[aprssig] APRS in the North East

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Mon Jun 18 14:00:06 EDT 2007

Driving though NJ, NYC, CT, VT and MA (on a college tour):

Subject: Not what APRS was designed for

Throughtout this entire 1000+ mile trip, I only heard two Voice
Alert packets and raised no one.  I did see one mobile with '52
in his packet and made a contact as he passed within a mile.  He
had a D700, but had never heard about Voice Alert.

I never made any contacts on 2 meters either over 4 days.  I saw
not one single APRS Voice-Repeater Object the entire trip.  I
saw a few repeaters in digi beacons, but they were coming in
from over a hundred miles away, and not local.  I heard some
voice repeaters, but could not get in because I could not figure
out the PL. (PL scan didn't find them either)...  APRS is
supposed to show this ON THE RADIO...

I found two College radio clubs by following the coax from some
obvious antennas, but both appeared "abandoned"...

Bottom line, ham radio on this trip was useless.  Exactly the
opposite of what ham radio with APRS assist is supposed to do.
Here, I had APRS.  It should have showed me on my mobile APRS
radio front panel:
1) the location of *local* voice repeaters
2) The recommended frequency, and PL
3) Their meeting nights or net times
4) possible link to their club page
5) I should have been alerted to every D700 in simplex range
6) I should have been able to voice QSO any of them mobile when
in simplex range.
7) I should not have heard voice alert packets with no one
monitoring for a reverse call.

I was on a marathon college tour with my son to see some
colleges in the Northeast.  Path was Baltimore, through NYC to
Connecticut.  Up the middle to Vermont and NH, then down to New
Haven, through RI up to Boston, then west to upstate NY then
down to NYC and home.  Did hear a few voice alert packets in
NNJ, but no one ever answered.


I'd like to sign up volunteers in each state or ARRL section, to
take on the task of FIXING APRS in their area.  APRS is not just
a bunch of moving vehicles with operators oblivious to their
surroundings.  This means:
1) New-N Paradigm
2) Education campaign about Voice Alert
3) Getting all digis to transmit the local voice repeater

This takes work.  It won't happen by just talking about it. 


Bob, Wb4APR

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