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Changes to the SARTrack system


SARTrack was initially designed as a ‘live tracker’ program, based on the amateur radio APRS (Automatic Packer Reporting System) . This is originally a radio-based protocol, but which now also has a world-wide Server system which shares all APRS traffic across the world.

When SARTrack was extended to included many Search and Rescue specific functions, the basic APRS format was stretched to the limit to make it possible to transfer Operation Logs and many other special SAR data across the APRS network, including the interconnect of multiple SARTrack computers on the local Local Area Network (LAN) or WIFI in cases where Internet is not available.

It became apparent that many features could not be properly utilized over the APRS network, as the APRS protocol is totally unsuitable for advanced two-way traffic, and (for example) any SARTrack computer which comes online later does not have access to any data which was transmitted earlier. Due to the extremely small APRS packet size, advanced features such as People, Team and Operational management where simply not possible at all.

Therefore, a completely new Database system was required.  As this database system had to be compatible with live data coming in from an APRS network, and existing (free) SQL based database servers where not capable of dealing with this, a complete new Database Server was developed from scratch.
This new Database system is now in Beta version, and this means that if you use SARTrack in “SAR” mode and you want to use the new features or you are using multiple computers, you will have to make some changes.

In SAR mode, it is no longer recommended to connect the SARTrack computers together on the local LAN/WIFI using the build-in SARTrack APRS “Local Server”.
Instead, you must install a SARTrack Database Server on ONE of your computers. All other SARTrack computers will connect to this Server on the LAN/WIFI (including any SARTrack program running on the same PC as the Server).
Once this is done,  and you are connected to the Server, you will see a whole new Operations and Management Menu system, which now includes:

Management:

- People management
- Equipment management
- Database Users management
- and coming up, Logistics.


Operations:
- Opertions Management
- Missing Persons
- People Arrival/Departure
- Team Setup, Equipment, Tasks.
- Operation Log
- Team Status
- Team Info
- Time Line

Aside of using a private Local Database Server on the local LAN/WIFI, it is now possible to link the Local database server to a permanent Internet based Database Server to keep the two servers synchonized.
This makes it possible for Internet based SARTrack clients to be connected to the SAR Operation which may be somewhere in a remote area, and which uses a satellite or mobile broadband Internet connection.

SARTrack Limited has set up an permanent Database Server in Germany. It is located there because of the good Privacy regulations in that country.
Since November 2017, New Zealand SAR (NZSAR) has set up a New Zealand based Database Server for NZ SAR groups only..


International users (non-New Zealand): If you would like to use the German based server, send an email to info@sartrack.co.nz with the following information for your initial Supervisor:

- GroupID
- Initial Password
- Login name
- First name
- Last name

New Zealand users: Send me an email, and I will allocate you a 'GroupID' and Callsign range for your group.

I will then activate a new Group database structure on the server, set you up a Supervisor, and you will be able to log in, and add additional (lower level) user accounts for other people in your group, and for your Local Database Server to synchronize.

Be aware that the Server may be rebooted from time to time while upgrades and bug fixes are applied, however your data should always come back after reconnect.

For details how to download, install and setup the Database system, please read this document.

Please report ALL problems and bugs you may encounter. I rely heavily on feedback to be able to fix bugs in the program.

Bart Kindt
CEO & Developer
SARTrack Limited