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[aprssig] My March Walkabout - The State of the New Paradigm in the NE (long)

Brian Riley brianbr at mac.com
Sun Apr 2 17:47:05 UTC 2006

I took my annual March walkabout a week and half ago. As always my  
trusty D700 marked my path. For what it is worth here is what I found  
to be the current state of the new paradigm in the NorthEast/Mid- 
Atlantic regions and what has changed over the last year.

My trip went from the Burlington, Vermont area, down through NY State  
to NJ then DE, MD, ending at MCB Quantico, VA and back again swinging  
East from NNJ to come home up the Connecticut River Valley, stopping  
to see my in-laws in Springfield, MA and then back to Underhill, VT.  
I ran the entire trip with WIDE2-2 at two minute intervals

The map showing my breadcrumb trail for almost the entire (it cuts  
off the part from DC to Quantico) trip is at;


Closer up views of coverage are at



Current state;

   (1) Western route down Vermont has good reliability since the  
activation of KB1LYU-3 and the earlier activation of W2GWY. There is  
only a 15-20 mile gap in the Shoreham, VT area.

   (2) The Albany region guys have sewed that up tight. They have S- 
type or at least S-compliant digis across the board and what I heard  
that was 'different' this year was, while I had solid coverage, I no  
longer heard "MyBeep" six and seven times, three was  the most I  
heard, usually two or one. Dennis and company, FINE JOB!

  (3) Starting 20+ miles South of Albany is a 50-70 mile black hole.  
It has peek-a-boo coverage, that is maybe  15 or so 'apertures' of  
1-200 meters where if you pop a posit when within the aperture, some  
far off digis likely will hear and repeat you, otherwise, nada, I  
went many minutes on end not even copying any beacons, then one or  
two then nothing again. What has changed is  the number of spots. In  
past trips I would be lucky to get 1/3rd that many posits printed to  
the APRS-IS.

  (4) The last few miles before NJ is still a black hole. The NY  
Thruway there is a huge canyon, and not much gets in or out. Nothing  
seems to have changed.

  (5) NJ - wall to wall APRS coverage. What has changed is more S- 
type compliance, like Albany I heard "MyBeep" only 1-3 times per  
posit rather  than as much as 6-7 times. There are still a few spots  
that are relatively empty but I don't think I ever saw more than ten  
miles of no coverage anywhere in NJ.

  (6) SNJ to Baltimore, Baltimore to Quantico ... wall to wall  
coverage, same comment on MyBeep.

  (7) Quantico , VA, my last posit was outside the main gate of the  
base in Triangle, VA. While on the base and returning to I-95 by the  
southern back gate no APRS coverage until I got up past Dumfries.

  (8) save for a stretch of I-684 in NY solid coverage from NNJ to  
Hartford, via Saw MIll River parkway, I-684, I-84. On I-91 solid  
coverage up to Greenfield MA.

  (9) In past years, the 120+ mile stretch up I-91 from below  
Greenfield, MA up I-91 to White River Junction, up I-89 to Randolph,  
VT (exit 4) has been an abyssal black hole. It appears that N1NCI-3  
(CCDX Club digi) has come back online or something. It shows as a "N"  
overlay. It is located  8 miles NW of Keene, NH and offers rock solid  
coverage from Greenfield, MA all the way North to Ascutney Mountain  
(mile post 50 in VT) and somewhat less solid, but coverage for  
another 10-12 miles north of that, taking you almost to the I-89/I-91  

  (10) the missing element which would solidify VT Ski country  
coverage is still K1JY-2 on Kearsarge Mtn, which still won't touch  
WIDE2-2 or WIDE3-3. Its position commands the region and it appears  
to be an otherwise very reliable digipeater.

  (11) The remainder of I-89 in VT above Randolph all the way to  
Canada is solidly covered by the Sugarbush Digi (KB1LYU-3) on Mt.  
Ellen, the Waterbury digi (K1UC-3) and the NWVT Digi (N1BQ-3) in  
Underhill - all S-type digis on KPC3+'s

We are adding a new S-type digi up on the northern end of I-91, the  
Orleans Digi (KC0JP-3). Chuck (KC0JP) and I had it on the air here  
yesterday at my QTH and hope to have it up and working at his QTH in  
Orleans in a week or so. Adding coverage to another notorious VT  
black hole. He will link to Canadian digis up by Sherbrooke and at  
the Sugarbush digi as well.

cheers ... 73 de brian  riley,  n1bq , underhill center, vermont
   <n1bq at wulfden.org>

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