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[aprssig] APRS In the New Orleans Area

Keith Kotch kkotch at earthlink.net
Sun Sep 4 15:00:32 UTC 2005

I can't see a problem in getting someone, if there is anyone available to do
so, to follow Bob's idea and point a beam to break the "communications
levee" out of New Orleans, at least for the near future.  Who knows if
ANYONE else is hidden deep within the disaster zone, the "Last Mile" as it
is.  We need amateur radio tools to bridge that Last Mile right now not when
New Orleans is rebuilt and reoccupied.

But also, and maybe more importantly, let's not forget or forsake the rest
of the Gulf Coast areas affected by the hurricane.  Those ARE areas that
need communications pathways in and out.

Getting these amateur radio communications infrastructures up and running
can be a Godsend, especially if they can be done from a distance WITHOUT the
intrusion of more people into the area.

Keith, KF4BXT

-----Original Message-----
From: aprssig-bounces at lists.tapr.org [mailto:aprssig-bounces at lists.tapr.org]
On Behalf Of Robert Bruninga
Sent: Sunday, September 04, 2005 10:50 AM
To: aprssig at lists.tapr.org
Subject: RE: [aprssig] APRS In the New Orleans Area

>>> HamLists at ametx.com 09/04/05 5:56 AM >>>
>this discussion has been littered with people trying 
>to justify and encourage people going into the area 
>to set up operations 

I think that is an overly cynical too-narrow interpretation.
What I think I  said was that people on the "periphery 
of the area" could try to re-constitute the network.  And 
as can be seen, the existing *working* digi in the center 
of New Orleans at 600 feet, can be heard easily out to 
50 miles or so...  And all it takes is somone in that 
periphery to activate an IGate to "re-constitute" the 
network from this one-hope digi.

>People posting messages saying "the best use of 
>APRS" or "more productive to spend our efforts on 
>the periphery of the disaster to get digipeaters in 
>there" are espousing their opinion with no 
>knowledge of the actual needs on the ground just 
>because they would like to see APRS used.  

I think your conclusion shows an intense bias, though
your advice to volunteer to the authroities and to do
what they need is well intentioned and good advice.

But, my "knowledge" is based on actual live data, 
never more than 5 to 10 minutes old, that shows a 
perfectly good APRS digi at 600 feet in the middle
of the affected area.   With a working range that 
claims to cover more than 5,000 square miles.  
My knowledge  further is gained from the DIGI's own 
beacon data that shows it is only capable of one-hop 

Further my knowledge via FINDU shows me that 
the only packets getting out of the area are the
big-one-hop-digi's own beacons being gated by 
IGates that  are 2 hops away.

Thus, if there -is- anyone in the area running APRS
for whatever purpose,  and who thinks he is getting
out because he sees his packets being digipeated
by the big-one-hop digi, the truth is that HE IS NOT
getting any, further nor to any igate.

Further my knowledge says that if someone within
60 miles of the area that has internet connectivity
would simply point a beam at this N.O.digi, so 
that one-hop packets *would* get to the APRS-IS,
then the APRS network in New.Orleans. would 
be well re-constituted.  End of problem.

>I have been active on the HF emergency...nets
>since this started... I also knew that there was 
>nobody in New Orleans to generate Bob's precious 
>"I'm ok" emails...

That is an interesting claim.  I dont think I know 
anyone that has worked  in emergency situations
that would claim to have full knowledge of
everything happening in a 5000 square mile
disaster area.  Most emergency operators know
that they are only seeing the tip of the iceberg
and only from pockets where communications
has been established.  Its hard to claim no one
is sending anything when we all know that there
is no link right now to be able to receive them.

>And I knew that some of that area had not gone to 
>the "new paradigm" so trying to put it in place now 
>would also be counter-productive.

But that is a moot point.  The one big-dig that is on
the air, did (though only as a one-hop digi), and all 
we have to do now is to simply get an IGate to see 
its one hop packets.

>As once was said "The road to He.. is paved
>with good intentions."  Be part of the solution, 
>not the problem.

I think we have a simple solution that can be effected
by someone on the preiphery which would not
cause adverse impact to any other emergency 
responses going on.  

de WB4APR, Bob

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