[aprssig] APRS -- Chicago to Mackinac Island sailboat race

Bill Borgstrom bill_borgstrom at yahoo.com
Sat Mar 31 17:30:19 EDT 2007

  I'm trying to do it this way for the following reasons.
     1) I was told that it would be easy.
     2) The Orbcomm boat positions reports can be emailed anywhere.
     3) VHF APRS coverage is poor in the middle of Lake Michigan (especially up North).
     4) I don't own the boat I'm racing on.  If it were my boat I'd have HF and VHF ham gear on board.
     5) There are other hams (in this race) that are racing and might want to have their boat tracks on APRS.
     6) I've done tracking on 144.39 I've never done it this way.
     7) I was also told that forming the logon string and forming the packet is the hard part, the rest is easy. Well I've
        done the hard part.  I just have to figure out how to logon to the proper server and upload the packet.  I have no
        idea how to do this last step.
  I'll keep you posted 73 Bill N9TN

Keith VE7GDH <ve7gdh at rac.ca> wrote:
  Bill N9TN wrote...

> How do I logon and upload the packet?

I don't want to shoot down your efforts, because it is out of innovation that
new things come, but is there any reason you aren't using "off the shelf"
solutions for any of this? e.g. a GPS (or NMEA from existing onboard GPS
receiver), OpenTracker or TinyTrak3, & a radio onboard the sailboat, and
something like UI-View for the IGate... or for that matter, just use the
existing IGates in the area? If the object of the exercise is to write some
code that will be useful to you, and possibly to others, then go at it.
However if you want something that is tried and tested, there is already lots
of hardware and software out there. Go one better and use something like a
HamHUD onboard the sailboat instead of a tracker and it would be capable of
sending and receiving messages too... assuming the sailboat is manned by an
amateur radio operator. The HamHUD kits aren't available right now, but the
parts and plans are. As others have suggested a D700 could be used too. Other
solutions... a laptop running UI-View onboard the sailboat with a GPS receiver
connected to it and almost any TNC and a radio. Even DStar would do the job if
there are DStar repeaters onshore all along the course. If it's just a matter
of tracking the sailboats, a transmit only device like the OpenTracker or
TinyTrak3 would be the simplest solution. Just some thoughts, and I'll go back
to watching the posts to see what you end up doing. Perhaps you are writing
code for an IGate.

PS - some of your posts are in HTML format. You could also change from
top-posting to bottom-posting and do some serious trimming so there isn't the
entire text from the reply and two previous messages along for the ride. Just
leave enough of the previous reply in there so people know what you are
commenting on.

73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
"I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"

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