[OZAPRS] Alice Springs & VK8 APRS

Ray Wells vk2tv at exemail.com.au
Thu Dec 10 06:58:06 EST 2009


I think you'll find we are unaware of any gateway in Alice Springs but 
it has been talked about here in the past. A 30m gateway would be a very 
useful supplement to the 30m gateways scattered around coastal towns. 
However, at 223km distance from Alice Springs you'd be too far for VHF, 
and mostly too close for HF. 30m, e.g. is very reliable from about 900km 
to 2300km.

I'm located just a few km west of the Pacific Hwy and passing 30m aprs 
stations only get into here for a few km or so each side of the town, 
but I hear vk3, vk4 and vk5 gateways almost all day.

I don't know how successful it was but there was talk on here of the 
Blue Mountains Club Expedition using a vehicle as a vhf/hf gateway. 
However,  the distance you mentioned to a support vehicle - within 50km 
- would be a tad far for a 2m equipped walker to reach reliably. 
Logically, you would get some hits to that vehicle at closer distances. 
An efficient antenna at the pedestrian end would provide better results 
than a -20dB Rubber Ducky. A short mast supporting the antenna on the 
mobile would also assist with range.

HF on 30m would be your most reliable option, given the number of 
permanent gateways and, it is less susceptible to the vagaries of 
propagation and atmospheric noises than 40m. Portable antennas are also 
smaller and, in the case of mobile whips, more efficient for a given 
length antenna.

The were a lot of contributions to TAPR's aprs SIG a while back to do 
with walking the Appalachian Trail. Maybe a search of the archives will 
shed some light on options.

Ray vk2tv

Andrew Gilbett wrote:
> Hi All,
> Next year I shall be walking the Larapinta Trail from Alice Springs to
> Mt Sonder in the West MacDonnell Ranges (about 223km). I am interested
> to show my progress on the internet to friends and family also of
> course fellow amateurs via RF. I am wondering whether there is any
> kind of IGate near Alice Springs as the website does not seem to
> mention one or if there is someone who may be willing to host one?
> Also I am interested in peoples experiences with using HF APRS, I
> remember that a particular group had a number of motor bikes using VHF
> APRS being gated to HF in a vehicle. There shall be a support vehicle
> that we shall visit every couple of days and shall be usually within
> 50km of the walking group.
> I have some ideas about how I shall go about this which I shall share
> soon as its a little late right now...
> I am currently working out the feasibility of this, so comments and
> ideas are welcome.
> Thanks :-)
> Andrew Gilbett
> andrew.gilbett at gmail.com
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> OZAPRS at aprs.net.au
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