Aprs-is

Aprs-is

APRS for Public Service Events John Beadles, N5OOM APRS is a registered trademark Bob Bruninga, WB4APR Copyright 2003 John Beadles, N5OOM All Rights Reserved APRS in Public Service Events APRS is a tactical aid to event management not intended to be a replacement for voice Bicycle rallies, races Foot races It helps the Net Controller track the location of assets Parades

Crime prevention patrols Weather nets Damage assessment If your organization is new at it, establish a pre-event workshop to get your participants equipment working Is best when most (or at least the most critical) stations have it. Is best when all the equipment is tested out before hand (dont wait until the last minute and expect it to work) APRS is a registered trademark Bob Bruninga, WB4APR Copyright 2003 John Beadles, N5OOM All Rights Reserved Types of APRS Stations Control Stations Radio, TNC and Computer provides a display that the Net Controller uses to track the

location of assets Digipeaters Repeats APRS packets. Many areas have Regional networks of WIDE and RELAY digipeters; however, some events may be held in terrain where a public fixed digipeater cant hear, so a temporary digipeater may be necessary. Weather Stations A Weather Station tied to an appropriately configured TNC or WeatherTrak and a Radio. Telemetry Stations Can be used to transmit the status of sensors. KPC-3+ TNCs have some telemetry capability. Mobile Trackers An APRS station consisting of a GPS receiver, TNC and radio mounted in a vehicle, generally not intended to be relocated. Generally tied to the vehicles power. Could also be a

boxed APRS station that is intended to be placed in locations or vehicles on a temporary basis. May use a mobile or HT as a radio, might use a TNC or TinyTrak unit. Might have internal batteries. Personal Trackers An APRS station intended to be worn. Might be used for search and rescue events. Probably uses an HT as a radio. APRS is a registered trademark Bob Bruninga, WB4APR Copyright 2003 John Beadles, N5OOM All Rights Reserved Control Stations TNC 144.39 Mobile Radio An APRS master station is used by the net control and other interested parties to view the location of APRS stations. A laptop is not generally needed except by people who need to know where others are. APRS is a registered trademark Bob Bruninga, WB4APR Copyright 2003 John Beadles, N5OOM All Rights Reserved

Net Control Station used during the 03 Red Hot Chili Pepper Rally Jim Shultz W5OMG using a Kenwood TH-D7 and a laptop APRS is a registered trademark Bob Bruninga, WB4APR Copyright 2003 John Beadles, N5OOM All Rights Reserved Digipeater 144.39 TNC Mobile Radio Battery A digipeater only repeats packets that it hears. It doesnt need a GPS receiver to do this. A fixed station might run off an AC power supply, while a portable station can run off a battery. Generally only a few fixed digipeaters are needed, though some mobile digis may be needed in certain circumstances. Improper digi configuration can harm the local network. APRS is a registered trademark Bob Bruninga, WB4APR Copyright 2003 John Beadles, N5OOM All Rights Reserved Weather Stations Weather Station 144.39 TinyTrak

Weather Station Mobile Radio TNC 144.39 Mobile Radio Weather Station 144.39 TNC Mobile Radio A weather station may be used for APRS using a WeatherTrak (similar to the TinyTrak), a suitable TNC or to a computer running appropriate software. Temporary weather stations are of limited utility for most public service events. APRS is a registered trademark Bob Bruninga, WB4APR Copyright 2003 John Beadles, N5OOM All Rights Reserved Mobile Stations 144.39 TinyTrak Mobile Radio GPS TNC GPS

144.39 Mobile Radio Kenwood TM-D700 144.39 Mobile Radio GPS Mobile trackers are intended to be carried in a vehicle. Usually uses a higher power mobile radio. May be installed in the vehicle or carried in a box and powered with a battery. Kenwood TM-D700 radios can have a laptop attached at the same time as a GPS receiver. APRS is a registered trademark Bob Bruninga, WB4APR Copyright 2003 John Beadles, N5OOM All Rights Reserved Portable Trackers Palm GPS 144.39 GPS 144.39 TinyTrak TNC HT

HT Battery A personal tracker is wearable or back-packable. It is likely to be low powered and may require a nearby digipeater. Might be used for event shadows or search & rescue personnel. A simple portable station may only include a GPS receiver, TinyTrak and radio. A more complex station might use a KPC-3+ and a Palm running PocketAPRS APRS is a registered trademark Bob Bruninga, WB4APR Copyright 2003 John Beadles, N5OOM All Rights Reserved Trackers used during the 03 Red Hot Chili Pepper Rally W5ADC N5OOM Magmounted to outside of a vehicle Carried in a vehicle W5DCR Dallas REACT APRS is a registered trademark Bob Bruninga, WB4APR Copyright 2003 John Beadles, N5OOM All Rights Reserved

