[aprssig] 60 Meters Mobile APRS Test On Road Trip This Weekend

Stephen H. Smith wa8lmf2 at aol.com
Fri Jun 8 12:58:05 EDT 2018

Starting this weekend, I will be on a road trip that includes testing HF APRS 
on 60-meters.   I will be departing at 0800 local (US EDT/1300 UTC) on Sunday 
10 June.

The first day drive will be from my QTH in central Michigan to Wilkes-Barre, 
Pennsylvania.   On Monday 11 June, I will be traveling from Wilkes-Barre to 
Philadelphia, PA; i.e. half day trip. On Wednesday 13 June, I will make the 
return trip from Philly to Michigan.

I will be transmitting on 5403.50 KHz USB (US 60-meter "Channel 5") running a 
Yaesu FT-891 into a 60-meter Hamstick.    APRS beacons will alternate between:

  * Classic 300 baud AX.25 (WA8LMF-6) 1600/1800 Hz  Standard "KAM" Tones
  * APRS Messenger MFSK16 (WA8LMF-66)    2100 Hz Tone Center

Due to the shared-use mixed-mode (i.e. amateur vs government  voice vs data) 
nature of 60 meters, these will not be the usual beacons that key-up 
periodically and automatically without warning. Rather, I will be monitoring 
with speaker audio and manually triggering beacons on demand whenever the 
channel is quiet.   Direct off-air reception reports, or even two-way APRS 
messaging is invited.  (I am running a full mobile laptop installation with 
two-way comms capability.)

At home in Haslett (near East Lansing, MI), my TS-2000 with ladder-line-fed 
105' dipole, and my "Special Events"  instance of UIview will be running as an 
igate and mapping webserver to track the trip .  Go to


and click the black link for "Special Events Server" to see the real-time 
map.   Or look up WA8LMF-6 and/or WA8LMF-66 on the usual Internet mapping sources.


The purpose of this test is to validate my hypothesis that 60 meters with it's 
NVIS capability (and NO skip zone like 30 meters) would be superior to 60 
meters for 0-500 mile regional APRS coverage on HF.

[My long term interest is the potential for superior mobile HF APRS coverage of 
the US and Canadian interior west (Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah, 
Nevada, Alberta, eastern BC, etc).    There are hundreds of thousands of  
square miles in the thinly-populated mountainous terrain of the "Great Basin" 
(i.e. between the Sierra Nevada/Cascades coastal mountains and the US/Canadian 
Rockies) that have NO VHF coverage at all.  30 meters doesn't work well here 
either, since the relatively long-haul propagation on 30 means low radiation 
angles that don't effectively get out of the canyons and valleys rimmed by 
7,000-to-14,000-foot mountains in the interior.  60 meters with it's excellent 
NVIS capabilities should be far better for short-haul HF "leaping tall 
mountains ins a single bound" mode.  For example, an RV in the Grand Canyon of 
the Gunnison in western Colorado reaching an igate in Denver.  This is only 150 
miles away but no VHF coverage and deep in a canyon. This path is far too close 
for 30 meters; the skip zone on this band is usually 250-300 miles.]


Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com
Skype:        WA8LMF
EchoLink:  Node #  14400  [Think bottom of the 2-meter band]
Home Page:          http://wa8lmf.net

Live Off-The-Air APRS Activity Maps

Long-Range APRS on 30 Meters HF

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