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  #11  
Old 04-25-2014, 07:58 AM
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LettersFromFlyoverCountry LettersFromFlyoverCountry is offline
 
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As you pointed out, it's great for the purpose you outlined. It's also practical to have people be aware when you're arriving somewhere. Just send 'em the Google URL and, voila.

I would recommend Pete Howell for all your information needs. The man's a genius on the subject (and many others).

I THINK the current list of questions for the Tech license is going to expire in June, so you might want to wait to buy the book (I used the Gordon West book) until the new test comes out.
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  #12  
Old 04-25-2014, 08:56 AM
VHS VHS is offline
 
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Location: Napa, CA
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Smile That is the question!

I took my Tech License test after going through the multiple guess tests on Eham.com I am not sure that a lot of potential hams understand that not only is every possible question available on the practice tests, but every answer is there, verbatim, too. If you play the practice test game, you can memorize every question in the test pools with ease.

Manufacturing APRS transmitters, I guess you would expect me to be biased, and I am. But I am also a Major in the Civil Air Patrol and an (inactive due to health) Ground Team Leader. ( The guy who comes to find your azz when you are upside down in the trees with Avgas running down your neck) Great news is that the new generation of ELT's are start of the art awesome; Bad news is they often don't survive a crash ( or at least with a valid GPS position available) This means CAP or other group has to find you by blind luck. An APRS track will give us your course, speed, and last known position even if it too, does not survive the crash. Its a big world when you are looking for a little airplane, and any intelligence we have to know where to start looking is a major kick start. The coverage is not 100%, but at altitude, it starts reaching 100% pretty fast. Altitude is time.

Whether you use my transmitters ( Which of course, is the wisest thing to do ) or anyone other one, the real limitation is usually the antenna. If you use a Vertical belly whip, your unit will outperform the cross polarized wing tip antenna dramatically, but I understand your reluctance to drill holes in your ship. Pretty cheap insurance.

Allen
( The Micro-Trak guy from Byonics)
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  #13  
Old 04-25-2014, 09:04 AM
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and FWIW, I give Allen very high recommendations for the multiple times I have sought advice and support from him over the past few years. You need not look elsewhere. He is the man.
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  #14  
Old 04-25-2014, 09:23 AM
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+1 on "Just Do It!"

A certain other person in this thread from KCUB and I had a pleasurable flight to Gastonia several years ago to take the Technician exam. We both aced the test, but he finished before I did. The ham group, Gaston County Amateur Radio Society (GCARS) was absolutely great. A fellow with the group picked us up, and took us back to the airport after the exam. Great hospitality!

It is nice to have a few folks monitoring my flight in case of emergency. I have even noted "Transmitting APRS http://aprs.fi call sign N194MH" when filing a flight plan. The fellow on the phone first said, "Uh?" But realized what I was talking about as soon as he said that. I figure, they'd find me 1000x quicker than with the ELT.

I have found that the original antenna that came with my Byonics Micro-Trak 8000FA to work great. The unit is mounted in the right wing tip with the antenna perpendicular to the wing rib, pointing outboard. I have tried another antenna but it caused my autopilot to surge on each transmission. I have an On/Off switch on the panel in case I want to fly in stealth mode.
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  #15  
Old 04-25-2014, 10:33 AM
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Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikehoover View Post
I have found that the original antenna that came with my Byonics Micro-Trak 8000FA to work great. The unit is mounted in the right wing tip with the antenna perpendicular to the wing rib, pointing outboard. I have tried another antenna but it caused my autopilot to surge on each transmission. I have an On/Off switch on the panel in case I want to fly in stealth mode.
That is a great data-point. The RTG tracker is available in a tracker/GPS/antenna combo and this would include everything needed for a wingtip installation.

I leave aprs.fi running on my desktop at home every time I go to the airport. My wife can glance at it and see where N399SB is located at all times.

There has been one crash with a tracker-equipped plane and even though there were witnesses to the crash the tracker provided the exact location of the crash and flight parameters leading up to the event. Very valuable.
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  #16  
Old 04-25-2014, 12:25 PM
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Greg Arehart Greg Arehart is offline
 
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FWIW, I have Pete Howell's antenna in my wingtip and seems to work well.

Greg
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  #17  
Old 04-25-2014, 07:45 PM
VHS VHS is offline
 
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Location: Napa, CA
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Default Pete's antennae

Not all aircraft are so serendipitously designed as the RV, with the nice wingtip install location, but when people contact us about "Covert" antennae (No holes in the belly) I always refer them to Pete. His wire J-Pole is outstanding!

Diamond, Thanks for your endorsement! After Sam's article ran in Kitplane Magazine, I think that we (You guys and gals+ Byon and I) must have recruited thousands of new converts to the Ham world, many of whom had no interest initially in anything but APRS, but when they saw what could be done with Amateur Radio, their interest grew far beyond just APRS. High Altitude ballooning ( meteorological, not manned) and Aircraft, are, I believe, our fastest growing market. This page brought the I-gate in a box to the public! You guys rock.

73,

Allen
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  #18  
Old 04-25-2014, 07:46 PM
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Vlad Vlad is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N941WR View Post
.....
They still have not located him or his plane and I'm positive that had he put an APRS unit on board, he would have been found by now and possibly saved.
....

Bill APRS definitely has more pros then cons and it's a great addition to safety. However as Glen correctly pointed out
Quote:
Originally Posted by humptybump View Post
There are lots of reasons to enjoy APRS but remember, it's only as good as our infrastructure.

Also there will be added responsibility all your flights will be mapped and archived some of the mistakes will be visible to general public in real time. I have a tracker since 2009 first it was installed on my car then when I finished my RV it went airborne and is beaming non stop ever since. Local ham police went on a war path with me one time. Once a controlled agency questioned my position and according to APRS altitude in question was not in my favor. When I am flying in the mountains of NH and Maine the track is very spotty. Few repeaters and iGates. I will test it in AK this summer I doubt it would have much usefulness there.

A switch would be a great idea but often when you need it the most the switch is off
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  #19  
Old 04-25-2014, 07:51 PM
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DanBaier DanBaier is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Arehart View Post
FWIW, I have Pete Howell's antenna in my wingtip and seems to work well.

Greg
Plus 1.

Dan
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  #20  
Old 04-25-2014, 08:24 PM
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Buggsy2 Buggsy2 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Dickens View Post
I've installed a Byonics MicroTrak RTG-FA...easy to install and if you have avionics that can output basic NMEA sentences, you can integrate the RTG with that and avoid mounting another GPS antenna. I've integrated mine with my SkyView system. I've also put the unit on a power switch so I can control when I'm "tracking".
I plan to install APRS and got a wingtip antenna for it and ran coax back through to the fuse. That's as much as I've done so far. I plan on an all-Dynon panel so would be interested in connection details to Skyview. Is there a collection of tips and wisdom from the many pilots who have trod the APRS path before, with details such as these?
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