[OZAPRS] APRS coverage in SW WA

Chris Hill chris.hill at crhtelnet.com.au
Sun Jan 11 15:07:06 EST 2004

Hi All,
I took a drive from Perth to Augusta, via Mandurah, Bunbury and Busselton,
then down Sue's Road (rather than the normal route through Margaret River,
VHF coverage was surprisingly good !
As expected, I was gated to the internet all the way down to Mandurah
(approx 70km south of Perth), as my packets were being heard directly, and
hence digipeated,  by VK6ZTN-1, and hence gated to the 'net by VK6HGR-1
I could still see (decode) my own packets on the D-700 as far south as
Bunbury (approx 160km south of Perth), being digipeated by VK6KSB-1 (which
is above Pinjarra, approx halfway between Perth and Bunbury).
Unfortunately, it seems that VK6HGR-1 can't hear packets digipeated from
either VK6KSB-1 or VK6RLK-1, so these position reports weren't gated to
the 'net :-(
Further south, I could hear my own packets being digipeated by VK6KSB-1,
but couldn't reliably decode them on the D-700.  I specifically tested
sending beacons from Gelorup, and in Capel.  Pretty impressive....  that's
110km into VK6KSB-1 !
Further south yet again, nothing much was working, until we started
driving south along Sue's Road, climbing the Wicher Range.  Just before
entering the tree line, I sent some position beacons...  and amazingly,
they were digipeated!  I even decoded a few of the packets.  That's 140km
into VK6KSB-1, admittedly with height at both ends of the path, and with
the path being over low coastal plains.  Here's the southern-most packet
as received at VK6ZTN-1 :
VK6KCH-9>SS47P4,VK6KSB-1,VK6RLK-1* [08/01/04 16:43:04]:

There's an old 2m packet digipeater in Busselton on 144.875MHz, which I
believe is completely unused these days.  It would be interesting to see
if the owners (WARG?) are interested in moving it to 145.175MHz, as it
would then link in very nicely with VK6KSB-1, and from there, to Perth.  
Also, we need to establish a permanent IGATE which can reliably receive as
many digipeaters as possible.  Although my home station can reliably
receive all digipeaters, my "IGATE" currently runs on a laptop, which was
travelling with me at the time  :-(
In summary, we have some pretty impressive coverage down the west coast!
73 Chris vk6kch
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