APRS-IS

Report
APRS for Public Service Events
John Beadles, N5OOM
APRS is a registered trademark Bob Bruninga, WB4APR
Copyright © 2003 – John Beadles, N5OOM
All Rights Reserved
APRS in Public Service Events
•
•
•
•
APRS is a tactical aid to event
management – not intended to
be a replacement for voice
•
Bicycle rallies, races
•
Foot races
It helps the Net Controller track
the location of assets
•
Parades
•
Crime prevention patrols
•
Weather nets
•
Damage assessment
•
If your organization is new at it,
establish a pre-event workshop
to get your participants’
equipment working
Is best when most (or at least
the most critical) stations have
it.
Is best when all the equipment
is tested out before hand (don’t
wait until the last minute and
expect it to work)
APRS is a registered trademark Bob Bruninga, WB4APR
Copyright © 2003 – John Beadles, N5OOM
All Rights Reserved
Types of APRS Stations
•
Control Stations – Radio, TNC and
Computer – provides a display that
the Net Controller uses to track the
location of assets
•
Digipeaters – Repeats APRS
packets. Many areas have
Regional networks of WIDE and
RELAY digipeters; however, some
events may be held in terrain where
a public fixed digipeater can’t hear,
so a temporary digipeater may be
necessary.
•
Weather Stations – A Weather
Station tied to an appropriately
configured TNC or WeatherTrak
and a Radio.
•
Telemetry Stations – Can be used
to transmit the status of sensors.
KPC-3+ TNCs have some telemetry
capability.
•
Mobile Trackers – An APRS station
consisting of a GPS receiver, TNC
and radio mounted in a vehicle,
generally not intended to be
relocated. Generally tied to the
vehicle’s power. Could also be a
boxed APRS station that is intended
to be placed in locations or vehicles
on a temporary basis. May use a
mobile or HT as a radio, might use
a TNC or TinyTrak unit. Might have
internal batteries.
•
Personal Trackers – An APRS
station intended to be worn. Might
be used for search and rescue
events. Probably uses an HT as a
radio.
APRS is a registered trademark Bob Bruninga, WB4APR
Copyright © 2003 – John Beadles, N5OOM
All Rights Reserved
Control Stations
144.39
TNC
Mobile Radio
An APRS master station is used by the net control and other
interested parties to view the location of APRS stations. A laptop is
not generally needed except by people who need to know where
others are.
APRS is a registered trademark Bob Bruninga, WB4APR
Copyright © 2003 – John Beadles, N5OOM
All Rights Reserved
Net Control Station used during
the 03 Red Hot Chili Pepper Rally
Jim Shultz W5OMG using a Kenwood TH-D7 and a laptop
APRS is a registered trademark Bob Bruninga, WB4APR
Copyright © 2003 – John Beadles, N5OOM
All Rights Reserved
Digipeater
144.39
TNC
Mobile Radio
Battery
A digipeater only repeats packets that it hears. It doesn’t need a
GPS receiver to do this. A fixed station might run off an AC
power supply, while a portable station can run off a battery.
Generally only a few fixed digipeaters are needed, though some
mobile digis may be needed in certain circumstances. Improper
digi configuration can harm the local network.
APRS is a registered trademark Bob Bruninga, WB4APR
Copyright © 2003 – John Beadles, N5OOM
All Rights Reserved
Weather Stations
Weather Station
144.39
TinyTrak
Weather Station
Mobile Radio
TNC
144.39
Mobile Radio
Weather Station
144.39
TNC
Mobile Radio
A weather station may be used for APRS using a WeatherTrak
(similar to the TinyTrak), a suitable TNC or to a computer running
appropriate software. Temporary weather stations are of limited
utility for most public service events.
APRS is a registered trademark Bob Bruninga, WB4APR
Copyright © 2003 – John Beadles, N5OOM
All Rights Reserved
Mobile Stations
144.39
TinyTrak
Mobile Radio
GPS
TNC
GPS
144.39
Mobile Radio
Kenwood TM-D700
144.39
GPS
Mobile Radio
Mobile trackers are intended to be carried in a vehicle. Usually
uses a higher power mobile radio. May be installed in the vehicle
or carried in a box and powered with a battery. Kenwood TM-D700
radios can have a laptop attached at the same time as a GPS
receiver.
APRS is a registered trademark Bob Bruninga, WB4APR
Copyright © 2003 – John Beadles, N5OOM
All Rights Reserved
Portable Trackers
Palm
GPS
144.39
GPS
144.39
TinyTrak
TNC
HT
HT
Battery
A personal tracker is wearable or back-packable. It is likely to be
low powered and may require a nearby digipeater. Might be used
for event shadows or search & rescue personnel. A simple
portable station may only include a GPS receiver, TinyTrak and
radio. A more complex station might use a KPC-3+ and a Palm
running PocketAPRS
APRS is a registered trademark Bob Bruninga, WB4APR
Copyright © 2003 – John Beadles, N5OOM
All Rights Reserved
Trackers used during the
03 Red Hot Chili Pepper Rally
W5ADC
N5OOM
Magmounted
to outside
of a
vehicle
Carried
in a
vehicle
W5DCR
Dallas REACT
APRS is a registered trademark Bob Bruninga, WB4APR
Copyright © 2003 – John Beadles, N5OOM
All Rights Reserved
WA5KXX
Selfcontained
digipeaters
Preparing for a PSE with APRS
•
The PSE Coordinator – is the person in
charge of the communications plan for
the event. Can delegate labor to
subordinates, including:
•
The APRS Coordinator – Setting up the
APRS can be labor intensive – the PSE
coordinator may delegate this to an
APRS expert.
