In reply to F6ENO:
Hi Alain, just my observation and opinion, but I will explain…
Lots of us find the whole idea that anyone can know where you are at any time somewhat worrying. In today’s society almost everyone can be tracked by their mobile telephone, use of credit cards and the ever present security cameras. Those systems of tracking are pretty much limited to the security services, but the idea that anyone such as a thief can via the Internet know you are away from home and far enough away to not be back soon is not a good one.
As a safety system maybe APRS is a good idea for SOTA activators, but I carry all my battery power on to the hills for the purpose of activating and using half my capacity on the way up to power the beacon seems self defeating.
The main reason I do not believe APRS will ever be mainstream is the cost. I personally have over 25 transceivers between those in the shack, the ones in my vehicles and the ones I take up the hills and as far as I know only one is APRS compatible and that is a mobile rig that I use in the shack for 70cm FM. Most radio amateurs I know are not going to run out and buy new kit just so everyone else knows where they are. I also own three SatNav and two GPS units none of which has any facility to be linked with a radio that I know of. Replacing these would be as expensive as replacing the radios.
Looking at the APRS mapping site yesterday I could see two stations within fifty miles of my QTH, both fixed stations but no mobiles. Surely the main advantage of APRS is that you know when a mobile station is in range? but no mobiles. Bearing in mind there are major cities such as Liverpool, Manchester, Chester and Wrexham in that catchment area and there are more than twenty radio clubs I could list, it does not appear to be catching on here.
Basically I believe there is limited appeal and limited interest in this technology from an amateur stand point and that it will soon be superseded by newer technologies with more useful functionality. It is still fun to watch an ascent via the Internet in this way but I will not be investing in the ability to be tracked.
Remember just because someone is paranoid does not mean someone is not out to get them. ;0)
Best regards Steve GW7AAV 73