[aprssig] Appalachian Trail Golden Packet Event update

Kevin Sherwood kshrwood at hotmail.com
Mon Apr 6 08:48:48 EDT 2009


I've been following along on your efforts for this event, and it certainly sounds like an interesting project, but I'm not sure I understand the goal.

The stated purpose of this:
PURPOSE:  To field enough 
amateur radio emergency communications teams on mountain peaks in The Eastern USA
to be able to communicate 
packets and APRS messages
 from end-to-end of The Appalachian Trail.

But the planning that goes in - and the back-channel communications links to allow coordination - make this seem more like a lab experiment than a practical communications system.  

Is the eventual goal setting up an alternate APRS net along the Appalachian Trail using self-sufficient devices?  Or is this just something to demonstrate that with intricate planning and coordination using existing communications methods an APRS network can be built to deliver a message 1200 miles away?

I apologize if this sounds rude; I'm just trying to understand if this is a precursor to something else or just a one-time demonstration.



--Forwarded Message Attachment--
From: bruninga at usna.edu
To: bruninga at usna.edu; aprssig at tapr.org
Date: Sun, 5 Apr 2009 16:34:06 -0400
Subject: Re: [aprssig] Appalachian Trail Golden Packet Event update

Good news - Bad news - Good news!
AT Trail Golden Packet Planning:
The good news is that the silo on the tree covered hill called
Governor Dick Hill in SE PA is not a silo, but is a public
Observation tower!  Piece of cake for operating (after climbing
the 60 feet of 8' vertical ladders between landings.  
See  www.aprs.org/hamtrails/GD-hill.html
The bad news is that there are no driving roads to the tops of
the WV mountain station and the mountains are covered in tall
trees..  But the good news is that we found a rock outcroping
called White Rock Cliff that can see both links NE and SW and so
we no longer have to hike-up a 60' mast!  
See www.aprs.org/hamtrails/WV.html
Each of the 15 stations now has its own web page and cross links
between them all, so you can move up and down the trail to see
how the project is coming.  The main page is still:
This event on Sunday Afternoon 26 July should be lots of fun for
APRS and packet and VHF
folks that like to get out into the great outdoors.  We will
also have voice comms, and an echolink conference for mountain
top coordination over all 2000 miles of the trail!
> -----Original Message-----
> From: aprssig-bounces at tapr.org 
> [mailto:aprssig-bounces at tapr.org] On Behalf Of Robert Bruninga
> Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 5:50 PM
> To: 'TAPR APRS Mailing List'
> Subject: [aprssig] Appalachian Trail Golden Packet Event
> The date of the Golden Packet event on the Appalachian Trail
> moved to the weekend of the 25/26 July to avoid QRM at the
> mountain tops with our teams and the CQ World Wide VHF contest
> on the original 18/19 proposed date.  Those guys try for
> ERP to make DX contacts... See updated web page:
> http://www.aprs.org/at-golden-packet.html
> An interesting wrinkle is that the rules of the Baxter State
> park, prohibit any electronics (from radios, to walkmans, to
> cell phones) from Mt Katahdin in Maine, and so we may have to
> use a human eyeball and flashing light for that final leg.
> Woultn't that be a hoot.  Trying to close the 91 mile path
> Sugarloaf to Katahdin with a CW keyed laser at 5 WPM to an
> eyeball receiver.  Actually, that would be quite easy to
> But the only allowed TX capability will have to be a flashing
> mirror and hope for sunshine.  A small relay mechanically
> coupled to a 1 foot mirror would do it, though the combination
> would have to be on a motoroized polar mount to maintain basic
> alignment with the movement of the sun.  I guess smoke signals
> could also be used, if anyone has any ideas how to generate
> ones without using any electronics.
> So, pass this to any OPTICAL crazies out there..  We wouldn't
> want to cheat with a D7 now would we.
> FOUR of the 14 sites so far now have good photos and images of
> the mountain peaks and the parking lots.  The goal is to do
> with drive-up D700 mobiles to keep it simple and repeatable...
> Still need volunteers along the way...
> http://www.aprs.org/at-golden-packet.html
> Bob, WB4APR
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> aprssig at tapr.org
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