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[aprssig] Weather Stations and Net Neutrality

Boyd Prestwood K5YKG k5ykg at arrl.net
Tue Aug 12 17:10:32 UTC 2008


Starting from about 1993, I was the trustee for two Peet Bros weather 
stations, two wide area digipeaters, a home station and a full-blown 
laptop APRS mobile station.  I was also the trustee of the Skywarn 
station at the NWSFO in Phildelphia which moved to Westampton NJ, 
WX2PHI.  I was also the ARES SEC for ARRL's Southern NJ section (9 
counties) for 28-years.  As such, I, along with the SEC of NNJ, 
organized meetings comprised of all the wide-area digi and wx-station 
operators in the SNJ, EPA, DEL, and MD-DC sections as well as the NNJ 
section.  These were the areas covered by "Philadelphia" office & 
coordinated with the "NYC" NWSFO.  Instead of trying to impose OUR will 
on them and other served-agencies, we contacted OEM, Red Cross, 
Salvation Army etc and yes, the NWS to ask how the hams, running APRS, 
could best serve THEM.  They were already familiar with Amateur Radio in 
other aspects such as ARES, RACES, NTS, etc.

With regard to the NWS, they told us that they read their wx-reporting 
sensors at 10-minute intervals.  These were the "Philadelphia" & "New 
York City" offices.   I don't know what other offices did but the 
"Philadelphia" MIC told me they were all pretty much standard with the 
10-minute reading cycle.  They asked us to transmit our APRS weather 
telemetry at 5-minute intervals so that any data they read from the APRS 
station monitor at the NWSFO (which they walked over to view at their 
10-minute interval) would never be over 5-minutes old.  They would deem 
this data as reliable.

So the wx telemetry transmitted every 5-minutes but the APRS station 
"beacon", showing location, callsign, symbol, etc would only transmit 
every 30-minutes.  It was a fixed location and did not need to beacon 
more often than twice an hour.  We adopted that philosophy to all fixed 
stations.  GPS-equipped mobiles that moved around a lot could transmit 
their location at 1-minute intervals and not cause congestion and anyone 
looking at maps would see an accurate, professional and truthful 
representation with valid and up-to-date information. All of this was 
before the New n-N paradigm was instituted.  I resigned all my public 
service involvement in 1998 and subsequently moved back to Texas in 2004 
so I have no idea of what's being done now, but the foregoing worked and 
worked well at the time.

I offer this for what it's worth!
73 de Boyd Prestwood, K5YKG (ex-W2HOB)






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