fail.  It rose too fast, expanded and popped....but we watched it for HOURS as it soured up and about 100 miles out over the ocean!!!   Too Cool!!


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: KB0OXD on July 06, 2016, 11:26:22 AM
As W8CMG said, it's a useful tracking tool

I mean look at what you can do with APRS nowadays that you couldn't do before.  As a HandiHam who just bought a Mobilinkd Bluetooth TNC (Only about $75 total from www.mobilinkd.com), I can combine this with an old Android device with no service running APRSDroid & a simple HT on 144.390, throw it all into the back pouch of my mobility scooter (After a little configuration of course) & what do you think I have ??

A STAND ALONE TRACKER

Add another USB cable to it to plug it into a PC & a Windows program like WinLink & what do you think I'd be able to do with THAT setup ?? 

WORK FROM HOME

Back when APRS first came out, you had to use a simple HT, an ACTUAL GPS (Smartphones weren't out yet as flip phones were still VERY mainstream) & a TNC (As in what you would use FOR A REGULAR PACKET STATION AT HOME) - ALL RUNNING ON BATTERY (Which doesn't last very long)

Hiding all that equipment in the back pouch OF A MOBILITY SCOOTER wouldn't be a very easy thing to do with all those CORDS & CABLES 

So next time you ask where the "Thrill" in APRS is, why not look at HOW FAR Ham Radio technology has come along to where it is now & see for yourself

I look forward to getting on APRS with the new toys I'm getting (Just awaiting the arrival of my new Baofeng HTs as one of them will be dedicated to APRS & Packet Radio) :)

Cheers & 73 :D


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: W4KYR on July 06, 2016, 02:02:01 PM
Regarding messaging over APRS equipped HT's...

How many APRS equipped HT's contain built in QWERTY touch pads like current 2016 era smart phones do?

How many APRS equipped HT's contain built in QWERTY keyboards like the (now discontinued)  Blackberry phones did? They were introduced in 1999 by the way.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BlackBerry

How many APRS equipped HT's allow connections to an mini QWERTY keyboard via an built in USB jack?

It would make messaging a hell of a lot faster (and simpler) if we were able to use an easily accessible  QWERTY keyboard/keypad than the (current) 1989 cellphone approach of selecting a menu, then selecting another menu then selecting 1 then press it three more times to get the letter C. 

And why is APRS SMS just limited to 60 characters? Can we have that expanded?
http://www.aprs.org/messages/DTMF-paging.txt

APRS has been out since 1992, at the very peak of Packet Radio's popularity.
http://www.aprs.org/

APRS has been out for 24 years... Is it time for an update? Perhaps a new and improved APRS with more features? Like maybe 160 characters like modern smart phones use? An APRS-2 ? What about SMS message storing, forwarding and relaying via digipeaters?  http://www.aprs.org/messages/DTMF-paging.txt 

 Why can't we just send SMS messages on the fly instead of the archaic method of pressing several menus and the number 1 four times to get just a single letter? 

Commercial SMS is currently the most used data application in the world.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_Message_Service

Why can't SMS be also used in APRS on a regular basis, the same way we use it with our cell phones? Why limit ourselves?  Overall, can APRS be improved? Can APRS be expanded?


It is 24 years old, is it time for a technological update? Can it be done without obsoleting existing equipment?





Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: WA2ISE on July 06, 2016, 07:11:07 PM
Maybe it takes some thinking about it, but it can be a thrill that you could communicate with someone on the other side of the planet using only equipment in your house and back yard and not using any other man made infrastructure (telephones and such). 


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: KB0OXD on July 06, 2016, 11:59:48 PM
Speaking of upgrades to APRS, how about these.....

* Frequencies set aside for Narrowband FM & Digital modes (Even if it means picking frequencies on 440 Mhz to do it)

* Linking to commercial social media sites for posting (Send only - NO receive option)

* Perhaps some APRS via HF (For those who prefer the HF bands over the world above 50 Mhz)

* APRS on the microwave bands (We already have it on the ISS & a few satellites)

Thoughts ??

Cheers & 73 :)


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: K6MFW on July 18, 2016, 02:13:30 PM
Parachute Mobile, https://parachutemobile.wordpress.com, makes extensive use of APRS. I also wanted to get myself a tracker when I'm mobile (I don't worry about burglers, outside hams nobody knows what aprs is). I also got a $20 pakratt TNC connected to spare XP and 2-meter radio running APRSISCE to see various hamsters running around the SF bay area, kind of interesting. Also shows problem of 144.39 getting overloaded. From knowledge gained working PM, my APRS tracker has a pulseox sensor to send heartrate and SpO2 data along with GPS position. Interesting to see where my pulse increases in certain places along the highway.

APRS is invaluable for tracking amateur radio balloons such as the K6RPT-12 launched from San Jose last month, flew around the world (I-gate stations in Russia and China relayed position data). Last data point was over China, team hopes it will make it across Pacific to complete 2nd lap. This is a very lightweight balloon, one big storm and it's history. http://aprs.fi/#!mt=roadmap&z=11&call=a%2FK6RPT-12

I found another site (forgot to save URL) where someone from New Zealand put a tracker on a buoy and sent it out in the ocean. Floating in South Pacific with occasional APRS beacons on HF.


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: AA4PB on July 18, 2016, 02:19:06 PM
Here in VA we keep hamsters in cages  ;)


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: G4HDU on November 20, 2016, 10:08:01 PM
For me the thrill is in learning something new


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: KG6QGF on January 05, 2017, 05:16:52 PM
I like the concepts but feel it is not being supported or built out to nearly its capability.  I hear all the time about how new or younger folks are not joining or getting ham licence, yet with specific areas like APRS it is not appealing to youth (yet) and if someone gets new idea or uses it out of typical use method they get chewed out by old timers.

