APRS has evolved to be all things to all men.
It inventor, Bob Bruniga, generalised the original meaning Amateur Position Reporting System to Amateur Packet Reporting System as he extended APRS to include all manner of generalised broadcast and point to point messages.
Perhaps in doing that,it was recognition of the inability for many reasons of APRS to provide reliably good position reporting performance in practice.
Any thinking person understands that there is conflict between use for timely reporting of position and loading the radio channel up with generalised message traffic, or even extending the RF coverage of a position report by repeating it many times into adjacent precincts. But simple minds muttering “use it or lose it” ruin APRS for position reporting by sending repeating traffic without a demonstrated demand.
Attempts to emphasise position reporting performance tend to be opposed in my experience mostly by owners of Kenwood trackers (eg DM-710), and the weather propagators. Many Kenwood owners like to see position reports from a very wide area repeated into the local area so that they can be displayed on their radio. There are other features that generate traffic that appeal to Kenwood owners.
This article looks at how significant the Kenwood users are in terms of unique packets reaching APRS-IS, the basis of mapping for most users these days. Continue reading APRS: how popular are Kenwood trackers
An indicator of the state of the art of APRS is the systems used for iGates contributing to APRS-IS.
The following is a recent snapshot of two Australian Tier 2 servers, 98 iGates systems in all. Continue reading APRS: popularity of iGate system software
I have been doing some research on APRS recently and acquired a used Paccomm Tiny-2 MK-II TNC, a TNC-2 clone.
Above, a top view of the PCB. Continue reading Paccomm Tiny-2 MK-II TNC review
My friend Richard found himself located on the margins of coverage of the local 2m repeater where multi path reception was the main problem, a but a little lift in signal would also help.
This begs a small Yagi solution. Continue reading A compact 3 element Yagi for 2m
A reader of my article Are gamma matches as bad as all that asked whether the W5VJB dipole was a gamma match given the hint in the article that the traditional gamma tuning capacitor
is not essential to a gamma matched antenna.
Above (Britain 2006) is the subject dipole which Britain describes as a
partial folded element having a J shape which is grounded at the midpoint of the longest portion of the element. ((Duffy2010b) refers to it as a half folded half wave dipole.)
Continue reading Is the W5VJB J dipole novel
Seeing the comment recent online comment about a gamma match
as I have noted from research online, NEC does not support modelling of the match component reminds one of the unreliability of online sources. This appeal to non-authority is fallacious, this writer writes as if it is fact that NEC does not support modelling a gamma match, and that is quite wrong.
NEC has limitations on geometry elements relative to each other and to wavelength, and those apply not just to the gamma match, but the entire model. It is the modeller’s challenge to stay within those limitations.
This article documents an NEC model of a real antenna and the model reconciles with the real antenna. Continue reading Are gamma matches as bad as all that
The subject question is often asked, and the usual responses are mindless recitals of Rules of Thumb (RoT).
In the light of the discussion at Feed line length affect on VSWR and The half waves of coax rule for measuring VSWR accurately, lets consider the subject question and develop a rational answer. Continue reading Where is the best place to measure feed point VSWR
Lots of hams recite a rule that accurate measurement of VSWR can only be made at the feed point or an integral number of electrical half waves from the feed point.
It is one of those ‘rules’ that the proponents cannot usually explain… they would regard themselves as experts, but blindly follow folk-lore that they do not understand. Continue reading The half waves of coax rule for measuring VSWR accurately
In a recent posting on VKLOGGER, I posted the graph below of licence trends to Jun 2013.
VK3HZ commented at Re: Amateur population trends – 2013:
I wonder who it really was who first said “Lies, damned lies and statistics”?
I’m surprised any conclusions can be reached based on the data presented:
– the last point on the graph totally influences the outcome. Take that point away and there’s quite a different (rising) trend line.
– Is this final point influenced by some other effects (e.g. changes or delays in license processing …)?
– why should a second-order polonomial be used to model number of licenses vs. time? Why does it have to have a turning point?
– the vertical axis is greatly expanded, over-emphasising visually any noise on the data
– if the same analysis had been done after the 2007 data had been released, the trend would be even more disastrous. However, reality was much different.
So, I don’t (yet) believe the sky is falling.
I will respond here as I now refrain from posting on VKLOGGER. Continue reading A response to VK3HZ’s comment on amateur licence trends
This is a 2014 update of an article written originally in October 2005, earlier editions published on VK1OD.net which is now offline.
Over recent years to 2002, the number of issued amateur licences was declining, the trend was about 2.8% pa decline over the five years to 2002.
This has concerned some people, who took the view that the decline was a harbinger of the impending demise of Amateur Radio. Continue reading Australian amateur population trends 1998 – 2014