[aprssig] APRS in 8 bullets

Stephen H. Smith wa8lmf2 at aol.com
Fri Mar 16 15:05:05 EDT 2007

bruninga at usna.edu wrote:
> I am often disappointed that people do not put out objects, and
> bulletins WHEN something in ham radio is going on in the local
> area.  I want to see that on my mobile APRS radio.  I want to
> see LIVE objects when there is any gathering of hams for any
> interesting purpose.  I want to see bulletins on the day of
> local meetings and nets.
> Conversly, I am quite disappointed when I see some of the above
> coming in from 100 miles away, 24/7 years on end.  What I want
> to see on my radio front panel is what is happening right now,
> not SPAM.
> Lets get those local-direct Voice Freqnecy objects on the air,
> lets all make an object whenever we go to a meeting (you can put
> that in your D700 when you arrive in the parking lot as a beacon
> for others to find the meeting place)...  Lets see HAMfest
> announcements.  Lets see NETS in progress bulletins. Etc..

Well, here in L.A., the Southern Cal Wireless User's Group (SoCalWUG - a 
wi-fi interest group) used to routinely beacon a restaurant fork/spoon 
symbol at the location of their monthly meeting in the back of an 
International House of Pancakes for a day before the meeting.  More than 
once it reminded me that this was the night for the meeting. 

I beaconed objects from the Amateur Radio Expo held last October at the 
L.A. County Fair.  I actually had a local ham call me on 146.52 after 
seeing the object on his map.

Recently, during a fire in the Riverside area about 50 miles east of 
L.A. , the frequency and PL of a voice repeater in the area of the fire 
was beaconed as an object.  It caught my attention because they 
(erroneously) used the Mic-E symbol on it, but it turned out to NOT have 
any APRS capability.

About two months ago, I was at a Wal-Mart one evening when suddenly 
everyone was evacuated from the store. From my laptop mobile in the 
parking lot, I started transmitting an object with the bullseye symbol 
and the text "WalMart Evacuated -Bomb Scare" for an hour or so. 

Once when I was heading north on I-5, I came across a wild fire in the 
"Grapevine" pass area about 50 miles north of L.A.  From my mobile 
laptop, I actually originated a fire symbol object for about an hour.  I 
also used my SSTV mobile LiveCAM to send some live shots of the fire on 
20 meters as I drove by.  I was able to then refer the stations I was 
sending the pics to, in Colorado and Michigan, to findu to see the exact 
location I was sending from. 

Another time when I was heading east into the Sierra Nevada foothills, I 
got stuck in a traffic jam on Cal Rt 88 caused by an 18-wheeler on it's 
side blocking all lanes.  Again, I originated an object from the mobile 
laptop while waiting.  

In all of these incidents, the ability to click an object down on top of 
my current location on the map in UIview or APRSpoint, automatically 
picking up the coordinates from the map, was very useful.   

Anyone have any thoughts about what symbols would be appropriate for 
these incidents? (The fire was obvious, the others are ambiguous.   I 
usually use the circled-zero to create a target-like effect for traffic 
accidents.)     Do we need a new smashed-car symbol, similar to the 
crashed plane, for road accidents?  


Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com
EchoLink Node:      14400    [Think bottom of the 2M band]
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