During a recent Bahamas trip I noticed that my APRS tracker stopped being picked up about 100 miles east of FL. To some among my friends and family who were tracking the flight, this was somewhat disconcerting. There don't seem to be any Igates in the Bahamas, not near where I was, anyway. Seems like Freeport and Nassau might be good locations for Igate installations, at least to start.
Recently there was a thread from Glen of 53VG fame offering very reasonable, turnkey Igates for sale:
and also a thread about how to build your own Igate for only $65:
With these low costs, maybe we APRS users could take up a collection and buy the equipment to install one or two of these down there.
At that point, it's just a matter of finding somebody who can host the equipment that has an internet connection. There might even be VAFers with property down there who could host this equipment.
Alternatively, perhaps we could contact one of the HAM clubs to see if they would be interested. A quick internet search yielded the following:
BARS - Bahamas Amateur Radio Society
PO Box GT-2318, Nassau, NP, Bahamas
IARU (Liaison): Rudy Charlow, C6ARC
President: Rhinehart Pearson, C6ANO, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary: Philip Dawkins, C6ACN
Would anybody be interested in contributing to such an endeavor? I could certainly contact these guys if there is.
I know a lot of RV pilots use APRS and fly to the Bahamas, and I know that our friends and loved ones like to keep an eye on us during these long trips, to know that we are safe, and maybe even to live vicariously through us a little bit.
Any other thoughts or suggestions?