[aprssig] APRS on Android

Lee Bengston lee.bengston at gmail.com
Wed Jan 26 22:36:27 EST 2011

On Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 1:27 AM, Greg D. <ko6th_greg at hotmail.com> wrote:

>  Ah, ok.  Yes, this does help.  It makes me even more puzzled why it is so
> difficult to do 2-way messaging in random places (even though the local APRS
> traffic is strong), if bi-directional messaging is considered routine.
> But, to the point of the discussion, it also makes me less interested in
> participating.  To do so would feel like we're turning our priorities upside
> down.  Instead of the primary environment being RF and the -IS system being
> an accessory of useful services, we're putting the IS at the center of
> things and making the RF-linked thing the accessory.  At some point, why
> bother with the RF thing at all?  Add a few more services and a game or two,
> and you've turned IS into Facebook.  (Sorry, slight exaggeration to make the
> point...)

Not sure I agree with the point, though.  People who want to use their
smartphones or other internet enabled devices aren't necessarily thinking
along the lines of the IS being the center of things.  They are asking to be
gated locally to RF when they are in the area because being heard on RF is
key (and should continue to be).

> We're supposed to be doing things in the RF space that can't be done
> through commercial services.  Sitting on the beach by an out-of-the-way
> lighthouse-turned-Bed&Breakfast on the Northern California coast and sending
> an APRS->email message to our daughter that we arrived safely but have no
> phone service (*).  Having a real-time, multi-client shared tactical view of
> a community or emergency event, and sharing it with the rest of the world.
> That sort of stuff.  If you want to beacon as if you have a radio, why not
> do it with a radio?

Because the reality is that there are locations where the commercial service
does have coverage where VHF does not.  My neighborhood is not exactly on
high ground.  I tried walking around once with my D7 with GPS attached, and
I basically was not heard, even though I'm in a major metro area.  I bet my
phone would show up on aprs.fi or findu.com on the first try.

Gating internet to RF when passing through town creates other possibilities
as well.  I think it would be fun to pass through a town, send a 40 meter
frequency into IS with a phone, and have someone call me on 40m.  Yeah, I
could do it with a 2m rig, but why bother if the phone can do it.  Also not
every 2m or dual band rig does voice and data at the same time on 2m.  In
that case why not send a 2m frequency via phone and be listening on 2m
(voice only rig) for a call?

That said, I realize it is not a trivial thing to set up the proper
(spam-avoiding) filtering of internet to RF on a nationwide basis because so
many people would need to be involved.  It is also evident from some of the
opinions expressed on this list that some igate operators just wouldn't do
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