Tracker

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(New page: ====Tracker==== A tracker is a type of APRSStation APRS station. The intent of a tracker is to transmit position reports. To do this a transmitter, TNC and GPS are required. Techni...)
 
 
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====Tracker====
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==Tracker==
  
A tracker is a type of  [[APRSStation APRS station]].
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A tracker is a type of  [[AprsStation|APRS station]]. The intent of a tracker is to transmit position reports.  To do this a transmitter, TNC and GPS are required.  Technically you don't have to have the GPS if there is some other way to obtain position information (like typing it in or selecting it from a map display), but having a GPS makes things automatic.
The intent of a tracker is to transmit position reports.  To do this a transmitter,
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TNC and GPS are required.  Technically you don't have to have the GPS if there
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is some other way to obtain position information (like typing it in or selecting it from
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a map display), but having a GPS makes things automatic.
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Trackers can be attached to a vehicle, a person, a balloon, or anything that moves around.
 
Trackers can be attached to a vehicle, a person, a balloon, or anything that moves around.
  
Using a map display along with a receiver (or the APRS-IS internet system) the accumulation
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Using a map display along with a receiver (or the APRS-IS internet system) the accumulation of position reports appears as a ''track'' on a map.
of position reports appears as a //track// on a map.
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Every APRS transmitting station, trackers included, has to have a unique identification, usually
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Every APRS transmitting station, trackers included, has to have a unique identification callsign-SSID pair. The tracker should normally use the identification [[CallSign|callsign]] of the licensed radio operator acting as the control operator.
a callsign-SSID pair. The tracker should use an identification [[CallSign callsign]] of the licensed
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radio operator acting as the control operator.
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Notice that no receiver is required.  This means that trackers blindly transmit,
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In special cases a tactical callsign may be used as the name of the station instead, as long as normal station identification requirements are met.  Usually this involves adding the station callsign into the comment field or a separate status packet periodically, but there are other methods that satisfy FCC rules.
and cannot serve as [[Digipeater digipeaters]], [[IGate I-Gates]] or other more
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sophisticated roles.  But stations with receivers can perform a tracking function
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along with other [[StationRole roles]].  Blind transmitting means that the tracker
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needs to be configured in such a way as to avoid unnecessary interference.
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So trackers are usually low power, 5-watts or less output, and  the interval
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of position reports is the largest interval compatible with the goals of the  
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tracker operator.
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Trackers can be made to various degrees of sophisticationSome of them are smart
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Notice that no receiver is requiredThis means that many trackers blindly transmit, and cannot serve as [[Digipeater|digipeaters]], [[IGate|I-Gates]] or other more  sophisticated roles. Blind transmitting means that the tracker needs to be configured in such a way as to avoid unnecessary interference. So trackers are usually low power, 5-watts or less output, and the interval of position reports is the largest interval compatible with the goals of the  tracker operator.
enough to change the  position report sending rate based on speed or directional changes.
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Trackers usually don't have much of a user interfaceIt is sometimes possible to program
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the tracker with a computer connection before it is put into service, then the only control might
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be an on/off switch.
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Stations with receivers can perform a tracking function along with other [[StationRole|roles]].
  
===Legal Implications?===
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Trackers can be made to various degrees of sophistication.  Some of them are smart enough to change the  position report sending rate based on speed or directional changes. Trackers usually don't have much of a user interface.  It is sometimes possible to program the tracker with a computer connection before it is put into service, then the only control might be an on/off switch.
  
A tracker is a radio transmitter so it has to be controlled by a licensed radio operator following
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==Legal Implications?==
the laws and regulations which apply in that jurisdiction.
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A tracker is a radio transmitter so it has to be controlled by a licensed radio operator following the laws and regulations which apply in that jurisdiction.
  
In the USA, it is generally acceptable to have the tracker be //controlled// by  a licensed operator,
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In the USA, it is generally acceptable to have the tracker be ''controlled'' by  a licensed operator, who could turn it off if it were to start causing interference. ('''Don't take this as legal advice!''') The idea of control is not strictly defined.  It may be that the tracker is not physically within grasp of the controlling operator, but that he or she can access it within a reasonable amount of time if intervention is required ("reasonable time" not being carefully defined either!). Usually trackers are not configured for remote control via [[DTMF]], telephone, or other methods as employed in the voice repeater realm.
who could turn it off if it were to start causing interference. (**Don't take this as legal advice!**)
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The idea of control is not strictly defined.  It may be that the tracker is not physically  
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within grasp of the controlling operator, but that he or she can access it within a reasonable
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amount of time if intervention is required. Usually trackers are not configured for remote
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control via DTMF, telephone, or other methods as employed in the voice repeater realm.
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Latest revision as of 10:59, 2 February 2009

[edit] Tracker

A tracker is a type of APRS station. The intent of a tracker is to transmit position reports. To do this a transmitter, TNC and GPS are required. Technically you don't have to have the GPS if there is some other way to obtain position information (like typing it in or selecting it from a map display), but having a GPS makes things automatic.

Trackers can be attached to a vehicle, a person, a balloon, or anything that moves around.

Using a map display along with a receiver (or the APRS-IS internet system) the accumulation of position reports appears as a track on a map.

Every APRS transmitting station, trackers included, has to have a unique identification callsign-SSID pair. The tracker should normally use the identification callsign of the licensed radio operator acting as the control operator.

In special cases a tactical callsign may be used as the name of the station instead, as long as normal station identification requirements are met. Usually this involves adding the station callsign into the comment field or a separate status packet periodically, but there are other methods that satisfy FCC rules.

Notice that no receiver is required. This means that many trackers blindly transmit, and cannot serve as digipeaters, I-Gates or other more sophisticated roles. Blind transmitting means that the tracker needs to be configured in such a way as to avoid unnecessary interference. So trackers are usually low power, 5-watts or less output, and the interval of position reports is the largest interval compatible with the goals of the tracker operator.

Stations with receivers can perform a tracking function along with other roles.

Trackers can be made to various degrees of sophistication. Some of them are smart enough to change the position report sending rate based on speed or directional changes. Trackers usually don't have much of a user interface. It is sometimes possible to program the tracker with a computer connection before it is put into service, then the only control might be an on/off switch.

[edit] Legal Implications?

A tracker is a radio transmitter so it has to be controlled by a licensed radio operator following the laws and regulations which apply in that jurisdiction.

In the USA, it is generally acceptable to have the tracker be controlled by a licensed operator, who could turn it off if it were to start causing interference. (Don't take this as legal advice!) The idea of control is not strictly defined. It may be that the tracker is not physically within grasp of the controlling operator, but that he or she can access it within a reasonable amount of time if intervention is required ("reasonable time" not being carefully defined either!). Usually trackers are not configured for remote control via DTMF, telephone, or other methods as employed in the voice repeater realm.

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