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-   -   Anyone still flying with APRS? (https://vansairforce.net/community/showthread.php?t=189746)

MS19087 12-07-2020 05:30 AM

Anyone still flying with APRS?
 
I had an APRS unit installed on my last plane and really liked the functionality and ability to give my loved ones insight to my travels. With the aviation specific tracking sites now dark and ADS-B position info available through Flight Aware is anyone still using their airborne APRS trackers?

Vlad 12-07-2020 05:35 AM

My buddy John from AZ and I are still throwing bread crumbs everywhere we go. In my woods it works better then ADSB. I flip off switch sometimes :)

M McGraw 12-07-2020 05:52 AM

Receiver
 
I still have a tracking station in my hangar that puts APRS aircraft on the internet. I do wonder how many people still need that service. It has been out there silently watching for better than 6 or 7 years.

RV6_flyer 12-07-2020 06:47 AM

I installed my APRS when I was based in Southwestern Pennsylvania. I moved from there 3 years ago. I was planning on putting APRS in my new under construction RV-8 but ADS-B results I see with my RV-6 tell me that is no longer necessary. I am on the fence about taking the APRS out of my RV-6. This thread may convince me that it is no longer necessary.

Sam Buchanan 12-07-2020 07:16 AM

Still flying APRS, but if my current tracker went belly-up I probably wouldn't replace it. My wife enjoys seeing where the RV-6 is located but my Flightaware account sends her an email every time I takeoff and conclude a flight. I also use a tracker on my phone that she can access.

The aprs.fi site still works fine.

Plummit 12-07-2020 07:33 AM

Still have it and still use it.

-Marc

DanBaier 12-07-2020 07:36 AM

Still have it and still using it.

Greg Arehart 12-07-2020 07:57 AM

Yes, still useful. I often use it to count landings for the logbook when I'm doing TnGs in the pattern - much easier to look online than to remember (maybe that says something about my memory....)

bruceh 12-07-2020 01:22 PM

I'm using mine on every flight.
With Flightaware it breaks up the legs into separate flights. With APRS.fi, it shows all of the legs in the most recent day.

n18pf 12-07-2020 02:37 PM

Still use it
 
I still have mine and use it on every flight. My wife appreciates it. I also still have my igate up and running at my house (~2 miles from the airport). I don't see any reason to shut either of them down.

revenson 12-07-2020 03:54 PM

Yup, every flight.

rleffler 12-07-2020 04:01 PM

I installed aprs over eight years ago and itís still going strong.

It does a better job at providing flight route maps. This is primarily due to line of sight issues with adsb ground stations if youíre below 3k locally.

ADSB is much more responsive if youíre high enough to send data to ground stations.

Dvalcik 12-07-2020 05:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MS19087 (Post 1483241)
I had an APRS unit installed on my last plane and really liked the functionality and ability to give my loved ones insight to my travels. With the aviation specific tracking sites now dark and ADS-B position info available through Flight Aware is anyone still using their airborne APRS trackers?

Yes in still broadcast, Mark I have an extra unit if you need one for the new bird.

erich weaver 12-07-2020 10:00 PM

I have ADSB-in/out, received a clean FAA performance report report on it after installation a few years back, and it continues to provide good traffic reports to my GRT EFIS. I fly out of Santa Ynez (KIZA) every week but I see nothing or next to nothing for flight history on the various flight tracking services, at least the free versions. What am I missing? Iím N2725R if someone cares to check for me.

Thanks

Erich

SPX 12-07-2020 10:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by erich weaver (Post 1483548)
I have ADSB-in/out, received a clean FAA performance report report on it after installation a few years back, and it continues to provide good traffic reports to my GRT EFIS. I fly out of Santa Ynez (KIZA) every week but I see nothing or next to nothing for flight history on the various flight tracking services, at least the free versions. What am I missing? Iím N2725R if someone cares to check for me.

Thanks

Erich

Erich-

Have you run a recent performance report (ADS-B)? If not, give it a try and see if it's still showing good for you. FlightAware really should be picking you up...

Sam Buchanan 12-08-2020 08:25 AM

Just for clarification...this thread is about APRS, not ADS-B. :)

APRS is a system based on the 2M Ham radio band and has no connection with anything FAA-related.

