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Houston Nationwide AMSAT net checkins



Last week I suggested:
> The Houston AMSAT net is carried live (audio only) once a week via C
> band satellite to 2m/70cm re-broadcast stations nationwide.  The
> nationwide APRServe system can serve as a way for distant listeners
> to check-in by sending a single 1 line APRS message to netcontrol.

We did an informal test last night (independent of the actual net) and got
about 30 checkins from AL,CA,GA,FL,IA,ID,MD,NE,PA,TX,VA,WA.  After the
net, I talked with WD5DZC, Marty who is in Houston and already takes other
checkins via a variety of comm systems.  Since he has been on APRS for
years, he volunteered to take APRS checkins.  So here is how it will work:

CHECKIN:  APRS stations should send a BRIEF message to WD5DZC such as
          "Checkin, Bob in Atlanta"
          "Checkin, Sam in Norfolk with scout troop
          "Checkin, Steven in Miami with 5 others...

Marty's message list in APRS will then show a list of everyone who checked
in.  If there is time he will acknowledge it on the voice net.  Otherwise,
if you get his ACK or his auto-reply message, then you are listed...

de WB4APR, Bob

----------------------------------
DETAILS:  For the more curious...

SATELLITE: GE1 at 83 deg W. Xponder 12 sound subcarrier 5.7 MHz. On
           Tuesday nights at 8 PM CDT.  Scan the 2m/70cm band in your
           area for any repeater that may already be carrying it.

REPLY:  Marty will probably post an Auto-Answer msg like the following:
        "AA:QSL ur checkin. 25 so far at 0130z."
        He will probably update this a few times if he has time...

MAPS:   Until we refine the procedure, MARTY will be seeing about 1000
        to 2000 stations on his APRS map (everyone currently on the air),
        so dont expect him to see your position.  Later we will activate a
        filter, so he only sees the AMSAT checkin stations.  Until then,
        include you city,state in your one-line brief checkin.

NON-APRS STATIONS:  Even if you don't have APRS, any packet station will
        do. just type an APRS formatted message as follows:

        1) Tune your packet station to 144.39 anywhere in north america
        2) Set UNPROTO APRS VIA WIDE,WIDE
        3) Go to CONVerse
        4) Type the following exactly with your own comments...
           :WD5DZC   :Checkin........      {1

        5) Then watch the on air packets for any reply.  If you see his
           REPLY packet addressed to you OR you see an ACK, then you
           made it...  An auto-reply or  ACK will simply look like:
           :URCALL   :AA:QSL ur checkin......
           :URCALL   :ack1
        6) If after several seconds, you dont get it, type it again.
           If you still dont get it after several tries, give up.
           it means either there is no APRS Igate in your area...
           or something else (who knows where) is wrong...
 
        * Notice that the message format begins with a 9 character
          callsign beginning and ending with a COLON.  In the examples
          above with no SSID's, you have to insert SPACES out to 9.


        * Its far easier, of course, just to download any of the 
          versions of APRS from http://www.tapr.org

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