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15505Re: [tracker2] Digipeater

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  • James Ewen
    Apr 24, 2013
      On Wed, Apr 24, 2013 at 10:47 AM, Teddy Banks <tbanks204@...> wrote:

      > OK, the reasion for all the questions is, I am trying to learn how to find
      > out if my home Station KC0WNY-1, (changed the ID) is doing what I think it
      > should do, and that is, receive the packets sent from my mobile unit(s) one
      > being my wife's Car, She is a ham also, with an ID of KC0WNY-14, when I
      > looked at the raw data today, from both stations, I can see the packets
      > being picked up by a station ID of Walnut. The reasion I put up my station
      > is because there is not much APRS Traffic in my local area, and I thought it
      > would help for tracking purposes with my 2 mobile units. My antenna is about
      > 30 ft high, and is a diamond 2 mtr ground plane, I really enjoy this APRS
      > Technology, but I am pretty thick headed, I guess that about covers it.

      Here's the tricky part about ham radio... you need to use ham radio to
      monitor ham radio.

      KC0WNY-14 looks to be a Kenwood TM-D710. That radio can be used for
      APRS, and it looks like it is. The wonderful thing about the TM-D710
      over other APRS devices like the TinyTrak and OpenTracker lines when
      used as TX only devices is that the TM-D710 has a transceiver, TNC,
      and display all built into one integrated package.

      So, to figure out if your home station is acting as a digipeater, all
      you need to do is to go out to your wife's car, and start up the
      TM-D710. It should fire out a position packet as soon as the attached
      GPS gets a position lock. The radio will transmit. If your home
      station is configured properly, and responds to the path used by your
      wife's car, you will see (on the display of the TM-D710) the words "MY
      POSITION"which will pop up on the top of the display. You will also
      see the S/RF meter indicate reception of a signal. The BUSY indicator
      should also light up. If you have your volume up, and Voice Alert
      disabled, you will hear a packet burst. If you have incoming packet
      beeps enabled, you'll also hear a be-doop sound indicating reception
      of a packet. You can also hit the P.MON button and watch the incoming
      packets to see if you can see a packet being digipeated by your
      station, but you need to be pretty quick to catch that flashing by,
      especially with a GPS on the radio.

      The radio gives all kinds of indications that it is receiving signals,
      all you have to do is pay attention to what it is telling you. You've
      indicated that the closest digipeater to you is 40 to 50 miles away
      (other than your station). I see MATFLD at 57 km (about 35 miles), so
      if you are seeing full scale signals of your digipeats, you can be
      pretty sure that you are seeing digipeats from your station.

      Another way you can figure out if your DR-135 and Tracker2 combination
      are working as a digipeater is to sit next to those devices and
      observe them. Turn up the volume on the DR-135, and watch the lights
      on the Tracker2. You should be able to hear a packet being received,
      and observe the RX light on the Tracker2. If the packet is asking for
      a digipeat and the Tracker2 is configured to respond to that alias,
      then the Tracker2 will light up it's TX light, and you should see the
      DR-135 go into TX mode, and send the packet out again.

      If you have an HT or other radio available, you can tune to 144.390
      and listen to the activity. You should hear packets from other
      stations (your wife), and then immediately after, a second
      transmission, which should correspond with the TX lights as indicated
      in the paragraph above.

      So, there's all kinds of information available to let you know if your
      station is working as desired.

      Now, if you want to observe the APRS activity via the internet, be
      prepared to be sorely disappointed because as we have posted
      continually over the years, the APRS-IS is designed to block ALL but
      the FIRST copy of a packet that is received. You will NEVER be able to
      tell exactly what is happening on the APRS RF network when observing
      the APRS-IS stream via a site such as aprs.fi or findu.com. The
      information you are interested in seeing is blocked from view.
      Occasionally you might get a glimpse at some of the desired data, but
      the APRS-IS is designed to block access to all but the first copy of a
      packet heard.

      Packets from your area are being heard directly by KC0U-1, which means
      that any subsequent digipeats would never get seen on the normal
      APRS-IS feed.

      However (isn't there always a however?), KC0U-1 is running
      APRSISCE/32, an application that sends an unfiltered stream back home
      to it's master as well as feeding the normal filtered stream to the
      APRS-IS. This unfiltered stream allows us a peek into the real APRS
      network operations.

      Here's a look at what KC0U-1 has seen over the last 24 hours:


      There's no legend, but if I recall properly, the numbers in the boxes
      decode as follows:

      3+10 means 3 packets originating from the station, and 10 packets
      digipeated by the station.

      I've been snooping looking for packets digipeated by your station, but
      the change in station callsign made my snooping void as I was looking
      for packets digipeated by KC0WNY... now I'm watching for packets
      digipeated by KC0WNY-1.

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