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Mapping Glider Locations



 
 
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  #1  
Old June 1st 08, 05:53 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
COLIN LAMB
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 94
Default Mapping Glider Locations

As a member ham and member of the local Search and Rescue organization, we
have been interested in tracking fellow searchers. The technology has been
available for some time, but was not straightforward.

That may be changing, and the change may be very useful for soaring pilots
who wish to follow pilot tracks and locations and also for following the
nearness of other glider pilots.

APRS (automatic position reporting system) was developed by a ham and is now
used by police and other groups for tracking. The problem has been taking
the data and doing something useful with it. For a number of years, you
could transmit a position report and have it show up as a position and track
on the internet. That alone is useful to glider pilots, but it requires
access by the receiving station to the internet. To implement this setup,
all that is necessary is an old 2 meter handy talkie (about $50 or less
used), a TNC (less than $50 new) and a GPS. The GPS can be any retired unit
with simply a serial data output. So, for $150, you can place your location
on the internet. Note that you do not need to be a ham to use this in your
glider. It needs to be "operated" by a ham, which means the ham would
install it and set up the software. The software controls the transmitter,
so if the ham sets up the software, he is controlling the transmitter, even
if not present.

So far, this is fairly useful, although it does not allow the pilot to see
other pilots with APRS installations. Now, however, there is a big
improvement. See http://www.argentdata.com/products/tracker2.html . I am
about to order the Open Tracker OT2m to try out. I think what the
advertisement says is that with a 2 meter radio (the same $50 used one), the
OT2m (under $100) and a mapping GPS that allows uploading waypoints, you
could receive location reports from nearby soaring pilots and have them
appear on your GPS - with an identifier.

If you are not a ham or know a ham, you can now obtain a license without
knowing the morse code. That requirement has been eliminated. The exam, in
the simplest form, involves memorizing a pool of multiple choice questions
and receiving passing grades. A book with the most current question pool is
available.

I have not tried out the OT2m but am planning on ordering one and thought I
would post this to let others think about it.

Colin Lamb


Ads
  #2  
Old June 1st 08, 06:20 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Wayne Paul
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 905
Default Mapping Glider Locations


"COLIN LAMB" wrote in message
...

....Snip... Note that you do not need to be a ham to use this in your
glider. It needs to be "operated" by a ham, which means the ham would
install it and set up the software. The software controls the
transmitter, so if the ham sets up the software, he is controlling the
transmitter, even if not present.


Colin,

That appears to me to really be stretching the rules. Does the glider pilot
ever turn off the system? Isn't the glider pilot operating the system when
he turns it back on?

This my be in compliance with the "letter of the law"; however, it seems
beyond the rule's intent. Has the FCC officially ruled on this; or, are you
not asking the question for which you can't stand the answer.

Respectfully,

Wayne
W7ADK
http://www.soaridaho.com/


  #3  
Old June 1st 08, 06:31 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
COLIN LAMB
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 94
Default Mapping Glider Locations

Hello Wayne:

To be honest, I have not reseached the answer about control - however APRS
is used frequently in vehicles and animals that are not occupied by
amateurs. They are installed in balloons, used on search dogs. I am a ham
(K7FM) and have had an APRS unit installed in my car. It shuts down when
the ignition is turned off and I have the software quit sending out reports
if there is no change in position. I am sure I could write software that
would cause the transmitter to quit transmitting a position report when the
power was turned off.

So, the answer is I do not know the fine line about control, and the main
point of the post was to let soaring pilots (many who are hams or know hams)
of available technology. If it useful, they might just want to get a ham
ticket. My wife has no interest in radio at all but studied the question
pool over a weekend and became N7WXY.

Colin Lamb


  #4  
Old June 1st 08, 06:34 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
COLIN LAMB
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 94
Default Mapping Glider Locations

A bit of research says that it is not necessary to "babysit" an APRS
installation.

See http://info.aprs.net/index.php?title=ControlOperator

Colin Lamb


  #5  
Old June 1st 08, 06:38 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Wayne Paul
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 905
Default Mapping Glider Locations


"COLIN LAMB" wrote in message
...
Hello Wayne:

To be honest, I have not reseached the answer about control - however APRS
is used frequently in vehicles and animals that are not occupied by
amateurs. They are installed in balloons, used on search dogs. I am a
ham (K7FM) and have had an APRS unit installed in my car. It shuts down
when the ignition is turned off and I have the software quit sending out
reports if there is no change in position. I am sure I could write
software that would cause the transmitter to quit transmitting a position
report when the power was turned off.

