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[aprssig] AL, GA, TN, VA APRS network Reliability

Bob Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Sun Apr 19 04:07:44 UTC 2009


> My trip... from Charlotte NC area to Gatlinburg 
> /Pigeon Forge TN via I-85 to I-26 and I40, then 
> it was off to Nashville TN via I40... then back 
> tracked I-40 to I-81 Bristol then I-77 near
> Bluefield/Princeton WV... then came back home 
> via I-77 into NC and finally at home in SC.

Yes the I-81 valley is an amazing travel corridor for nearly 500 miles without any major cities, and hence, litte APRS density.  Yet it is the BACKBONE of the East Cost and with the only mountains in the east, we should have it nailed with APRS.  But I do think there must be some old WIDE's because I cant believe we should have those gaps.  And we are going to be dependent on this path for the Appalachian Trail Golden Packet event!  www.aprs.org/at-golden-packet.html

In particular I hear that there is a digi (KW4FM-3) on Sand Mountain in Wythville, yet in the months we have been planning the AT event, we have never seen it on the APRS-IS.  Also, the callsign does not have a valid Email address on QRZ.  My suspicions are that it is an obsolete WIDE and without an IGate in range, it is not being heard beyond its own footprint.  (though on my plot below, there was good coverage through Wythville from digis very much farther away.

We really need to get in contact with the owner.  He will play a key role in the AT trail project.  Here is the web page on that part of the 14 hop link.
www.aprs.org/hamtrails/sand.html

> ... APRS coverage was good except south and north of
> Asheville along I-40 and then it was very poor 
> passed Bristol TN and... into the area of the 
> I-81 I-77 interchange. 
>
> The I-81 I-77 interchange has got to see several 
> hams a day cross the area, 

Yes, statistically, one every 10 minutes (ive calculated it during my long lonely drives every xmas)..  But with only 5% being APRS, then that is once every 3 hours.

> ...but it's leaving the west side, Wytheville/
> Princeton area really naked for a digi and the 
> only I-gates are too far away in Roanoke and Beckley.
>
> I know a ham in the area who may be able to 
> contact the powers that be and get some action 
> going. 

Oh please!  We really need to get that San Mountain digi upgraded, and we need to get his email address so I can work with him to make sure that site is set up for the Appalachain Trail event.

> Rich, K4GPS

Here again was my plot through the I-81 Corridor:
www.aprs.org/I-81virginia.PNG
www.aprs.org/AL-GA-TN.PNG

Thanks RICH!
Bob, Wb4APR




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