Snow is in the Air
Yep, with the arrival of November, the weather is changing up with snow in the forecast over the next couple of days.
I could feel the change in the weather coming on this morning, the temperature -8 Celsius earlier when I set out, and still sitting at -5 as I check out what's happening in the valley located just in front of my location.
Still, it was bound to happen, and I actually am looking forward to getting out in the snow with the new snow camo clothing that I recently acquired.
On this morning I'm carrying my Kenwood D72 handi-talkie mounted on my accessory belt in the small of my back, showing my location on Google maps.
For the non-hams amongst us, how this works is before setting out from my truck (VE6AB-9 )parked several kilometers away, that has a radio-stack mounted in the front console area of the cab, I activated the VHF transceiver mounted in the radio stack for APRS (Automatic Packet Reporting System) operations.
With the APRS system in my Kenwood HT (VE6AB-7) (attached to my daypack) also activated, and while I'm away from my truck, at timed intervals my HT sends out a beacon which includes information like my lat/long location, the transceiver mounted in my truck upon hearing, capturing, and decoding the packet string received from my HT seen mounted on my daypack, then forwards this information to a distant digipeater ( a repeater with a Internet connection) where this information is then sent to aprs.fi, decoded and my position placed on Google maps.
If your wondering as to why the distant digipeater didn't hear the beacons being transmitted by my HT (VE6AB-7) directly, its because of a number of reasons, the distance (in this case 75 kilometers) the power of my HT (5 watts) and the compromised antenna (rubber duck) mounted on the HT.
On the other hand, the transceiver in my mobile (VE6AB-9) left behind at the trailhead as a fill-in digipeater, has 50 watts out, a better antenna, and a better location allowing it to be heard by the distant digipeater with an Internet connection.
If I don't return home when I'm expected, my wife or daughter, or someone familiar with the system can go on the computer and check on aprs.fi for my (VE6AB-7) last known position, looking back for up to 7 days.
If I'm going down the road in my mobile (VE6AB-9), the same system also shows the position of the last reported location for my mobile on aprs.fi as well.
When I'm in areas (like the mountains) with no cell service, the APRS system as I'm using on the day (HF RPR APRS), allows me (VE6AB-15) to stay connected to the world.
Even on this day, when I dropped down into the valley, my cell phone had no signal. Yet my HT was keeping me on the map by communicating with the transceiver mounted in my truck parked where I left it.
Expand the photo for a closer look.....
For the non-ham, you can read more about APRS here .....