[aprssig] Coverage holes in OK?

Alex Carver kf4lvz at yahoo.com
Fri Jan 6 20:53:43 CST 2012

On 1/6/2012 2:34 PM, Alex Carver wrote: 

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).
Hopefully that was WIDE2-2 and the WIDE-2-2 was a typo?

Yeah, just a typo.  You'd know if it wasn't from the raw data, though. :)

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.
If you want an idea of coverage before doing such an extensive drive
    (handy for telling the family where NOT to be concerned if they
    don't see you moving), see http://tinyurl.com/APRSAct24 and
http://tinyurl.com/APRSAct00 for APRS coverage maps.  You have to
    look closely at the file dates to find the most recent and now that
    I look at them, I need to restart the batch job for the new year. 
    But there's enough there to get the idea.

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.
Well, not hearing a MY POS doesn't necessarily mean that you're in a
    hole, but you're in an area where one of the following is true. 

a) No digipeater was within range or
b) Digis in range didn't decode your transmissions or
c) Your D700 didn't hear the digipeat or
d) Your D700 didn't decode the digipeat.

Actually e) The D700 was completely quiet during these periods with zero activity on the channel.  I had the display set up high on the dashboard so I could glance down to make sure the GPS indicator was blinking.  On the trip to FL my GPS
 cable loosened so I wasn't sending anything from Barstow, CA all the way through Flagstaff, AZ when I discovered the loose cable.  I kept an eye on the GPS for the return trip.  I could also see any packet activity going on with the display up on the dash.  Most of those holes were completely dead zones without a single packet.

Interestingly enough I did get one Voice Alert contact during the entire round trip, only one though.  It was a mobile traveling through southern Georgia on SR-580 while I was doing the same in the opposite direction.  We had a short conversation on 146.520 until we were out of simplex range.  Never heard anything else during the trip.

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