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RE: TDMA - Reading the mail

> 1)  No one needs a GPS unless they are moving or lost.  You can enter
>     a position from a Map, or a pocket scribbled listing of 
> your haunts

True, but ideally, it should be a set and forget system.  Fiddling with the
APRS box while fiddling with a train ticket or an umbrella isn't exactly
fun. ;)

> 2)  Being on public transport migt be an ideal place to use 
> APRS messaging
>     or reporting of your status via digital means (if you cant raise
>     anyone on a voice rpeater (the message being digital can go world
>     wide, instead of only to your local voice net).

I was thinking that too, I can see a lot of uses here.

> 3)  The MIM or Mic-E with internal 9v battery is about the size of a 
>     pack of cigaretts.  It plugs into the Mic jack of your HT and you 
>     use it as a handheld mic.  You can plug in a GPS, for position
>     reporting, or use the 7 position "STATUS" switch to report from
>     7 pre-programmed messages (enroute, returning, special, 
> Emergency etc)

OK, I wonder how that will work in my situation, I tend to travel _very_
light.  Hmm, maybe a remodelling into a "portable handsfree" style box.
Might see if there's a local source for these devices.

> 4)  Using the MIM/Mic-Lite (a TNC with front panel message 
> switches) as a
>     mic lets you use one rig and it fits in a shirt pocket.
> 5)  Depending on how far you travel, APRS supports "vicinity" 
> tracking.
>     Thus, APRS will plot you on the MAP in the vicinity of the first
>     digipeater that your packets hit.  If there are several 
> DIGIS along
>     your route, then someone on APRS can tell approximately if you are
>     near home, or work, or in th emiddle, depending on where the digis
>     are...  If you travel across country, this lets loved 
> ones see what
>     city you are in... all without a GPS

UInfortunately, Melbourne is on a large plain.  Considerable range is
possible, and there's every chance I may be accessing the same digi for most
of the trip!  On my side of town, there tends to be fewer facilities anyway.
Would be nice if there were lots of small digis for this purpose.

> I have been into APRS since 1991, and even though several 
> dozen GPS units
> have passed through my hands and my car, and even though I have APRS
> permanently in the car, I still do not have a permanent GPS 
> in the car.
> (Many stories and excuses, but wont bore you with them now, hi hi)
> When I need one for a trip, I use a handheld one with 
> internal batteries.
> Most of the time, I just enter my position half way to work with an
> ambiguity circle that includes both ends of my commute so 
> that people can
> see where on the planet I am, and thus know how to 
> communicate with me.

Oh, OK.  I could setup a set of "waypoints", but one question remains.  How
do you encode these into a minimal portable station? (GPS is obvious, it
communicates via a serial port to the APRS hardware).

> Again, not trying to suggest that APRS is an answer to this 
> situation, but
> many people may overlook the advantages of worldwide digital 
> communications from your pocket, even if they never use the GPS...

Well, my experience with APRS messaging has been mixed.  Locally, it works
well, but working out the return paths when the other end is on the other
way of an IGate is confusing.  I'm yet to succeed completing a long haul
APRS contact. :-(

> Bob
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