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[aprssig] A recent trip

Rich Mulvey aprs at mulveyfamily.com
Tue Oct 31 18:27:32 UTC 2006

Hi All:

   I just got back from a whirlwind trip up and down the East Coast with 
my family - we went from New York, through PA, MD, VA, NC, SC, GA, and 
to FL, and then back up ( mostly ) the same way, with the exception of 
also passing through WVA, in 10 days.

   We took my wife's car, and used a D700 under her callsign, KC2PAK.

   A couple of things surprised me as we traveled.

   First, we found the occasional APRS bulletin about local repeater 
frequencies to be VERY helpful.  Much more than I would have expected.  
It sure beat the heck out of using the ARRL repeater guide.  There was 
also one or two posits for local highway rest areas around VA, which we 
found very nice to have.

   Second, I was surprised at the lack of APRS coverage around some of 
the major metro areas and routes.  For example, we were being digipeted 
around the relatively remote  Santee Wildlife Refuge in SC very well, 
but that was the last time we had coverage traveling down I-95, until we 
were well past Savannah.  Thinking that a city as large as Savannah must 
have coverage, I checked the net when we got into our hotel that 
evening, and, sure enough, no posits from anyone at all around that 
stretch of the I-95 corridor. 

   Third, I was surprised at the extremely good coverage in Eastern NC, 
VA, and WVA, in the mountain areas.  I had expected it to be relatively 
minimal, as we traveled up routes 77 and 79, and went through some of 
the deeper valleys, but I honestly doubt we ever went more than 10 or 15 
seconds without hearing APRS packets being transmitted.

   And finally, if you point your friends and relatives to findu, they 
will *obsessively* keep checking on your progress, and will start to 
actively get worried if they don't see new position reports all the 
time.  ;-)

   All in all, I found APRS to be a very handy resource on our trip - 
enough so that I'm thinking of setting up another rig at home to 
transmit our local repeater info, etc. for travelers.

- Rich, AA2YS


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