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  #1  
Old 01-16-2012, 05:25 PM
humptybump humptybump is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3,181
Default new iGate at 53VG

Well it took a lot longer than expected and antenna work is something I don't wish to repeat anytime soon but, aircraft transiting the Eastern Shore of VA should have much better coverage (not to mention land based operators).

All the gory detains are here.

Thanks again the the VAF community of amateur radio operators !
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  #2  
Old 01-16-2012, 06:58 PM
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Vlad Vlad is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Utah
Posts: 8,440
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Neat install Glen thanks for contributing to a good cause. I shared your installation with my overseas buddies please don't be surprised of distant clicks
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  #3  
Old 01-16-2012, 07:51 PM
VHS VHS is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Napa, CA
Posts: 293
Default I-Gate install!

Glen,

Outstanding job!

Allen
VHS
AF6OF
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  #4  
Old 01-17-2012, 07:20 AM
humptybump humptybump is offline
 
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Location: USA
Posts: 3,181
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I'd love the antenna to be higher but I'll let it run for a few months before I decide. It would me a much better mounting solution and longer mast. Since I REALLY do not like ladders, I have good incentive to put it off

I picked up my first distant station this AM - a base station 69 miles north. Most traffic this far is gating digipeters packets. So, it looks like it is helping the APRS community already.

I'll be watching for Sun-n-Fun traffic in a few months !

Anyone interested in more details, feel free to post or PM.
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  #5  
Old 01-17-2012, 01:14 PM
VHS VHS is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Napa, CA
Posts: 293
Default Ladders?

Glen,

Wait a minute, you are willing to fly, but ladders scare you? Dude, I think we have opposite viewpoints!

You might consider an inexpensive crank up tower. Periodically, you can find a cheap telescoping type ( not the heavy winch and girder design) on E-bay. You can do all your antenna work at or near ground level and just turn the winch to raise it without risking a fall. If your terrain is largely flat, and your primary purpose is serving aircraft, antenna elevation may not offer much of an improvement anyway; You essentially have line of sight. If you have mountains in the way, adding a few feet of antenna height won't matter.

73,

Allen
VHS
AF6OF
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  #6  
Old 01-17-2012, 02:20 PM
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gnuse gnuse is offline
 
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Location: Georgia / 0GE5 / KSSI
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Glen,

I get the feeling Allen (VHS) doesn't realize what the geography is like where you live.

George
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"God does not deduct from one's time on earth that which is spent in the air."
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  #7  
Old 01-17-2012, 04:17 PM
humptybump humptybump is offline
 
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Location: USA
Posts: 3,181
Default flat. flat, flat, flat - makes for a nice runway, though

Allan, the best way to describe the lower Eastern Shore is to remind everyone "it's a sand bar". To say we are flat is just too easy. All of that said, trees around here are 75+ feet and grow like weeds so you have to get above them.

I was surprised when my APRS coverage dropped. It turns out that while there are a number of digipeaters within 100 miles, full time iGates have turned out to be sparse. Without my station, an airplane loses tracking anywhere from 750'-1200' AGL.

"The Salmon Farm" is 28' to the peak so the least cost was to install a mast on one end of the building. Not only did that eliminate the need to buy and erect a tower but also kept my antenna feed line length down. Even still, I spent a bit too much time around professional transmitter guys so my J-Pole connects to the HT using LMR-400

In the end, I paid for the antenna and the coax and an audio adapter. Otherwise, the rest of the setup was "stuff from boxes" and personal time (which I count as a 'character building experience').

For those interested in APRS and setting up their own server on Linux, my link in the announcement post gives my setup (hint: debian with soundmodem and aprx)
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  #8  
Old 02-16-2012, 05:54 AM
humptybump humptybump is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3,181
Thumbs up

Quick update:

The iGate has been running for a month now. While I am not a fan of Linux computers for my desktop, they make great servers. The little old laptop I'm using for the iGate was fired up on January 17th and I haven't looked at it since. I occasionally check the stats page on the web.

Statistics:

gating about 6000 packets each month
furthest station heard was 90 miles away
primary mission has been to gate traffic between 6 digipeaters

If you have a tracker and will be flying the eastern corridor to Sun-n-Fun, I'll be watching
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  #9  
Old 02-16-2012, 08:12 AM
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Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 4,462
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humptybump View Post
Quick update:

The iGate has been running for a month now. While I am not a fan of Linux computers for my desktop, they make great servers. The little old laptop I'm using for the iGate was fired up on January 17th and I haven't looked at it since. I occasionally check the stats page on the web.

Statistics:

gating about 6000 packets each month
furthest station heard was 90 miles away
primary mission has been to gate traffic between 6 digipeaters

If you have a tracker and will be flying the eastern corridor to Sun-n-Fun, I'll be watching
Great job, Glen!
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RV-6
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  #10  
Old 02-16-2012, 10:43 AM
humptybump humptybump is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3,181
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Sam, most of us owe you for introducing us to APRS, do my continued thanks!
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