[aprssig] tactical call identifier packet

Wes Johnston, AI4PX wes at ai4px.com
Wed Jul 23 13:30:08 EDT 2008

To add to the fire here... At shift change, OIC becomes a new person.  We
simply publish a tactical call packet that changes the callsign attached to
OIC.  The tracker that was with the former OIC is returned to the comm
trailer to be recharged until he goes on duty again.

Curt, you make good points about configuring trackers in the field....
Granted, with a kenwood, it's a matter of a few menus... but with tiny
tracks and open tracks, you must have their specific config software loaded
on a laptop.  Much easier to change the callsign on the recieving end.


On 7/23/08, Curt, WE7U <archer at eskimo.com> wrote:
> On Wed, 23 Jul 2008, Robert Bruninga wrote:
> > I am opposed for the simple reason that not everyone will ever
> > get the translation packet, and not every system will use it.
> > Thus, a large number of participants will see one thing, and
> > another large number of people will see something totally
> > diffferent.
> >
> > And such a situation is a built-in disaster for a communications
> > system whos objective is for everyone to see the same thing!  If
> > one wants a -thing- on APRS to have a certain name, then he
> > needs to give that thing that name in the first place.
> A wonderful idea but hard to implement in practice.
> For instance a special event:  People show up with several types of
> devices, some transmit-only, some two-way and/or message-capable.
> Most of these didn't even go to the two sites where we were
> operating the APRS mapping stations.  Some were late getting to the
> event at all.  All were deployed/re-deployed via voice comms.  Bob &
> I entered tactical callsigns on our local Xastir displays so that he
> and I were in sync.
> To have gotten these volunteers to change their configuration
> before-hand to "SAG1", "SAG9", etc would have been a major obstacle
> due to the varied types of equipment (and varied knowledge of the
> users).  The attempt may have made some of them inoperable RIGHT
> BEFORE WE NEEDED THEM!  Some of the operators may have balked at
> people messing with their configs at all.
> By leaving their configuration alone we up'ed our chances of having
> more usable mobile stations available for the event.  We really
> didn't care whether other hams could tell who "SAG1" was.
> Also by leaving their configurations alone we didn't have to meet up
> afterwards and try to revert to their former configurations.  The
> people that showed up with working APRS mobiles, we used.  They were
> assigned tactical calls quickly and easily without touching their
> equipment.  Those that showed up w/o working equipment we didn't
> mess with.  There's just not time for such things in those kinds of
> events.
> Tactical callsigns are the ultimate for come-as-you-are APRS.
> > Now the compromise we ended up with is that if such a ALIAS
> > packet were used, that on receipt the display *must* display
> > both the original call and the ALIAS always.  One may be in
> > Parenthesis to distinguish, but that way, the continuity across
> > all platforms is maintained.
> First I've heard of that (that I recall).  When a tactical call is
> defined in Xastir we replace the callsign text with the tactical
> text on the screen.  Adding more text can clutter up the screen
> quite fast, not an advantage when you're tracking multiple objects
> in a tense situation.  If I absolutely need to know a callsign I can
> look it up with a mouse operation quickly.  Mostly callsigns would
> be in the way.  In fact we have an option to show ONLY stations that
> have tactical callsigns defined so that we can unclutter the display
> for special events.  It's _very_ useful.
> --
> Curt, WE7U.                             archer at eskimo dot com
> http://www.eskimo.com/~archer
>   Lotto:  A tax on people who are bad at math. - unknown
> Windows:  Microsoft's tax on computer illiterates. - WE7U.
> The world DOES revolve around me:  I picked the coordinate system!"
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