[aprssig] EVENT tracking (by checkpoints))

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Thu Jul 24 16:07:43 EDT 2014

> What are some "talking points" I can use in describing...
> the value of the GP event and 2014 success to amateur radio
>  in general, and, in particular, to EMCOMM?

To me, it shows how rapidly an APRS network can be established.  It also
shows hams getting out and doing something.  In most cases, with an APRS
moble radio, all they have to do is be parked in the right place to
establish a node.

> ...my next "field event" which will involve setting up an
>  NVIS HF station deep in a valley in the N.GA mountains
> in support of the Six Gap Bike Race in September .

The AT Golden Packet demo showed how a few APRS stations parked on some
nearby hilltops can provide a link down into the event and link it back to
the global APRS system.... APRS digipeating mobile radios...

PLAN-B:  Here is a way to track the bikes on APRS even if none of the bikes
have APRS or GPS:

Park several APRS stations along the route at strategic checkpoints.

As each "significant" bike comes by, the mobile APRS check-point operator
simply enters in the BIKE number into the MYCALL of the APRS menu on the
mobile radio and then presse BECON button.  This puts the bike on the map at
that location at that time.   (The APRS operator watches his front panel to
confirm MYPOSITION was digipeated and then he toggles BEACON back off. Until
the next bike.  Of course,  you cannot do every bike, but you can do one
bike in each pack that goes by.

Anyone looking at an APRS map will see all the bikes (though they are
grouped at those checkpoints).  But over time, and towards the end of the
course, they are speread out.  And each one of them has their own TAIL
history.  Though again, the tails will all be on top of each other too.
But at any instant you can enter a bike number into APRS.FI and see the last
location of that particular bike.

But good operator training will be important.  My son was able to do this
easily from an APRS HT and entered almost all 100 runners in a crosscountry
event here a few years ago.


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