Why is BaoFeng UV-5R or similar low cost not have APRS built in for TX location?  Should be virtually free to integrate!  Why does rx side not have simple low cost option?  Why is txt msging not 10 key like old flip phones and messaging from ham to ham VERY simple and integrated?  Why no VHF or UHF product that looks like the OLD Palm VII wireless device with developers OS-in fact, palm had these "Web Clipping Applications" that utilized the old Mobitex narrow bandwidth radio networks to "browse" the internet, I would think the PACKET people would have built this out by now using same idea!  Why do I need my smart phone to fully utilize SainSonic AVRT Tracker (if need smart phone, why not simply use aprs.fi-better yet, if I need smart phone, why use ham radio)?  why not a >$100 product with built in screen for tracking?  Why not full featured ham tablet >$150 with VHF, UHF built in with APRS?  Where are Wearables or head worn in this mix?


I feel like a well built hand held should do voice, data, msging, psk31, email, maybe photos as easy as a smartphone without need of having smart phone!  That would be the THRILL!

For that matter why is there not a really low cost >$200, full featured, SMALL, HF rig with Winlink built in?

Want to get kids involved?  Want the thrill back??  Where is the arduino or Ras Pie dev platforms specifically designed for HAM with built in radios?  Where are the peer to peer games?  Where is treasure hunts?  Start doing this!

Sorry to rant on my very first ever eham post, but been watching from shadows for years and see all of the possibilities and no action.  The Boafeng was the most Thrilling product in years, but big splash, then NOTHING!!!  Get the costs down, features up, development platform easy and highly integrated.


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: KG6QGF on January 05, 2017, 05:49:01 PM
Lastly, why is UIVIEW still the staple of Igate and no one picked up gauntlet to update program or replace in 10-ish years?


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: W4KYR on January 06, 2017, 07:54:12 AM
I like the concepts but feel it is not being supported or built out to nearly its capability.  I hear all the time about how new or younger folks are not joining or getting ham licence, yet with specific areas like APRS it is not appealing to youth (yet) and if someone gets new idea or uses it out of typical use method they get chewed out by old timers.

Why is BaoFeng UV-5R or similar low cost not have APRS built in for TX location?  Should be virtually free to integrate!  Why does rx side not have simple low cost option?  Why is txt msging not 10 key like old flip phones and messaging from ham to ham VERY simple and integrated?  Why no VHF or UHF product that looks like the OLD Palm VII wireless device with developers OS-in fact, palm had these "Web Clipping Applications" that utilized the old Mobitex narrow bandwidth radio networks to "browse" the internet, I would think the PACKET people would have built this out by now using same idea!  Why do I need my smart phone to fully utilize SainSonic AVRT Tracker (if need smart phone, why not simply use aprs.fi-better yet, if I need smart phone, why use ham radio)?  why not a >$100 product with built in screen for tracking?  Why not full featured ham tablet >$150 with VHF, UHF built in with APRS?  Where are Wearables or head worn in this mix?


I feel like a well built hand held should do voice, data, msging, psk31, email, maybe photos as easy as a smartphone without need of having smart phone!  That would be the THRILL!

For that matter why is there not a really low cost >$200, full featured, SMALL, HF rig with Winlink built in?

Want to get kids involved?  Want the thrill back??  Where is the arduino or Ras Pie dev platforms specifically designed for HAM with built in radios?  Where are the peer to peer games?  Where is treasure hunts?  Start doing this!

Sorry to rant on my very first ever eham post, but been watching from shadows for years and see all of the possibilities and no action.  The Boafeng was the most Thrilling product in years, but big splash, then NOTHING!!!  Get the costs down, features up, development platform easy and highly integrated.

Interesting Post

I have also suggested an HT with smart phone capabilities that could do text messaging, sending images, files, send and receive mail. Think of the conveniences and possibilities in using it for field day, camping, emergency communications, disaster relief, weather spotters..etc.  Surprisingly some hams were against the idea. I guess they were close minded or stuck in the FM only mode apparently.

The radios that DO offer something in the way of that are cumbersome, very expensive and VERY poorly implemented. For instance, the modems inside the Yaesu FT1DR and the FT2DR are software based and CANNOT be accessed to use as a packet radio modem.

Other Yaesu sophisticated radios like the VX8-DR and VX8-GR can not send pictures, files, mail because the inboard modem CANNOT be accessed for packet. You can send some text messages over APRS as I understand it, but it is very cumbersome. There is no QWERTY keypad.

Icom's D-Star IC- 51a plus CAN send pictures, files and text. But that requires the use of an optional $65 cable and an Android tablet or phone using the D-RATS program.

(The Kenwood THD-72A and the older THD-7ag HT's CAN access the builtin  packet radio modem as can the their mobile TM- D700 and TM-D710G models. The new Kenwood HT, the THD-74A model is actually a step backward with an KISS only modem which means that simple terminal programs like PuTTY and HyperTerminal won't work with it thus limiting the usefulness of this very expensive....$649....HT.)

The Yaesu FT1DR can take pictures with the optional expensive $140 ! mic. Then you take the picture and it downloads the file to a removable chip which you can transmit out. But you can't see the picture! You have to take the chip out and and plug it into another computer to view it!

(And you CANNOT connect your computer to your Yaesu radio and view the picture according to a Yaesu representative at a Fusion seminar in Ohio two years ago. You must take the chip out and plug the chip into the computer and THEN you can view it!)

