[amsat-bb] Re: Tracking Friends at Dayton..

Bob Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Sat May 16 11:24:59 PDT 2009

>> In this case the best application was not sending
>> POSITION, but would be sending FREQUENCY.  
>> This way, you dont need to know where they were 
>>(or find them on the map), but just look at their
>> data and CALL them by voice.

> my first thought was: "THAT'S COOL!"
> Finding what FREQUENCY someone is on is something 
> that's amazingly empowering to Amateurs attempting 
> to make contacts of any sort.

Yes, And it is amazing that we did not realize that back when we invented APRS.  But we did add it later and after the Katrina Hurricane, we formalized CONTACT frequency as a formal part of the APRS spec.  So now as you drive down the road, people can not only see where you are, but what freq you are monitoring.  That was the main enhancement to the new Kenwood APRS radio, the D710, to include your voice freq in every position packet.  Automatically, and in real time, since it knows what freq the other side of the radio is tuned to.

And as a companion to that, when the D710 sees someone's freq in their packet, it can tune the radio there with th e press of a single button (TUNE).  Thus facilitating voice contact.

With APRStt, we hope to bring that capability to everyone with a DTMF key pad.  With just two buttons, they can alert the world where they are and what freq they are monitoring.
One button calls up their CALLSIGN from DTMF memory, and the other button calls up their favorite FREQ from another memory.

Another AMSAT application for APRStt in the local area is to have something like "AO51" programmed into a DTMF memory.  Then when you happen to hear AO51 in view, you just press two buttons on the APRStt channel, one for your call, the other for the AO51 text, and then every mobile in the area can see on their mobile display "AO51" and know it is in view right then, right there.

Even since 1998 or so, there have been automatic progrms that put out satellite-in-view alerts to the front panels of APRS radios to show not only the locatoin of the moving satellite, but also, its range, bearing, and frequency AND doppler!  The kenwood can even SPEAK these alerts to the driver who is not concentrating on his APRS display.

So, APRS was never a tracking system, it was a single common INFO channel to distribute local information of immediate interest in the local area.  There are as many applications as there are ham radio applications.  Its not about ttracking.  Its about one-to-all-local distribution of info of immediate interest.


>So far, the hobby has been stunted in this regard -- we have what?  The
>hunt and pounce/spin the dial... we have dedicated frequency
>infrastructure either via the technology or via "agreements" (like 'this
>HF Net meets here'), and we have DX Cluster/Spotting type networks, and
>that's about it... and even on those, it's somewhat "improper" for
>cultural reasons to "self-spot"... 
>So a mechanism to tell others, "Hey I'm at a radio and I'm listening to
>X frequency"... is WAY cool.
>Sorry to tie up AMSAT-BB one more time with a reply -- but maybe to TRY
>to keep it on-topic I'd say, "Imagine if people could say in real
>time... XXX, YYY, and ZZZ are all listening to this bird because they've
>sent a notification that they are, and if they're able to hear me,
>they'll respond!"
>It won't replace the wonder and amazement of a "raw" CQ call that gets
>answered by a new Amateur voice halfway around the world, and the
>contesting world would be in an uproar about that "self-spotting" if
>anyone used it to help others find them during an operating "skills"
>event... but for day-to-day "get 'er done" types of contacts, it's
>really got some interesting potential.   "I'm in the car, and I'm
>listening to X" info, when you've been trying to catch up with an old
>friend on the air, etc... would be invaluable.
>Nate WY0X
>  Nate Duehr
>  nate at natetech.com

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