[aprssig] APRStt (Touchtone) on the air in Annapolis

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Tue Nov 24 22:00:59 EST 2015

We just put the APRStt (touchtone) transponder on the air in Annapolis for
locals to try out the new QIKCOM-2 satelliite transponder.  But there's
more!... WoW!

Here is the announcement, and then at the end is the brand new idea how we
will use this terrestrially while waiting for the satellite to be launched!

 ----------- First, the anouncement --------
The next Ham DTMF satellite is on the air for testing in Annapolis.

Anyone can use this transponder from their DTMF radio. (don’t need an APRS
radio).  Just enter your DTMF callsign and GRID into a DTMF memory
(formatted per the web page below) and send it on the 144.33 uplink and
listen for the voice response on 144.39 (amongst all the packet clutter

Not only does it convert the DTMF to a voice CQ, but it also sends back an
APRS packet copy of the CQ on 144.39  into the global APRS system.  If
successful, you should see it in the ten minute Bulletin update:


So just program your DTMF memory once, and try it any time you drive by
Annapolis (its on my building roof at USNA).

And not only can you send your grid, you can send any of the ARL radiograms
both emergency and general, but any of a few dozen more typical messages
just by entering the 2 digit message number in DTMF followed by your DTMF

See how on http://aprs.org/qikcom-2.html

We just delivered the flight unit to the launch integrator 18 Nov, and so
now we can sit back and actually TEST the prototype on the air and see how
it works under user load.  It is only 4 Watts, so you probably have to be
within a few miles or so.  Something to entertaiin you while sitting in
traffic.    I have worked it from a high spot in Glen Burnie (bridge over
Rt 10) about 12 miles away, but you have to have a good shot to Annapolis.

You only have to enter your grid and call into your DTMF memory once.
Then, anytime you are mobile near the Severn bridges or near the Academy,
just send out the DTMF memory and listen for the response.

If there are thunderstorms in the area, I should disconnect it… but will
try to leave it on.

 -----------Now the new idea! --------------

But here is the NEW idea of how to use its 2 digit message capability

1) Have it listen from a very high central metro area location for DTMF on

2) The two-digit messages (01 to 99) can be used to trigger the APRS and
voice response of "CALLSIGN, LISTENING ON XXX.XXX MHz"

3) then ALL APRS mobiles in the area will see the message on their radios

4) AND he messages goes worldwide in the APRS-IS system

5) You could be called back via Echolink for example

6) AND if anyone is monitoring 146.58, they will hear EVERYONE on the air
and where they are listening.

In our area with over 50 repeaters, we are so spread out, hardly any
repeater is being used.  But this way, everyone's "presence" on the air is
announced on APRS and the single 146.58 just like APRS was always intended
to be... a single clearing house channel for everything happening in ham

But now you only need a DTMF radio.  Not a full APRS rig.

Oh, we just make a local list 01 to 99 of the different frequencies.  Every
local list is different, but so are the repeaters in every local area...
Though I am starting to think it can be quite universal!  Wow, Il start
now... for example 76 is 146.76 and 94 is 146.94, etc!

You just program  your DTMF memory with the few repeaters you use, and then
sending out your message is just one button.  Send the DTMF memory with
your chosen "monitoring frequency!

for more info on APRStt see http://aprs.org/aprstt.html

Bob Bruninga, WB4APR

USNA Satellite Lab
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