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AO16/LO19 Traknet Operational!

AO16/LO19 are fully operational as the on-orbit element in TRAKnet!
These satellites can be used worldwide for mobile satellite position/
status and message reporting.  TRAKnet links these packets into the
worldwide APRServe system for access anywhere via WEB pages, Internet
users and APRS users on RF.  We have just completed a one week test and it
works.  We now invite others to join us as we grow the system.
MOBILES:  Any mobile with a 2m FM radio and Manchester TNC* can
uplink his GPS position/Status and/or Messages from anywhere.
USERS:  Anyone can view these packets live by telnet to APRServe at port 23.  Or you can view these mobiles by visiting
any of the many APRS WEB pages (Position display only http://www.aprs.net)
.  OR, if any of these Mobiles send you a "message", and you are on the
air live on your local APRS frequency, then you will receive the packet
live via your local IGate.
SATGATES:  What makes all this possible is Mac/WinAPRS or APRS+SA
software.  Any conventional user of these popular APRS programs can
simply dial into his ISP, and any packets his station sees on RF are
automatically forwarded into the worldwide APRServe system.
If such a user just happens to dial in to his ISP during a pass and is
using a PACSAT TNC and is working an AO16 or LO19 pass, then he
automatically and without any effort serves as the Sat-Gate for his entire
When we first proposed Traknet over 2 years ago, we were asking for
special software, unattended and automatic SatGates involving a lot of 
complexity and critical paths.  But since most versions of APRS now 
have built-in RF=>TNC=>ISP interfaces to the internet, now ANY 
station can serve at any time as a SatGate.  So, as long as at least
one person in the satellite footprint is receiving the satellite,
then EVERYONE has access to the live downlink via APRServe!
Note, the total ISP time is only about 15 minutes per pass, so 
a simple dial-up ground station is just fine.  THere is no need for
permanent dedicated Internet access.
MANCHESTER TNC*:  Although any Satellite TNC/Modem can be used, 99% of
most mobile operators would be left out.  BUT as I pointed out in the
original Traknet Paper, ANY TAPR-2 TNC CLONE can generate Manchester
with the simple addition of an 89 cent XOR gate and a switch.  THus,
almost anyone can transmit from his mobile 2m FM rig...  For details
see my TRAKNET.TXT in any of the APRSdos docs, or AMSAT Journal, or visit
FUTURE:  Now, if this mode becomes popular, then it will also be
easy for someone to write a PSK demod and Manchester Modem for
using ANY PC and a SOUND CARD!  Then anyone anywhere can do this.
DOWNLINK:  Although the downlink is primarily needed only at the SatGate
stations, any mobile with an all mode UHF rig or HF rig and downconverter
can also receive the downlink.  Of course a small beam will always be
necessary due to the weak downlink signal from the satelite.  (Conversly
the 2m Uplink works fine on an OMNI).
GROUP EFFORT:  The reason for this posting is to invite anyone with a
1200 baud PSK PACSAT TNC to come join us.  We need enough people playing
on the bird so that we can guarantee that there will always be at least
one station somewhere on the East and West coast of the USA listening
to the downlink.  
If you havent experienced the old-fashioned fun of live, person-to-person
UI packet digipeating (such as became popular via MIR over the last
year or so in the USA), then dust off that old PSK modem and join us
on AO16 and LO19.  
24 PASSES A DAY:  ALso, if we could get IO26 to enable digipeat, then
we would have a constellation of THREE TRAKNET Satellites giving as many
as 18 passes a day...  The ultimate addition to this constellation would
be if all three satellites would enable a COMMON ALIAS so that the
mobiles didnt need to change DIGIPEATER calls on every pass.  An
ALIAS of TRKNET for example would do nicely...  If WO18 could be re-
activated, then we could have 24 passes a day!
All FOUR of these satellites have a common UPLINK on 145.90!
Thus the mobile does not need to QSY, nor change his DIGI PATH!  He
just concentrates on driving... and we can track him...

de WB4APR, Bob

If you are interested in this use of AO16/LO19, come join our AO16APRS SIG
by subscribing with listserv@tapr.org...


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