What's new @ OPENAPRS?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Added Cluster Support at Higher Zoom Levels

At lower zoom levels (7 or less) APRS stations are grouped together in circles with numbers. The color and size of the circles are related to the number of stations inside of the cluster as labeled. When you click on one of the circles the map will automatically center and zoom in on the area within the circle you clicked.

I've also added a few more icon tools to the layout on the right. Click on the icon of a house to auto zoom and center the map on your default saved location. You can set the default location by tracking a callsign or typing in a zipcode/city, state/map:center latitude,longitude and selecting "Save as default home:" in the input box dropdown display.

Server database statistics are now accessible again from the right menu, click on the check mark icon. You can click the mail icon to contact me directly, it will popup the help system. I fixed the issues that were preventing signups, it is now accessible in the help system as well. There are now 3 quick zoom icons as well that will zoom to "state level", "street/city level" or "world level".

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New Look and Feel

I've been a bit discontent with the layout being a little too crowded so with a little experimentation I've put up a new layout. Same old system just a new and hopefully better look and feel. I've tested the new design in Firefox and Safari with much success but as usual IE is a bit of a pain so I'm still ironing out some of the kinks in that department.

You'll notice with the new layout PHG circles and "Hams Near You" can be turned on from icons in the top left corner and act as toggles. The menu, chat and database statistics work like they did before, when you put your mouse over their icons they'll pop up and disappear after you've moved your mouse out of the window. Options can now be accessed via and icon as opposed to the text link next to the input box. Run your mouse over the input box and the addition information like AKA's, the clear link and google earth link will appear.

Feel free to either comment here or in the help interface under contact us...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

PHG & DFS Circles / Plots

I am experimenting with PHG circles on OpenAPRS's map system. The image to the left shows a digipeater with it's associated coverage circle based on the PHG calculated range. I'm not entirely positive the circle calculations are correct but they appear to be pretty close (I'm no math wizard). The circles are displayed in a opaque red circle, in the near future I'll add a selection box to the options menu to turn the feature on and off.

I've also added PHG information in both the APRS search engine results and in the balloon popups on the OpenAPRS map. DFS is also supported in the same way though on the OpenAPRS map the circle is a green line, however, I don't seen anyone broadcasting DFS so it's moot point I guess.

The circles are displayed whether or not the antenna directivity is omni or a bearing, I plan to also create direction lines in place of the great circles when a station gives it's directivity.

Update: Antenna/DFS Directivity lines are are now plotted from the stations position according to bearing and distance.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Virtual Mobile Display

Per a thread on the APRSSIG mailing list I've added a "Virtual Mobile Display" to show users what their packets look like when received on a mobile radio with APRS support. Typically an APRS packet displayed on a mobile radio will be limited to 10 characters long and up to 42 lines depending on the radio (Kenwood TH-D7's 10x2, Kenwood TM-D700 10x3 & Kenwood TM-D710 10x42). It is important for APRS users to understand how their packet looks to other users so this should assist in debugging.

I've also changed the way weather and telemetry graphs are shown. Graphs used to be hidden but loaded for every user which made for slower load times and more server load per search. Now in order to view the graphs the page is refreshed with the added graphs displayed at the bottom of the search results. Telemetry and Weather graphs will not be allowed to load at the same time, it's an either/or situation. I've added the following quibbles to aid in displaying graphs with custom settings.

graph:weather <day|month|year>
graph:telemetry <day|month|year>

At the moment telemetry graphs only support displaying the last 24 hours of data but that will be improved in the near future.

Update: I've also added a PHG/DFS display for stations that are given that information out in their position report. This information is only available for their last reported position.

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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Added Object Source Searching & Satellite Pass Prediction

I went to search for a particular stations objects and found that if the station never broadcasted a normal position report it was impossible to find the stations objects in the APRS search engine. I added a new search quibble (as I call them) called object:callsign which will search for objects based on their source callsigns. I've also changed the search engine template around a bit to add Google Ads and more useful links for each result under the static maps.

I've also added satellite pass prediction for each result which will take the stations last reported latitude and longitude and show a preset list of satellites and their passes over that station. The list of amateur radio satellites to show predictions for can be changed under the "options" link and a list of supported satellites can be found here. I'll be adding the ability to show predictions for a given latitude/longitude in the future. To view pass predictions for a particular station or a set of station results add "show:satellites" to your query.

After the recent earthquake in Los Angeles I decided to add earthquake information to both OpenAPRS and the oAPRS search engine. I also decided to start advertising earthquakes greater than or equal to a 3.0 magnitude onto the APRS-IS network. Advertised earthquakes use the same format as quakeAPRS and should contribute to or replace any objects of the same name with the depth, location and magnitude from the USGS website. This will insure that if someone is already broadcasting (which wasn't happening when I started doing it but is now) the object will simply replace a preexisting object of the same name. You can either search for "quakes" in the APRS search engine which will match any stations with the quake symbol or to match our internal earthquake engine you can use the new "find:quakes" quibble or hit http://www.oaprs.net/earthquakes/.

A stations list of objects is now truncated at 3 with a link to search for all of the stations broadcasted objects which will allow for spanning the results accross multiple pages.

I also added the ability to search for stations near another station that has broadcast it's position. Use "find:near " or go to http://www.oaprs.net/near/.

You may have noticed slowdowns recently which should be improved as we recently upgraded the bandwidth on our internet connection.

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New blog!

Welcome to OpenAPRS's and oAPRS's new blog, here you will find news, updates and network status articles.