[aprssig] BALLOON unproto paths

Jason Winningham jdw at eng.uah.edu
Mon Apr 4 19:50:55 EDT 2005

On Apr 4, 2005, at 5:55 PM, Joe Della Barba wrote:

> I would NEVER operate airmobile with RELAY in the path. Why not just 
> use WIDE1-1 at high altitude and WIDE2-2 at low altitude?

For starters, because not all digis are WIDEn-n capable. Besides that, 
we _need_ APRS to recover our payloads.

We're flying high altitude balloons, which have low powered trackers, 
travel laterally as much as 150mph, achieve 90k to 100k feet, then drop 
rapidly, and frequently land in some hollow (more correctly, in the top 
of some tree in some hollow) in the southern end of the Appalachian 
mountain range.  We _need_ those last few positions in order to recover 
the payload.  It is tough to launch and then get to the landing area 
quickly enough to get a direct packet.  We can't count on volunteers to 
be in the landing area ahead of time every time, so we have to assume 
we are the only recovery effort in place.  The ham community does help 
us tremendously, but their schedules don't always allow them to be 

Previously we have flown trackers based on the KPC 3 plus, which is 
(IMO) an extremely poor tracker.  I want to switch entirely to using 
something quite a bit smaller and smarter (the opentracker) to allow me 
to do things like switch paths at an appropriate altitude so I can be a 
good citizen on 144.39 when I'm at a high altitude, but get still get 
enough hops on my packets when they're close to the ground.


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