What's new @ OPENAPRS?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Messaing, Object and Ruler Support Added

After over a months worth of developement I think we're finally ready to announce our new Object create, messaging and ruler support. You'll notice under the new layout the Tools icon on the left sidebar of the site. With the tools window open live APRS updates will temporarily be paused until the window is closed to even out the clutter.

Most of the tools available require you to login and verify your account. To find out more about how to create an account or verify your account click the Options link on the main page.

To create a new object open up the tools window and click "Create Object". From there you click on a location on the map to set the object down. You can drag the object if you didn't quite get it in the position you wanted when you clicked the map. Clicking the object once will allow you to choose an icon for your object and then set the object's properties (like altitude, course, overlay, beaconing). Once you've finished and sent the creation request turn off tools and within around 30 seconds you'll notice your object appear over the APRS-IS network. Objects are not sent to RF but should show up on any client connected to APRS-IS.

To kill and object, under tools click kill object and type in the name of the object exactly how it appears over APRS-IS. You can only kill objects that exist over the network (i.e. objects OpenAPRS sees). Again close the tool bar and wait 30 seconds and your object should be destroyed.

I've added full APRS REPLY-ACK messaging support with help from Brent Hildebrand KH2Z (the creater of Viewpoint+). Brent was instrumental in the debuging of REPLY-ACKS and a big thanks goes to him for his time. Messaging of course is also under tools and once open you can close the toolbar to resume live APRS updates and leave the messaging window open. Messages with a white background are sent to you, messages with a grey background are messages you've sent. APRS messages sent from OpenAPRS have the possibility of being iGated and like object creation require you to verify your account with us.

You'll also notice a friends list tool. Open up your friends list and add any callsigns (no ssid required) of people you want to talk to on APRS and when they are seen sending a message over the network they will show up as available on your list. After 5 minutes if they haven't sent a message over APRS they are shown unavailable. Clicking a friends name will automatically open up APRS messaging and fill their name in the to field for you, ready to send a message.

I've also added a ruler tool, it's pretty self explanitory. Click the ruler tool then click on the map and a new ruler will be added (you can add more than one simply by clicking somewhere else on the map). Once added to the map drag the endpoint icon to the position you want to measure. A line will be drawn between the start and end points and bearing data and distance will be displayed between the two points.

Todo in the future will be message killing...

Hope you enjoy these new features!

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