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

Ron McCoy rmccoylist at blueantservices.com
Sun Apr 13 14:49:40 EDT 2008

Excellent post.

Jason KG4WSV wrote:
> 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
> software.
> 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.
> -Jason
> kg4wsv
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