[aprssig] internet -> APRS, and universal messaging

Brian Webster bwebster at wirelessmapping.com
Mon Oct 20 10:25:36 EDT 2008

This won't be duplication of services if you are in an area where the cell
sites are down, damaged or overloaded or the communities have lost their
internet connectivity. For EMCOMM this type of system is a great idea. It
will move the traffic as the systems are able to, it will queue the messages
and it will do all of this without having to use the NTS systems and
introduce the possibility of human error at every relay point. In times of
emergency it has been proven that existing commercial systems get overloaded
in the emergency areas and sometimes to the point of complete failure. To be
able to use APRS to get out over RF to an area outside the damage zone and
then get to the internet and/or message relays to commercial services is a
huge benefit. Health and Welfare traffic will actually move in near real
time, not on some NTS schedule. The person who receives the message from the
damage area would also have the chance to reply in a way they know how, not
try to format an NTS radiogram.

This idea has some serious merit and should be investigated fully. I can't
see where it does not meet the rules of part 97. It certainly was not Bob's
suggestion to replace commercial systems. Heck if we took that approach we
should turn all of our radios off completely. There are commercial versions
of everything we do today.

Thank You,
Brian N2KGC

-----Original Message-----
From: aprssig-bounces at lists.tapr.org
[mailto:aprssig-bounces at lists.tapr.org]On Behalf Of jimlux
Sent: Monday, October 20, 2008 9:50 AM
To: aprssig at lists.tapr.org
Subject: [aprssig] internet -> APRS, and universal messaging

I think one of the concerns, beyond the "third party traffic"
legalities, is that with such a capability ham radio would be straying
into an area that is more properly the area of other radio services.

There's that general provision in Part 97 that says ham radio should not
be used as a replacement for another service.  If you're just trying to
do text messages, then there's another service that does that already
(actually several services.. phone, paging, maritime, etc.)

Ask yourself which of the 5 reasons for ham radio in 97.1 that this
proposed universal messaging fits within:

(a) Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to
the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service,
particularly with respect to providing emergency communications.

--- hmm, it's voluntary, there's a small risk of commercial (beyond the
typical "order a pizza on the autopatch" question), certainly, emcomm
can use short messages, but, one should really ask, is there a better
way, and do the emcomm folks already have a licensed service to use (yes
to both)

(b) Continuation and extension of the amateur's proven ability to
contribute to the advancement of the radio art.

--- here's it pretty clear.. as long as you're developing something new,
you're meeting the intent of amateur radio. Are you developing something
new and novel? (or just duplicating an existing capability)

(c) Encouragement and improvement of the amateur service through rules
which provide for advancing skills in both the communications and
technical phases of the art.

--- To me, this one just means that's why the amateur service has a few
"thou shalt not" rules and no "thou shalt", as opposed to the more
stringently regulated services.  This provides a way to experiment with
new stuff (to help meet 97.1(b)).

(d) Expansion of the existing reservoir within the amateur radio service
of trained operators, technicians, and electronics experts.

--- well, I think there's plenty of text messaging operators out there.

(e) Continuation and extension of the amateur's unique ability to
enhance international goodwill.

--- good question here.

jim, w6rmk

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