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Re: Re: Medium vs Message



On Wed, 24 Feb 1999, Tony Baldwin wrote:

> APRS, although an interesting development, will never take off here in
> Europe....
> I have all the equipment necessary in my shack to set myself up as an
> APRS ground station, but I worked out that it would cost me $1,288.00
> per month for permanent internet connection to the APRS server....

To clarify the APRS/PACSAT application:

We only need one APRS/PACSAT station in Europe to link APRS position/
status/message packets heard in the downlink into the worldwide APRServe
system.  Since passes are predictible the internet connection is only 
needed during the 10 minutes of each pass.  In fact, a Live connection is
not needed, just a dial-up-and-dump would also work.  Even if we got to
where we could track 100 mobiles per pass per satellite, it wouild take
less than 12 seconds at 9600 baud to dump these packets to the APRSserve
network.  During another 10 seconds, the Ground station could capture from
APRServe any messages intended for uplink back to these users.

So I am curious how European ISP charges for brief connections?  But in
any case, since only one station is needed in all of Europe, there is
probably many people with full time connections already at a school or
university.

And further, the satellite station does not have to be the same station
proving the full time connection.  Since any APRS version can act as an
internet gateway, a PACSAT ground station could digipeat any APRS packets
via a terrestrial digipeeater which could be transparently captured by the
internet station.

But it is a chicken/egg problem.  APRS is boring if no one is using it.
It takes several stations within VHF range playing with it before it gets
interesting and once they put up a digipeater, then it grows some more..
Eventually similar small cells touch, and then everyone in between can
join the fun, and soon it does eventually catch on..

In the USA where the internet is cheap, then 2 years ago, we began linking
all these 400 or so "cells" of APRS activity together by simply including
the internet link in every version of (windows) software.  Thus, if
anyone logs on, they become a transparent gateway to the rest of the world
for everyone within radio range of them.  THese stations can come and go
at will, since all routing is done automatically without distinct calls.


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