[aprssig] APRS presentations

Scott Miller scott at opentrac.org
Wed Oct 8 01:06:04 EDT 2008

Very good stuff, thanks!

I'm starting out with a section more specifically aimed at SAR people 
(who usually aren't radio people) on how APRS differs from commercial 
AVL systems, and why it may be better for wilderness SAR.

I've been trying to find an example of ANY other AVL type system that 
allows complete peer-to-peer situational awareness, with each unit able 
to see their neighbors and share other position data - so far the only 
one I can find is the Force XXI Battle Command, Brigade and Below blue 
force tracking system (that's a mouthful).  I'm sure there are foreign 
military equivalents.  FBCB2 apparently runs about $27,000 per vehicle. 
  (Looks pretty cool, though.)

In fact, most commercial AVL systems seem to be designed around an 
assumption of dumb or even actively hostile users - workers who don't 
want to be tracked every where they go, and who don't gain anything 
themselves by constant tracking unless there's an emergency.  I want to 
emphasize this point and how the systems are generally designed around 
an assumption that you want a flow of position data one way, from the 
units in the field to a central dispatch station, usually relying on 
outside communications infrastructure.  Which also means that there's no 
interoperability between different agencies when they show up to the 
same call, even if they're using the same AVL carrier.

I know I'm preaching to the choir on this point, but if anyone's got any 
information on commercial AVL systems to refute any of this, let me 
know.  I watch general happenings in that field, but not in much detail. 
  I've never seen any signs of any of the providers opening up at all - 
they're all based around monthly subscription models, or expensive 
proprietary hardware if they're radio-based.



Steve Noskowicz wrote:
> Scott,
>   Attached to the direct email is a PowerPoint - 8.6Meg.  It is from Bob's FrostFest 08 with considerable modification.  I just updated the VX8 info from a Yaesu sheet on a British site, linked from the Yahoo D700 Group.
>   It is an APRS general overview.  nothing on K9 tracking, but I at lease mention everything I could thing of, including things like APRSLink.
> Most other stuff on-line still has RELAY,WIDE (:-(
>   An "Official" presentation bank that has everyting and is kept updated would be a nice thing.  Anyone can grab it and customize it to their audience.
> --

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