[aprssig] WB4APR SK

Brian Webster info at wirelessmapping.com
Wed Feb 9 13:55:09 EST 2022

	I will respectfully have to disagree with you. APRS have continued
to evolve and new and fun things have happened over the years. Software
developers are still actively creating software, other digital modes such as
software defined modems like Direwolf are still being actively improved as
open source projects and those are used in APRS extensively. Linux and the
AX.25 tools on the kernel just received a grant from the ARDC to fund coders
to fix this issues. APRS has evolved from a vehicle positioning mapping
system to a common messaging/communication platform integrating both the
internet and RF. This includes email server gateways, text messaging
gateways, hooks to DMR and other digital RF mode notifications. Let's not
forget the activity that continues with APRS and the satellites. The Spec
clearly allows for user defined options as well as telemetry. In conjunction
with all of the IS servers looks what has happened. The CWOP program is just
one example of derivative works. An organization such as TAPR or ARDC would
be a logical host for what Steve is suggesting. Some of may be old and tired
but that does not mean we should give up, we should use our years of
knowledge to motivate some others who have the drive to start up this
organization. Letting it die would be shameful and would crush Bob if he
were to see that. 
	Folks we have to acknowledge some of the things Bob as a visionary
got off the ground. One and probably the biggest accomplishments was that he
got the hams around the world to agree on 2 dedicated frequencies in the 2
meter band to use for APRS. For anyone who has been in ham radio for long,
that is one massive accomplishment. Governments around the world could not
achieve that, Bob got all the players to agree to it! If you abandon and
destroy that I weep for humanity. Let's not inject any personal exhaustion
to a hobby ruin it for the future. I have been licensed for 32 years, I get
the discouraging times and the exhaustion factor, but lets' find enough
energy to recruit and motivate those who are not at that stage and who have
the interest and drive. They exist, I watch it all of the time. There are so
many cool little software projects in the world of Linux and the Pi not to
mention client programs like on the cell phones. I am not a fan of all the
way people use APRS out there but that is just my personal opinion and
interests. It is certainly nothing that makes me think it should just die.
Others have similar interests in making sure things like APRS and on a more
general level packet, not have these things die and to try and get new ideas
and such going to move the modes in to the future. My friend Steve Stroh
(copied on this response) has been a long time ham and he started publishing
a newsletter highlighting all the new and interesting developments in what
we would consider the old packet world. Point being that there are many of
us who fear that it's on a decline but we also recognize it needs further
work to keep it alive and advance as the hobby should. Looking at all of the
HF digital stuff going on, development is still alive. Look at open source
and software defined radios. Projects like the uBitx radio are making things
affordable again for younger motivated hams and experimentation is alive and
	I am part of the Appalachian Trail Golden Packet group that has been
started up to continue the event (thankfully before Bob passed). There are
motivated folks who are taking leadership roles but they are not doing all
of the work. One of the projects taken on has been to look at options for
devices/radios such that we can continue with the effort beyond using just
dedicated specialized APRS radios from Kenwood. THIS is the type of thing I
hear Steve mentioning. It can be done, it should be done. Steve thank you
for bringing this up and hopefully a group of us can bring it to fruition. I
work in the commercial wireless world, when I show the things we have done
with APRS on the backs of volunteers, they just stare with an open jaw.
Working in the filed for 32 years I have seen so many companies try and fail
to accomplish what has been done using APRS. Even using things like the
cellular network nothing has come close. There is a system that the Navy
uses that is very similar for their tactical mapping and asset management in
real time. Do you want to guess who taught navigation at The US Naval
academy and helped develop that system....yup WB4APR, a true visionary.

Let's not let exhaustion cause people who have experience and institutional
knowledge get lost, let's give back and help spin up this group Steve speaks
up, but if you do step in, make sure you promise yourself you are doing it
for the right reasons. That should be to transfer what you know to the next
group of people who still have the motivation and drive. That would have an
everlasting effect on the hobby.

Thank you,
Brian N2KGC

-----Original Message-----
From: aprssig [mailto:aprssig-bounces at lists.tapr.org] On Behalf Of Peter
Laws N5UWY
Sent: Wednesday, February 9, 2022 12:17 PM
To: aprssig at lists.tapr.org
Subject: Re: [aprssig] WB4APR SK

On Wed, Feb 9, 2022 at 11:07 AM  aprssig <aprssig at lists.tapr.org> wrote:

> programmers in APRS to come together, but no one stepped forward. We
talked about it, and I told him I thought it would not happen until he made
his diagnosis public and involved the larger community. He did not want to
do that, so I agreed to help as I could. I have control of aprs.org, and
TAPR has the paperwork to transfer the APRS trademark.

Is there a proper, preferably extensible, APRS protocol document?  Bob
was visionary, but it always seemed like he was adding things to the
system without a plan.

I'm not a programmer, just a user, so maybe that wasn't really true,
but watching for years that seemed to be the way it was.

If there is not a proper standard (created with whichever
standard-creating standard you find meets your standards) would be a
good first step.  Something something jello, something something nail.

I know AX.25 is ... old ... but maybe something at the application
level that will work over any underlying topology/methodology?

RIP, Bob.

Peter Laws | N5UWY | plaws plaws net | Travel by Train!

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