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[aprssig] New APRS

Fred Atkinson, WB4AEJ fred at wb4aej.com
Sat Dec 10 14:34:54 UTC 2005


    Sounds good.  I had a couple of classes in basic Linux.  Never did get
to take advanced Linux, though.  But I know enough to install Linux and
operate it.  And we have others with that kind of expertise to support me,
if needed.

    I've got a scanner that can be tuned to two meter and 440 Mhz
frequencies here.  I'll dial up 144.39 Mhz and listen to what's going on.
Might also dial up 145.01 Mhz (isn't that the primary frequency for packet?)
and take a listen as well.

    I'm setting up an APRS links page on my professor's Web site at
http://paws.wcu.edu/fatkinson/APRS.  I've created the subdirectory, but
haven't uploaded the HTML file as yet.  Will put it there when I finish
editing it (yes, I'n one of those geeks that writes his own HTML).  I'm
putting all the links you gave me there so that I am the others working with
me can refer to them.

    Folks, I really appreciate all the information you have provided me.  I
used to get on the ham radio lists on Usenet and was frankly embarrassed for
all of the quibbling, the foul language, and the general lack of technical
knowledge on them.  It's refreshing to get with a group of hams who have
technical saavy, the brains to go with it, the spirit of cooperation (that
was the cornerstone of amateur radio for so many years and to some [like
yourselves] it still is), and a sense of community.

    I'm going to stay subscribed to this list.  It seems like the right
place for good, technical hams to be.


Fred, WB4AEJ

> The IGate does of course need an Internet connection. As others
> mentioned, there is no need to have the IGate at the digipeater site,
> but if you have a connection there, there's nothing wrong with that.
> James suggested Xastir for the IGate. Nothing wrong with that, but
> keep UI-View32 in mind as well. www.ui-view.org. You might prefer a
> Linux-based IGate, but you will probably find that UI-View32 a lot
> easier to set up first time around. It can use almost any TNC, but one
> that can run KISS would be needed if it was also going to be running
> as a digipeater. Even the oldest KPC3 (non plus version) or even a
> KPC2 would be fine for KISS mode. If the IGate and digipeater are at
> the same site, you would only need one radio and one TNC. A TNC2
> clone that can handle KISS would be fine, but the KPC has very low
> current consumption. If the IGate and digipeater are at different
> locations, you would need two radios & two TNCs. If it's a stand-alone
> digipeater, the smarts are in the TNC. If there is a computer running
> the show, then you could have something like UI-View32 running on
> the computer and it could provide a more intelligent digipeater than
> the TNC-only digipeater could.
> As others have mentioned, you don't connect the IGate to findu.com.
> You connect to an APRS server. The findu.com site gets data from
> one of the APRS servers. The findu.com site is a very handy one to
> retrieve APRS data that has made it to an IGate. If you have a
> computer and an even a slow Internet connection, you can make use of
> findu.com. How fast a connection you need for the IGate is dependent
> on how much data is flowing in each direction. I'm sure there are
> IGates getting by on a dial-up connection, but most have a faster one.
> A fairly new Kantronics KPC-3+ should do the job for a stand-alone
> digipeater. Version 8.3 or newer would be OK, but version 9.1 is the
> latest and most up-to-date version.  All you need at the digipeater
> site is the radio & antenna and the cable(s) to connect the TNC to the
> radio, and of course a power supply. You only need a computer for
> programming the TNC. See www.nwaprs.info for some suggested settings.
> The KPC-3+ is not the only way to go. You could ask on the list about
> UIDIGI and replace the ROM in a suitable TNC. You could also have a
> computer-based digipeater with DIGI_NED. I'm not sure if it's the home
> page, but you can find it at http://www.qsl.net/digi_ned.
> AJ3U mentioned the "fix 144.390" page at
> http://web.usna.navy.mil/~bruninga/aprs/fix14439.html. If you can't
> browse to that site (DNS problems) there is a mirror at
> http://webs.lanset.com/wa8lmf/~bruninga/index.htm. His suggestion
> about contacting other hams in the area that are already involved in
> APRS is a very good one. There is nothing wrong with setting up a
> properly configured IGate even if there is already one in the area,
> but you wouldn't want to go and put in a digipeater where it wasn't
> needed. It may take a bit of discussion to determine if your proposed
> digipeater site will help or hinder APRS in your area. If there isn't
> a digipeater within earshot of your proposed location, then by all
> means put one in. However, if there are already several in the area,
> you would want to determine if another digipeater is really needed or
> not. If the proposed site has a bit of elevation, and there aren't any
> other WIDEn-n digis around, put one in. If there are already WIDEn-n
> digis in the area, consult with the hams already running APRS in your
> area. If your proposed location is hemmed in by hills but could be
> heard by WIDEn-n digis at a higher location, then a WIDE1-1 only digi
> might be a good thing for the location. Again, talk to the "locals"
> and see what is needed. I'm sure they will welcome your group, but
> make sure APRS will work better and not worse if you add another digi.
> All of the above was written before I looked at Sylvan NC. I watched
> your area for about 20 minutes using UI-View. There is a screenshot
> (94 KB) at www.ui-view.org/images/sylvan-nc.png. The nearest digis
> that I could see were about 50 KM to the northwest, 60 KM to the west,
> and about 85 KM to the southeast. I spotted a couple of IGates about
> 90 KM to the east and to the southeast. At a glance, I would think
> that adding a digi with some elevation & IGate at Sylvan would
> probably work out very well. You could even just listen on 144.390 MHz
> and see how much activity there is already in the area.
> 73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
> --
> "I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"
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