[aprssig] What is APRS, really?

Ev Tupis w2ev at yahoo.com
Fri Oct 23 07:32:31 EDT 2020

 Hi Bob.  As the person who has lead the charge for so long it is often difficult to step "up to the balcony to view the party as a whole", in summary.  I get it.  So, below is my perspective (as someone who has been APRS involved "from the beginning") is below.  -Ev, W2EV

When talking about APRS to others, I start with a broad, "foundational" statement...

APRS is the IoT of amateur radio, where sensors of all sorts automatically report information that humans may use to make informed decisions about things such as __(here is where you can insert the aspects that you are most interested in yourself)___ and even more.
APRS is also the text-messaging service of amateur radio where humans can keep others informed in real time of things such as ___(insert the aspects of short messaging that are of most interest to you)___.
APRS is even more, once you start to explore it, but it starts there.


If/when presented with a puzzling look, I continue with a "next layer" of insight...
APRS offers opportunities for...
... general hobbyists to transport small data packets of all types (let your imagination run) from geographically separated locations...many without Internet service.

...network nerds to inexpensively build APRS-infrastructure to benefit others;
...makers to produce IoT-like appliances and sensors of all sorts;
...public service and emergency communication groups like RACES and ARES to add situational awareness data to first responders of all types;
...and even more.  Think about all of the services that the public "Internet of Things" and texting provide.  Now, know that amateur radio and APRS has been doing it since before the Internet existed and can continue to provide those services when disaster takes the Internet offline even on a local basis.
'hope this is a helpful approach to others.
Cheers,Ev, W2EV

    On Thursday, October 22, 2020, 10:30:37 PM EDT, Randy Hall <aa6rh at socorad.io> wrote:  
 I've used Bob's general idea as follows:
"Imagine you're a new ham, or a ham that drives in from out of town. What are some of the things that ham might want to know about the area and what ham radio resources might be available?"
THAT is the promise of APRS. Not just position reports on where you are located, but that you're at a radio and listening on a frequency. That is what a ham (whether newly minted on their first APRS-capable radio, or a wizened OM just rolling in from out of town) might want to know. That's what should be beaconed over RF as they arrive or turn on their radio.
If nobody else is doing it, why not you?
On Thu, Oct 22, 2020 at 3:09 PM Robert Bruninga <bruninga at usna.edu> wrote:

Someone asked me for a quick summary of APRS and I had no answer.There is so much written it is a tidal wave not just a firehose.
But I did point him to this page which I wrote years ago as a summary of what most people simply overlook in APRS.

It is a good thing to revnew now and the.  Speaking of firehoses. I just counted and I have about 450 web pages of info on APRS and now energy choices that even I cannot remember most of them.
I once had a site map, but it has not been updated in a decade and only points to only 104 pages of the 450 pages.  Maybe I need to find the time to update it.http://aprs.org/sitemap.html

SorryIf you find anything that is totally obsolete, please let me  know.
Bob, WB4APR_______________________________________________
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