Now the $400 FT2DR can also take pictures with the expensive optional $140 mic but at least on that model you can view it on it's built-in with it's display which looks like something from an early 1990's hand bar code reader/scanner with Windows CE.

Kenwood not surprisingly was well ahead of the curve back in the 1990's. They developed an optional device that took photos and could also display it on the device! It was called the VC-H1 communicator and it was designed to work with HT's like the THD-7ag as well as their mobile radios with built-in APRS/Packet modems.


To summarize:
 
Unfortunately none of the expensive and sophisticated radios today can send and receive files, text messaging, mail and photos without some Rube Goldberg approach! This is 2017 and even those lowly $15 - $25 smartphones have built in cameras and QWERTY keyboards. Our $500 - $600 HT's are still barely getting out of the 1990's technology wise.

All it would take is to have one of the Chinese companies like Baofeng/Pofung to marry the smartphone add a builtin packet modem in a dual band HT and sell it for $100 and the big three would be scrambling to catch up. I don't know why we aren't there already.

Thanks for your post. I been saying this for quite awhile...


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: WG8Z on January 07, 2017, 11:36:35 AM
Lastly, why is UIVIEW still the staple of Igate and no one picked up gauntlet to update program or replace in 10-ish years?

Because it works. My I-gates been running 24/7 on a pent-90 w/win95 since 2005. Was off the air for a couple hrs back in
2012 when a lightning hit took out the net card. Other then that it's serves me well. I do reboot the box every year or two just for giggles.
If it ain't broke why fix it?
73 Zed


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: KD4EXS on January 08, 2017, 12:23:41 PM
Lastly, why is UIVIEW still the staple of Igate and no one picked up gauntlet to update program or replace in 10-ish years?

I would love a legitimate answer to this as well.  I'm no programmer, but I would toss a few bucks at an APRS program written with a modern interface.  Multiply that money if you include access to maps that are still on the retail market or have the ability to use downloadable maps.  Even if it only worked with a live connection to the internet, I would thrilled.

As the developers I work with say: "Dumb it down, make it easy, and they will come".  Interpretation:  "Built it and they will come".



Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: KG6QGF on September 13, 2017, 12:16:05 PM
Maybe it is coming soon.  This is approaching the product I am thinking about;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rt5WRNXbdDI



Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: KG4RUL on September 15, 2017, 08:29:34 AM
Maybe it is coming soon.  This is approaching the product I am thinking about;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rt5WRNXbdDI



But it still doesn't replace uiView on a laptop/PC.


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: NM0O on September 21, 2017, 09:45:14 AM
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.

The Peoria, IL, Marathon (Oct. 8, 2017) gives us the opportunity to track the lead police vehicle and the tail police vehicle using a pair of Yaesu VX-8DR radios. Our voice communications will be on Harris P25 circuits. It seems an elegant solution to the question, "How can I know where the lead runner is?"

Come to the River City!


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: NEVBEN on December 19, 2017, 10:29:47 PM
I think APRS gets unnecessarily conflated with GPS tracking.  I was introduced to APRS as a way to track my offroad 4x4 adventures using my 2m radio, but APRS is an automated packet system that can be used to send all kinds of messages with X.25.

The most practical applications are GPS locations and weather data.  It should be obvious that if you have a radio and a TNC you can send some kind of data, and the data that is of interest to enough people to setup a ubiquitous network of gateways to bring that data from remote radios into the Internet consists of GPS coordinates and maybe weather data.

I would note that APRS on the most practical mobile and HT radios is not better than those radios spotty propagation characteristics.  The overwhelming majority of APRS packets are transmitted to gateways with line-of-sight wavelengths that tend to work best on flat terrain or over coastal waters.  The local offroad community in my area is full of hams and many of them adopted the use of APRS over the last 8 or 9 years, and then moved on to commercial satellite tracking systems like Spot, Delorme, and Iridium.  Even though there are extensive mountain-top repeaters in this area, there are too many times one finds oneself in canyons without good coverage on VHF or UHF.

At first I liked the idea of radio transmission of GPS tracking data to an Internet gateway, because I felt it pre-empted the primary need or want for communication.  It seemed if I could communicate where I was, and where I was going, then there simply wasn't much of a need for communication via a phone mode as most of what I would have said was already conveyed.

But this was a mistake.  I was mistaken to think that accurate, detailed data was a better substitute for communication via meaningful voice conversation.  A lot more people than ever are making that same choice today -- choosing data streams over a conversation, or substituting messaging via data protocols for voice.  They are not only failing to communicate effectively, but they're also inhibiting the development or losing skill in effective communication by a poor substitution.

APRS can be used for messaging, although I have not seen a handheld or mobile TNC with a practical user interface for messaging.  Even ICOM's touchscreen HT's are wonky.  As such, APRS is used primarily for telemetry data.

It's a perfectly fine system and protocol, but I think it gets used overwhelmingly for "stupid and wrong" reasons.  It's not untypical of amateur radio in that its a solution looking for a problem.


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: WD9EWK on December 24, 2017, 11:11:56 AM
I think APRS gets unnecessarily conflated with GPS tracking.  I was introduced to APRS as a way to track my offroad 4x4 adventures using my 2m radio, but APRS is an automated packet system that can be used to send all kinds of messages with X.25.

Agreed. Most use APRS only for tracking stuff, which always frustrates WB4APR.

APRS can be used for messaging, although I have not seen a handheld or mobile TNC with a practical user interface for messaging.  Even ICOM's touchscreen HT's are wonky.  As such, APRS is used primarily for telemetry data.

