My family obtained new real estate in France (locator JN17HL) with quite a large garden. Visiting a few weeks ago, I immediately spotted the opportunity to set-up a Beverage antenna. I already did some homework. A Beverage antenna is in basic a receiving antenna consisting of just one wire. Length of the wire is at least 2 or 3 wavelengths of the Continue reading
There is a APRS-hole in my daily commute route. On my daily bike ride of 18 kilometers (11,2 miles) one way I have APRS switched on on my Kenwood TH-D72. The Netherlands has a pretty wide network of APRS digipeaters. When my packets hits one of those digipeaters, I’ll show up on aprs.fi. Because of my low power and very small antenna not all of my packets hit a digipeater on my way to work or home. Near my QTH in Hilversum is the hardest, a real APRS-hole. When I’m half way near Maartensdijk, all my packets are picked up in Utrecht by PI1APU. I already tried to put on my own digipeater (my Kenwood TM-D710) at home. It doesn’t improve much. That’s because Hilversum is on a big hill and when I’m behind it near Hollandsche Rading, my TH-D72 can’t get it’s packets over it.
A solution would be to fill this APRS-hole with a APRS-receive point in or near Hollandsche Rading. Happens to be that Wilko, PA3BWK lives there and I asked Wilko if it is OK when I put up a APRS-receiver at his place. Wilko likes experiments so I’m glad he is willing to co-operate.
Now I have to find a simple cheap solution to set-up an iGate (APRS RF receive – internet link). Googling around gives me a Polish solution: a Raspberry Pi (or Cubieboard) with a RTL-SDR-stick.
I do have a Raspberry Pi laying around which I can use for testing. I think I will order a RTL-SDR-stick from Alibaba.com for around 10 euro’s soon. I will test this solution on my QTH first to see if it works properly. If it does, I move the setup to Wilko, PA3BWK. Hopefully my APRS-hole will disappear by then.
If it does, it might be interesting to build more of these simple iGates and place them in more APRS-holes. All it need is a little antenna outside and internet.