[aprssig] Using APRS to support public service events

Bob Stephens AF9W af9w at bobandgloria.com
Tue Jan 12 17:05:53 EST 2016

We use APRS here in Tucson for 3 major events.  First, is the El Tour de Tucson which is a 110-mile perimeter cycling event with about 9000 riders.  We use APRS to track the lead vehicle, the sweep, and the section chiefs.  I provide a portable tracker for the lead vehicle which drives behind the lead police escort and in front of the lead rider.  The section chiefs are mobile and resolve aid station problems.  The section chiefs and sweep provide their own APRS trackers.  A couple of our guys use their Android phones as trackers so we use the APRS-IS feed at NCS.  We also use the aprs.fi feature of displaying a Google Maps track on the aprs.is feed so we can see the route and aid station locations.  Unfortunately, we don't have tracking in the SAG vehicles yet. It's a long sad story you don't want to hear.  We have discussed using APRS objects for our Aid Stations so we could change status but as of yet we have not done that. 

The second event is the Tour de Cure which is a small event here in Tucson and we only track sweep and SAG.  We use APRSIS32 with both a APRS-IS connection and an RF connection. 

The third event is the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo Mountain Bike race.  This event involves teams of mountain cyclists riding for 24 hours on a 16-mile course in the remote Sonoran Desert.  We use APRS to track our vehicle and pedestrian rovers, the Search and Rescue vehicle, and to pinpoint incidents by creating objects for downed riders, etc.  We use RF APRS only and create a digi at NCS to help those remote stations pick up the packets.  There are also 2 mountain top Digi's that help provide coverage on the course.  For this event, all of the hams provide their own gear except for the digi and NCS station.  We use APRSIS32 for our client software for this event also.

Bob AF9W 
> Message: 1
> Date: Tue, 12 Jan 2016 08:18:03 -0500
> From: Bob Harris <knineudx at gmail.com>
> To: aprssig at tapr.org
> Subject: [aprssig] Using APRS to support public service events
> Message-ID: <5694FD0B.9010301 at gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"; Format="flowed"
> I have been approached to make a 45-50 minute presentation at this year's New
> Hampshire ARES Academy on using APRS to support public service events. I'd like
> some specific examples and details from this august body of how they have used
> APRS in such events. Also, how it was done. For example, did each ham have to
> provide his or her own APRS gear or did the group (i.e. the radio club) have it in
> part or in total? What APRS software was used?
> I am familiar with using the tracking feature (sorry, Dr. Bruninga) for keeping
> track of the support vehicles during long bike rides so I'd like examples of other
> uses. Or even variations of using the position reporting.
> What challenges did you face in using APRS? Was there sufficient permanent
> infrastructure in place or did you have to augment it?
> Any other thoughts?
> --
> Bob Harris (K9UDX)
> Can MOTCH Katmai Henry David Thoreau UDX Bda UD (1992-2005)
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> NH
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