[aprssig] Train tracks across the northern U.S.

Steve Noskowicz noskosteve at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 29 01:33:42 EDT 2013

Yes, there are quite a few coverage holes out west.
That trip is a great one.  Do they still use real dishes and flatware?
Sent from my KnightKit Crystal Set.
73, Steve, K9DCI   USN (Vet)  MOT (Ret)  Ham (Yet)
I served during the cold war, so you can continue to be served a cold one.

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From: Andrew P. <andrewemt at hotmail.com>
To: "aprssig at tapr.org" <aprssig at tapr.org> 
Sent: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 9:20 PM
Subject: [aprssig] Train tracks across the northern U.S.

Greetings, all.

I just had an interesting voyage, riding the Amtrak #27 "Empire Builder" from Chicago to Washington state, with my APRS gear with me. You can look up the track on aprs.fi (KA2DDO-9, between August 22nd and 24th). I saved a screenshot of the run on my website as well. http://www.ka2ddo.org/ka2ddo/traintracks22-24Aug.png

I noticed several things on the trip:

1. There are huge spans with no digipeater/I-gate coverage at all along the route. In the screenshot, note the places where I was able to report position over Internet connectivity but not by 2m radio (obvious because of no nearby digi's).

2. The coverage for AT&T cellular service was better than for 2m APRS (I could maintain an APRS-IS connection over a wireless hotspot in places where I couldn't hit a digi), but still had holes.

3. Don't use adhesive tape to stick a twin-lead J-pole to the window; it won't hold but will leave a glue residue behind. :-)

4. I found a few more bugs in my YAAC program along the way regarding mobile operation, and have been fixing them (next build due out this week).

5. It was fun, being able to work the rig safely without having to worry about driving.

Andrew Pavlin, KA2DDO 
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