So, the answer is I do not know the fine line about control, and the main
point of the post was to let soaring pilots (many who are hams or know
hams) of available technology. If it useful, they might just want to get
a ham ticket. My wife has no interest in radio at all but studied the
question pool over a weekend and became N7WXY.

Colin Lamb

Colin,

No matter what the technical FCC rules answer, I have a nice little Garmin
stand alone unit, and an old 2 meter hand held unit. It is time for me to
spend a few buck and get out my soldering iron.

Wayne
HP-14 "Six Foxtrot"
http://www.soaridaho.com/Schreder


  #6  
Old June 1st 08, 06:39 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Scott[_7_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 256
Default Mapping Glider Locations

COLIN LAMB wrote:


APRS (automatic position reporting system) was developed by a ham and is now
used by police and other groups for tracking. The problem has been taking
the data and doing something useful with it. For a number of years, you
could transmit a position report and have it show up as a position and track
on the internet. That alone is useful to glider pilots, but it requires
access by the receiving station to the internet. To implement this setup,
all that is necessary is an old 2 meter handy talkie (about $50 or less
used), a TNC (less than $50 new) and a GPS. The GPS can be any retired unit
with simply a serial data output. So, for $150, you can place your location
on the internet. Note that you do not need to be a ham to use this in your
glider. It needs to be "operated" by a ham, which means the ham would
install it and set up the software. The software controls the transmitter,
so if the ham sets up the software, he is controlling the transmitter, even
if not present.




I don't agree with this at all. If you are using a 2M ham transmitter
without a ham license, you are violating FCC rules. The software you
claim to have controlling the transmitter does not eliminate the need
for a "control operator" for the 2M transmitter to be licensed.



If you are not a ham or know a ham, you can now obtain a license without
knowing the morse code. That requirement has been eliminated. The exam, in
the simplest form, involves memorizing a pool of multiple choice questions
and receiving passing grades. A book with the most current question pool is
available.



This part is true.


I have not tried out the OT2m but am planning on ordering one and thought I
would post this to let others think about it.



I assume you have memorized the questions for your ham license before
you put a 2M transmitter on the air or you may get a written invitation
from the FCC to explain your actions.




Colin Lamb



  #7  
Old June 1st 08, 06:47 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
COLIN LAMB
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 94
Default Mapping Glider Locations

"I don't agree with this at all. If you are using a 2M ham transmitter
without a ham license, you are violating FCC rules. The software you
claim to have controlling the transmitter does not eliminate the need
for a "control operator" for the 2M transmitter to be licensed."

Response: See http://info.aprs.net/index.php?title=ControlOperator

"I assume you have memorized the questions for your ham license before
you put a 2M transmitter on the air or you may get a written invitation
from the FCC to explain your actions."

Response: I did not memorize any questions for the ham exam, since there
was no question pool when I went down to the FCC office and passed the extra
class exam. I had to learn the stuff.

Colin Lamb K7FM (licensed in 1959)


  #8  
Old June 1st 08, 06:53 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Scott[_7_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 256
Default Mapping Glider Locations

COLIN LAMB wrote:

As a member ham and member of the local Search and Rescue organization, we
have been interested in tracking fellow searchers. The technology has been
available for some time, but was not straightforward.

That may be changing, and the change may be very useful for soaring pilots
who wish to follow pilot tracks and locations and also for following the
nearness of other glider pilots.

APRS (automatic position reporting system) was developed by a ham and is now
used by police and other groups for tracking. The problem has been taking
the data and doing something useful with it. For a number of years, you
could transmit a position report and have it show up as a position and track
on the internet. That alone is useful to glider pilots, but it requires
access by the receiving station to the internet. To implement this setup,
all that is necessary is an old 2 meter handy talkie (about $50 or less
used), a TNC (less than $50 new) and a GPS. The GPS can be any retired unit
with simply a serial data output. So, for $150, you can place your location
on the internet. Note that you do not need to be a ham to use this in your
glider. It needs to be "operated" by a ham, which means the ham would
install it and set up the software. The software controls the transmitter,
so if the ham sets up the software, he is controlling the transmitter, even
if not present.

