Sunday, 31 March 2013

HAMNET Weekly Report 31/03/2013

The Suicide Gorge kloofing or trail route in the Nuweberg Nature Reserve near Grabouw, is a frequent rescue site. Hamnet has been invited by the MCSA Hottentots Holland chapter to participate in a communication and mapping exercise in the area to improve our collective knowledge of the area.

We will deploy our four MT-AIO man portable APRS beacons into various parts of the gorge and it is our aim to be able to track them and plot their positions at the Nuweberg Nature conservation office. I need the following volunteers to participate in this exercise:

- 2 four wheel drive vehicles capable of acting as digipeaters

- 1 foot mobile operate capable of acting as a digipeater

- 1 base operator to receive, log and plot the positions

HWC has a Tinytrak 4 that can be interfaced to a radio to fulfil one of the above rolls and I have another TT4 that could be configured to do the same. We do not however have a comprehensive set of cables for connecting the TT4 to every possible kind of radio. If you are capable of acting as a digipeater (eg. Kenwood TMD-700/710, TH-D72) but do not have a 4x4, or you have a 4x4 and are not capable of acting as a digipeater, please respond anyway. We could form two man teams to solve the complete problem.

Paul also indicated that the consignment of MT-AIO portable APRS units has worked so well since purchasing them, that he is now considering purchasing another couple of units. They work exceptionally well in the mountainous terrain they need to cover in search & rescue activities.

The plan is to deploy the foot mobile operative along the top of the gorge in order to digipeat the signal from the gorge out to a mobile/vehicle based digipeater and from there to the base. We will deploy the two 4x4s in different parts of the nature reserve to see where the most appropriate position to give us the coverage we need, is.

The exercise will start early on Sunday morning. Arrangements have been made that those who wish to may camp over from the Saturday evening, when there will be a bit of a social/braai.

For the benefit of readers not involved in amateur radio, a digipeater is a repeater using digital modes which use low power and very accurate, effective and useful in any type of emergency communication! With SAWDOS and HAMNET merging on Facebook at a later stage, we wish to educate non amateur readers on terms, phraseology and items we use on a regular basis in our operations.

Reporting for Hamnet, this is Francois Botha, ZS6BUU.

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