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[aprssig] APRS demo

Jeff N0JUH jefflists08 at corrt.com
Sun Sep 14 20:44:40 UTC 2008

Hi Herb-

The promise of messaging from remote areas is what got me started in 
APRS.  I've found lots of ways to have fun with APRS, but I've been 
pretty disappointed in that original hope of wilderness messaging (where 
  "wilderness" can even mean an interstate outside of an urban area.)

When I've tried messaging/email from remote locations via I-Gates, I can 
often get a message out, but can't receive replies because the I-Gates 
restrict the number of hops on a reply.

I've asked about this before, and the answer has been, "contact the 
I-Gate op and have him tweak his settings for your call and location." 
That can certainly work, *if* I know in advance what I-Gates I will be 
able to reach and can actually contact the operator :)

How are the I-Gates configured for messaging in NWAPRS land?  (didn't 
see it offhand on the website.)  Are the settings something that can be 
generalized for other places - or will they only work with your region's 
particular set of mountaintops and high-octane coffee? :)

The I-Gate ops that I have talked to have been more than happy to adjust 
  settings to meet my needs.  But they are generally not knowledgeable 
about what settings *should* be.  If we had some standards listed on the 
"settings cheat sheets" posted by nwaprs, kcaprs and others, maybe we 
would have more reliable messaging coverage.


   --Jeff, N0JUH

Herb Gerhardt wrote:
> ...
> Now regarding the I-Gate statement, the beauty of APRS is that it uses RF
> and even if the local I-Gates are down, the radio signals, at least in our
> NW APRS network can reach out over 100 miles via RF.  Emergencies generally
> effect a local area and not all areas within 100 miles, so generally, you
> will be able to still hit an I-Gate to send and receive APRS and WinLink
> Email messages via your APRS radio like the Kenwood D7A, D700 and D710 or a
> home APRS station if it is still operational.
> I use this method for sending emails from the mountains in Western WA where
> there is NO cell phone coverage but if you know how to make the APRS system
> work, you can generally get a digital message out even when it is not
> possible to make any voice contact!  I regularly go hiking or hunting for
> more than a week at a time and do want to "keep in touch" with my wife.
> No if you don't have enough I-Gates or APRS stations in your area, that is
> another problem which your local hams must resolve in a cooperative effort.
> Fortunately we have quite a few APRS stations and high mountain digipeaters
> set up in our network that we can cover our area fairly well and that covers
> several states including portions of Canada.

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