[aprssig] Using APRS to support public service events

Eric Lorenz K9LGE k9lge at emlorenz.com
Tue Jan 12 07:49:22 CST 2016

Hi Bob,

We have been using APRS here in Chicago to support the American Diabetes
Assn. Tour de Cure bike event for over 5 years now. This is a ride that
attracts over 1000 riders and uses a hundred+ volunteers, including 40 +
hams and a bunch more non hams to support it. A few things I'll throw out...

(I've copied our current Safety & Communications lead and I can pass along
his comments as I don't think he is a member of this list)

As far as equipment, we have a mix- I was surprised at the number of hams
who do have their own gear- and that certainly helps. We also have a club
here (North Shore Radio Club) who has a small stockpile of gear, as they do
the "Northshore Century" ride each year. So we usually end up borrowing 5-6
trackers from them. They also have several members who are well versed in

Amazingly enough, partially due to area topology, and a deficiency of digis
in the area, we have several of our units that just use Android/iOS apps
and it works well also.

We end up indirectly using the APRS-IS feed, and it pipes into the tracking
software we use (forgive me, I've been out of the loop- "retired" for a
couple years now and I've forgotten what we used) and it shows position of
all the SAG vehicles.

Infrastructure can be an issue. Here in the far western suburbs of Chicago,
we could use 1 or 2 more digis...So that is an issue. For now, we have to
augment with a temp digi sometimes to fill a hole. Again, that's where
having the smartphone apps helps too.

Any more questions, please ask.

Eric K9LGE
On Jan 12, 2016 07:18, "Bob Harris via aprssig" <aprssig at tapr.org> wrote:

> I have been approached to make a 45-50 minute presentation at this year's
> New Hampshire ARES Academy on using APRS to support public service events.
> I'd like some specific examples and details from this august body of how
> they have used APRS in such events. Also, how it was done. For example, did
> each ham have to provide his or her own APRS gear or did the group (i.e.
> the radio club) have it in part or in total? What APRS software was used?
> I am familiar with using the tracking feature (sorry, Dr. Bruninga) for
> keeping track of the support vehicles during long bike rides so I'd like
> examples of other uses. Or even variations of using the position reporting.
> What challenges did you face in using APRS? Was there sufficient permanent
> infrastructure in place or did you have to augment it?
> Any other thoughts?
> --
> Bob Harris (K9UDX)
> Can MOTCH Katmai Henry David Thoreau UDX Bda UD (1992-2005)
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> Bath, NH
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