[aprssig] 20th century radio (was: APRS MileMark data base)

Jason KG4WSV kg4wsv at gmail.com
Sun Apr 13 14:44:06 EDT 2008

On Sun, Apr 13, 2008 at 8:59 AM, Bob Bruninga <bruninga at usna.edu> wrote:

>  APRS operators need to get into the mindset that their job at their ARPS display is mostly as INPUT-OPERATORS, inputting objects about everything going on in the event area right now.

With GPS units as commodity items, I really don't understand the
emphasis on manual data entry.  Yes, it's good to know how to do this,
but the reason we use machines (electronic or otherwise) is to make
work _easier_.  I know how to walk so I _could_ walk to work, but
taking my vehicle makes it easier and faster, and allows me time and
effort to spend on something else.  Likewise I use a GPS to enter my
position so I don't have to take time and effort to do so.

If a data entry system can be completely automated, then we can get
data consistently and reliably, and not depend on the fact that Joe
Ham happens to be at the controls of his D7 trying to fumble some
numbers in via a numeric keypad.

We _need_ to be able do things automatically, preferably with
unattended systems.

If I can integrate an electronic compass and GPS with my DF unit, I
can create DF objects automatically, instead of the error-prone method
of manual entry.

I just got home from the cubesat conference, and one comment was to
the effect of: why are we still using ham technology for data
transfer?  There have been no advances there in the 10 years we've
been using it.

In this age of ubiquitous computing, APRS and the rest of ham radio
quite honestly appears to be stagnant to the point of being dead.  The
APRS network is defined by a 20 year old TNC design for the data link
layer and a DOS program is supposed to be the reference design for

Digital hams need to understand that a new way to use the keypad on a
D7 is not technological advancement.  A new way to plug parameters
into your KPC-3 is not an advancement.

New modulation techniques, higher data rates, FEC, better protocols,
etc. _are_ advancements.  I haven't seen many of those.

The rest of the world is in the 21st century - let's set out sights a
little higher so we can join them.


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