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Old 07-28-2010, 09:16 PM   #1
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HAM Radio APRS

For those interested, next week will be my first trip since installing a APRS system in the van. APRS (Automatic Packet Reporting System) among other things allows Amateur Radio Operators (HAMS) to track your whereabouts anytime you are in range of a Digipeater (A HAM radio station set up to receive your signal and pass it along to the network). It was talked a little bit about in the following thread;
viewtopic.php?p=26483#p26483

Below is an example of a tracked route.



Anyway, if your curious, you can use this link and follow our trip path. It should be actively tracking beginning Saturday.
http://aprs.fi/?call=KJ6DSD-9

Its an experiment so I might not have all the bugs worked out, but if you see our van stopped in the middle of Nevada for a couple of days in the same spot better call search and rescue, because thats not the plan. The way I have it set up, anytime the ignition is turned on in the van, it should beacon out our position every couple of minutes. Could come in handy if some low life decides to steal it.
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APRS Screenshot.jpg  
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Old 07-29-2010, 01:07 AM   #2
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Re: HAM Radio APRS

Very cool Charlie. I have been planning to look further into this myself. Are you using 2M to do this? Many places I have gone I have not been able to hit a repeater. I am fairly new at this so I have a lot to learn.

PS. Maybe don't start off at your house. You probably don't want people to know where you live and that you are gone. Just my $0.02

steve
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Old 07-29-2010, 08:26 AM   #3
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Re: HAM Radio APRS

Quote:
Originally Posted by cellularSTEVE
Very cool Charlie. I have been planning to look further into this myself. Are you using 2M to do this? Many places I have gone I have not been able to hit a repeater. I am fairly new at this so I have a lot to learn.

PS. Maybe don't start off at your house. You probably don't want people to know where you live and that you are gone. Just my $0.02

steve
Yes it is 2 meter. All the APRS digipeaters operate at 144.39 so you don't have to worry about changing frequencies.
As part of the experiment, I will be running normal GPS tracking via my laptop at the same time so I can compare the tracks to see how the coverage is. And oh yeah, I thought about the house thing, but someone is always here.
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Old 07-29-2010, 09:35 AM   #4
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Re: HAM Radio APRS

Quote:
Originally Posted by cellularSTEVE
...
PS. Maybe don't start off at your house. You probably don't want people to know where you live and that you are gone. Just my $0.02

steve
For the same reason, everybody should think twice about setting the exact location of their home as the "Home Location" on their GPS. Theives will steal vehicles from malls, restaurants,... and then go to the owner's homes knowing that the owners are away.


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Old 07-29-2010, 09:51 AM   #5
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Re: HAM Radio APRS

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Originally Posted by BroncoHauler

For the same reason, everybody should think twice about setting the exact location of their home as the "Home Location" on their GPS. Theives will steal vehicles from malls, restaurants,... and then go to the owner's homes knowing that the owners are away.


Herb
You are better off saving your home location at the local police station... maybe a chance they will arrest them

Great test you are doing, am interested in the result
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Old 08-06-2010, 10:11 PM   #6
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Re: HAM Radio APRS

The first trip using the APRS system is over. I would call it successful. If you click on the following link it should take you to Google Maps. The route shown in red is the trace from the APRS system. The routes in blue are areas that I could not hit a digipeater.

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8& ... 710205&z=7

Below is a snapshot of the projected coverage areas of Northern California. My results pretty much echoed the projection.


Oh yeah, the trip was great too. It was capped off by golden eagles, wild horses, and big horn sheep. We traveled through Nevada's Blackrock Canyon area without seeing another person. While up in Modoc County (Oregon Border) I made contact with a Ham operator in Calexico (Mexican Border) using a 5 watt handy-talky with a home made antenna via an orbital satellite repeater.
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