David Dobbins ddobbins at gmail.com
Wed Mar 16 02:29:18 EDT 2011

In the recommended settings for a WIDEn-N digi, we are encouraged to list an
IRLP and ECHOLINK node information (LTs 3 and 4) that is within a short
range of the digi, so others see it on their maps and mobiles see it as an
object in their station list, then access that node to make a call back home
or other use of the capability. Properly configured, those with Kenwood and
Yaesu APRS-ready radios can hit their TUNE or QSY button and put the radio
into VFO mode with the frequency, tone, and offset all properly entered.

A better way to get that IRLP node info into APRS is to add the script found
at http://irlp.kc6hur.net/irlp_scripts.php into the IRLP computer. The
advantage is the node status will be reflected by the icon on APRS. When in
connected mode it will have a C overlay on the icon, and when idle it will
display an I overlay on the icon. One additional routine is required to get
the info from the APRS-IS to RF, and that is accomplished by editing the
IGATE.INI file accessed by the FILE menu in UI-View, and adding the
IRLP-xxxx object to the GATE-TO-RF list. Now when I'm away from the home
IRLP node, I see the node status change to connected meaning someone from
out there has connected to my node, and I can qsy from another repeater freq
back to my node and see who's calling. I'm using a Kenwood TH-D72 to
accomplish this.

Seeing the IRLP and ECHOLINK nodes on my map when connected to the APRS-IS
is a neat feature that I'm using to connect to other distant stations. As
I'm working with the Hawaii APRS guys, I have entered the OBJECT information
for all the published IRLP nodes in the Hawaiian Islands (you can see them
by logging onto the T2 southwest server. Today I connected to one node on
the Big Island, looking for a volcano update, and found that node was
connected to a reflector. Upon connecting to that reflector I got a call
back from Oahu and spoke with a ham working the radio station aboard the USS
Missouri Museum on Ford Island in Pearl Harbor. They have the station there
open every Tuesday from 0900-1200 HST. Another ham joined in from San
Francisco. I also spoke with an APRS guy in Maui and gave him some tips to
restore his weather station to operating condition.

The point is, APRS can be so much more than vehicle tracking, as Father Bob
WB4APR has been preaching for years. It's up to us to take APRS to the next
level as a communications tool. It's easy to post the area radio net and
club meeting schedules as objects on APRS. When that meeting is over, you
can unselect the ACTIVATE button which will remove it from other's maps
until it's needed again. Every hamfest can and should be posted on APRS,

There's more, but I'm tired and headed for bed.

Unrelated to this thread, but important nonetheless: I see the AvMap G6 APRS
GPS will be available soon and the ham radio companies are taking orders
now, $500.

David K7GPS
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