[aprssig] GPS, APRS, QRP and the Long Trail

Brian Riley (maillist) n1bq_list at wulfden.org
Tue Aug 24 21:48:32 EDT 2004

Took an extended day outing today. We have had so much rain when it finally
said, dry, sunny and will be so for awhile, I packed my radios and headed
for the Long Trail.

Headed up Mount Mansfield from the Lake Champlain side. Up what I had
forgotten, but was rudely reacquainted to the fact, one of the steeper
access trails to the Long Trail, Butler Lodge Trail. I packed along my
THD-7, Garmin GPS, Icom 703+, a 20 foot telescoping fishpole antenna, and a
couple of gelcels (NEXT Time, fewer gelcels, and remember to bring my 5 watt
solar panel!!!!!).

Nice hike, it was cool in the 50's with a slight breeze. It eventually got
up to the 70's. The trail is essentially a straight shot from the trail head
to the Lodge never more than 100 meters from a straight line if it were
drawn, But no two maps or signs agree on just how far it was ... So, I got
clever, I would stop, get a GPS lock and power on the D7 and force an APRS
posit, then I would send a message to my TMD700 in my truck down at the
trail head "?APRS?" (easy enough once the first is keyed in, just repeat the
message) This forces the unit to ID and when I received it back it told me
how far I had come (or still to go on the way back) by how far I was from my
truck. As the crow flies of course.

I also sent progress messages to my wife W1SLR-8, which since she had
nothing set up at work, she got by checking the APRS Query page record of
messages for N1BQ-7! It all worked quite well.

Got up to the lodge about lunch time, scarfed down a roast beef sandwich and
some gorp and got to work. Strapped the crappie pole to the railing on the
lodge with bunji cords and had the antenna up in three minutes. Its quite
slick ... The design is Ed Brenheiser's ( <http://www.wa3wsj.com> ) and it
is called the Vertical Black Widow Fishing Pole Antenna.

I spent a frustrating 20 minutes hearing not a blessed thing around 7040 and
some sigs but no takers after calling CQ for another 20 minutes around
14060. I went back to 40 and went up on phone around 7250 and worked the
ECARS group and a group of old WWII veteran, Merchant Marine RTOs. Then slid
over to HFPack's 17 meter frequency 18157 and made about 5 contacts. As far
out as WA, and TX. Joe, W5SAN came back at me a second time ... This time he
was bicycle mobile in Salina, TX.

As they say, a fun time was had by all. Packed up and went back down about
1500 local. There's a few pix at <http://www.wulfden.org/NVQS> pick "Butler
Lodge" from the menu at the left.

Cheers ... 73 de brian, n1bq, underhill center, vermont

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