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[aprssig] Igates Are A Fair Weather Solution (was: "Finito")

Paul Kronenwetter n2kiq at arrl.net
Sun Aug 28 19:18:22 UTC 2005


Geoffrey,

  In short, I agree with you.  When the W4MCO-10 digi is reborn, it'll 
allow FL7-7 and up to WIDE3-3.  For the brief time it did live this 
weekend we saw the usual crowd from Melbourne & Titusville but also new 
stations from the Tampa area. 

  Now, putting together a non-144.390 MHz backbone through the state for 
FLN-n communications is an interesting proposition should Talahassee 
ever become interested in what us folks down-under have to say...  But 
that's another topic I guess.

'73
-Paul
N2KIQ

Geoffrey Dick wrote:

>Subject: Igates Are a Fair Weather Solution, Earl's "Finito"
>
>Amateur Internet APRS is only a "fair weather" tool useful only
>from armchair observers who have a good wired connection, and an 
>unlimited source of power.   It is great for when the sun is shining, 
>for watching parades, and weather-permitting outdoor events.   When 
>it comes to a foul weather disaster, my experience has demonstrated 
>it comes up quite short of being useful for tactical purpose.  As 
>utility power is lost, the computer-operated "smart" Igate digis 
>die first, leaving only battery-operated TNC-only digis with preset 
>path limits, that are now set to break the RF connections.   
>
>Here in Florida, we spend half the year under a hurricane watch.  
>When this type of event occurs, wide-spread areas undergo fallen 
>trees, powerlines, telephone, cellphone, and cable outages.  As 
>that happens, the RF connection becomes essential to for doing 
>anything tactical.
>
>On RF, we can no longer receive the severe weather bulletins, and
>hurricane position updates from a West Coast station, only 60 
>miles away.   We also can no longer see on RF the picket fence of 
>weather stations, that surround us in Central Florida.  Working 
>from a hurricane shelter, there is no internet gateway hookup to 
>complete the connection.  For lack of the completed RF connection, 
>Amateur RADIO APRS fails as a mobile tactical tool in disaster areas. 
>  
>For the sake of limiting the path of a few abusers in densely
>populated areas, we have become obsessed with strangling the 
>wonderful RF network capability that has been put in place.  
>
>I have to support Earl Needham.  His "Finito" is a summation of
>the decline of APRS some of us are experiencing here on the Florida 
>peninsula.  I used to enjoy seeing 150 to 250 stations coming in
>on RF APRS each day here in Central Florida.  Yes, the single
>1200 baud APRS channel IS sufficient to accomplish this.  Now,
>all we see is 5 to 15 stations, depending on the time of day.
>Sometimes we see a glimpse of a distant station when band 
>openings occur.  
>
>With the new path-limiting paradigm, blindly being put into 
>place, WIDE1-1,WIDE2-2 RF APRS is like watching paint dry, 
>lacking the tactical usefulness it once had.  It is my belief
>that Florida digi owners should consider adding increasing 
>alternate paths of FL4-4 for the Keys, and FL3-3,FL2-2,FL1-1 
>in general to achieve 460 miles of State connectivity South 
>to North.  That would give us a tactical path to go to in
>a State wide emergency, without overwhelming neighboring 
>border States.
>
>Geoffrey Dick, wa4ikq
>   
>
>
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