[aprssig] NWS SAME useful for APRS weather feed?

Steve Dimse steve at dimse.com
Mon Aug 29 10:55:08 EDT 2005

On Aug 29, 2005, at 10:23 AM, Jason Winningham wrote:

> Maybe you missed the previous post about APRS-IS being unavailable  
> when conditions are severe (i.e., when you need the data the most).
> I'm talking about being able to eliminate APRS-IS from the  
> equation, so when a computer or an internet link is down the data  
> still gets out.

I've lived through a few hurricanes and near misses, and I agree that  
IGates are a fair weather solution, but I'd argue that APRS in  
general is not a foul weather solution, nor should it be.

Before the hurricane, failure of the IGates and Dale's server aren't  
an issue (though I would like to see an online spare in another  
area), as infrastructure is intact. Also, much as I love APRS, no one  
threatened by a hurricane is using it as a primary source of  
information, internet and TV are far richer and more readily  
available sources of information.

During the hurricane, the turtle's head is  inside the shell. Maybe  
you have cable/satellite TV if you have power, otherwise a battery  
powered radio for information. Again, APRS is not a primary source of  
information. Without power, you will burn a lot of your limited  
battery reserve trying to run a replacement for Dale's server. Only  
an idiot would run a generator during the storm, outside risks the  
generator and inside risks carbon monoxide poisoning (I saw 6 cases  
of CO in Miami the day following Katrina from people that ran their  
generators inside). Bottom line, you prepped as well as you could,  
and now you are strapped into the rollercoaster, and while you want  
to know what is going on, there isn't anything you can do.

After the hurricane, there are few emergency warnings (not much more  
likely than normal), and even when they occur, you will not be  
sitting near your computer or D7[00] waiting for them. You will have  
other priorities, whether survival with a strong hurricane or cleanup  
with a weaker hurricane. The answer here is a NOAA weather radio, one  
that screams when there is a warning, otherwise can be ignored, and  
with lower power consumption.

Steve K4HG

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