And this won't change, until the ham equipment manufacturers move away from DTMF-based keypads to the LCD panels like we see on smart phones. Or the HTs would have keypads that look like the old Blackberry mobile phones.

As for touchscreen HTs, are you thinking of the Yaesu FT-2DR? It has a touchscreen, and I have heard reports about problems with that.

It's a perfectly fine system and protocol, but I think it gets used overwhelmingly for "stupid and wrong" reasons.  It's not untypical of amateur radio in that its a solution looking for a problem.

APRS is a useful tool, but may not be the best tool for all situations. If you aren't around APRS digipeaters, it isn't useful - go with a mobile phone or something that uses a sat-phone network instead. Messaging can work, depending on what you are needing to send.

My normal uses for APRS are:

1. Show my location, when I am out operating from different locations. I don't like running an APRS app on a mobile phone, especially in rural places where there may be very slow to no mobile data. Where I live (Arizona), there is a good network of APRS digipeaters on mountaintops around the state, and into neighboring states too. Then I don't have to constantly e-mail or tweet "Here I am" - it shows up on aprs.fi and other web sites. Look up WD9EWK-9 on sites like aprs.fi to see this in action.

2. For the orbiting digipeaters on ISS and NO-84, I can send my location that is visible on the same web sites like aprs.fi, and I can use APRS messages to make contacts with other stations. I normally use a Kenwood APRS-ready radio for this (TH-D72, TH-D74, TM-D710G), where I use the "phrases" (prepared messages) for my exchanges. This is like the macros used for PSK31 and other HF digital modes, which can be called up with a couple of keypresses instead of having to type out each character in the short messages I send.

It is nice to be able to use the APRS-ready radios this way, without having to also bring in an external TNC and some sort of computing device (laptop, tablet, smart phone) to work with the TNC. This was a big reason why I never did much with APRS in the past - having to get a TNC and GPS receiver (at a minimum) working with the radio for APRS in the vehicle. The APRS-ready HTs in particular are really nice for this, acknowledging the user interface issues.

73!


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: WD4ELG on December 26, 2017, 01:52:01 PM
Satellite APRS is an excellent way for mariners at sea to provide status updates, not just location but "all OK."

An underutilized capability is HF APRS on 30 meters using PSK63.  I have not seen a lot of activity...but there are stations active and it certainly offers capabilities not restricted to line-of-sight VHF digipeaters.


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: K5XOM on February 20, 2018, 08:18:23 PM
Trying to change a programmed message to say something else sucks when you are mobile. Way to many menu's and key strokes to go through. I use a Yaesu FTM100DR. Also if you want to be sure you can hit a digipeater when you are way out away from a city or populated area where there are fewer digipeaters,  hi power and a 5/8 antenna is needed at the minimum. that's my opinion.


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: NA7Q on March 10, 2018, 10:02:43 AM
APRS for me is tracking when I'm out backpacking in the cascade range. With that, I also use it as a way to send and receive messages to and from cell phones via SMSGTE when I'm out and about. Another is also for checking the weather via WXBOT. All of these places have no cell coverage, but perfect APRS coverage.
Another big usage for me outside of this is propagation reporting.


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: WG8Z on March 10, 2018, 04:53:34 PM
Telemetry, Alarm monitoring, and Remote control.


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: KE4IAJ on March 19, 2018, 08:57:20 AM
I mostly use it for band opening notifications.

If my SDR receives over 75 APRS stations I get an alert. I also graph the stations over time so I can look back at any given day and see how many stations I could pick up at the time. The images below are from a pretty good opening, picking up over 100 stations. The graph shows 4 hours but it can also show days, weeks, months, etc.

(https://bashlor.com/images/100.jpg)

(https://bashlor.com/images/100g.jpg)


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: KG6QGF on August 13, 2018, 07:53:20 PM
Lastly, why is UIVIEW still the staple of Igate and no one picked up gauntlet to update program or replace in 10-ish years?

Because it works. My I-gates been running 24/7 on a pent-90 w/win95 since 2005. Was off the air for a couple hrs back in
2012 when a lightning hit took out the net card. Other then that it's serves me well. I do reboot the box every year or two just for giggles.
If it ain't broke why fix it?
73 Zed

Because you cannot build or add or innovate on an unsupported, undocumented platform!  RE-windows 95 vs Windows 10.  Try doing 3D modeling software or 3D printing or run DashCommand on a windows 95 machine...

With all due respect, this should be rebuilt from ground up and open-source code- this will promote development and forward progress.  This kind of thinking is why this topic question was asked in first place.  There is a backbone that exists that would appear to be much more capable than is currently being used.


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: KG6QGF on August 13, 2018, 08:45:09 PM
I like the concepts but feel it is not being supported or built out to nearly its capability.  I hear all the time about how new or younger folks are not joining or getting ham licence, yet with specific areas like APRS it is not appealing to youth (yet) and if someone gets new idea or uses it out of typical use method they get chewed out by old timers.

Why is BaoFeng UV-5R or similar low cost not have APRS built in for TX location?  Should be virtually free to integrate!  Why does rx side not have simple low cost option?  Why is txt msging not 10 key like old flip phones and messaging from ham to ham VERY simple and integrated?  Why no VHF or UHF product that looks like the OLD Palm VII wireless device with developers OS-in fact, palm had these "Web Clipping Applications" that utilized the old Mobitex narrow bandwidth radio networks to "browse" the internet, I would think the PACKET people would have built this out by now using same idea!  Why do I need my smart phone to fully utilize SainSonic AVRT Tracker (if need smart phone, why not simply use aprs.fi-better yet, if I need smart phone, why use ham radio)?  why not a >$100 product with built in screen for tracking?  Why not full featured ham tablet >$150 with VHF, UHF built in with APRS?  Where are Wearables or head worn in this mix?


