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[aprssig] APRS in remote California - some results

David Odom dodom at mindspring.com
Thu Apr 27 15:57:42 UTC 2006

The message I got looked fine Stephen.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Stephen H. Smith" <wa8lmf2 at aol.com>
To: "TAPR APRS Mailing List" <aprssig at lists.tapr.org>
Sent: Thursday, April 27, 2006 11:44 AM
Subject: Re: [aprssig] APRS in remote California - some results

> apratt at bestbits.org wrote:
>> I set up an APRS rig on my motorcycle and did a ride through a chunk
>> of California earlier this week, mostly for fun but partly to gather
>> some data about coverage and path requirements off the major highways.
>> A map and some observations are here:
>>   http://www.bestbits.org/aprs
>> Result #1:
>> There are long stretches where I expected coverage but got no hits,
>> along popular and well-covered roads like Interstate 5 north of
>> Bakersfield and US101 south of Gilroy - and even CA-85 around San
>> Jose. This makes me think my rig was intermittent, like the antenna
>> flexed or grounded against something at speed. So all the data is
>> suspect.
>> Result #2:
>> There appears to be no coverage at all (at any speed) east-then-north
>> of Ridgecrest, through Trona and the Panamint Valley area. I did not
>> enter Death Valley itself, but I don't expect coverage there either.
>> Result #3:
>> In those places where I hit anything on this trip, I never needed a
>> three-hop path: two hops would always have been enough, even where a
>> three-hop packet is the one APRS-IS decided to keep.
>> I welcome other people's analysis and comments on the data and
>> conclusions. Throughout the summer I hope to take more rides and
>> develop more data for different areas. (Hopefully with a more reliable
>> rig!)
> Something is seriously wrong with your setup (or several digipeaters are 
> off the air!). 
> I-5 has essentially continuous coverage from the Mexican border to well 
> beyond Redding in the north.  I've driven I-5 with my D700 (50 watts 
> into roof-mounted Comet SB-14 6-2-450 tri-bander ant) many times and 
> always have almost continuously heard the two-tone "my call" beeps 
> confirming digipeats along the entire length.   Byond Yreka, I-5 gets 
> spotty until you cross the Siskyous and enter Oregon's central valley.  
> Then once again, continuous coverage clear to Vancouver, B.C. Canada. 
> The holes on US-101 look suspiciously large also.  
> There IS a tendency to "drive off the edge of the earth" east of the 
> Sierra Nevadas.  Ironically, Death Valley actually does have fairly good 
> coverage provided by very high digipeaters along the I-15 route between 
> L.A. and Las Vegas. 
> (Actually the I-15 corridor has pretty much continuous coverage from San 
> Diego clear to Salt Lake City.   However, you lose it if you stray more 
> than about 20-30 miles either side of I-15 in Nevada or Utah)
> Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com
> EchoLink Node:      14400    [Think bottom of the 2M band]
> Home Page:          http://wa8lmf.com
> NEW!   JavAPRS Filter Port 14580 Guide
>  http://webs.lanset.com/wa8lmf/aprs/JAVaprsFilters.htm
> UI-View Misc Notes and FAQ
>  http://webs.lanset.com/wa8lmf/aprs/UIview_Notes.htm
> "APRS 101"  Explanation of APRS Path Selection & Digipeating
>  http://webs.lanset.com/wa8lmf/DigiPaths
> Updated "Rev G" APRS            http://webs.lanset.com/wa8lmf/aprs
> Symbols Set for UI-View,
> UIpoint and APRSplus:
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