[aprssig] HT and Mobile Radio OBJECT function

Stephen H. Smith wa8lmf2 at aol.com
Mon May 30 14:44:05 EDT 2011

On 5/30/2011 10:43 AM, Bob Bruninga wrote:
> After seeing the total devistation of parts of Japan and Joplin, MO, and the disorientation of losing all known landmarks and signs, I am going to make a formal proposal to the Radio MFRS and all other APRS product builders to:
> Include the mechanism for the holder of a Radio to press a single Button to MARK a spot and to send it as an OBJECT.
> These objects are transmittted for 5 minutes or untill some other station takes over reporting repsonsiblity(the radio sees the same object from someone else).
> In this manner, any one with such a radio, HT, or 2-way tracker can easily place things on the map AND everyone else can see their location on their maps and/or radios!
> I was driving with my APRS mobile just yeserday on a lnog trip and wanted to report several Accidents and road blockages that I ran into.
> But imagine the benefit to a SAR or Survey party in Japan or Joplin...
> Bob, WB4APR

I do this all the time with my mobile laptop setup.    In UIview, you just 
double-click (or rather double-tap the touch pad) on the desired location, hit 
F5 and enter a name, <ENTER> .  It's immediately beaconed and continues to do 
so until you cancel it.   An advantage of this setup is that you can click on 
position on the map  other than your own location cross-hairs.

I HAVE clicked my own location in the parking lot of a Walmart, after everyone 
was herded out of the store for a bomb scare.    I have also clicked off to the 
side of I-5 a quarter-mile or so when I spotted a forest fire in the 
"Grapevine" (the 4400-foot/1300M mountain pass north of  Los Angeles) on the 
way to San Francisco.      I have also zoomed my UIview/Precision Mapping 
display down to street level just a few blocks across to double-click pin the 
location of a ham store 20 miles away for the benefit  of another APRS ham I 
was talking to on UHF voice.  (I knew the location, but not the street adress - 
could recognize the location by recognizing the intersecting major streets nearby.)

Again the user interface of even a very small screen and keyboard, like a 
netbook, is vastly superior to the ever-increasing clutter of functions and 
features on a    too-small    illegibly-labeled   keypad with umpteen functions 
stacked on each key.   I find the "small-box feature-bloat" syndrome with an 
endless number of keys too small to label meaningfully means I never use the 

My cell  phone is an example of this.   The front panel keyboard is stacked 
with multiple functions, so more features (camera, voice recognition, audio 
player, etc) have overflowed to buttons studding both SIDES of the device.  As 
a result, it's nearly impossible to pickup and grab the device in a hurry 
without triggering the voice recognition or camera.       On the other hand, 
devices where the ENTIRE front panel is a display (like an iPhone or car GPS) 
are quite usable in small sizes, since the touch-sensitive display can morph 
into an appropriate keyboard or menu as needed, with the virtual buttons 
actually labeled in a way that is readable.. .

I think that to make all these enhanced APRS features conveniently-accessible 
in order to actually get used, will require a new generation of handhelds and 
mobiles with large iPhone-like full-front-panel touch screens.



Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com
EchoLink Node:      WA8LMF  or 14400    [Think bottom of the 2M band]
Skype:        WA8LMF
Home Page:          http://wa8lmf.net

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