So you might be askling yourself, what is VE6AB making reference to in the title "APRS Multi-tasking" .........
So as you know, I go down a lot of roads less travelled with my mobile, and its a given that I have APRS running on one of my devices in one form or another while doing this.
I have conventional VHF APRS running on the left side of my Kenwood TM-D710A indicated by my callsign VE6AB-9 on the North American frequency of 144.390Mhz.
I also have my Kenwood TS-480HX paired with an SCS RPR (Robust Packet Radio) Tracker/Garmin Montana GPS receiver, running under my callsign VE6AB-15, the ssid"15" indicating that I am running RPR-HF-APRS, and operating in the 30 meters band on the world-wide frequency of 10147.30 khz.
In this collage of photos, you will get an idea of the capability of my mobile, as well as my personal self staying connected to the APRS Network while out and about, as I was on this morning.
If you expand the photo and take a closer look, the path that I'm laying down that surrounds the photo of my mobile, was made on robust packet by my TS-480HX/SCS Tracker running RPR-HF-APRS on 30 meters, and being heard, decoded, and gated by K4KPN-14 sponsored by the Kentuck Packet Network located in Dry Ridge Kentucky, a one way distance of 2700 kilometers.
Jeff WA4ZKO is one of the prime movers behind this group, and is also very active on Robust Packet Radio.
I suggest you check out either callsign on QRZ for more information on either the Kentuck Packet Network K4KPN, as well as Jeff WA4ZKO.
The North American map at the lower left shows the activity on the Robust Packet Network across the US and Canada earlier this morning, my mobile RPR-HF-APRS station VE6AB-15 included.
Now I could have included the track layed down by my VHF APRS mobile VE6AB-9, but it would have been a non-starter, being I was running robust packet radio on my HF APRS station VE6AB-15.
The track layed down while running RPR-HF-APRS, took place over a round-trip loop that was about 120 kilometers in length, nothing special, but it gives you an indication as how RPR can be the APRS operating system of choice when you are travelling through areas with no conventional VHF APRS coverage from local digipeaters part of the APRS Network.
On this morning the plan was to go snowshoeing in and area that would require that I left my mobile parked at the winter-gate that accesses an area only open to foot-traffic in the winter months.
Now once I had my truck parked, I activated the Kenwood TM-D710A mounted in my radio-stack as a fill-in digipeater, easily being heard by distant digipeaters part of the APRS Network.
Once I had everything packed that I planned on taking with me while snowshoeing, and that included my Kenwood D72 HT, I checked to be sure that the fill-in digi was hearing my Ht, and I was off across the snow covered range of hills bordering the Bow River located southeast of Calgary.
Although I was no more than 30 kilometers from the nearest digipeater, the reason for the fill-in digi in the form of my D710 VE6AB-9 mounted in my mobile left at the trail head, was because the hills that I was trekking through did not allow for the beacons being transmitted from my D72 HT - VED6AB-7 to be heard directly, thus the reason for my mobile acting as a fill-in digi.
If you expand the photo, and look at the lower left insert photo, you can see the track that I laid down with my D72 HT - VE6AB-7 while snowshoeing, and as the information box indicates, I am being digipeated by my VE6AB-9 my mobile.
So there you go, how to stay connected to the outside world when your cell phone has no coverage.
Of course that doesn't mean conventional VHF APRS isn't without it's challenges, therefore the reason why as why I run RPR HF APRS in my mobile.
In fact when I'm carrying my manpack that includes the Yaesu FT-897ND, I have a second SCS Tracker paired with it, and with the TS-480HX/SCS Tracker mounted in the radio-stack of my mobile set up as a fill-in digi, I have the capability of being heard across the US and Canada with my portable manpack.
I plan on showing you that soon, although I would like to see some of this snow disappear first!
Expand the photo for a closer look.....
Learn more about RPR-HF-APRS here.....
APRS Snowshoeing on this day.....