Dvalcik 12-08-2020 12:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by erich weaver (Post 1483548)
I have ADSB-in/out, received a clean FAA performance report report on it after installation a few years back, and it continues to provide good traffic reports to my GRT EFIS. I fly out of Santa Ynez (KIZA) every week but I see nothing or next to nothing for flight history on the various flight tracking services, at least the free versions. What am I missing? Iím N2725R if someone cares to check for me.

Thanks

Erich

Erich this thread is about APRS - but what are you using for ADSB? Echo and GRT, if so contact me their may be a simple fix. I had a problem passing the FAA but not recognized - there is a possible setting you do not have in your GRT if you have the ECHO.

erich weaver 12-08-2020 05:23 PM

Yes, I have the Echo GRT combo. Thanks, I will contact you David. Sorry for the thread drift.

Erich

John RV8 12-08-2020 06:05 PM

Yep! I use my APRS every flight, And Yes I have ADS-B out/in also.

94kb 12-08-2020 06:29 PM

Track comparison
 
I have both aprs and adsb uat in the 4. I have a flight aware adsb uat receiver to send reports to flight aware. I get much better coverage with flight aware than with aprs and additionally get altitude data. The difference can be seen on the following tracks from the same flight.

https://aprs.fi/#!call=a%2FWY0S-1&ti...6400&tail=3600


https://flightaware.com/live/flight/...421205-adhoc-0

Joe 12-09-2020 08:43 AM

APRS forever
 
1 Attachment(s)
I was an early adopter of APRS tracking but now I use both APRS and ADS-B. I find coverage varies depending on location. In parts of Nevada the ARTCC can't even hear me on the radio, much less see my aircraft on radar or ADS-B while APRS provides pretty good coverage from a few mountaintop digipeaters. The situation is reversed in other areas, particularly at low altitudes but near FAA ADS-B basestations.

Here in the Willamette Valley of western Oregon, they're both solid right down to the ground (taxiing) at my airfield. The map image below is from yesterday's flight and is a combined feed with the ADS-B coming from an ADSBexchange (not FA).

Red position reports are from APRS, green from ADS-B. Circling my GF's place caused the mostly red cluster of position reports near the center <g>.

94kb 12-09-2020 09:04 AM

APRS coverage
 
I agree coverage will vary depending on location and altitude. My tracks were mostly low level especially when I was flying 500 ft following the Brazos river.
Good coverage for Flight Aware UAT rcvr in my hangar and limited digipeters in the area.

RV7A Flyer 12-11-2020 10:53 PM

I have a Byonics APRS tracker that I put in the left wingtip right after I completed the build, but it never seemed to work well, even after some work on it by Byonics. Didn't really work well in the car, either, so when I pulled it out when getting the plane painted, I never put it back in. I'm tempted to futz with it some more, just to see if I can get it to work while driving, but I'm also tempted to try a different brand if anyone has an alternate suggestion for a particular tracker model.

Kind of fun to play with, and would be nice to have if I can get one that works well.

Bevan 12-11-2020 11:35 PM

Are you using the antenna that it came with?

Quote:

Originally Posted by RV7A Flyer (Post 1484624)
I have a Byonics APRS tracker that I put in the left wingtip right after I completed the build, but it never seemed to work well, even after some work on it by Byonics. Didn't really work well in the car, either, so when I pulled it out when getting the plane painted, I never put it back in. I'm tempted to futz with it some more, just to see if I can get it to work while driving, but I'm also tempted to try a different brand if anyone has an alternate suggestion for a particular tracker model.

Kind of fun to play with, and would be nice to have if I can get one that works well.


rleffler 12-12-2020 04:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RV7A Flyer (Post 1484624)
I have a Byonics APRS tracker that I put in the left wingtip right after I completed the build, but it never seemed to work well, even after some work on it by Byonics. Didn't really work well in the car, either, so when I pulled it out when getting the plane painted, I never put it back in. I'm tempted to futz with it some more, just to see if I can get it to work while driving, but I'm also tempted to try a different brand if anyone has an alternate suggestion for a particular tracker model.

Kind of fun to play with, and would be nice to have if I can get one that works well.

My experience is that theyíll work perfectly or not at all.

What does work well mean?

I agree with Bevan. If packets are t getting to a receiver, then I would take a look at your antenna. I have a Delta Pop APRS antenna on the bottom of my RV-10 and havenít had any issues. I did have one of the early gps units they sold sold that died after a couple years of service, it that was easy enough to fix.

