Today I was out Man Portable, with the Super Antenna MP1DXMAX, Yaesu FT-817ND, Wolphilink, Mobilinkd, and trusty Samsung Galaxy Tab Active SG-T365. I was out filming a video about the HF + 2 meter capabilities of the MP1DXMAX.
Here is the completed video
The goal was to go out set up the MP1DXMAX, and record a video of digital mode ops on HF, and sending an email via APRS with the Yaesu FT-817ND, with the same antenna. Well, the deployment was a total fail (except for the really cool scenic images). The fail was caused by poor igate coverage for our local area. I mean, we have an igate, but it just doesn’t hear very much. That’s not anybodies fault, it just is how it is.
Now we all know APRS is a community effort. With that in mind, I’ve decided to add igating capabilities to the Kenwood TM-D700 which is normally running APRS in my shack (when the sun is up). The ultimate plan is to build a pi powered igate, but for now I’ll use the DigiTracker (from Cross Country Wireless), an unused Samsung Galaxy tablet running APRS Messager for Android. The antenna is mounted vertically to a stand-off at 12m up on the tower. It has relatively good coverage of KP25. The station regularly hears OH9, OH6 and SK2 station in zero propagation. During band openings, the station hears or has been heard by stations as far north as Tromso, while being heard as far south as Hamburg in Germany. (That last bit is not important).
It is my opinion that every local community have an igate. It is also my opinon that igates should be placed along major (or wherever possible) highways and rest areas whenever possible. Finally, it is also my opinion that every station have wide1-1 alias in place so that it can act as a fill in digi.
Here is my plan.
- Pi or Android Powered igate running APRS Messenger or XASTIR
- DigiTracker TNC connected to the data port of the D700
- Solar powered
The additional igate for the area will provide much needed coverage and a messaging link to those outside the coverage area of our primary local digi and igate.