So far, this is fairly useful, although it does not allow the pilot to see
other pilots with APRS installations. Now, however, there is a big
improvement. See http://www.argentdata.com/products/tracker2.html . I am
about to order the Open Tracker OT2m to try out. I think what the
advertisement says is that with a 2 meter radio (the same $50 used one), the
OT2m (under $100) and a mapping GPS that allows uploading waypoints, you
could receive location reports from nearby soaring pilots and have them
appear on your GPS - with an identifier.

If you are not a ham or know a ham, you can now obtain a license without
knowing the morse code. That requirement has been eliminated. The exam, in
the simplest form, involves memorizing a pool of multiple choice questions
and receiving passing grades. A book with the most current question pool is
available.

I have not tried out the OT2m but am planning on ordering one and thought I
would post this to let others think about it.

Colin Lamb



Furthering on my previous reply, I quote FCC rules (Part 97) and
hightlighted text with capitalization for emphasis:

97.5 Station license grant required.
(a) The station apparatus MUST BE UNDER THE PHYSICAL CONTROL of a person
named in an amateur station license grant on the ULS consolidated
license database or a person authorized for alien reciprocal operation
by 97.107 of this part, before the station may transmit on any amateur
service frequency from any place that is:

(1) Within 50 km of the Earth's surface and at a place where the
amateur service is regulated by the FCC;

(2) Within 50 km of the Earth's surface and aboard any vessel or
craft that is documented or registered in the United States; or

(3) More than 50 km above the Earth's surface aboard any craft
that is documented or registered in the United States.



97.7 Control operation required.
When transmitting, each amateur station must have a control operator.
THE CONTROL OPERATOR MUST BE a PERSON:

(a) For whom an amateur operator/primary station license grant appears
on the ULS consolidated licensee database, or

(b) Who is authorized for alien reciprocal operation by 97.107 of this
part.


And...I forgot to put my amateur radio callsign in my last post.

Scott
N0EDV





  #9  
Old June 1st 08, 07:03 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Scott[_7_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 256
Default Mapping Glider Locations

COLIN LAMB wrote:

Hello Wayne:

To be honest, I have not reseached the answer about control - however APRS
is used frequently in vehicles and animals that are not occupied by
amateurs.


But, are they using transmitters on HAM frequencies? I hope not unless
they are licensed to do so. See my other post quoting FCC rules about
"Control Points" and "Control Operators".


I am sure I could write software that
would cause the transmitter to quit transmitting a position report when the
power was turned off.


I doubt you'd have to. If the transmitter power is turned off, no
position reports could be sent out.


So, the answer is I do not know the fine line about control, and the main
point of the post was to let soaring pilots (many who are hams or know hams)
of available technology. If it useful, they might just want to get a ham
ticket. My wife has no interest in radio at all but studied the question

pool over a weekend and became N7WXY.

If you are unsure of control point regulations, you might want to peruse
over the Part 97 rules. They can be found at
http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/reg...7/onepage.html
It seems to me to be a disservice to tell folks about something and
imply it's OK to violate FCC rules. They won't be very happy to get a
letter from the Feds. Congrats to you wife on her new license! Maybe
she will get hooked on radio if/when she starts using her privileges

Scott
N0EDV
  #10  
Old June 1st 08, 07:03 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Scott[_7_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 256
Default Mapping Glider Locations

COLIN LAMB wrote:

Hello Wayne:

To be honest, I have not reseached the answer about control - however APRS
is used frequently in vehicles and animals that are not occupied by
amateurs.


But, are they using transmitters on HAM frequencies? I hope not unless
they are licensed to do so. See my other post quoting FCC rules about
"Control Points" and "Control Operators".


I am sure I could write software that
would cause the transmitter to quit transmitting a position report when the
power was turned off.


I doubt you'd have to. If the transmitter power is turned off, no
position reports could be sent out.


So, the answer is I do not know the fine line about control, and the main
point of the post was to let soaring pilots (many who are hams or know hams)
of available technology. If it useful, they might just want to get a ham
ticket. My wife has no interest in radio at all but studied the question

pool over a weekend and became N7WXY.

If you are unsure of control point regulations, you might want to peruse
over the Part 97 rules. They can be found at
http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/reg...7/onepage.html
It seems to me to be a disservice to tell folks about something and
imply it's OK to violate FCC rules. They won't be very happy to get a
letter from the Feds. Congrats to you wife on her new license! Maybe
she will get hooked on radio if/when she starts using her privileges

Scott
N0EDV
 




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