[aprssig] Fill-in Digis, routes in California

Mike Galgano mgalgano at nanosecond.com
Sat Mar 25 03:25:34 CST 2006

Stephen H. Smith wrote:

> apratt at bestbits.org wrote:
>> Cap! Good to hear from you. We met at the ham show in Monterey earlier
>> this year. I asked you what route to use in northern CA and I got my
>> license by passing the test that day.
>> Are you saying that there is no place in CA that is three hops from an
>> IGate? That is, you're either 1-2 hops away or out of luck completely?
>> Not in the cities - I'm talking remote areas: Trinity National Forest,
>> the North Coast, Lassen County, the Eastern Sierras, and the Desert
>> Southeast, from Ridgecrest and Death Valley to Borrego Springs.
> Basically yes.   The urban areas and Interstates have more than  
> enough coverage to ensure two-hop coverage.  Leave those areas and you 
> basically fall off the edge  of the earth.  There just aren't any 
> digipeaters.   (There does seem to be fairly good coverage of the 
> desert south-east from San Diego-area digipeaters and some on high 
> peaks in western Arizona. )
> You will find the same thing when you cross the Sierras on I-80, US-50 
> or Rt 88.   You drive off the edge of the APRS world on the east slope 
> of the Sierras until you reach I-15 in Utah.
While I certainly would have agreed with your description of a veritable 
'black hole' east of the Sierras some three years ago, it isn't quite 
the case anymore. Please look at the following screen clip from my 
UI-View32 Igate, which is located south of Reno by some 40 air miles. A 
fairly decent network of mountain digis covers all but a small portion 
of 395 between Mono Lake and my home. South of Mono Lake, there is the 
black hole back to Ridgecrest, with an occasional blip in Bishop, which 
I really haven't bothered to research. I'll have to see how far east out 
Rt 80 we see traffic, I haven't looked lately. 'SLIDE' covers a whole 
lot of ground, and a network of at least 3 others, including 'COREY' out 
in Hawthorne, round it out fairly well for an area with so many terrain 

APRS is alive and well on both sides of the Sierra. Please forgive the 
quick screen shot, but I do believe it shows more activity than you 
might have expected.



Mike Galgano

> The only thing that consistently works in these remote areas is 
> 30-meter HF APRS that is capable of leaping over tall mountains and 
> traveling 500-1500 miles in a single hop.

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