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Old 01-19-2012, 07:12 PM
humptybump humptybump is offline
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3,181
Default Why we should use WIDE2-1

It was a near perfect day to sneek out at lunch for some flight training ... And to test the new iGate. When I returned and looked at the path data, as I happy to see a good track but confused why nearly all of my packets routed 7 miles north only to then route 10 miles south to my iGate. More than 80% of my packets were routed through a digipeaters and then back to my own iGate.

So, I went back to look at APRS 101 and what WIDE2-1 meant for packet routing.

Simply put, WIDE2-1 says you get just one repeat of you packet. The reason aircraft in my area have not had good coverage was not that our trackers were not being received; they were. The problem was the digipeaters in this area could not get to an iGate with just one hop.

So, I'm disappointed that my iGate does not receive many direct packets but happy its doing it's job of connecting the radio packet network with the IP network.

So, if you are flying with a tracker, WIDE2-1 is definitely the preferred setting. And if you find a dead spot in your area where your packets only appear once you've gained some altitude, consider adding your own iGate. You probably don't need much of an outdoor antenna since all you really need to do is be able to receive a good local digipeater.

Last edited by humptybump : 01-19-2012 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 01-22-2012, 05:15 AM
tkatc's Avatar
tkatc tkatc is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: NJ
Posts: 1,747

Good work, Glen! Let's see the track.
My ATC opinion is NOT an official FAA recognized opinion, so any advice you get from me is ONLY my opinion.

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Old 03-29-2012, 05:56 AM
humptybump humptybump is offline
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3,181

In the continuing saga of being good APRS citizens, there is a new feature on - "radio horizon circles."

The new feature is described in a new blog post.

The horizon circles show the estimated reception range at 5 degrees and to the horizon. They are specifically targeted at airplanes "for estimating the distance at which the station can be heard [and] gives pilots an idea of the large amount of digipeaters and igates in range"

I take this as another example that those of us flying with APRS trackers need to educate our brethren on configuration. I think the VAF readers are way ahead of the curve on being responsible and this forum has been especially helpful for me.

I believe WIDE2-1 is our best option presently. At the same time, I will reach out to the amateur radio community to help them understand the significant dynamic operating range aircraft operate and the challenges with further "damping down" airborne configurations. If I find a better configuration, I'll post updates.

Last edited by humptybump : 03-29-2012 at 05:59 AM.
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Old 06-20-2014, 10:35 AM
pa38112 pa38112 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Clarksboro, NJ
Posts: 1,012

I have set my tracker up with a SPST switch on the dash to change configurations. I was going to set one up for my usual flying on the east coast (WIDE2-1), and the second configuration for any flying in remote areas. Now I am wondering if that should be a low altitude/high altitude setting instead.
Would the low altitude settings be the same as the remote area settings, and should those be WIDE1-1, WIDE2-1? If so, what should the high altitude setting be?
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Old 06-20-2014, 11:24 AM
humptybump humptybump is offline
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3,181

Keith - switching profiles is a great option for those that can easily wire to their tracker. Switching based on AGL is a good practice.

I was recently talking with another pilot and suggested, for mountainous and remote flying, changing the profile to something with more "repeats" is desirable. I wouldn't leave it that way all the time but there are cases were "getting the beacon out" is more important than minimizing potential hops.
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