[aprssig] A Proposal for the Continuation of APRS

Jonathan Delaney kb3osp at gmail.com
Mon Feb 14 06:12:55 EST 2022

Telling people that we are going to scrap a perfectly good system that is implemented around the world and move to a new system is so exclusive you have to be insane. We all got our license for one reason or another however these "clicks" that form in a global system are insane. If you want to develope and start your own system of OpenTRAC go ahead but APRS needs to stay for the 40,000+ stations currently in use on fire net that was only in 30 minutes... With software development you can take whatever you want and parse it to another format. In emergency situations however you will not have the ability to communicate with one system to another.

Let's be real here internet goes down, and electric goes down so what you have left in most cases is a radio with a built in TNC that is 1200 baud capable. All of the sudden the "network" that was created with the forward/backward capability is dead because the standard was not kept. Even if you got to aprs.org about 1/4 down there is a Bold text that states "APRS is not a vehicle tracking system." It continues on to say "It is a two-way tactical real-time digital communications system between all assets in a network sharing information about everything going on in the local area. On ham radio, this means if something is happening now, or there is information that could be valuable to you, then it should show up on your APRS radio in your mobile." APRS is a system that is self sufficient without the internet the internet only provides a way to communicate a longer distance.

To further on the proposal I am ok with either route of it being a 501c or a open-source project. I don't have much background in development but am learning python currently in prep for a career change as well as have knowledge of html css.


