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To  : APRDIG@WW

TAPR APRS Special Interest Group Digest for Friday, July 16, 2004.

1. APRS Traffic Congestion Plotting
2. Re: APRS Traffic Congestion Plotting
3. Re: Summer travels and APRS Voice Alert
4. Re: Summer travels and APRS Voice Alert
5. Re: Summer travels and APRS Voice Alert
6. Re: Summer travels and APRS Voice Alert
7. Re: Summer travels and APRS Voice Alert
8. Re: Summer travels and APRS Voice Alert
9. Re: Summer travels and APRS Voice Alert
10. Re: Summer travels and APRS Voice Alert
11. Re: Summer travels and APRS Voice Alert
12. Radio Recommendation
13. Re: APRS Traffic Congestion Plotting
14. Re: Summer travels and APRS Voice Alert
15. Re: Summer travels and APRS Voice Alert
16. Re: Radio Recommendation
17. Re: Radio Recommendation
18. RIMiGate
19. Re: Summer travels and APRS Voice Alert

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: APRS Traffic Congestion Plotting
From: "Robert Bruninga" <bruninga@usna.edu>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 09:02:02 -0400
X-Message-Number: 1

Gathering long term tracking data on mobiles, it is possible to mine the
statistics of APRS for some interesting things.

Plot every mobile ever heard in your area and some interesting things show
up:

1) Hills in sparse areas show up
2) Toll booths show a high density
3) Traffic jams show up

Number 1 is due to better power into the digis.
Numbers 2 and 3 occur because as people slow down, their fixed rate
trackers will show more posits in those slow areas.

I noticed this today while tracking my wife to philadelphia.  A few times I
checked, she had posits at 10 MPH and this was between cities on the
interstate, non-rush hour.    Then I zoomed in and sure enough she was at a
toll plaza.

Even at a 3 minute rate, statistically, she will always put out a posit at
the toll plazas...

This is why the APRStfc.exe program works so well at putting out local
objects for traffic slowdowns. Its when the traffic slows, is when the
probabilty of capturing a packet at that slow down improves to almost a
100% probability.

Then APRStfc.exe marks that spot with a traffic slow symbol object showing
the slow speed for all subsequent travelers over the next 30 minutes. And
these show up on the front panel of all kenwoods or heads-up displays.

APRStfc.exe has been on line in the WashDC and Baltimore areas now for
about two months and works very well...  See:

http://web.usna.navy.mil/~bruninga/aprs/traffic.html

de WB4APR, Bob

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: Re: APRS Traffic Congestion Plotting
From: "Richard Amirault" <ramirault@erols.com>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 13:52:10 -0400
X-Message-Number: 2

Picking nits here .... about the "... capturing a packet ... almost a 100%
probability." statement.

While I would agree that units would most likely *transmit* a packet in such
conditions, the likelyhood of "capturing" a packet is unknown.  You admit
yourself there are "sparse areas" in coverage. If the slowdown or toll booth
is situated in such a "sparse area" then the likelyhood of capturing a
packet can be anything, even zero.

Richard Amirault, Boston, MA
N1JDU

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: Re: Summer travels and APRS Voice Alert
From: "KC2MMi" <kc2mmi@verizon.net>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 13:53:41 -0400
X-Message-Number: 3

<<Every mobile running APRS with the dual channel
D7  or D700 radio always runs this configuration...>>

It does, huh? All by itself? I don't know Bob, you make it sound like
there's some automatic "Voice Alert" feature in the radio which is pinging
out every minute looking for other radios, almost as smart as the
backchannel in cell phones talking to towers.

AFAIK there's no "feature" or "configuration" that does anything special
here. All you're talking about is using CTCSS to listen, and then making
folks manually call out a voice CQ every minute to look for other radios.

What aren't I understanding about what you're saying? I read it twice, it
just doesn't make sense from here.

If I wanted to find local stations only, I'd set my radio to beep on
everything, then list other stations within a 5-mile or 2-mile only radius.
Every time someone came in radius, I'd get the beep to let me know another
local station was available. Then, using that with tone squelch, we could
hear eah other responding with voice calls (disrupting the APRS channel as
well) with no need for manual CQs.

Is that something like what you're aiming at?

