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Author Topic: What's the THRILL in APRS???  (Read 116535 times)
WD4ELG
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Posts: 370




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« Reply #45 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.
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K5XOM
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« Reply #46 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.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2018, 08:27:47 PM by K5XOM » Logged
NA7Q
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Posts: 9




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« Reply #47 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.
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WG8Z
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« Reply #48 on: March 10, 2018, 04:53:34 PM »

Telemetry, Alarm monitoring, and Remote control.
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KE4IAJ
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Posts: 14




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« Reply #49 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.



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KG6QGF
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Posts: 13




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« Reply #50 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.
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KG6QGF
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« Reply #51 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?
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SOFAR
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Posts: 1492




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« Reply #52 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.
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W4KVW
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Posts: 0




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« Reply #53 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.  Huh Shocked Roll Eyes
So many people complain about companies & the government keeping up with them & then they put a tracking device on their radio???  Huh Shocked Roll Eyes

Clayton
W4KVW
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KG6QGF
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Posts: 13




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« Reply #54 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?Huh  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. 
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NQ4T
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Posts: 133


WWW

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« Reply #55 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.
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KG6QGF
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« Reply #56 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...
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N0YXB
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« Reply #57 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.

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SOFAR
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« Reply #58 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.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2018, 11:21:55 PM by SOFAR » Logged
K8CPA
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« Reply #59 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. 
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