I feel like a well built hand held should do voice, data, msging, psk31, email, maybe photos as easy as a smartphone without need of having smart phone!  That would be the THRILL!

For that matter why is there not a really low cost >$200, full featured, SMALL, HF rig with Winlink built in?

Want to get kids involved?  Want the thrill back??  Where is the arduino or Ras Pie dev platforms specifically designed for HAM with built in radios?  Where are the peer to peer games?  Where is treasure hunts?  Start doing this!

Sorry to rant on my very first ever eham post, but been watching from shadows for years and see all of the possibilities and no action.  The Boafeng was the most Thrilling product in years, but big splash, then NOTHING!!!  Get the costs down, features up, development platform easy and highly integrated.


Sorry to recycle this topic but is now 2 years later with no change that i can see.  Perhaps I am behind in my view of current products and ham architecture-please correct me if so;

I have this idea in my head (for last few years) of a product that could run using APRS network (provided the network could perform some tasks) that would be like an old PalmVII device, flip up antenna, that would be a two way VHR (maybe UHF) radio, color touch screen display and LIpo battery; USB connector enabled, and would natively have APRS and packet applications running on device.  The three applications would be APRS text msging, APRS email, APRS mapping and be running digipeating in background.  The unit would have ability to use radio APRS radio to radio network and gateways to "fetch" or "pull/poll" (done in background) for incoming messages and notify user when they exist (see carrier "push" vs pull" data).  It would also have ability to use radio network and packet modem/ web enabled BBS's to do "web clipping" (see here https://www.webopedia.com/TERM/W/Web_clipping.html) applications similar to what Palm used to do (ideal for radios that have very limited bandwidth and slow modem), where the web page is local on radio and key fields are populated with current data from actual web site. 

The whole concept would be to have a Ham radio network that would allow Ham radio user to have something like smartphone that could operate without need for cell phone bill and would function even if cell phone network went down.  The idea is to build a low-cost radio that is all-inclusive, not like todays smart-phone-connected via bluetooth-connected-via-2wayradio cluged together monster that rarely works as expected.


This might be a launch pad to next gen that could use VHF/UHF "channel aggregation" (aggregation, it is possible to utilize more than one channel and in this way increase the overall transmission bandwidth).  I would envision a system that could allow for Ham radio network to do things like digital voice communications similar to email, where the voice message is sent to handheld in background and could be listened to later and replied to by user.

To this end, I would be willing to donate some time/design resources/effort/money into an effort to design a development platform for this (not final product rather a tool to enable work toward real product).  I might start by connecting a 4D systems touch display to an arm processor running a DSP signal processor to an DRA818V radio module and cramming it inside an old PalmVII case (and build up a dozen for dev purposes)...But it would need a SW engineer support, and then on back end would need and APRS architect to explain what is possible on the pull and push side of gateways and how to prevent redundancy in packet repeating;

Thoughts?


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: SOFAR on August 14, 2018, 12:55:18 AM
I like the concepts but feel it is not being supported or built out to nearly its capability.  I hear all the time about how new or younger folks are not joining or getting ham licence, yet with specific areas like APRS it is not appealing to youth (yet) and if someone gets new idea or uses it out of typical use method they get chewed out by old timers.

Why is BaoFeng UV-5R or similar low cost not have APRS built in for TX location?  Should be virtually free to integrate!  Why does rx side not have simple low cost option?  Why is txt msging not 10 key like old flip phones and messaging from ham to ham VERY simple and integrated?  Why no VHF or UHF product that looks like the OLD Palm VII wireless device with developers OS-in fact, palm had these "Web Clipping Applications" that utilized the old Mobitex narrow bandwidth radio networks to "browse" the internet, I would think the PACKET people would have built this out by now using same idea!  Why do I need my smart phone to fully utilize SainSonic AVRT Tracker (if need smart phone, why not simply use aprs.fi-better yet, if I need smart phone, why use ham radio)?  why not a >$100 product with built in screen for tracking?  Why not full featured ham tablet >$150 with VHF, UHF built in with APRS?  Where are Wearables or head worn in this mix?


I feel like a well built hand held should do voice, data, msging, psk31, email, maybe photos as easy as a smartphone without need of having smart phone!  That would be the THRILL!

For that matter why is there not a really low cost >$200, full featured, SMALL, HF rig with Winlink built in?

Want to get kids involved?  Want the thrill back??  Where is the arduino or Ras Pie dev platforms specifically designed for HAM with built in radios?  Where are the peer to peer games?  Where is treasure hunts?  Start doing this!

Sorry to rant on my very first ever eham post, but been watching from shadows for years and see all of the possibilities and no action.  The Boafeng was the most Thrilling product in years, but big splash, then NOTHING!!!  Get the costs down, features up, development platform easy and highly integrated.


Sorry to recycle this topic but is now 2 years later with no change that i can see.  Perhaps I am behind in my view of current products and ham architecture-please correct me if so;

I have this idea in my head (for last few years) of a product that could run using APRS network (provided the network could perform some tasks) that would be like an old PalmVII device, flip up antenna, that would be a two way VHR (maybe UHF) radio, color touch screen display and LIpo battery; USB connector enabled, and would natively have APRS and packet applications running on device.  The three applications would be APRS text msging, APRS email, APRS mapping and be running digipeating in background.  The unit would have ability to use radio APRS radio to radio network and gateways to "fetch" or "pull/poll" (done in background) for incoming messages and notify user when they exist (see carrier "push" vs pull" data).  It would also have ability to use radio network and packet modem/ web enabled BBS's to do "web clipping" (see here https://www.webopedia.com/TERM/W/Web_clipping.html) applications similar to what Palm used to do (ideal for radios that have very limited bandwidth and slow modem), where the web page is local on radio and key fields are populated with current data from actual web site. 

