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April Meeting Report




The April Quad-County ARC meeting featured a very interesting program on APRS presented by Carmine Prestia K3CWP and Woody Brem K3YV. Twenty-one amateurs were in attendance—some from as far away as Clarion and Emporium—and all four counties were represented. President Doug W3DWR called the meeting to order and during the brief business meeting the upcoming Spring Banquet plans were finalized, Field Day discussion was opened and committee reports were heard.

The business meeting was adjourned and the program was presented. Carmine K3CWP and Woody K3YV discussed their use of APRS to track Santa as he visits the neighborhoods in State College every year. They explained how parents can see when Santa's firetruck will be approaching their neighborhood and take their kids out to see him every Christmas Eve, and the positive public response this has generated.

Carmine demonstrated how this worked by showing their path to the meeting using the online map at aprs.fi. Woody explained the construction of the "dot-box" which is the self-contained APRS rig he constructed inside a toolbox. AS Woody passed his dot-box around the room for the members to look at, Carmine discussed how the boxes were mounted on the firetrucks.

The program was very well received, as indicated by the number of questions from the hams in attendance. There was ample opportunity to discuss APRS technology with the guests and our members who have been using APRS. There were a number of APRS stations on display. Scott W3EOD brought his Kenwood TM-D7 Hand-held APRS transceiver and wrist-mounted GPS that he uses on the trail, W3BC brought his Kenwood TM-D710A and his "Frankenstein" rig, which he constructed from old equipment in his junkox for very little cash outlay. WA3UFN's Yaesu FTM-350R flexed its APRS muscles, and the equipment used to support the N3QC-2 APRS Fill-in digipeater at the EOC was on display as well.

According to many comments received this was the best Quad-County meeting in quite a while, and we are trying to have more meetings like this one in the future. We hope to see you at the next one!


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