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On Feb 14, 2022, 00:02, at 00:02, Gregg Wonderly <gregg at wonderly.org> wrote:
>Ultimately, the concepts of APRS are interesting.  But the
>implementation is problematic for future use.  What makes more sense is
>to look at replacing APRS with OpenTrac.  It is much more rigorous in
>design, less bandwidth and trivial to use on small processor systems
>where data processing needs to be memory and power friendly.  
>Gregg Wonderly
>Sent from my iPhone
>> On Feb 13, 2022, at 11:20 AM, Jeff Hochberg <jeff at w4jew.com> wrote:
>> Hello,
>> My name is Jeff Hochberg (W4JEW) and I’m located in Atlanta, GA.
>> I chatted with Steve Dimse earlier this week about what I am about to
>cover here. He asked that I ensure this is an open discussion with
>aprssig, hence the reason for this message.
>> I’ve been a member of the aprssig mailing list for quite some time
>now but haven’t been an active participant - primarily due to other
>commitments, work, and most importantly family.
>> Some of you might be familiar with the annual Appalachian Trail
>Golden Packet (ATGP) event that Bob Bruninga started back in 2009. 
>> Bob and I connected shortly after he was first diagnosed with cancer
>and he asked me to take on managing ATGP just shy of 3.5 years ago. Not
>only have I been managing the group, I’ve been coordinating the annual
>event, and running a new monthly ATGP Knowledge Share series that is
>focused entirely on APRS. 
>> APRS has been at the forefront of my time with amateur radio and is
>something that I am extremely passionate about. I, along with a core
>group within ATGP have been very concerned with the future of APRS and
>have been watching closely to see what would happen after Bob left us.
>> With Kenwood’s uncertain demise - discontinuing the TH-D74 and not
>making any official statement of their future on continuing with
>production of the TH-D72 and TM-D710 has left a dark spot on APRS.
>Granted, there are other manufacturers that continue to support APRS
>and there’s a strong community of hardware manufacturers that are still
>shipping TNCs, as well as a wide array of open source and closed source
>software projects (Direwolf, APRSIS32, PinPoint APRS, to name a few.
>> Yaesu’s implementation of APRS is probably the strongest outside of
>Kenwood - which isn’t saying much. Icom’s conscious decision to not
>include analog APRS in their radios baffles me. And there are other
>manufacturers such as AnyTone that are limping along with half-rate
>implementations of APRS that do more to harm the ham community than
>help. Thankfully they seem to realize the error in their ways and have
>been making a slightly concerted effort to remedy their sophomoric
>attempts with the original AT-D878 and AT-578 with the recent release
>of the AT-D878UV2 Plus and the AT-D578UV3 Plus - both still leave a lot
>to be desired. 
>> I think we can all agree that the APRS standard stagnated and has
>largely remained the same for the past several years. We’ve been stuck
>at the current version for far too long and have fallen out of the
>limelight. The time has come for that to change!
>> And I know there’s some that feel as though it’s time for APRS to
>publish a final chapter and close the book forever as there’s been
>advancements in other areas of amateur radio that overlap APRS either
>in part or in full.
>> I couldn’t disagree more strongly! There’s plenty of lifeblood left
>and there’s tremendous opportunity to bring it back with a vengeance!
>> What APRS needs is an overhaul. The standard needs to be updated to
>include relatively recent extensions as well as a group of people that
>are invested in driving it’s future. I’ve been reading through an
>active discussion on a replacement for APRS - that is also something
>that could be considered. Truthfully, there are lots of directions this
>can go in.
>> What is needed at this juncture is an organization - more
>specifically a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation that will represent APRS
>at a global scale that is focused on a renaissance as well as adding to
>an already strong foundation that can compliment the some of the latest
>and most exciting areas of amateur radio including, but not limited to,
>the likes of the M17 Project.
>> John and I are putting forth a motion.
>> This email serves as an official proposal to kick off this effort. I,
>Jeff Hochberg, along with John Tarbox (WA1KLI) are proposing the
>creation of a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation who’s charter is to
>re-establish APRS as a kingpin of the ham radio world. To take on the
>trademark and the aprs.org domain, with the mission to ensure that APRS
>continues to thrive.
>> But that’s not all. This corporation will have an open door policy
>where any like-minded licensed amateur radio operators around the world
>can join provided they are committed to advance APRS into version 2.0
>and beyond!
>> While this is still very early stages, it is something that we are
>willing to commit to 100% and begin with the formation of an
>organization immediately.
>> There are two other prominent members of the APRS community that we
>are all familiar with (and are also members of aprssig) that have also
>shown interest, but I do not want to name them without their
>> Who is Jeff Hochberg? That's an excellent question!
>> Just to share a little bit more about me... I live in Atlanta,
>Georgia with my wife Charity and my stepdaughter Tatam. 
>> I currently hold a General Class license and have been a licensed
>amateur radio operator since 2015 (originally KM4KPI). I am currently
>pursuing my Amateur Extra license and intend to take the exam in the
>not so distant future.
>> I’ve been working in the Information Technology sector (specially in
>the networking and security world) for the past 26 years. I am a Field
>Solutions Engineer (a.k.a. "Sales Engineer") focused on enterprise
>customers for one of the world's leading cloud providers - a name many
>of you are likely familiar with.
>> In addition to sales engineering, I also have several years
>experience in the realms of technical marketing and business
>development and a proven track record of solving complex problems for
>some of the worlds largest organizations in the Fortune 100 and Fortune
>> John has been a ham since the 1960s and holds an Amateur Extra
>license (WA1KLI). He has worked in the IT field his entire career as a
>programmer, IT Manager, and currently as Adjunct Faculty in Computer
>Science. He is a life member of ARRL and a member of Quarter Century
>Wireless Association (QCWA). He has participated in ATGP for over ten
>years, first from Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine and, more recently, from
>Mount Washington in NH.
>> John resides in Phillips, Maine, and in 2020 earned an MS in CIS with
>a concentration in Cybersecurity from Boston University. During
>2019-2020 he served with Americorps as a Digital Literacy Instructor.
>> Besides ham radio, John enjoys Sailing and outdoor activities with
>his partner, Carolyn KC1MGI. SOTA and POTA figure prominently in his
>plans for this summer.
>> You can review our profiles on LinkedIn to learn more about our
>professional backgrounds:
>> https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffhochberg
>> https://www.linkedin.com/in/tarbox/
>> This new organization can use the help and support of all the hams
>who have worked so hard to make APRS what it is today, as well as those
>who will join us to advance and promote APRS as we go forward.
>> We intend for this organization to be as open and inclusive as
>possible, and thus we welcome all who wish to join us on this exciting
>journey to make APRS move forward in the 21st century.
>> As mentioned, there are a couple of others in the APRS community that
>are actively giving consideration to joining John and I, but wanted to
>take additional time to give it thought. It was important to John and I
>to make sure we reached out to aprssig as quickly as possible.
>> We are excited at the prospect of this opportunity and hope we can
>count on your support!
>> Please do not hesitate to let John Tarbox and or myself know if you
>have any questions or concerns via this thread on aprssig. At the
>request of Steve Dimse, it is important that all discussions related to
>this matter remain in the public domain.
>> Thank you for your consideration!
>> Best Regards,
>> Jeff Hochberg - W4JEW
>> Atlanta, GA
>> w4jew at arrl.net
>> John Tarbox
>> Philips, ME
>> wa1kli at arrl.net
>> _______________________________________________
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>> aprssig at lists.tapr.org
>> http://lists.tapr.org/mailman/listinfo/aprssig_lists.tapr.org
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>aprssig at lists.tapr.org
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