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[aprssig] APRS coverage

Stephen H. Smith WA8LMF2 at aol.com
Wed Dec 29 19:33:41 UTC 2004


Ken Kinyon wrote on 12/29/2004, 1:53 PM:

 > Is this large area actually devoid of coverage,

YES!

or should I have been
 > set up
 > differently?

NO!

There really is a great hole in that area!   I drive from L.A. to 
Central Michigan on I-15  ->  I-70 ->   I76   ->  I-80 about once or 
twice a year.   I-15 has excellent coverage nearly continuously from LA 
through Vegas to Salt Lake City.  Once you get about 30-40 miles east of 
15 on I-70, coverage disappears until you get to the Grand Junction CO 
area.  Then another long period of spotty coverage through Glenwood 
Canyon, Vail, etc until you get over (or through!) the Loveland Pass and 
into range of Denver-area digipeaters.   Once you get out of range of 
the Denver area digies sitting on top of the front range (fadeout is in 
the Brush or Ft Morgan area), there is just <<NOTHING>> until you get to 
the Lincoln/Omaha area.  After that point, coverage is just about 
continous into the upper MidWest, except for a few holes in the western 
Illinois area an hour or two west of Chicago.

It is in these vast empty areas of the high plains (and the interior of 
Nevada, AZ or NM) that I switch the FT-100 on, and beacon 300 baud 30M 
HF APRS on 10.149.200/10.149.400  (Both the TigerTrak or IinyTrak can be 
set for 300 baud/200 Hz shift HF mode.)

I am in the final stage of adding a second HF rig to the mobile 
installation that will be dedicated to 30M APRS. I will be using a 
TinyTrak mated to an old Kenwood TS-50 into a monoband mobile HamStick 
ant.  [The Hamstick is actually available in a 30M version, surprising, 
since typically, monoband HF ants are only supplied on bands where phone 
operation is allowed.]  It is fairly low profile as HF mobile antennas 
go (a helically-wound fiberglass stick about 5' long similar to a CB 
whip).  In fact, I am toying with using two of them mounted back-to-back 
to form a 30M loaded dipole for monitoring 30M at my fixed location -- 
it would replace the non-resonant noise-prone vertical whip I am using 
now to produce this web page displaying monitored off-the-air HF APRS 
activity :
     http://wa8lmf.dyndns.org:14439



Stephen H. Smith                wa8lmf (at) aol.com

Home Page:                      http://wa8lmf.com

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