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RE: HAM (APRS) support for Operation On Target on Sat., 7/21/2001

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  • n7tek@amsat.org
    Hello Bob Bruninga - WB4APR: It s was a wonderful surprise to read your email this evening! I ve been watching you and the neat things you ve been doing in
    Message 1 of 1 , May 7, 2001
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      Hello Bob Bruninga - WB4APR:

      It's was a wonderful surprise to read your email this evening! I've been
      watching you and the neat things you've been doing in APRS for a few years
      now and I must say I'm very intrigued by it. APRS is the area in Amateur
      Radio that I want to get involved in next but for right now it's not in the
      budget.

      The map you setup to display On Target participants looks cool! I've always
      felt that On Target and APRS were natural partners - we just need to get
      more APRS HAMs involved! It would be cool if every team had a portable
      tracker unit with them and you could see where they were at as they ascend
      the mountain (or other high point) on Saturday morning. You could tell when
      they arrived on the peak and were available to flash.

      There are 2 APRS HAMs here in Utah that have been very supportive of On
      Target over the last few years - NY4I Tom Schaefer and N7TDT Clark Dowding.
      Both have helped by promoting On Target to HAMs and also by using APRS and
      the Internet to enhance the On Target experience. Tom volunteered this year
      to automate the peak signup page and to include a key peaks drop down list
      by state that would post the lat/lon coordinates on the webpage when a team
      signs up for one of these known peaks. The intent is to be able to take
      this data and be able to plot these graphically on a map. It would be nice
      if there were an easy way to determine the lat/lon's for every peak (or high
      point) that a Scout unit signed up for.

      What FRS (Family Radio Service) channel (no tone) would you suggest we use
      for On Target? I have some FRS radios that I take with me on Scout camps
      and I use them to teach the young men about radio. Some have shown interest
      in Amateur Radio from using the FRS radios along with their experience with
      On Target talking to teams on other peaks. The road blocks are the demands
      on their time (which limits their ability to study for the license exams)
      and money for them to get some gear to get them on the air. Between school,
      work, and extra-curricular activities (like sports) it's difficult to get
      with them to help them move forward. Yet I digress. It will be interesting
      to see how far they could communicate using FRS radios from peak to peak.

      The ideal situation would be to get a HAM on every peak with every unit.
      I've had several veteran Scout leaders that have been doing On Target since
      the 1980's that have told me that they have had the best experiences when
      they had HAM radio capabilities with them. There is nothing like being able
      to talk to several teams on several peaks at once and to get confirmation
      from all of them that they are seeing your flashes and you are getting
      theirs (it takes some skill to be able to aim a 1'x1' or 2'x2' mirror to
      flash a peak 50, 100, or even 150 miles away!). You can't do that on a
      cellphone (some peaks don't have cellular coverage). Last year a team with
      a cell phone in Idaho was able to call NY4I Tom our VHF/HF Gateway station
      in Salt Lake City, UT who relayed the information over a linked repeater
      system to other teams in Idaho that had HAMs with them to confirm contacts.
      We hope to have similar setups in several other states this year.

      Thanks for your support!
      73 de N7TEK - John Blackham, On Target Communications Coordinator
      __________________________________________________________________________
      John L. Blackham, "bsa_on_target@yahoogroups.com" list owner
      PHONE: 801-588-1216 FAX: 801-588-4531
      E-MAIL: n7tek@...
      Amateur Radio/UT Army MARS callsign: N7TEK/AAR8DR
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      ON Target webpage: http://www.ontargetbsa.org/

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      -----Original Message-----
      From: Bob Bruninga [mailto:bruninga@...]
      Sent: Sunday, May 06, 2001 2:11 PM
      To: n7tek@...
      Cc: Robert Bruninga
      Subject: HAM support for Operation On Target on Sat., 7/21/2001


      John,

      This sounds great! If there is anything I can do, lemme know. One idea I
      have is to put up a javAPRS site that will display the "planned"
      operating locations of groups so that others can look for optimum sighting
      and planning between groups. I have already prepared the page, althogh
      this instant, I have a bug and the map is not coming up..

      Operation On Target PLANs http://web.usna.navy.mil/~bruninga/ontarget.html

      I also suggest publishing a planned FRS channel (no tone) to be used for
      random QSO's and contacts for those groups without HAM equipment. ALso,
      you will notice that I have sent your announcement to the AMSAT and APRS
      bulletin boards.

      de WB4APR, Bob





      -----Original Message-----
      From: Bob Bruninga [mailto:bruninga@...]
      Sent: Sunday, May 06, 2001 8:11 AM
      To: frank.bauer@...
      Cc: kc6rol@...; n7tek@...
      Subject: ISS support for Operation On Target on Sat., 7/21/200 1! (fwd)


      Frank,

      Here is a GREAT opportunity for ISS digipeater to "support youth" across
      the whole country! In separate correspondence I am going to encourage
      YOUTH GROUPS OF ALL KINDS to participate (this will avoid the appearance
      of goverment support for just one politically incorrect organization of
      boy scouts)

      All ISS has to do is be ON. But you put out the word that the day is
      reserved for KIDS. Then you take PR credit for ISS digipeater
      "supporting" this national event... de WB4APR@..., Bob





      -----Original Message-----
      From: Bob Bruninga [mailto:bruninga@...]
      Sent: Sunday, May 06, 2001 7:57 AM
      To: n7tek@...; TAPR APRS Special Interest Group
      Cc: scoutradio@yahoogroups.com; otusa_committee@onelist.com
      Subject: APRS support for Operation On Target on Sat., 7/21/2001


