[aprssig] APRS Situational Awareness

Eric Christensen eric at christensenplace.us
Wed Apr 16 15:58:54 EDT 2008

Don't forget that Xastir can be used in Windows as well as Linux.  It 
supports overlays with no problem.

Eric W4OTN

Stephen H. Smith wrote:
> John Galvin wrote:
>>  Why can't we get rid of some of the unused symbols and replace them 
>> with needed ICS symbols. The No. circle with an "S" overlay doesn't 
>> quite make it. Stephen has been pretty good about fixing up the symbol 
>> set so Stephen what say some new ICS symbols? Maybe a circle outline 
>> capable of overlays with no background?
> 1)      I can only do updates that are blessed by the APRS standards 
> setting committee.
> 2)     WB4APR seems to be totally incapable of RECEIVING email sent 
> directly from me. Kieth (ve7gdh at rac.ca) also is reporting that his 
> emails direct to Bob are bouncing.    Bob's email system seems to be 
> suffering from the "Get Smart" syndrome; i.e. so locked down it can't 
> communicate.   [ Remember Maxwell Smart Agent 86 and his non-conferences 
> under the "Cone of Silence".? ]     Don't know if this is DOD paranoia 
> or just an ISP issue....
> 3)     Decreeing new symbols is not a trivial task. 
> AS I have pointed out many times before, the actual symbol graphic IS 
> NOT TRANSMITTED.  Only a one or two character alpha-numeric code is sent 
> over the air. This code causes the appropriate symbol to be selected 
> from a set of graphics already stored on the recipient's machine.  
> Everyone must change/update the stored symbol set in their program(s) 
> before a newly-defined symbol set will become useful.
> As an example of this problem, transmitting the standard symbol for 
> "SSTV" (which I do from the car for my mobile SSTV "livecam") causes 
> causes a thundercloud to show on findu.  [ This is the result of a 
> symbol standards change OVER A DECADE AGO! ]
>    * The only Windows APRS apps with symbol sets that can be readily
>      updated are UIview and APRSplus.     * In  Win/MacAPRS, the symbols 
> are embededed in the compiled  .EXE
>      file (instead of being stored externally) and therefore
>      inaccessible for changes.    * APRSpoint doesn't even use the 
> standard APRS symbol set.  It only
>      uses the standard Microsoft MapPoint "pushpin" symbols.  I have
>      had repeated correspondence with the author (who only lives about
>      8 miles from me) asking that standard APRS symbols be used to no
>      avail.  He insists it isn't practical to import external symbols
>      into MapPoint, which is strange considering that the UIpoint
>      plug-in to use MapPoint with UIview does exactly this (use
>      standard imported APRS symbols).
> The alpha-numeric overlay character assignments (recently discussed on 
> this list)  are even more of a problem.   The only Windows application 
> that even renders overlay characters is UI-View. 
>    * WinAPRS DOES NOT render overlays.
>    * APRSpoint DOES NOT render overlays.
>    * APRSplus DOES NOT render overlays.
>    * The UIview plug-in for MapPoint DOES NOT render overlays.
>    * APRS-CE (for Pocket PC) DOES NOT render overlays.
>    * Pocket APRS (for Palm devices) DOES NOT render overlays.
> Further, even the base symbol sets in WinAPRS, Pocket APRS and APRS/Ce 
> are years out of date.  They cannot be updated (they are buried in the 
> compiled .EXE file of these programs and inaccessible).
> To get UIview to render the new overlays in it's internally-displayed 
> maps (i.e. not in external display plugins like UI-Point, UI-Route, 
> etc),  will require revision of the _symbols.ini _file that is part of 
> UI-View's symbol display mechanism.   This is an excerpt from 
> symbols.ini for illustration.
> REM                Primary Table                  Alternate Table
> REM   Symbol   GPSxyz Index    Description     GPSxyz Index    Description
> REM   ------   ------ -----    -----------     ------ -----    -----------
>        !,      BB,     0,      Police Stn,     OB,     0,      Emergency
>        ",      BC,     1,      No Symbol,      OC,     1,      No Symbol
>        #,      BD,     2,      Digi,           OD,     2,      No. Digi
>        $,      BE,     3,      Phone,          OE,     3,      Bank
>        %,      BF,     4,      DX Cluster,     OF,     4,      No Symbol
>        &,      BG,     5,      HF Gateway,     OG,     5,      No. Diam'd
> [I update this file as part of new symbol set introductions.  The 
> overlayable symbols requires placing "No. " in front of the symbol label 
> as in "Digi" and "HF Gateway" above.  Note that "No" without the period, 
> as in "No Symbol", denotes an unassigned slot.  "No." WITH the period 
> and following space denotes an active symbol slot that is overlayable. 
> Further, note that the entire Description field is limited to about 10 
> characters due to a un-changeable  parser inside UIview. Placing the 
> "No. " prefix on a symbol description, limits the label that shows in 
> the selection dialog to only 6 characters ]
> Finally, Bear in mind that any symbol must fit in a 16x16 pixel grid and 
> not be rendered illegible by overlay symbols. 
> -- 
> Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com
> EchoLink Node:      14400    [Think bottom of the 2M band]
> Home Page:          http://wa8lmf.com  --OR--   http://wa8lmf.net
> NEW!   World Digipeater Map
>  http://wa8lmf.net/APRSmaps
> JavAPRS Filter Port 14580 Guide
>  http://wa8lmf.net/aprs/JAVaprsFilters.htm
> "APRS 101"  Explanation of APRS Path Selection & Digipeating
>  http://wa8lmf.net/DigiPaths
> Updated "Rev H" APRS            http://wa8lmf.net/aprs
> Symbols Set for UI-View,
> UIpoint and APRSplus:
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