The whole concept would be to have a Ham radio network that would allow Ham radio user to have something like smartphone that could operate without need for cell phone bill and would function even if cell phone network went down.  The idea is to build a low-cost radio that is all-inclusive, not like todays smart-phone-connected via bluetooth-connected-via-2wayradio cluged together monster that rarely works as expected.


This might be a launch pad to next gen that could use VHF/UHF "channel aggregation" (aggregation, it is possible to utilize more than one channel and in this way increase the overall transmission bandwidth).  I would envision a system that could allow for Ham radio network to do things like digital voice communications similar to email, where the voice message is sent to handheld in background and could be listened to later and replied to by user.

To this end, I would be willing to donate some time/design resources/effort/money into an effort to design a development platform for this (not final product rather a tool to enable work toward real product).  I might start by connecting a 4D systems touch display to an arm processor running a DSP signal processor to an DRA818V radio module and cramming it inside an old PalmVII case (and build up a dozen for dev purposes)...But it would need a SW engineer support, and then on back end would need and APRS architect to explain what is possible on the pull and push side of gateways and how to prevent redundancy in packet repeating;

Thoughts?

I don't think you have an interest in radio.


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: W4KVW on August 14, 2018, 07:21:56 AM
It's a useful tool that lets burglars know you're not home.

Yep,kind of like posting on social media that you are on vacation so everyone knows it's OK to raid your house.  ??? :o ::)
So many people complain about companies & the government keeping up with them & then they put a tracking device on their radio???  ??? :o ::)

Clayton
W4KVW


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: KG6QGF on August 14, 2018, 08:41:11 AM
Really?  The Ham radio is an endangered spectrum in the FCC's eyes, youth are not getting involved in the hobby, Radios get cheaper and cheaper, there is a network backbone that exists and people on the APRS thread have no interest in using it (because its scary) or promoting it, upgrading it, making it interesting?

The high dollar radios already add APRS and txt msg to radio (poorly) but somehow is a bad idea...

Really?  You think that I spent my entire career as a radio HW engineer and have no interest in radio????  No one suggested removing the voice portion of the radio, rather making it a full featured radio in every aspect possible.  I was part of the design team that invented the smart phone;  The REASON it was so popular is not that it eliminated voice phone calls; rather it added to the experience the data portion of the phone.  Today if you want to do data on you voice rig the first thing you must do is attach a modem and a data device/terminal to it-that is ridiculous. 

Why is it that I don't have my Ham radio work bench in my pocket?  Why can I not pull out my integrated handset and do voice, data, experiments at work, at store, at school?   Why are low band radio (almost 100 year old tech) so expensive?


I don't even know what to say...This makes me sad. 


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: NQ4T on August 20, 2018, 09:44:37 AM
You've written on a bunch of stuff both recently and in the past I want to touch on...so these responses/quotes are in no particular order.

Quote from: KG6QGF
Radios get cheaper and cheaper, there is a network backbone that exists and people on the APRS thread have no interest in using it (because its scary) or promoting it, upgrading it, making it interesting?

What network backbone are you talking about?


Quote from: KG6QGF
Why are low band radio (almost 100 year old tech) so expensive?

Because they're not 100 year old tech. They've been updated, improved. R&D dollars have gone in to improving the technology. We're not a mass market, we're a niche market. They can't really make up losses on scale. This isn't like your grandma's ol Radiola in which they were mass produced for a mass market in cheap prices.

ICom, Yaesu, Kenwood, Elecraft, TenTec, all of those....they do not push the numbers you see in the consumer world. Smaller runs, smaller market, higher prices.

Quote from: KG6QGF
Why is BaoFeng UV-5R or similar low cost not have APRS built in for TX location?  Should be virtually free to integrate!

Because they're low cost radios! I mean these things are so low cost they're not even legal to use most of the time in the US. I already see people using these things without licenses in flagrant disregard of regulations...I see hams using old Baofengs that are known for breaking spurious emission regulations. So in my opinion....why should we give these people more ability to break rules by adding APRS? That's not the goal of the radio. The people buying these things don't care about features, they just want a $20 radio.

I also don't know how "open source" APRS actually is. It is covered by patents. I would imagine if you want to implement them in a commercial application there would be some licensing.

Quote from: KG6QGF
The whole concept would be to have a Ham radio network that would allow Ham radio user to have something like smartphone that could operate without need for cell phone bill and would function even if cell phone network went down.  The idea is to build a low-cost radio that is all-inclusive, not like todays smart-phone-connected via bluetooth-connected-via-2wayradio cluged together monster that rarely works as expected.

Well...if you read the rules; you're not supposed to use ham radio in cases where other messaging systems exist. So building something to replace your smartphone, while a good idea; wouldn't be within the regulations to use as long as the cell phone network is working. I mean, sure, I can text someone over APRS from time to time...but if you were to replace your cell phone with strictly APRS messaging then you might be breaking rules.

What you propose would only be legal to use for "experimental" purposes or when the networks go down. I'm sure if you made full use and called it "experimental"...someone would come along and question the degree of your experimentation.

Since it's not general use...there's no interest in spending the money to develop it. That would just make for an expensive unit that no one would buy.



