[aprssig] APRS Invasion of Dayton (actually Xenia, OH) Has Begun! (Talkin?)

Stephen H. Smith wa8lmf2 at aol.com
Wed May 15 12:48:47 EDT 2019

On 5/15/2019 12:05 PM, Robert Bruninga wrote:
> That is why the Talkin station needs an APRS display.
> And why the OBJECT needs the frequency in FREQUENCY format so the APRS mobile 
> can instantly QSY to talkin.
> 911 is not used often either by most people.  I have not used it in 71 
> years.  But it should be manned and ready.
> Bob, Wb4APR
You've been proselytizing about this for literally decades, but the APRS uptake 
among the general ham population is still less than 5-7%.   Most event 
organizers are still totally clueless about APRS.  I have beaconed major 
hamfests, club meetings, etc around Michigan (and California before that) for 
many years.  When I would happen to mention that I was doing that to principals 
of event, the usual response  is total lack of comprehension.

Further, I do a fair number of presentations to radio clubs each year on APRS, 
soundcard interfaces, SSTV, radio (MARS/AFVN) in Viet Nam, etc. Before the 
presentation, I always ask the audience if anyone saw it or found out about it 
on APRS.   In over 2 decades of doing these things, I have NEVER had a YES 
response to this question.

The simple fact is that APRS is a niche activity within the ham community. The 
number of mobiles that can actually act on the frequency object is miniscule, 
making it a niche within a niche.

Based on my recent experience with plotting the APRS Internet feed only on maps 
here in central Michigan, I find that the majority of actual mobile users (i.e. 
not digipeaters, igates, WX stations, etc) I see are entering the APRS network 
exclusively directly from the Internet via smartphone apps.    1)  These 
stations never get seen on RF.  2)  They don't even have a (ham) radio so the 
tune objects are totally useless to them.

[ Many times at university radio club meetings, users (usually under 45 or so) 
come up to me and tell me "They're on APRS", meaning they are running an app on 
a smart phone.  When I tell them that they are not really "on APRS" if they 
can't be seen on a radio, they usually seen utterly dumbfounded.   Both that 
APRS is a radio activity, and that they don't somehow magically appear on RF.   
To these types APRS originates from a phone app and ends up on public Internet 
sites like APRS.fi.]

I suspect that part of the problem is that compared to the slick polished user 
interfaces of smart phone apps,    the user interface and clunky configuration 
issues of RF-based APRS (the inscrutable digi path settings, beacon intervals, 
setting TX deviation of TinyTracks, setting ridiculously long TXDs to 
accommodate the absurdly slow keyups of  cheap junk Chinese handhelds, etc) is 
a complete turn-off to recent arrivals.    It's SO MUCH EASIER to just install 
an app on an iPhone or Android, and "magically" just show up on APRS.fi.


Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com     [Who is a "hard-core radio guy"]
Skype:        WA8LMF
EchoLink:  Node #  14400  [Think bottom of the 2-meter band]
Home Page:          http://wa8lmf.net

Live Off-The-Air APRS Activity Maps

Long-Range APRS on 30 Meters HF

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