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: Re: Summer travels and APRS Voice Alert
From: "Gale D. Wilkinson" <gdwrbw@ftc-i.net>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 14:34:14 -0400
X-Message-Number: 4

As I am running a D700 I think I can clear this up for you.  The D700 is 
set up to run on 144.39 for aprs on the "A" side using a pl of 100hz.  
You are monitoring on the "b" side on 146.52 (or what ever voice freq 
you want).  As the "A" side is sending out its position reports (with 
the pl 100 tone) when another D700 hears you direct, the tone squelch 
will open the "A" side squelch and you will hear the packet racket.  
This tells you another D700 is in range for simplex on the voice  ("B") 
side of the radio. Of course you will know who to call as their packet 
info will be displayed at the same time.  And as only a D700 will be 
using a pl 100 with the volume turned up on the aprs side it doesn't 
bother anyone else.

Gale
KC4PL

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: Re: Summer travels and APRS Voice Alert
From: "KC2MMi" <kc2mmi@verizon.net>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 14:55:54 -0400
X-Message-Number: 5

Gale, I've got the THD7 and by now I should be fully caffienated but I'm
still not seeing how this translates into some special "voice alert" feature
or why Bob thinks the two Kwoods are anything special in this regard.

<The D700 is set up to run on 144.39 for aprs on the "A" side using a pl of
100hz.  >
< As the "A" side is sending out its position reports (with the pl 100
tone) when another D700 hears you direct, the tone squelch will open the
"A" side squelch and you will hear the packet racket. This tells you
another D700 is in range for simplex on the voice  ("B") side of the
radio.>

AH. He's saying to transmit APRS with a PL tone squelch, and use a matching
CTCSS tone squelch on the rx. Since digis wouldn't use this, the APRS audio
will be muted unless a transmitter is in direct range. OK, that must be the
caffiene kicking in.<G> (I hate the way "tone squelch" gets two jargon words
to describe flip sides of the same feature, an example of intentional
obfustication at its worst.)

<And as only a D700 will be using a pl 100 with the volume turned up on the
aprs side it doesn't bother anyone else.>

That's what got me confused--there's nothing exclusive to the Kenwoods
about this, any dual-VFO radio hooked into APRS could be doing the same
thing. Or any pair of single VFO radios.

Replying on a separate voice channel... OK, making more sense now, 146.520
is the supposedly national simplex channel. I guess that's as good a
standard as any.

Now that Kenwood's special radios and special features are taken out of the
description...VERY ELEGANT INDEED! Nice concept Bob! And thank you, Gale,
for making that clear.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: Re: Summer travels and APRS Voice Alert
From: Ron Cluster <rcluster@ipkoke.com>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 12:06:46 -0700
X-Message-Number: 6

Gale D. Wilkinson wrote......
And as only a D700 will be using a pl 100 with the volume turned up on the
aprs side it doesn't bother anyone else.

===================================
Ummm......ANY mobile can use the PL100 tone with the volume turned up,
provided the radio in use is capable of it of course.

This method isn't just for the D7/D700 gang......

73.....Ron.....AC7TK.....(-9 when mobile)
UI-View32 iGate in Eugene, OR

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: Re: Summer travels and APRS Voice Alert
From: "Gale D. Wilkinson" <gdwrbw@ftc-i.net>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 15:16:34 -0400
X-Message-Number: 7

Agreed, but I was thinking more of those running tx only trackers and/or
base stations.  The idea can be applied to any capable radio, but is
normally mentioned for the Kenwoods.

Gale

Ron Cluster wrote:

>Gale D. Wilkinson wrote......
>And as only a D700 will be
>using a pl 100 with the volume turned up on the aprs side it doesn't 
>bother anyone else.
>
>===================================
>
>Ummm......ANY mobile can use the PL100 tone with the volume turned up,
>provided the radio in use is capable of it of course.
>
>This method isn't just for the D7/D700 gang......
>
>73.....Ron.....AC7TK.....(-9 when mobile)
>UI-View32 iGate in Eugene, OR

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: Re: Summer travels and APRS Voice Alert
From: Ron Cluster <rcluster@ipkoke.com>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 12:29:35 -0700
X-Message-Number: 8

To further clarify this: (At least as far as I understand it, corrections
welcome)

I believe that Bob's original proposal was that mobiles ONLY transmit the
PL100 tone. Anyone could listen with the tone enabled. The idea allows a
mobile, or a monitoring base station, to tell that another mobile station
was probably in range for a voice QSO. The idea is to make a short, initial
contact ON THE 144.39 FREQ and then QSY to different freq for the contact.
When the contact is over, QSY back to 144.39. (If you have a dual band radio
of some type it obviously makes this part slightly easier.)