Quote from: KG6QGF
For that matter why is there not a really low cost >$200, full featured, SMALL, HF rig with Winlink built in?

Because there are a lot of people that question WinLink legality to start with. Also, how would you type on a small HF Rig? I'm sure if you're releasing this as a product; you would need licensing. Also go back to what I said earlier about the scale of ecnomy in this stuff. You're not going to get full-featured and small for $200. No one is going to want to eat the losses on something like that.

Quote from: KG6QGF
This might be a launch pad to next gen that could use VHF/UHF "channel aggregation" (aggregation, it is possible to utilize more than one channel and in this way increase the overall transmission bandwidth).

This might be fine in the bands above 70cm where there's not a lot of established activity...but I don't see how you're going to easily do channel aggregation when the vast majority of 2m/70cm bands are repeaters. How many channels are you going to have? What sub-section of the band has to be elimated? Do we need to get rid of sat operation, or simplex? In my area chunks of the 70cm "simplex" portion are assigned to repeaters.


The reason we have to connect our radios to a modem is probably based on "how we've always done it" and based on the fact you're not going to make people pay for features they're not going to use on a regular basis. A lot of people don't use Winlink...so they're not going to want to pay for that feature being included. Nothing is free...every feature that goes in to a radio adds to the cost in some way. I was surprised to find the TH-D74 had a legitimate KISS TNC in it...and getting it to operate was not that difficult.

I think a lot of the problem is people don't want to learn how to do something...they just want to do it. They're just appliance operators. They have little technical skill, they don't want to learn it...they just want to key up the radio and talk.

But all I can say is if *you* think this is what Ham Radio needs...then based on your previous claims it sounds like something you should start designing. Start designing that 100 watt radio with built in Winlink and digital modes. Start designing and building HT's and mobile rigs that do what you want.

Otherwise...all you're doing is ranting and raving and coming off as someone who wants to just complain and have someone else solve the problems. You're a ham. You're supposed to work around problems.


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: KG6QGF on August 22, 2018, 03:32:04 PM
Think we are way off topic for this thread-I am sure I will make may mad here with this reply;  That said, I am amazed at the resistance to change I see here, or the sheer lack of motivation or absence of enthusiasm to entertain or propose new ideas;

1.  The APRS infrastructure, to do short email, short text, short packet appears to already be in place, simply correctly formed packets.  Also I-gates have the ability to push and pull packet history;  a "packet" can contain any type of payload...Email, txt, voltages, temperature, whatever.

2.  As for HF radio- Improvements in both cost and performance should be built in and amortized out;  Look up "Moore's Law".   BTW, how old is the design of the Ft-857 (1998 I think)?  Also see McHF kit radio by Chris / M0NKA -he proves it does not have to be $900 radio and is a SW dev platform (Bravo to him, look what he has accomplished!  Exactly what I would like to see for APRS!).  The parts in these radios are not exactly state of the art.

3.  Yes, Baofeng radios are not exactly high end; but for a hobby that is dying and is trying to attract more interest and a large barrier to entry verses cost - this radio probably attracted a whole crop of new people to the hobby that could not afford it before. Also, I promise you that some of the price drop seen recently from Yaesu, ICOM, Kenwood and such on 2 meters/dual band is directly due to Baofeng! ALso, using low end radios that might be spurious metric, perhaps Byonics Micro tracker and SainSonic AP510 should be banned too....  FYI- look who is #2 and reason why;  https://www.hamradioreviews.eu/2017/01/16/best-time-2016-results/

If the Ham people are worried about "use without licenses in flagrant disregard of regulations"-then Ham equipment should only be available as expensive, complicated, hard to use devices for purchase.

Patents are only good for 10 years, 20 years best case if you refile;  Since 1995, with the new graduated "refile" fees, most are abandoned way before 20 years.

4. Ham radio is being used for data and messaging already- As pointed out earlier, the high end manufacturers already have this in selected radios, but they are crazy expensive.  SO it is OK when expensive, but god forbid making it cheap and easier to use....   If a Ham wants to use APRS to msg another Ham they can do so now-it is just painful.  "wouldn't be within the regulations to use as long as the cell phone network is working"...Using this argument, Hams should should not be making regular voice contact or having "Nets" weekly since they could use a telephone to do the same.  In fact, buying a voice rig that one simply types in frequency and can push PPT and talk to another Ham-this is hardly experimental-should be banned.

Didn't the original packet BBS modems have built in email boxes??? 

5.  The whole idea of an existing micro-controller enabled $30 radio is suddenly too expensive by adding a modem to it...  I can use an arduino as a TNC/modem and it costs about $1.50 (or a CML MX614 for $4) - and enable the hardware and allow the Hams to write SW and flash as desired...and in addition give a SW developer a platform to start creating new options.

6.  I also feel like the software engineering talent is not being given a good platform to work with;  The "experimental" part seems to marginalize the contribution of SW engineers, the unspoken part being that only hardware can be experimental;

I would like to think I am not coming off as just a complainer-I am willing to use my own money and time to prototype the hardware, publish and freely distribute schematics and gerbers, build a development platform and distribute to key people to work implementation;  But if I am truly the only one with the interest and doing the work, well, this is supposed to be a community of experimenters, not a one person effort; and based on the reaction here so far I feel like that is the direction this is headed.  I look at a viable APRS network that appears to have stopped in development 10 years ago.  I would LOVE to have a face 2 face forum to discuss forward looking work and tasks and how to contribute....

I mean, look at the title of this thread!  If you all feel that APRS is great, full featured, totally deployed, no room for improvement as it stands, then I don't know what to say...


