Appalachian Trail Golden Packet event 2018 notes

Due to a family emergency, I’m sitting down close to the beach instead of being atop a mountain summit playing with packet gear setting up a Georgia-to-Maine APRS network. Each year, hams scale mountains and temporarily setup digipeaters in an effort to pass a "golden packet" along the ~2,200 miles (~3,500km) Appalachian Trail. The hope is to permanently establish digipeaters along the trail, on a separate frequency, to support hikers along the trail. Since I’m watching all of the action from a distance I’m able to take notes based on my view from afar…​

  • What would happen if we used horizontal yagi antennas for the backbone; using tropospheric propagation instead of the ground path?

  • Since Hawksbill is in the Shenandoah National Park there is little chance of us getting a station permanently installed here. What’s is near by that will provide both a link back to Apple Orchard and Maryland Mountains and provide LAN coverage along the AT in Shenandoah?

    • There is an alternative to Hawksbill. Where is it?

  • How about using an ALTNET address for this event?

  • The linear network is fragile. If any one station goes down the entire path up and down is broken. Generally, APRS is mesh and would otherwise route around an outage.

  • Use APRX, or similar, to provide both standard APRS and special APRS digipeating with possible bi-directional i-gates and linking between networks.

  • Maybe provide weather stations at digipeaters, not propagating throughout the network, to provide information to hikers.

  • Use compressed/mic-e packets wherever possible.