[aprssig] Future for aprs

Bob Burns W9RXR w9rxr_ at rlburns.net
Fri Sep 7 14:40:12 EDT 2012

At 05:46 PM 9/6/2012, Scott Miller wrote:

>Not everyone here lives and breathes APRS...You can't be an expert 
>in everything.

Nor should they, in my opinion. I think we provide the greatest 
benefit to amateur radio by being well-rounded (and I'm not talking 
about body shapes). It concerns me to hear hams say "I only work 
contests" or "I only do storm spotting" or "I only do APRS". I think 
those hams are being a bit narrow-minded. On the other hand, if 
that's what suits their interests, so be it.

There are many facets to amateur radio. I've often said that if you 
are bored with amateur radio, just look around. There's bound to be 
some other mode of operating or some other specialized pursuit that 
might interest you.

>That's up to you.  Again, not everyone can be an expert, and not 
>everyone *wants* to be an expert in a given field - some people just 
>want to get a job done.

To some folks, amateur radio is tool, just like a computer or a 
screwdriver or a chef's knife is a tool. They don't need to know how 
to build those tools in order to use them. But, to get the best use 
out of them, they may have to learn a few things beyond just putting 
hands on the mouse or the handle.

That "amateur radio is a tool" attitude may be the source of Andrew's 
frustrations. Kenwood and Yaesu have done a lot to popularize APRS. 
It now falls onto those of us who have been messing with APRS for few 
years to educate these new APRS users. I've done a few presentations 
at various club meetings and hamfests about APRS. And, I've done a 
lot of direct elmering with new APRS users. I'm not trying to pat 
myself on the back, but I am trying to make a point that we need to 
do our part to educate new APRS-ers.

>I've been hearing complaints about appliance operators since I got 
>licensed a quarter century ago, and it was an old story then.

Hey, I'm one of those appliance operators! I'm very grateful to Scott 
and Byon and the engineers at Kenwood and Yaesu for bringing products 
to market that let me get on APRS by building nothing more than an 
interface cable. I shouldn't leave out the software authors, either. 
I wouldn't have gotten into APRS without the efforts of a bunch of 
guys who are smarter or more talented than me.


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