RV7A Flyer 12-12-2020 11:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rleffler (Post 1484640)
My experience is that theyíll work perfectly or not at all.

What does work well mean?

I agree with Bevan. If packets are t getting to a receiver, then I would take a look at your antenna. I have a Delta Pop APRS antenna on the bottom of my RV-10 and havenít had any issues. I did have one of the early gps units they sold sold that died after a couple years of service, it that was easy enough to fix.

Using the J-pole antenna that Byonics recommended. By "not working well", I mean it would send out a packet on what looks like a pretty random basis...sometimes regularly for a few minutes, then not at all for 20-30 minutes of flight, then would start again, very hit and miss. And it's not like I'm in an area of sparse coverage for repeaters and such...I'm in the L.A. basin. A couple of other pilots here installed APRS and get excellent coverage all over CA, so coverage wasn't the problem. And it showed the same behavior in the car, with both the J-pole and another antenna.

I'm messing with it today in the car, just pulled it out to take a look at it and see what's up. Configuration looks good on the config app, so we'll see.

I would still be interested in any recommendations for other APRS trackers that anyone might have. I like toys :).

Sam Buchanan 12-12-2020 01:44 PM

Your tracker may be configured to not send beacons if it isn't getting complete data from the GPS. You may have a GPS/configuration issue.

RV7A Flyer 12-12-2020 03:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sam Buchanan (Post 1484764)
Your tracker may be configured to not send beacons if it isn't getting complete data from the GPS. You may have a GPS/configuration issue.

It is getting GPS fixes...solid green light, and it's sending them, but again, sporadically from what I see on aprs.fi. It's configured to send every 2 minutes (I have dynamic tracking turned off at the moment). Anyway, I'll keep messing with it for a few days...heck, why not? Nothing better to do after teleworking all day :)

gnuse 12-12-2020 08:49 PM

I do and my iGate is still working. ADSB certainly doesn't supply the information that APRS does. Like Sam, I'm not sure what I would do if it quit but Byonics has been 100% supportive of keeping it working. My family and friends have links on their phones, so they can see what I am up to with details of position, speed, and altitude. It was also the driving force for me to finally earn my Ham license.

guccidude1 12-13-2020 10:24 AM

Anyone still flying with APRS
 
I still have mine installed and broadcasting. Additionally, I have an I-Gate installed in my hangar. Brian Adams is the actual guy behind all the tech stuff I have, he installed most and keeps all operational. Dan from Reno

Joe 12-13-2020 12:48 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by MS19087 (Post 1483241)
... is anyone still using their airborne APRS trackers?

Specifically, 164 stations in the past 30 days.

I obtained this figure by querying a database I keep of APRS position reports in the CONUS that use the large or small airplane icon. Only flying aircraft are counted; ground-based stations are eliminated.

This figure excludes Vlad and his Winnebago-symboled RV. <g>

Vlad 12-13-2020 01:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe (Post 1484997)
Specifically, 164 stations in the past 30 days.

I obtained this figure by querying a database I keep of APRS position reports in the CONUS that use the large or small airplane icon. Only flying aircraft are counted; ground-based stations are eliminated.

This figure excludes Vlad and his Winnebago-symboled RV. <g>

I am on my third tracker Joe and was not aware I am not in your database. Will reprogram as soon as I get to Arizona :)

Joe 12-13-2020 02:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vlad (Post 1485014)
I am on my third tracker Joe and was not aware I am not in your database. Will reprogram as soon as I get to Arizona :)

I misspoke somewhat. A few months ago I discovered KC2TPD-2 (a.k.a. N666BK) was no longer showing up and traced the problem to the symbol. I edited my code to change the RV symbol to a small airplane and was then able to process it like all others. Then I promptly forgot about it <g>.

Most recent track of N666BK.

No need to reprogram.

Vlad 12-13-2020 04:57 PM

Cool always liked your tracking site Joe. Thanks for doing it!

Steve Melton 12-16-2020 08:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe (Post 1485023)
I misspoke somewhat. A few months ago I discovered KC2TPD-2 (a.k.a. N666BK) was no longer showing up and traced the problem to the symbol. I edited my code to change the RV symbol to a small airplane and was then able to process it like all others. Then I promptly forgot about it <g>.

Most recent track of N666BK.

No need to reprogram.

Joe, I really appreciate this also. I use it all the time and it has become my logbook. thank you!

my longest flight in one day.... all flown in the daytime, 1200 nm.



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