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[aprssig] APRS Green

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Mon May 5 14:24:58 UTC 2008

APRS has some overlay symbols for unique station features.

With our concerns over energy and waste, one might consider
solar power or other form of alternate energy to augment
shack-power or rig power.  My personal goal is get rid of that
100 Watts or so of incidious power my house is wasting 24/7/365
through a few dozen wall-warts.  At 4 watts or so of wasted heat
each, they add up, especially when drawing 24/7/365 which
includes those PEAK rates during the summer days.

It is those peak rates on summer days, that I really want to
avoid paying.  And that is when solar power is max.

Years ago, I declined to get excited about solar power for the
shack, because it made no economic sense.  Yes, it was fun,
challenging, educational, etc.. But having to store the power
during the day to run the shack at night at 50% or less
efficiency made no sense since night time electricity was only
20% of dayatime.  Including the storage inefficiency of solar,
then, using off-peak grid power was like getting electricity at
night for use at night at only 10% of normal rates.

But a LOT has changed.  The electricity company drasticaly
reduced the Night/Day savings from the original bait-and-switch
20% to now night time power costs at least 90% of what it does
in the day...  And DOUBLED the rates during the day. 

But Now I think it is time.  Solar panels for 12v are plentiful,
everything in the shack runs on 12v, AND a lot of those 24/7/365
insidious loads are also in the shack too.  Getting rid of all
those idling transformers will help.

So in trying to figure out how to combine my APRS hobby with my
energy waste concerns, about the only thing I can think of is
solar powering the shack.  So that is why we are suggesting that
those making the effort to use alternative power get the
opportunity to show it by using these overlays for houses that
might be using alternative energy in some form or another...

Format is :  !DDMM.mmN#DDDMM.mmW-

Where the character used in place of the "#" can be:

/- = House
\- = The original HF house
B- = Backup Battery Power
E- = Emergency power
G- = Geothermal
H- = HF
O- = Operator Present (automatic only)
S- = Solar Powered
W- = Wind powered

Notice, that the Operator Present overlay should only be
automated.  We do not want this symbol used
when-the-lights-are-on-and-nobody's-home.  This symbol overlay
is reserved for APRS programs that detect opreator  present by
mouse or keyboard activity and set it to "O" to indicate
operator present in last 10 minutes.

Knowing what stations are actually manned is important for local
net operation, so that the map can be drawn with only active
stations, and not all the other automated stuff that cannot
assist the local real-time situation.

Just some ideas.

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