•
The Net Controller – Should coordinate
with the APRS coordinator in advance of
the event to determine what APRS
functions will be available
The APRS Coordinator should:
•
Map the route – if a race or rally, the
route should be digitized and installed in
the event’s net control station and
•
Create and distribute maps and overlay
files to the Net Controller, other
interested parties
•
Identify and list the APRS hardware that
the volunteers will be bringing – insure
that critical areas are covered. May
borrow equipment if needed.
•
Verify digipeater coverage on the route,
coordinate the placement of temporary
relays
•
Ensure that all stations are properly
configured.
•
Oversee the installation of temporary
trackers where needed. Note – this is
labor intensive – plan on having an
assistant or two.
APRS is a registered trademark Bob Bruninga, WB4APR
Copyright © 2003 – John Beadles, N5OOM
All Rights Reserved
During the event
• Before the event start, the
APRS coordinator oversees
the deployment of trackers.
Better have an assistant if
you have a lot of trackers!
• During the event, the
coordinator checks for holes
in digipeater coverage,
places temporary relay
digipeaters as necessary.
• The coordinator uses a
control station to see if all of
the stations can be seen
through a digipeater.
• After the event, the
coordinator collects any
loaned equipment.
APRS is a registered trademark Bob Bruninga, WB4APR
Copyright © 2003 – John Beadles, N5OOM
All Rights Reserved
Preparing APRS for
Emergency Service
•
Emergency response events
are necessarily come-as-youare events. Emergency
coordinators need to be familiar
with the APRS coverage in their
county.
•
Similarly, ARES / RACES orgs
that intend to incorporate APRS
into their operations need to
identify what percentage of their
members have APRS
equipment and what type of
equipment is available to them.
•
There are a fair number of
APRS weather stations across
N. Texas. However, most
aren’t useable because they are
uncalibrated or improperly
installed. Possible for ARES /
RACES orgs may provide
installation / calibration
instructions to fix.
•
APRS users need to practice
with their equipment to get the
best use out of it. Perhaps orgs
wishing to incorporate APRS
should sponsor local
workshops, sponsor group eqpt
purchases.
APRS is a registered trademark Bob Bruninga, WB4APR
Copyright © 2003 – John Beadles, N5OOM
All Rights Reserved
UI-View Map for the
03 Red Hot Chili Pepper Rally
•Route marked on
map
•Overlay used to
identify specific points
•Different software
packages provide
different functionality
•Work needed to
create a suitable map
can vary greatly –
beyond the scope of
this presentation
APRS is a registered trademark Bob Bruninga, WB4APR
Copyright © 2003 – John Beadles, N5OOM
All Rights Reserved
Useful software functions for Net
Controls
•
Exclusions – Some software lets
the user set a filter on the displayed
stations. This is useful for
eliminating clutter.
•
•
•
•
Translations – Some software
allows the user to assign a tactical
tag to a station, so that the tag is
displayed instead of the real call.
This allows the net controller to
more quickly identify stations
IGATES – An IGATE acts as a
portal that gates APRS traffic from
RF to and from the internet. This
allows local APRS traffic to be seen
at greater distances than would
ordinarily be possible.
•
Overlays – Overlays .are files that
contain APRS formatted objects
that will be displayed on top of the
map. This is useful for marking
known fixed locations, such as rest
stops
Kiosks – Some software provides
kiosk functionality. A kiosk allows
remote stations to query it for
information on specific topics. This
could be useful for storing
frequency lists, locations of
landmarks, etc.
•
Digipeaters – A digipeater is a
station that repeats incoming
packets, similar to a voice repeater.
Some software contains digipeater
functionality, which may be useful if
the control station is in an area
where digipeater coverage exists.
Objects – Objects are APRS
markers, similar to those displayed
for station beacons, but where the
location can be manually entered.
Some software allows stations to
transmit the locations of fixed sites
to other stations
APRS is a registered trademark Bob Bruninga, WB4APR
Copyright © 2003 – John Beadles, N5OOM
All Rights Reserved
Software functions that would
make APRS more useful
• Current software doesn’t
appear to be optimized for
by PSE net controllers.
Some common functions
need to be automated and
easily accessable
• User interface limitations
make it difficult for the net
controller to rapidly switch
between views (i.e.
Switching from a station
search to a weather station
display)
• Need a way to isolate and
locate stations on the map
very rapidly
• Station objects on the map
need to change color with
age so the net control can
see when that station last
beaconed
• Needs to be a way for
stations to collect data and
send it to the net control.
This would be very useful for
post-disaster management,
SAR events.
• Needs a way a reporting
mechanism for handing
collected data to emergency
management officials
APRS is a registered trademark Bob Bruninga, WB4APR
Copyright © 2003 – John Beadles, N5OOM
All Rights Reserved

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