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: N0YXB on August 22, 2018, 10:34:25 PM
...but for a hobby that is dying and is trying to attract more interest

Sorry, but that's a worn out and false premise. How exactly is this hobby dying? The anti-change folks may agree, but their perceptions are not based on empirical evidence.



Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: SOFAR on August 22, 2018, 11:19:50 PM
Think we are way off topic for this thread-I am sure I will make may mad here with this reply;  That said, I am amazed at the resistance to change I see here, or the sheer lack of motivation or absence of enthusiasm to entertain or propose new ideas;

1.  The APRS infrastructure, to do short email, short text, short packet appears to already be in place, simply correctly formed packets.  Also I-gates have the ability to push and pull packet history;  a "packet" can contain any type of payload...Email, txt, voltages, temperature, whatever.

2.  As for HF radio- Improvements in both cost and performance should be built in and amortized out;  Look up "Moore's Law".   BTW, how old is the design of the Ft-857 (1998 I think)?  Also see McHF kit radio by Chris / M0NKA -he proves it does not have to be $900 radio and is a SW dev platform (Bravo to him, look what he has accomplished!  Exactly what I would like to see for APRS!).  The parts in these radios are not exactly state of the art.

3.  Yes, Baofeng radios are not exactly high end; but for a hobby that is dying and is trying to attract more interest and a large barrier to entry verses cost - this radio probably attracted a whole crop of new people to the hobby that could not afford it before. Also, I promise you that some of the price drop seen recently from Yaesu, ICOM, Kenwood and such on 2 meters/dual band is directly due to Baofeng! ALso, using low end radios that might be spurious metric, perhaps Byonics Micro tracker and SainSonic AP510 should be banned too....  FYI- look who is #2 and reason why;  https://www.hamradioreviews.eu/2017/01/16/best-time-2016-results/

If the Ham people are worried about "use without licenses in flagrant disregard of regulations"-then Ham equipment should only be available as expensive, complicated, hard to use devices for purchase.

Patents are only good for 10 years, 20 years best case if you refile;  Since 1995, with the new graduated "refile" fees, most are abandoned way before 20 years.

4. Ham radio is being used for data and messaging already- As pointed out earlier, the high end manufacturers already have this in selected radios, but they are crazy expensive.  SO it is OK when expensive, but god forbid making it cheap and easier to use....   If a Ham wants to use APRS to msg another Ham they can do so now-it is just painful.  "wouldn't be within the regulations to use as long as the cell phone network is working"...Using this argument, Hams should should not be making regular voice contact or having "Nets" weekly since they could use a telephone to do the same.  In fact, buying a voice rig that one simply types in frequency and can push PPT and talk to another Ham-this is hardly experimental-should be banned.

Didn't the original packet BBS modems have built in email boxes???  

5.  The whole idea of an existing micro-controller enabled $30 radio is suddenly too expensive by adding a modem to it...  I can use an arduino as a TNC/modem and it costs about $1.50 (or a CML MX614 for $4) - and enable the hardware and allow the Hams to write SW and flash as desired...and in addition give a SW developer a platform to start creating new options.

6.  I also feel like the software engineering talent is not being given a good platform to work with;  The "experimental" part seems to marginalize the contribution of SW engineers, the unspoken part being that only hardware can be experimental;

I would like to think I am not coming off as just a complainer-I am willing to use my own money and time to prototype the hardware, publish and freely distribute schematics and gerbers, build a development platform and distribute to key people to work implementation;  But if I am truly the only one with the interest and doing the work, well, this is supposed to be a community of experimenters, not a one person effort; and based on the reaction here so far I feel like that is the direction this is headed.  I look at a viable APRS network that appears to have stopped in development 10 years ago.  I would LOVE to have a face 2 face forum to discuss forward looking work and tasks and how to contribute....

I mean, look at the title of this thread!  If you all feel that APRS is great, full featured, totally deployed, no room for improvement as it stands, then I don't know what to say...

Sounds like a solution looking for a problem.

I don't have an issue with the prices of radios. And don't own a Baofeng.

You should find a cheaper, and less stressful hobby, that actually interests you.

You definitely do not have an interest in radio.


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: K8CPA on October 29, 2018, 10:23:20 AM
I run a APRS, if you have a radio, like the Kenwood TM-D710GA, you can use message capability as well. I've met some great people on there. Great for Truckers as well. Met some on there. 


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: KD4EXS on October 30, 2018, 07:54:05 AM
If you travel, hearing the APRS bursts is a great way to meet people on simplex.  I find that people will sometimes not reply in a repeater, but they will on simplex.  I love APRS when I am mobile.


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: KA9CQL on April 30, 2019, 04:33:06 PM
I am using APRS to provide two-way communications between groundstations and high-altitude balloon (HAB)flights. Anyone in the world will be able to "check in" to our airborne "digipeater in the sky" and receive a QSL via email with the exact location above the earth the payload was when they checked in.

Great STEM value, plus the guy I was inspired by (Don, KJ6FO) got me and other groups of people started in HAB experiments using these types of ideas. We are in California, some are in Missouri and Kentucky. Soon to be even wider!!

Thrills come from the heart, not from the head. But if you use your head you will find your heart often follows!

'73 from the sky (via APRS)
- Mike
  KA9CQL


Title: RE: What's the THRILL in APRS???
Post by: K4FMH on June 17, 2019, 08:00:51 AM
This is a late comment. I use APRS every day, manage several digipeater and an iGate. The OP asked what is the THRILL in APRS? My take is that it’s the same thrill found in a crystal set. It’s radio!