      On TARGET is an ideal application for APRS. WIth only a TH-D7 all-in-one
      Kenwood APRS Handheld walkie-talkie, nothing else is needed (no TNC, no
      laptpop, nothing but the radio). The HT will do the following:

      VOICE:
      0) two-way dual band 5W voice FM communications simplex/repeaters/phone
      patches (just like any 5w dual band HT)
      00) attempt FM voice communications via UO-14 and AO-27 satellites

      APRS PACKET:
      1) Transmit your position to everyone else in the world
      2) Show all other ON-TARGET groups within hundreds of miles
      3) show you the range and bearing to each of these other stations
      4) Allow you to keyboard communicate to them or any other APRS station on
      the planet to coordinate
      5) Show your location on the http://www.aprs.net wep page live
      6) Send Email
      7) Send/receive Positions/status via the International SPACE station on
      6 passes a day to anyone/everyone within 1500 miles

      ALL FROM THE built-in TTpad and three line alphanumeric display.

      You dont even need a GPS if you take along some LAT/LONG coordinates of
      known points. But if you plug your GPS into the D7 HT, then your entire
      track can be seen by others and also show on the APRS.NET web page...

      There are many thousands of TH-D7's in the hands of HAM operators that
      would love the opportunity to come along and show it off...

      de WB4APR@..., Bob

      ISS-APRS FAQ: http://web.usna.navy.mil/~bruninga/iss-faq.html
      PCsat Design http://web.usna.navy.mil/~bruninga/pcsat.html
      CUBESAT Designs http://web.usna.navy.mil/~bruninga/cubesat.html
      APRS LIVE pages http://web.usna.navy.mil/~bruninga/aprs.html
      APRS SATELLITES http://web.usna.navy.mil/~bruninga/astars.html
      MIM/Mic-E/Mic-Lite http://www.toad.net/~wclement/bruninga/mic-lite.html



      ---------- Forwarded message ----------
      Date: Sun, 6 May 2001 00:29:49 -0600
      From: n7tek@...
      To: scoutradio@yahoogroups.com
      Cc: n7tek@..., otusa_committee@onelist.com
      Subject: HAM support for Operation On Target on Sat., 7/21/2001!

      Greetings fellow HAMs & Scouters on the "Scoutradio" list!

      I need your help to find HAMs (and others) to support the annual "Operation
      On Target" event for Varsity and Venture Scouts. What is On Target? Well
      in brief its an annual high adventure event held on the 3rd Saturday in July
      (7/21/2001 this year) for older Scouts where they climb to a mountain peak
      or other high point (like maybe a tall building, or other structure if no
      mountains are available) and attempt to flash mirrors at other units on
      other peaks. They confirm contacts via Amateur Radio (or in some cases if
      no HAMs are available using cell phones - however some areas have no
      cellular coverage). The goal is to get as many confirmed contacts as
      possible, to go as far as possible, and to try to create a chain of
      confirmed contacts as long as possible (ideally from Mexico to Canada and
      from the Pacific to the Atlantic Oceans). To learn more about On Target and
      how Amateur Radio is used visit the following links:

      http://www.ontargetbsa.org/what.htm
      http://www.ontargetbsa.org/index.html
      http://www.ontargetbsa.org/HAM_main.htm

      There will be contingent doing On Target back at the National Jamboree this
      year so if you will be back there be sure to check it out.

      What kind of support do we need? Well here's a short list:

      1. We need as many Varsity & Venture units to participate as we can get.
      So please talk to the units in your area and see if you can get them to
      participate. The more units involved the more fun each unit will have. If
      you can't find a unit in your area that wants to participate grab your HT, a
      mirror, a compass, and some binoculars and participate as a HAM or group of
      HAMs.

      2. We need HAMs to support the units in their area either on a mountain
      peak (or high point) or as an Area VHF/HF Gateway station to communicate
      with HAMs in other states and coordinate contacts. Each state needs to
      determine the simplex or repeater frequencies they will use and get them
      posted on the webpage at:

      http://www.ontargetbsa.org/HAM_hf.htm (if your state is not listed we'll add
      it)

      We still need someone to fill these Area VHF/HF Gateway stations in most
      states. Typically we have only done this out in the western U.S. but it
      would be REALLY COOL if we could have units and HAMs participating in all
      states (and at the National Jamboree)!

      3. Talk to your HAM buddies, and your local clubs and encourage them to
      help out and participate in any way they can. In many areas HAMs down in
      the valleys have been "bonus" contacts for Scout units in that they pulled
      out a mirror, and their HT and signaled Scout units from their back yards,
      or pulled over to the side of a road and signaled with a mirror from the
      hood of their car, or some have even taken a break at work and walked
      outside for a few minutes to signal the teams in their area. Every little
      bit helps.

      This can also be used as an ice breaker to introduce Amateur Radio (and
      perhaps talk about the JOTA event coming up in the Fall) to the Scouts in
      your area.

      If you would like to help please email me at:

      n7tek@...

      You can also signup for the On Target email list
      "bsa_on_target@yahoogroups.com" by visiting:

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bsa_on_target

      Thank you for you time & 73!
      N7TEK - John Blackham, On Target Communications Coordinator
      ______________________________________________
      John Blackham, N7TEK
      HOME ADDRESS:
      384 N. 75 E., North Salt Lake, UT 84054-2320
      PHONE: (H)801-295-3036 (W)801-588-1216
      EMAIL: n7tek@...

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