The couple of short voice transmissions on 144.39 are not likely to cause
much disruption as the intent is to keep them very short, only long enough
to make contact and agree on a freq to switch to.

73.....Ron.....AC7TK.....(-9 when mobile)
UI-View32 iGate in Eugene, OR

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: Re: Summer travels and APRS Voice Alert
From: "Bill Vodall - WA7NWP" <wa7nwp@jnos.org>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 12:36:19 -0700
X-Message-Number: 9

>And as only a D700 will be
>using a pl 100 with the volume turned up on the aprs side it doesn't
>bother anyone else.

I recently picked up a UT-86 tone decoder module for the IC-706 I use
mobile.  That's allowed me to add 144.39 with 100 hz Tone Squelch to my
scanned memories.     While I'm not "transmitting" pings, I will hear other
folks sending them out.  Then I can call them and move to a voice channel
for a chat.

This is a great idea.  The only problem now is how to enable tones on my
packet transmitter so I don't always hear them on my own receiver.

73,
Bill - WA7NWP

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: Re: Summer travels and APRS Voice Alert
From: "Richard Amirault" <ramirault@erols.com>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 15:45:52 -0400
X-Message-Number: 10

No...it is not practical for non-Kenwood APRS radios. If you run another
radio on the APRS freq *with PL turned on* then that radio will NOT hear
those APRS staions that are NOT transmitting the selected PL tone. You will
miss *most* of the APRS acvitity in your area and *only* hear those few
mobiles set-up for Voice Alert.

If you want to run a radio just to listen, and not send APRS data to a TNC
then sure it will work, but if you want to "run" APRS this way you need a
Kenwood.

Richard in Boston, MA, USA
N1JDU

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Gale D. Wilkinson"

>Agreed, but I was thinking more of those running tx only trackers and/or
>base stations.  The idea can be applied to any capable radio, but is
>normally mentioned for the Kenwoods.
>
>Gale

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: Re: Summer travels and APRS Voice Alert
From: Ron Cluster <rcluster@ipkoke.com>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 13:14:35 -0700
X-Message-Number: 11

I think that depends on how your radio works. The radio still receives all
packets, it just doesn't open the squelch on packets that don't have the PL
tone. If you are using the ext speaker jack on the radio to feed the TNC,
then you are correct. The TNC would not receive packets that didn't have the
PL tone. If, however your radio has the mini-DIN connector, or you have
pulled the pre-squelched audio from someplace inside the radio then the TNC
will still get everything.

I have the Kenwood V7A, using it with the mini-DIN connector and it works
fine. (Yes, still a Kenwood but not one of their "APRS" radios). My son runs
a Yaesu FT-1500 with the Mini-DIN and it works fine there also.

73.....Ron.....AC7TK.....(-9 when mobile)
UI-View32 iGate in Eugene, OR

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: Radio Recommendation
From: "William McKeehan" <mckeehan@mckeehan.homeip.net>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 16:33:59 -0400 (EDT)
X-Message-Number: 12

I am new to the world of HAM operating. I do not have a license yet nor do I
have any equipment.

I am preparing now to take my test and get my license.

The primary reason that I am going to be getting my license is to experiment
with APRS.

I would like to have some recommendations on the equipment that I should
purchase to get started.

Everything I have seen about the Kenwoods sounds very good, except the price.
I would like to get started with a solid radio and whatever else is required
to do APRS while spending less than $200. I'm not stuck on new equipment, but
I do not know what older equipment I can use. I already have a GPS, so I'm set
there.

Can anyone here make recommendations to me?

If this is a FAQ with answers posted somewhere, a pointer to that location
would be a fine answer.

Also, if anyone on this list is from East Tennessee, I would like to chat with
you.
-- 
William McKeehan
Internet: mckeehan@mckeehan.homeip.net
http://mckeehan.homeip.net

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: Re: APRS Traffic Congestion Plotting
From: "Robert Bruninga" <bruninga@usna.edu>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 16:57:49 -0400
X-Message-Number: 13

Yes, good point.  Thanks for catching that one.  Bob

>>>"Richard Amirault" <ramirault@erols.com> 7/16/04 1:52:10 PM >>>
Picking nits here .... about the "... capturing a packet ... almost a 100%
probability." statement.

While I would agree that units would most likely *transmit* a packet in
such conditions, the likelyhood of "capturing" a packet is unknown.  You
admit yourself there are "sparse areas" in coverage. If the slowdown or
toll booth is situated in such a "sparse area" then the likelyhood of
capturing a packet can be anything, even zero.

