APRS: how many digi hops to make it to APRS-IS

APRS is almost exclusively source routed, and depends greatly on sensible path configuration by each and every user.

This is one of those cases where individuals acting independently and rationally for their own personal behave contrary to the whole group’s long-term best interests by depleting some common resource (the tragedy of the commons).

Increasing the available WIDE path length does expose a station’s packets to more iGates, but the average effect of everyone following that strategy is to literally exponentially increase channel busy as the available hops is increased. Continue reading APRS: how many digi hops to make it to APRS-IS

APRS test drive – 20140930

A short test drive was conducted to evaluation APRS effectiveness in capturing a motor vehicle journey of about 30km.

Google Earth googleearth 30/09/2014 , 13:28:39

The test area is between two digipeaters spaced almost 40m apart, so within the overlapping coverage area of VK2RHR-1 about 17km NW of the test area, and VK2AMW-1 about 17km SW of the test area.

Three position capture devices were used:

  • APRS on 2m (blue track on the maps);
  • APRSdroid (green track on the maps);
  • Bushnell Backtrack Detour (stand alone GPS logger) (red track on the maps).

Continue reading APRS test drive – 20140930

Synthetic fibre rope for antenna rigging

Fibre rope has applications in antenna rigging, typically for halyards and tails to support the ends of wire antennas such as dipoles. The use of fibre rope for guying applications has issues due to shrinkage when wet.

Much is made of the ‘best’ fibre rope for these applications, and the almost universal answer is black Dacron (Polyester) in small sizes from 2.5mmm to 6mm diameter. The smaller sizes are usually a braided construction, commonly known as venetian cord. Claims are that the Polyester rope is strong, UV proof and rot proof. Whilst Polyester rope is resistant to mild acids and alkalis, it is damaged by strong alkalis (such as might develop when an alkaline solution dries on the rope). Continue reading Synthetic fibre rope for antenna rigging

Headless aprx APRS server – RPi packages

In earlier articles I documented a trial of aprx v2.08r593:

Encouraged by Kenneth Finnegan who merged some fixes by WB4XO (which still didn’t work properly), I set about resolving some problems.

Further fixes and some enhancements have been pushed to the source fork at owenduffy/aprx. This was forked from PhirePhly/aprx which in time may pull the changes.

You can browse owenduffy/aprx for brief descriptions of the changes.

Recent Debian packages for RPi based on my fork have been uploaded to http://owenduffy.net/files/aprx/ .

End fed wires – another matching case study

A reader of my article End fed wires – new hams love ‘em asked about the performance of the matching transformer described at (Osborne 2014).

Screenshot - 25_09_2014 , 08_09_48

(Osborne 2014) gives the transformer design above using a FT82-43 ferrite toroid with three turns on the primary. The concept is to adjust the antenna length and C1 for a ‘perfect match’. Continue reading End fed wires – another matching case study

Headless aprx APRS server

In earlier articles I documented a trial of aprx v2.08r593:

Encouraged by Kenneth Finnegan who merged some fixes by WB4XO (which still didn’t work properly), I set about resolving some problems.

HeadlessJavaprssrvrAbove is the RPi sitting on a TNC-X KISS TNC connected to the TNC’s USB port. In this case, aprx uses the supplied KISS interface, it does not use Linux kernel support for AX.25. Continue reading Headless aprx APRS server

Effect of ground on HF horizontal dipole efficiency

New hams are often advised quite poorly, justified by the mantra that “any antenna is better than no antenna at all”. The more confident the advisor, the more jargon, the more unsupported, the more the advice is soaked up by eager newbies. Not just soaked up, but learned so the newbie can talk like the pro… even if they also do not understand the subject matter. Spruiking BS has always been a feature of ham radio.

Recent online discussion illustrated and recommended a 40m dipole strung on a timer fence at a height of about 1.5m to a new ham with a 10W power limit in search of good solutions from ‘experts’. Continue reading Effect of ground on HF horizontal dipole efficiency