[aprssig] Coverage holes in OK?

Alex Carver kf4lvz at yahoo.com
Fri Jan 6 13:34:05 CST 2012

I just drove cross country from FL to CA using the Florida Turnpike, I-75 to Georgia, I-22/US-280/US-78 to Tennessee, then I-40 to California (check my route on aprs.fi).  I had my D700 with me at 25 watts with a 3 minute beacon going out as WIDE1-1,WIDE-2-2 (covered all areas so that I didn't have to fiddle with the radio en-route).  Looking at the map, there were some huge holes in Oklahoma.  I didn't exactly expect that given the flatness of OK.  I was picked up very well in Oklahoma City but didn't get digipeated or gated until I reached Amarillo, TX.  East of Oklahoma City there was another large hole between Oklahoma City and Ft. Smith, AR.

There are a couple other holes on the route but none quite as big as Oklahoma City to Amarillo.

Note, I'm considering a hole as an area where I traveled 50 miles or more without a single gate or digipeat (digipeat being the D700 saying MY POS if it managed to hear its own packet).  All these areas were quiet both in the car and on APRS-IS given the track data.  Other than these hols coverage was pretty good even in remote places and small towns (like Alexander City, AL).  Coverage in NM, AZ, and CA most likely benefited from mountain top sites that could cover huge areas easily.

The coverage holes or areas where I failed to be gated were the following:

Gainesville, FL to Valdosta, GA (fairly large)
Albany, GA to Columbus, GA

Birmingham, AL to Tupelo, MS
Memphis, TN to Little Rock, AR
Fort Smith, AR to Oklahoma City, OK (mentioned above)
Oklahoma City, OK to Amarillo, TX (mentioned above)
Amarillo, TX to Tucumcari, NM
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