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[aprssig] VA and Freq pieves....

Brian Moore kd0qct at gmail.com
Sun May 27 07:02:35 UTC 2012

Bob, first and foremost I have to say thank you for raising this concern.
My friend Greg and I met you at Dayton out by your Prius, neat set up by
the way, and mentioned to you that on the drive to Dayton from St. Louis we
heard several instances of a VA packet breaking the 100Hz tone squelch. Yet
not one single person answered either on 39, or QSY'd and answered on 52

Now we were having a great time on the drive, there were moments when we
had about seven cars on 52, like a rolling net. So on a drive to Hamvention
Voice Alert is almost unnecessary, hams are on the air. Though you said
your drive was less than QSO full, I speculate that was due to everyone
arriving earlier in the day on Thursday as we did.

I myself have yet to be blessed with a Kenwood APRS radio. So I use
APRSdroid on drives, which works well to show me who's out there and what
frequency they're on, both IS and RF stations as long as there are enough
iGates to keep the RF only stations on the IS servers. I try to not let the
"sillyphone" distract me too much, but do my best to keep my current
frequency in the comment and displayed to others connected to the IS
through their phone/computer. Having an awesome radio doesn't preclude the
need to run both the phone and radio. Not all stations are going to be on
RF, they're not cheap radios. I also keep 144.39 with a 100Hz tone tuned in
on the second VFO to listen for those blessed with the APRS radios and
using VA correctly. Sadly the handful of times I've heard another station
on VA, they aren't listening. I have yet to initiate a QSO because of VA,
maybe this becomes the norm and people forget about it. I think it's the
neatest "free" feature of APRS, properly used, it's the automatic CQ we all
would love. I can't wait to get my wife to sign off on a Kenwood D710 for
the car, the four VA memory sets will be the first ones in there.

Thank you Bob for your insights and years of struggle to get APRS where it
is today. I've been a licensed ham for a little over six months now, I
discovered APRS because of APRSdroid the week I got my ticket, and have in
the short time since been running an iGate through UIview, on a borrowed
Rigblaster Nomic, and Yaesu FT-2900 (running far less than full power) for
close to four months now. I think APRS is the most valuable tool in a hams
arsenal, I may be learning but I'm sure having fun in the process.

Thank you. 73 Brian KD0QCT

On Sat, May 26, 2012 at 5:47 PM, Bob Bruninga <bruninga at usna.edu> wrote:

> > This is one of the biggest problems I have with
> > the many Kenwood rigs floating around our area.
> That is the "proximity Alert" function of Voice Alert.  When you hear one
> of those packets it alerts you to the fact that someone is in simplex range
> AND is listening with CTCSS 100 for a voice call.  Its like an automatic VA
> CQ.  This way even in passing at a mutual 140 MPH on the highway and only
> being in rnage for 5 minutes, you will become aware of each others
> presence.  WIthout the PL encode on packets, VA would be no better than
> 146.52 for finding contacts where you have to make a voiec CQ evrey 5
> minutes if you hope to find someone coming the other way.
> FRUSTRATION #1. Now if they are pinging VA packets but are not listening,
> then you really do have an issue.  Nothing worse than them pinging Voice
> Alert and not listening. Fuss at them.
> What they did ws turn down the VOLUME on their APRS channel.  But they
> should never do that!  Here is how to operate APRS and ALWAYS be listening
> for VA (if you are TXing VA). We recommend not using the built-in VA alert
> function all.  The way to do it as to set up 4 APRS channels with the names
> as shown here:
> 144.39 no tones  "APRS raw"
> 144.39 CTCSS 100 "APRS VA"
> 144.39 CTCSS xxx "APRS mute"
> 144.39 +600      "APRS aux"
> Then you can ALWAYS LEAVE THE VOLUME TURNED UP on the APRS channel.  And
>  you can easily switch between all of the above options with just a simple
> change of the channel.
> I operate APRS VA 99% of the time, the power-up APRS channel.  I switch to
> APRS RAW if I want to actually hear the traffic load for troubleshooting.
>  I switch to APRS MUTE if there are a lot of Voice Alert locals in range
> and I do not want to hear them for a while.  Notice that the volume still
> remains up, but since you have your own private CTCSS XXX, then you wont
> hear anyone, and  they will not hear your PL XXX packets.  This is
> EQUIVALENT to turning off the speaker, but you can still be contacted with
> CTCSS XXX by those who know you.
> The APRS AUX is for special events where there is a local APRS digipeater
> with an AUX input on 144.99 to give better reliability to hearing
> participatnts using +600.
> This is all detailed (I think) near the top of APRS.ORG.
> I see 3 out of 4 D710's and FTM350's without any frequency in their
> packets.  Therefore I have a few PRE-STORED MESSAGE phrases:
> 1) I don't see your Voice freq in your packets?
> 2) On D710, set FREQ in your STATUS #5
> When I have a few minutes, I scan the STATION LIST and every D710 or
> FTM350 without a freq, I try to send them a message.
> Bob, WB4APR
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