Richard Amirault, Boston, MA
N1JDU

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: Re: Summer travels and APRS Voice Alert
From: "Robert Bruninga" <bruninga@usna.edu>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 17:03:49 -0400
X-Message-Number: 14

>>>"KC2MMi" <kc2mmi@verizon.net> 7/16/04 1:53:41 PM >>>
>>Every mobile running APRS with the dual channel
>>D7  or D700 radio always runs this configuration...>>
>
>It does...? All by itself? ...you make it sound like
>there's some automatic "Voice Alert" feature in the radio 
>which is pinging out every minute looking for other radios, 

Yes, it is the APRS packet that they transmit while the radio is on.  If
the user sets for Voice Alert (to hear others) then by definition, he is
also transmitting his packets with PL100 and this is the "ping" that others
within simplex range will hear as an alert to his presence...

>AFAIK there's no "feature" or "configuration" that does 
>anything special here.  All you're talking about is using 
>CTCSS to listen, and then making folks manually call out 
>a voice CQ every minute to look for other radios....
>What aren't I understanding about what you're saying? 

It's the automatic packet that is the automatic "ping"... that lets others
know you are nearby.  The voice part of it is when you hear someone nearby
and then want to tell him you want to QSO and what freq to go to...

de WB4APR, Bob

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: Re: Summer travels and APRS Voice Alert
From: "Robert Bruninga" <bruninga@usna.edu>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 17:16:48 -0400
X-Message-Number: 15

>>>"KC2MMi" <kc2mmi@verizon.net> 7/16/04 2:55:54 PM >>>
>That's what got me confused--there's nothing exclusive
>to the Kenwoods about this [voice alert], any dual-VFO radio 
>hooked into APRS could be doing the same thing....

Yes, As long as the TNC is connected at the discriminator and prior to the
CTCSS tone squelch.... But most  other APRS mobiles are connected to the
speaker usually..

>VERY ELEGANT INDEED! Nice concept Bob! 
>And thank you, Gale, for making that clear.

Yes, it is amazing that we all had the D7 and D700 radios that make this so
easy for almost 4 years before we thought of this.  Its like getting a FREE
radio channel for permanent voice contact to any APRS mobile.

You know he is tuned to 144.39, now you can holler at him and he will hear
it!

Bob

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: Re: Radio Recommendation
From: "Keith - VE7GDH" <ve7gdh@rac.ca>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 14:50:40 -0700
X-Message-Number: 16

William McKeehan asked July 16, 2004 1:33 PM
....
>I am preparing now to take my test and get my license. The primary
>reason that I am going to be getting my license is to experiment with APRS.

Welcome to APRS and good luck with the license when you write the exam!

>I would like to have some recommendations on the equipment that I should
>purchase to get started.

I'm sure that you have checked out the prices on the Kenwood D700 mobile
and D7 HT. Nice, but a bit pricey, and definitely not for less than $200
used. The advantage of these is that they have a TNC built in and could be
used for non-APRS packet as well.

>Everything I have seen about the Kenwoods sounds very good, except the price.
>I would like to get started with a solid radio and whatever else is required
>to do APRS while spending less than $200. I'm not stuck on new equipment, but
>I do not know what older equipment I can use. I already have a GPS, so I'm set
>there.

It should be possible to get started for $200. If you only want to send an
outgoing beacon, check out the TinyTrack 3 at www.byonics.com. Going with a
TT3, you would have more money left over for a radio.

If you don't go with the TinyTrack 3, look for a used KPC-3+. You probably
won't find one for much less than $100. As far as I know, all versions of
the KPC-3+ should be APRS capable. The KPC-3 version 5 was not capable of
APRS. I think that APRS was added in version 6. Perhaps a search the
archives will come up with some messages that indicate for sure in which
version APRS was added.

Connecting a TT3 to a used handheld (HT) or mobile, you could probably make
it fit your budget. I don't have one, but the RadioShack HTX202 (think I've
got that right) seemed to have a good reputation for packet and APRS. Not
as compact as some of the newer radios, but owners seem to give them a good
rating.

If you can find a used Yaesu FT-1500M, they are very good. Quite compact
and rugged, 5 to 50 watts. It has a data port on the back. You should be
able to make any HT or mobile do the job, but mobiles with data ports make
it a lot easier to connect and disconnect, and it leaves the mic connector
available if you want to use it for voice as well on non-APRS frequencies.

