[aprssig] Stop it! (long)

kd4ydc at juno.com kd4ydc at juno.com
Sat Apr 9 22:12:28 EDT 2005

I had an experience I want to share with the group.  Several of you know me...many of you don't.  I have a passion for teaching (I am a band director by trade for 20 years) and public service (have been working with the local NWS for about 10 years).  I understand about educating "the masses"...but sometimes we go over board.  Sometimes it is what we read for weeks at a time. I have not just stumbled onto APRS...but have been involved in one form or another.  No, I do not consider myself as an expert...but I do feel that I have brought a few people into this portion of the hobby because of my involvement.  Yes, some have come and gone...but it is nice to see a "newbie" (sp?) get as excited about it as one did today.

This is going out in a 2 part email because the people who put this on...do not deserve to be listed in this email.  

Today a friend of mine, who just happened to have worked with NASA on the Saturn V project, came on the local repeater as I was watching and waiting for the balloon launch from Huntsville,Al.  All of a sudden a balloon popped on my map...50,000+ feet.  I was just causally talking with him...and then mentioned this.  His voice raised to a higher pitch and said, "What are you looking at?".  Knowing that he didn't have APRS (he had a station on...but had long ago turned it off), I pointed him to findu.com (thanks Steve!).  You would have thought it was Christmas for this older gentleman. It was like watching a horse race!  I kept going back and forth on my APRS station and findu.  Literally the balloons were racing each other....we could not get enough.  We held our breath as they went over a large lake in N.Al.  When the payload stopped sending telemetry (sp? too tired to check ;-), we started watching the chase vehicles.  I noticed a packet from a guy down in Fl that saw it direct...cool!  I brought up my remote base on our repeater to see if I could hear the voice simplex repeater...no such luck.  Everyone of them however we could see direct...which I thought was neat....so did Gary.

Fast forward to tonight....
Heard some guys talking about studying code and I threw in my 2 cents worth.  Before I could barely unkey...Gary jumped in wanting to know, "Did they find the balloons?" "Did you see that they landed almost side by side?" ....he just would not stop. ;-)  I thought..."Let's go look on the SIG archives and see if we can find something on it...", since I get  the SIG in digest mode.  I talked him thru each mouse click to get there.  Found it!  Clicked on "Balloon Unproto Paths"...or something like that.  

Did we find it? No.  The tone of his voice...I could tell he was disappointed.  All he saw was people "fussing" over unproto paths.

I wonder how many others feel this way?  Folks, I understand that somethings may need "fixin'"....but let's promote APRS for the really cool things that it can do....and stop with the bickering and fighting over what works best.  There are several people who have "slapped" my hand over wrong practices with this thing called APRS over the years...and I thank them.  However....after a while pounding and pounding the dead horse....come on...it is already glue!

Part 1 over...flame away....I won't be responding....

Robert Burton
DEC NWS in Peachtree City, GA

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