[aprssig] APRS on Amtrak, DC to Minneapolis

Fred Hillhouse fmhillhouse at comcast.net
Fri Jun 1 14:02:57 EDT 2018

Trains are tough! They follow valleys, rivers, and such. And, are almost always in the lowest spots!


You need to travel in an observation car if available! It will be a bit higher and have less shielding around you. Not only will the radio get better coverage, your eyes will too! J Too bad if this is not an option!


A better-than-HT-antenna (1/4 – 1/2 wave?) and more power should help.


If you look into building a battery pack, you may want to look at this page, http://oh8stn.org/.


I am a fan of LiFePO4 batteries and am considering building a pack myself. A 4S pack would be a good voltage, then just add capacity. These two items may be of interest.




Buddipole has built battery packs. They are build using the A123Systems batteries. They may do a custom configuration. They use 3.2V cells.


Best regards,

Fred N7FMH




From: aprssig [mailto:aprssig-bounces at tapr.org] On Behalf Of Robert Bruninga
Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2018 10:08 PM
To: TAPR APRS Mailing List
Subject: [aprssig] APRS on Amtrak, DC to Minneapolis


ANyone have experience with 5 watts on the Capital limited and Empire Builder AMTRAK routes, DC to Minneapolis?


My 5 watts was abysmal from DC to Connecticut (a few hits in 6 hours), so I guess I should pack a 25 watt Amp?

with antenna taped in the window.  I have a month til I go to build a battery pack for the current.


In fact, maybe I should build a nice Train-Go-Kit which includes the battery pack and power distribution center for all the other stuff I want to plugin while I RELAX!


Too bad I cannot run a cable out the back of the last car for a magmount HF antenna...;-)




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