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[aprssig] Marathon support with APRS

Mark Earle wa2mct at mearle.com
Wed Oct 11 00:28:06 UTC 2006

Bob Bruninga wrote:
>> I worked a 17 mile off-road foot race this past
>> weekend and did not see that
>> APRS would have been of much value to the
>> communications network.
> Here is the top down priority list of how we use it:
> 1) Tracker on Lead vehicle
> 2) Tracker on tail vehicle
> 3) Tracker on VIP in charge and other VIP's
> 4) Trackers on SAG wagons and other important support
>    vehicles.
> That covers the logistics items.
> Then for the entertainment value to the thousands watching, we used the special APRSdos dead-reckoning version that 
> allows all manner of humans in the race to be tracked,
> without needing any RF trackers.  It simple dead-reckons the position of any special runner around the course.  TYpically then we add these moving objects to the race too:
>   Lead Female
>   The PACK
>   Lead Wheel chair
>   The Juggler (he juggles as he runs)
>   Any other easy to recognize runner.
> These runners are transmitted by the APRSdos DR program and appear to all OTHER APRS programs as if these runners had trackers on them.  This lets eveyrone see where these key "runners" are too.  Only one person with headphones runs the APRS-DR program and keeps objects updated with his cursor as new reports come in.  The progam keeps them moving...
> de WB4APR, Bob
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> aprssig at lists.tapr.org
> https://lists.tapr.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/aprssig
We've used APRS to support MS-150 biking events.

One particularly large one (rider wise) is the Houston-Austin variant in 
April. 13,000 or so riders.

Along the route, cell phone coverge doesn't work. All the rider support 
vehicles (friends and family) have cell phones, many of the riders do, etc.

So, a dispatch point is manned by trained, real, 9-1-1 dispatchers.

The Amateurs call in trouble to dispatch. Dispatch uses APRS -based 
asset location to dispatch the nearest resource - ambulance, usually. 
Race managers like having location of SAG, support, lead, end of race, etc.

The route is 200 miles, with an overnight stop about 1/2 way. A UHF 
linked system (voice) is used, as well as various 2m repeaters, and APRS.

A similar event, with "only" 3,000 riders, from San Antonio to Corpus 
Christi was done this past weekend (I was not involved other than 
watching my APRS screen). Good digi coverage, very few com problems, 
from what I could tell observing.

The April event had about 15 trackers. The one this past weekend, about 10.

      ) )    de WA2MCT Mark
     ( (     Echolink 99190      Grid Square EL17HQ
      ) )    You will be assimilated... oooh, coffee!!
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