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  #1  
Old 09-08-2014, 03:32 PM
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humptybump humptybump is offline
 
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Default APRS is a hobby, not a lifeline

I'm a big fan of APRS and have a tracker in my plane. I also help others setup iGates. However, I was reminded over the weekend that APRS is an amateur radio activity and comes with no commercial guarantees.

Here is an image that shows a few examples of how APRS could lead to the wrong conclusion. The upper left was 14 hours old, suggesting the plane fell out of the sky. The lower left suggests the plane was flying at 4:30AM. The image on the right suggests the plane was zig zagging (perhaps flying hammer heads ?).

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  #2  
Old 09-08-2014, 03:55 PM
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Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is offline
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Any of us who have been studying APRS for a few years have seen errors and discussed them in detail. But to quote from Glen's article:

"I will admit the above is a rare case. Most often these glitches are infrequent."

Another quote:

"Enjoy it but don’t bank your life on it unless you can verify its does what you expect."

I do enjoy APRS, and find it to be an amazing technology. And I am more than willing to place more life confidence in APRS than the archaic ELT I still haul around in the RV-6. I think the window for weaning my wife off the real-time reporting of where the little plane is located has now closed.

P.S. Some friends of ours bought a SPOT to allow us to track them on a ferry flight from one side of the country to the other. The SPOT had their plane still crashed in the Mohave Desert days after their flight arrived safely home......
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  #3  
Old 09-08-2014, 05:01 PM
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Default It's a great hobby.

Wait a second... the right image looks like mine. Big Brother Glen is watching...


http://aprs.fi/#!mt=roadmap&z=11&cal...00&tail=172800
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  #4  
Old 09-08-2014, 05:09 PM
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Sam, I'll have to focus my "keen eye" on the SPOT tracks if I can. It will be interesting to see what causes of issues arise with those satellite based systems.

And once again - for the record - I love my tracker and will have one in next airplane.

I was just surprised at all the errors I watched on that one particular tracker this past weekend. Perhaps it had some "666" influences
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Last edited by humptybump : 09-08-2014 at 05:27 PM.
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  #5  
Old 09-09-2014, 07:36 AM
NYTOM NYTOM is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad View Post
Wait a second... the right image looks like mine. Big Brother Glen is watching...


http://aprs.fi/#!mt=roadmap&z=11&cal...00&tail=172800
Vlad I almost crossed paths with you at Sky Manor on Sunday but was a little late and some how missed you. I sware I saw N666BK on the ramp when I drove in. When I got home I checked my Igate to see if it was you and where you went and it looked just like you dumped it south of Malone NY in the Adirondacks. Your track stopped abruptly. Happy next day to see you having a great tour of upstate NY and a stop at Basin Harbor. Predicted you were going for a swim at Freehold. Wrong!
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  #6  
Old 09-09-2014, 08:41 AM
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LettersFromFlyoverCountry LettersFromFlyoverCountry is offline
 
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Urp. Has the APRS issue now devolved into the primer/no primer, tipup/slider category?

I beg to differ. Despite having limitations, I actually do consider APRS a lifeline -- a piece of safety equipment -- to the extent that it can provide very important information.

I don't consider flight following to be a lifeline either, but it's all part of the stew.
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  #7  
Old 09-09-2014, 10:09 AM
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Hi Bob Hi Bob

I was just pointing out - like so many things - APRS has its usefulness *and* it has its limitations. As long as interested parties understand both, then it adds to big picture.


I didn't prime my tracker. Am I going to have problems down the road ?
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  #8  
Old 09-09-2014, 10:25 AM
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Kahuna Kahuna is offline
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"APRS is a hobby, not a lifeline"

I absolutely consider it a lifeline. Compared to the others available in the airplane, communications included, I consider this as robust and reliable as any other and keep it as a high priority operationally to maintain and function.
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  #9  
Old 09-09-2014, 11:37 AM
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humptybump humptybump is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kahuna View Post
keep it as a high priority operationally to maintain and function.

Mike, can I sign you for an iGate ? I have a deal on them right now
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