Emergency comms. Was RE: [aprssig] Igates Are A Fair Weather Solution (was: "Finito")

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Tue Aug 30 12:58:30 EDT 2005

This is not directed at the authors of these words at
all, but out of context, they offer an opportunity for
a sermon...

>>  but if those 150 to 250 stations[you see routinely]
>> are transmitting very often, your network is 
>> dropping a _lot_ of packets.
>So what if a lot of packets are being dropped?  ...
>there are multiple transmissions of the same data

Ah, a good example of the number #1 perception 
by some users of APRS which is killilng its reliability 
and its original communications intent.

The above "THE MORE THE BETTER" approach comes 
from the basis of a person's perception of the goal 
of APRS is to fill up the map with as many stations 
as possible, 24/7.  THe more the better.   Latency, 
delays or low probability of success don't matter 
compared to the fullness of the map.

When in fact, exactly the OPPOSITE is the goal
of APRS as a tactical-real-time reliable communications
system for local use.  In this case, it is RELIABILITY
and MINIMUM LATENCY for local users that counts.
(Which means the FEWER the better)...

Everyone should notice that these two are perfectly
mutually exclusive.  Too many video voyers have
tilted the predominant public perception of APRS
as the former.  A mere video or internet game with 
no local practical purpose due to lack of reliability
and/or too few local users.

 Whereas the volunteer public service oriented, local 
users who want to use APRS reliably to acctually 
accomplish a given communicatinos mission are lost
in the QRM generated by the former.

Continuing the thought of more and farther is better:
> Even in the face of extreme QRM, if a signal is 
> strong enough...  it will be registered and heard.
> As to emergency comm's.  You cant beat  CW...
> ever tried to enter ... into the keypad of a TH-D7
> under duress ?

Well, my experience is that for events, we have 10 
times more volunteers that can stumble out a message
on a TT-pad (APRS) than show up that can send 
CW on their HT.

Don't be a video voyer.  Get out there and 
DO SOMETHING with APRS.  Shrink your
map and expectations, and then use the
clear channel that results to use APRS to
reliably facilitate portions of all of your local 
club activities.

Again, this is not at all directed to the original
authors of those out-of-context words, 
beacuse the original point was elsewhere,
but it gave me the opportunity to turn and
preach to the choir...

de Wb4APR, Bob

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