2011 APRS AT Golden Packet

| No Comments

2011 was the third year for the APRS Golden Packet event.

I, along with AJ4HV and K4RTW worked the station at Clingmans Dome - the second station in the event path.

Operating Location at Clingmans Dome for the 2011 Golden PacketAJ4HV and K4RTW arrived around 9:30 AM and secured a parking spot for their truck and camper. (Precise location - when you enter the parking area, it becomes a one-way road and forms a loop; we circled around that loop and parked near the exit of the parking area.)

I arrived around 9:50 and was able to make contact with both Roan Mountain and Springer Mountain using my mobile radio on 445.925.

By that time, AJ4HV and K4RTW had the operating position inside of the camper all setup and they were beginning to set up the mast for the antennas.

I delivered two four-element beam antennas that were provided by Hugh, W4VAB. We put these on the mast and pushed them up....about 20 feet.

Station at Clingmans Dome for the 2011 Golden PacketThe radio setup was a Kenwood TM-D710 (provided by AJ4HV) running stand-alone, but connected to a PC for logging purposes. I used a terminal program (PuTTY) connected to the TM-D170 to capture the log:

By 10:51, all of the setup was complete, and I sent my first message to Roan Mountain. It was successful and ack'd.

After things were up and running, we decided to setup a second station to capture the packets and display things on a map. Unwilling to change the setup that we had with the D710, I brought out a netbook running AGWPE, APRSIS32 and AGW Monitor and connected it to an HT (IC-V8) using a sound-card interface. This worked well to show us where things were without changing the digi setup or adding any packets to the frequency. The log from AGW Monitor is also available:

Radio Equipment at Clingmans Dome for the 2011 Golden PacketThe B side of the D710 was used for voice contact on 445.925. I would also occasionally walk to my truck to send out updates from CLNGMN on 144.39 and would sometimes talk to the Roan/Springer from there (which makes me wonder if the beam antennas were really necessary).

I did not have good luck with the CQSRVR, although several attempts were made.

I did not make note of the time, but around 1 I think, we also talked with a group that went to Lookout Mountain. They were unable to get any packets to transmit, but were able to copy us on both voice and APRS.

So all-in-all, it was an easy day for us; Murphy stayed well to our north. We did have two or three rain showers pass - one of which was heavy (around 3pm), but the camper provided great shelter and we operated in comfort.

Thanks to AJ4HV for providing all of the equipment and to W4VAB for the antennas.

This was the best year so far, I hope next year we can pull it all together.
View at Clingmans Dome for the 2011 Golden Packet

Leave a comment