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

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 they’ll 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 haven’t 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 they’ll 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 haven’t 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


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