If you find a used radio (www.ebay.com under consumer electronics, radios
CB ham and shortwave, ham radio) you could look for reviews on it at
www.eham.net... resources - product reviews.

Another option... the PocketTracker also from www.byonics.com. Only about
250 mW, but it's a complete APRS tracker when you add the GPS. It can run
100 hours on a built-in 9V battery, or it can be powered from 12V. Just
don't go adding an amplifier to this setup. A gain antenna? Perhaps if you
are away from populated centres that have lots of digis or IGATEs.

If you want to try an APRS program on a Windows PC, take a look at
www.ui-view.com. The 16 bit version is a freebie. It is very reasonable to
register the 32 bit version. Running an APRS program on your own computer
will allow you to take a look at what stations are around you, and be
helpful getting your own APRS station going. Even if you don't add a TNC
and radio to UI-View, you can connect the 32 bit version to an APRS-IS
(Internet server) and see stations that have made it to an IGATE that
"gate" RF the Internet-based server.

I hope someone from E Tennessee contacts you. Having an eyeball and
chatting with someone about APRS will probably be quite a help in getting
you started.

73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
--
"I beacon... therefore, I am."

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: Re: Radio Recommendation
From: "Robert Bruninga" <bruninga@usna.edu>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 19:08:30 -0400
X-Message-Number: 17

>>>"William McKeehan" <mckeehan@mckeehan.homeip.net> 7/16/04 4:33:59 PM
>>>
>I would like to have some recommendations on the 
>equipment that I should purchase to get started.

There is only once answer there, the Kenwood TH-D7. In the palm of your
hand you have all of APRS, plus both 2m and 70cm bands, plus 9600 baud
packet, plus Satellite Voice capable radio, plus Satelite  DATA capable
radio, plus Satellite APRS capable radio. In the palm of your hand and with
NO wires or any other accessories attached.

I think the cost is in the mid 300's.  Nothing else compares.

You can buy separate radios, separate TNC's and then have to wire it all up
and then have a devil of a time going mobile or portable.  If you are
really going to get into APRS, then remember that APRS is not for just
sitting at home and watching the internet, it is doing something with HAM
radio and usually while you are out doing something with APRS, you also
want to SEE what others are doing.

The choice is simple.  The D7 which lets you see it int he palm of your
hand, or an entire briefcase full of stuff (Radio, TNC, laptop, power
supplies, and speghetti to tie it all together.

Remember 85% of everyone that *receives* APRS data while mobile uses the D7
or D700.  And seeing APRS aoround you is much more fun that driving around
all day and then waiting till you get home to ask someone if they "saw"
you...

So first get the D7 as your primary do everything rig. Just my opinion....
Do it now, or do it later... but you are still gonng want one...

de WB4APR, Bob

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: RIMiGate
From: "Francisco Rogerio Fontenele Arag„o" <pt2td@yahoo.com.br>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 19:44:49
X-Message-Number: 18

Is anybody using RIMiGate version of APRSD? I was not able to have it 
working and need some help.

Francisco, PT2TD

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: Re: Summer travels and APRS Voice Alert
From: "Larry Cerney" <lcerney@viawest.net>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 21:01:35 -0600
X-Message-Number: 19

Ah, no so.  I saw this thread and decided to give it a try with my Yaesu
FT-1500M.  As soon as I turn on the tsq my packet data out of the mini-DIN
went away with it.

Maybe other radios will do this but my FT-1500M won't

Larry
K0ANI

"There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what
the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be
replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. 
 
There is another theory which states that this has already happened."
 
Douglas Adams (1952-2001)

-----Original Message-----

I think that depends on how your radio works. The radio still receives all
packets, it just doesn't open the squelch on packets that don't have the PL
tone. If you are using the ext speaker jack on the radio to feed the TNC,
then you are correct. The TNC would not receive packets that didn't have the
PL tone. If, however your radio has the mini-DIN connector, or you have
pulled the pre-squelched audio from someplace inside the radio then the TNC
will still get everything.

I have the Kenwood V7A, using it with the mini-DIN connector and it works
fine. (Yes, still a Kenwood but not one of their "APRS" radios). My son runs
a Yaesu FT-1500 with the Mini-DIN and it works fine there also.

73.....Ron.....AC7TK.....(-9 when mobile)
UI-View32 iGate in Eugene, OR

---

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