[aprssig] A Proposal for the Continuation of APRS

Georg Lukas georg at op-co.de
Mon Feb 14 11:33:07 EST 2022


I fully aree that a formal body will be needed in the long term to
maintain ownership of the APRS trademark and copyright, as well as to
decide about future protocol versions. As a European ham, I think that a
US-based 501(c) is appropriate to own the US-based rights, and would
like to participate in it.

I also happen to be a member of the XSF (a US-based 501(c)6)
<https://xmpp.org/about/xmpp-standards-foundation/> which has very
similar goals (advancing a rather niche protocol through means of an
open community, limiting the influence of individual vendors, giving out
licenses to a related trademark, holding the specification copyright),
and that's running with ~50 volunteer members, of which just a handful
are really active. This might be a good template to found an APRS

The XSF also has an elected technical advisory Council that approves and
oversees changes to the protocol, on which I have been serving for some
years now.

We probably won't need all of the XSF's formal mechanisms, but it might
make sense to pick quite a few things for an APRS non-profit.

Kind regards,

Georg DO1GL, author of APRSdroid

* Jeff Hochberg <jeff at w4jew.com> [2022-02-13 18:21]:
> 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 permission.
> 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 50.
> 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

> _______________________________________________
> aprssig mailing list
> aprssig at lists.tapr.org
> http://lists.tapr.org/mailman/listinfo/aprssig_lists.tapr.org

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