2009/08/05 APRSISCE Release Notes

Lynn Deffenbaugh

Beta Testers,

Here's a stream of consciousness (actually a brain dump from my version control system) of what's new since January in APRSISCE (for Windows Mobile).

1) It generates a date/time-stamped CSV file in your Documents folder with all of the transmitted coordinates. It does this even if you have APRS-IS disabled. I used this to track myself when I was out of the country without phone/Internet services. Some day I'll make it an Enable.

2) If you add any b/Buddies to your filter text, they will be reverse-video'd when scrolling in the recent station list.

3) I now notice that the tracking in general is NEW! All stations that move will leave a single width black line behind themselves. You clear these with Menu/Clear Track or double-click the Odometer.

4) Secondary symbol table symbols now do overlays if specified by the client. This is NOT restricted to the subset that is documented, but is displayed on any symbol if so configured by the remote station.

5) Your last known good position is saved when the client is closed and recalled when you run it again. This means that the map will be displayed along with other stations' relative positions even before you get a new fix.

6) Scale factors have changed due to the OpenStreetMap implementation. You can actually zoom further out than before and if you zoom too far in, the maps will disappear and the circle will come back. The circle is also displayed if there are no maps currently loaded for the selected zoom level. Maps will appear when they finally begin arriving.

7) Objects are tracked by the originating call sign in addition to the object name itself. This helps avoid object ID collisions in a close geographic area, but it can generate extra objects if ownership is intentionally changed.

8) The path of the most recently heard packet for a station is remembered and displayed on the station popup. Object owners also appear here along with your configured APRS-IS server name if you click your own icon in the center.

9) Several packet parser corrections have been implemented. Some packets that were previously considered bad parses will now be properly displayed.

10) The javAPRSsrvr # heartbeat is no longer considered to be a received packet. This means that the activity timer may expire more often than it has before causing Force Disconnects. If you get an inordinate number of these, increase your Quiet Time configuration parameter. This was done because some APRS-IS servers seem to go dumb and quit transmitting packets but continue to transmit the heartbeats.

11) Station Icons will fade away as they age. The XML configuration file lets you specify a minimum and maximum station age (in minutes). Stations will stay 100% for the minimum time and will then fade until the maximum time at which point they are deleted. Any message from a station will restore it to full brightness.

(Note: a bug was just reported in the left/right arrow map fade controls. If you decrease it below zero with the left arrow, it will wrap back up to 100%. This will get fixed, but I probably won't bother with a new release for it).

12) The station popup (click on the map icon or the recent station list) has been streamlined to remove information that is empty and add new additional information. It will show some or all of the following:

Title bar shows station and IGate (this is APRS-IS after all)

Sym: Symbol name and overlay (if any)
Rng: miles @ bearing (if you have a fix)
n/m Tracks (mKB) (if you've moved)
Last known coordinates in APRS format
Last heard timestamp (yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm:ss)
Path (if not empty between tocall and qXX,Igate)

13) Zoom factors are now different due to OpenStreetMap tile scaling

14) Circle no longer rotates, but North is always up. I need to make OSM an enable to restore the old rotating circle behavior. Or just restore rotation if you crank the visibility down to 0%?

15) Statistics display (double-click the split station/memory bar) shows both your and total track counts and memory consumption. I hope to add network traffic counters and Tile "disk" and memory consumption information here someday.

16) The recent station list now pops up the station on a single tap, a double-click is no longer necessary. This was done to make it consistent with the circle station display.

17) The recent station list will reverse-video any station that appears as a buddy in your filter settings. Eventually I want to make the buddy list configurable so you don't have to manually add b/Callsign to your filter.

18) I already mentioned the track drawing, but saw it again in the difference listing. I'm open to suggestions if the tracks need to be bolder, wider, or selectable by station. This is one of the reasons for the buddy list configuration also. I'm hoping to allow you to color the tracks of your buddies and possibly disable tracking or non-buddy stations.

19) The OpenStreetMap currently covers all of the background available. I need to figure out how to clip them to the original circle, or at least draw a circle over top of the map. Remember that the height of the +/- scale bar is the radius of the circle. The number that appears above (landscape) or below (portrait) of the scale bar is the radius of the circle in miles (or feet if you zoom in far enough). Someday I might support a metric toggle for this display.

20) Wait, it looks like the January release DID draw your own track! The new one just adds tracks for everyone that moves (including satellites that fly by). The track is only drawn if the current station position is visible on screen, though, so don't be alarmed if lines appear and disappear when you zoom out and in.

21) I think I already mentioned that station Icons fade out as they age, but I just saw it again also. Obviously the recent station list doesn't fade because it's recent, right?

22) Last known satellite positions (the pale numbers inside the circle) are now removed if you disable the GPS.

23) The ranging red dot (forecast position based on last beaconed speed and heading) is partially faded. I need to make this percentage a configuration parameter too.

24) That CSV Track file I mentioned at the top closes and restarts itself when you clear your odometer.

25) A bunch of the various text displays are now better centered in the vertical direction. I'm talking about the +/-, H/V, Odometer, Heading, and stuff like that.

26) Battery telemetry is no longer sent unless something has changed. This makes for rougher looking graphs, but less traffic and storage on the servers as well. If the battery is going up or down, it's smooth.

27) Your last known position along with your current scale/zoom level are recorded and recalled the next time you run the client.

Now, for the homework. To see if you've managed to read the whole thing through, can someone pull out all of my notes of what I still need to do and make a ToDo list for me?

I'm also open to any and all suggestions of what to prioritize next. One of the things on my list is to make the APRS-IS connection asynchronous so it quits locking up the client when the cellular connection is bad or non-existent.

Lynn (D) - KJ4ERJ - Author of APRSISCE for Windows Mobile

PS. Would anyone be interested in a non-tracking, non-GPS, view-only Win32 version of the program?