The ARRL Field Day rules make no practical sense and are open for all kinds of confusing interpretations. This page is intended to give one interpretation (right or wrong) so that at least we are all marching to the same tune for FD-2005.
APRS is a tactical-real-time-local digital communications network designed for rapid deployment in the field using come-as-you-are equipment for a LARGE number of simultaneous stations. APRS is PERFECT for Field Day with HUMAN operators at all stations. This is not at all what most APRS users are familiar with on a 24/7/365 basis.
To meet the spirit of Field Day, the APRS System on that Day must include one temporary and portable digi and be independent of the existing global APRS infrastructure on 144.39. Here are the 2005 ARRL rules governing Field Day:
THE BIG PLAN:
SET PATH = TEMP7-7 or DIGI1,TEMP7-7 or DIGI1,DIGI2,DIGI3
Our APRS objective for 2005 will be to SET UP during Field Day, an AD-HOC digital communications system for communications with as many Temporary APRS FD stations as we can. This means QSY'ing everyone's home and mobile and portable stations to an independent general purpose packet channel (145.01?), setting up at least one portable digi, and operating using the path of TEMP7-7 or combinations of explicit DIGI callsigns if you have to use a hop through a non-TEMPn-N digi). The universal Field Day PATH will be TEMPn-N and of course EXPLICIT DIGI CALLS. On Field Day, set all stations, both home, digis, mobile and portable to digipeat and make sure they have a 10 minute beacon going 2 hops showing whether they support TEMPn-N or not (THIS IIS VERY IMPORTANT. USERS MUST KNOW WHAT A DIGI CAN DO). If they have no UITRACE support, then set the alias to RELAY, but be sure to say in the BTEXT (RELAY ONLY). If your TNC digi does have UITRACE, then set UITRACE to support TEMPn-N routing with the command UITRACE TEMP,28. This UITRACE parameter of TEMP lets users use the path of TEMPn-N for maximum range. The "28" just prevents endless loops by requiring at least 28 seconds between packets.
USING A D700 FOR A PORTABLE DIGI: The D700 mobile makes an excellent digi, but to activate the UITRACE parameter for FIELD DAY, you must use a PC via the serial port and set "UITRACE TEMP". You don't add the "28" because that is already included as the default in the UICHECK 28 parameter. The radio will remember these settings. Also set HID off to prevent wasted packets. But since we can use TEMPn-N in the future, there won't be any need to change this later. Thus, after Field Day, it won't hurt to keep this TEMPn-N all the rest of the year!)
PLANNING and ALERTING All Operators:
To meet these objectives, the following steps are recommended in your area to alert all APRS operators to this event and the procedures and let us see what everyone is planning.
Next as the big day approaches, someone in your area should put out some BULLETINS alerting all those APRS users that are not aware of this event. These bulletins inform everyone of the special Field Day frequency of 145.01 and the use of TEMPn-N temporary digis.
With the above preparations and bulletins in place, then, here are the operating suggestions for Field Day itself.
For your reference, here are the APRSSIG emails that lead to this attempted plan for FD 2004 but which was abandoned the day before FD, because the existing FD rules for 2004 were hopelessly contradicting and useless:
APRS for Field Day using UITRACE FDn-N routing
APRS for Field Day using Home Stations
APRS for Field Day sharing digipeaters
APRS for Field Day using 145.01 for QRM free operations
APRS FD 2004 reverts to 144.39 due to ambiguous rules
Begin now to get the rules changed for 2006! .
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The Naval Academy is a registered user of APRS and WinAPRS. The purpose of this web page is to show several applications currently in use at this site and should not be considered as an advertisement or an endorsement of any commercial product.