[aprssig] Doubling APRS messaging in ham radio overnight

Bob Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Sat Jan 24 11:06:05 EST 2009

> I'd like to see some real effort made 
> to get IGate <> RF messaging working 
> right.  I switched to Xastir for my 
> IGate because I could never get APRSD
> to do it...

AMEN!  And that is why I proposed that all IGATES send back a report (kind of like an ACK) to show how they handled and APRS-IS packet-to-RF.  Then finally, the sender and sysops could see where things are broken.  The description of this proposal is www.aprs.org/aprs12/Igate-path-report.txt
and is linked from www.aprs.org/aprs12.html

> I've had friends and family drive all 
> over the country, and I've only rarely 
> been able to get messages through to them.

AMEN! This must be fixed as an urgent priority.  And the only way to do that is to begin requiring IGates to report what they are doing with messages they pass back to RF!

It will take a long while, but we must begin somewhere, because the current IGate system is completely undefined and vulnerable to user settings and errors.

> As for the DTMF HTs, I just can't see 
> it catching on enough to be really 
> widely useful.

If just 3 people find it useful, then in my club we could DUPBLE the number of people at an event that can be useful with exchanging APRS info (without tying up the existing voice nets).

> We really need to encourage the HT 
> manufacturers to add some native 
> messaging capability.  Or shoehorn 
> it in there ourselves.  

Yep, that's what we are doing:
* new VX8R
* Byonics is adding messaging and keyboard to Trackers
* Your opentrackers are adding such capabilites
* IAPPS are being written for the IPhone and BBerry
* Hopefully Kenwood is working on a new D7+?
* too bad ICOM still thinks only of "tracking" and refuses to even consider receipt and display of info to the user.  

I say again, TRACKING is a dead end (except for special event support and some other nitches).   Ham radio is all about communications.  We need to bring the focus back to that  so that APRS can help in all aspects of ham radio, not just a few nitches.

> For the PX-777 radios I carry,... it'd 
> be possible to cram a small MCU board 
> between the keypad/display panel and 
> the radio board.  The bad news is that 
> you'd still have to tap into the...

I think a simple chicklet pushbutton could be the input device.  User enters his info via CW, if he can see his result on the display.  No, not wildly popular, but is sure a simple way to add a tiny input device for a HAM radio operator.

Even the PUSH BUTTON can add message entry to any old tracker!

> if you don't automatically call all 
> microcontrollers PICs.  =]

I like typing "PICs" instead of the other mouthfull.  Is there a better all encompasing term for tiny thinggy's?

Bob, Wb4APR

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