[aprssig] "Blind" APRS

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Fri Nov 7 17:22:37 EST 2008

> Is there any currently system(s) for 
> using APRS... by a blind operator?

Yes! APRStt (APRS Touchtone).  This system uses DTMF inputs and
voice synthesis outputs to link anyone with a DTMF HT into the
local/global APRS system.  It should be set up on a simplex
frequency where DTMF users can monitor for voice information and
APRS messages or info.  See www.aprs.org/aprstt.html

When you send in your DTMF callsign from your DTMF memory, the
APRStt gateway responds with "Welcome CALLSIGN" and if you have
any messages, it will list them.  And you can request to have
them read.  Also, of course, it sends out an APRS packet on the
APRS system showing your approximate location, the frequency you
are monitoring, and if there is an IRLP or Echolink node
associated with it so that you can call him back.

Further you can request info on anything in the APRS system.
The response is verbal: "W3XYZ is XX Miles DIRECTION from the
repeater".  The repeater is the default reference point.  But
with simple DTMF command, the "reference" can be changed to any
other object in the APRS system.  For example, at a race, if the
"reference" is "FINISH" then a voice report once a minute may
come from APRStt saying "LEAD is 2.5 miles northwest of FINISH"

The original APRSdos version has been out since 2001, but
finally last month a windows version is being written (in
France, so we are awaiting translation).

> I'm prepping a presentation on APRS 
> for January, and thought that adding 
> some content on that aspect might ensure 
> that even people who know about APRS 
> might learn something they didn't know before..

Please take a look at the APRS-by-Bob power point (near top of
www.aprs.org), and avoid pitching APRS as a vehicle tracking
system.  It is much-much-more and we have got to get people out
of that rut.  Please see these initiatives:

Universal Messaging: www.aprs/org/aprs-messaging.html
Local Frequency Info: www.aprs.org/localinfo.html

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