WA5KXX Selfcontained digipeaters Preparing for a PSE with APRS The PSE Coordinator is the person in charge of the communications plan for the event. Can delegate labor to subordinates, including: The APRS Coordinator Setting up the APRS can be labor intensive the PSE coordinator may delegate this to an APRS expert. The Net Controller Should coordinate with the APRS coordinator in advance of the event to determine what APRS functions will be available The APRS Coordinator should: Map the route if a race or rally, the route should be digitized and installed in the events net control station and

Create and distribute maps and overlay files to the Net Controller, other interested parties Identify and list the APRS hardware that the volunteers will be bringing insure that critical areas are covered. May borrow equipment if needed. Verify digipeater coverage on the route, coordinate the placement of temporary relays Ensure that all stations are properly configured. Oversee the installation of temporary trackers where needed. Note this is labor intensive plan on having an assistant or two. APRS is a registered trademark Bob Bruninga, WB4APR Copyright 2003 John Beadles, N5OOM All Rights Reserved During the event Before the event start, the

APRS coordinator oversees the deployment of trackers. Better have an assistant if you have a lot of trackers! During the event, the coordinator checks for holes in digipeater coverage, places temporary relay digipeaters as necessary. The coordinator uses a control station to see if all of the stations can be seen through a digipeater. After the event, the coordinator collects any loaned equipment. APRS is a registered trademark Bob Bruninga, WB4APR Copyright 2003 John Beadles, N5OOM All Rights Reserved Preparing APRS for Emergency Service Emergency response events are necessarily come-as-youare events. Emergency coordinators need to be familiar

with the APRS coverage in their county. Similarly, ARES / RACES orgs that intend to incorporate APRS into their operations need to identify what percentage of their members have APRS equipment and what type of equipment is available to them. There are a fair number of APRS weather stations across N. Texas. However, most arent useable because they are uncalibrated or improperly installed. Possible for ARES / RACES orgs may provide installation / calibration instructions to fix. APRS users need to practice with their equipment to get the best use out of it. Perhaps orgs wishing to incorporate APRS should sponsor local workshops, sponsor group eqpt purchases.

APRS is a registered trademark Bob Bruninga, WB4APR Copyright 2003 John Beadles, N5OOM All Rights Reserved UI-View Map for the 03 Red Hot Chili Pepper Rally Route marked on map Overlay used to identify specific points Different software packages provide different functionality Work needed to create a suitable map can vary greatly beyond the scope of this presentation APRS is a registered trademark Bob Bruninga, WB4APR Copyright 2003 John Beadles, N5OOM All Rights Reserved Useful software functions for Net Controls Exclusions Some software lets the user set a filter on the displayed stations. This is useful for eliminating clutter. Translations Some software

allows the user to assign a tactical tag to a station, so that the tag is displayed instead of the real call. This allows the net controller to more quickly identify stations Overlays Overlays .are files that contain APRS formatted objects that will be displayed on top of the map. This is useful for marking known fixed locations, such as rest stops Objects Objects are APRS markers, similar to those displayed for station beacons, but where the location can be manually entered. Some software allows stations to transmit the locations of fixed sites to other stations IGATES An IGATE acts as a portal that gates APRS traffic from RF to and from the internet. This allows local APRS traffic to be seen at greater distances than would ordinarily be possible.

Kiosks Some software provides kiosk functionality. A kiosk allows remote stations to query it for information on specific topics. This could be useful for storing frequency lists, locations of landmarks, etc. Digipeaters A digipeater is a station that repeats incoming packets, similar to a voice repeater. Some software contains digipeater functionality, which may be useful if the control station is in an area where digipeater coverage exists. APRS is a registered trademark Bob Bruninga, WB4APR Copyright 2003 John Beadles, N5OOM All Rights Reserved Software functions that would make APRS more useful Current software doesnt appear to be optimized for by PSE net controllers. Some common functions need to be automated and easily accessable User interface limitations make it difficult for the net controller to rapidly switch between views (i.e. Switching from a station

search to a weather station display) Need a way to isolate and locate stations on the map very rapidly Station objects on the map need to change color with age so the net control can see when that station last beaconed Needs to be a way for stations to collect data and send it to the net control. This would be very useful for post-disaster management, SAR events. Needs a way a reporting mechanism for handing collected data to emergency management officials APRS is a registered trademark Bob Bruninga, WB4APR Copyright 2003 John Beadles, N5OOM All Rights Reserved

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